9

So here we are: at a 90 day beta!! It's kind of an auspicious point in our history: a time to self evaluate.

So here are the Area51 stats:

2.3 questions per day (Needs work)
92% answered (Excellent)
66 avid users (Needs work)
1.7 question to answer ratio (Okay)
214 visits per day (Needs work)

So let's begin by focusing on what we've got right.

1. 92% answered.

That's good. We've got a good proportion of the questions answered, which speaks well for our user base: we have knowledge that we're sharing.

2. 1.7 question answer ratio.

It's good, while there is room for improvement. This basically means, if you see a good question, don't be afraid to dump another answer on! This brings us to the transition of things we could fix.

But what needs improvement?

1. More answers

At 1.7 question answer ratio, don't be afraid to dump a second, third, or fourth answer on to a question. It never hurts to have similar material stated two different ways with different details. This will also have the effect of tending to push good questions into the SE hot network questions, attracting more views and hopefully more users.

2. More questions

How do we attract visitors and users? Quality questions. And quality answers.

So keep asking. Keep answering. Keep voting. We're moving... let's keep on moving!

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    We can add the detailed user stats too. 66@200, 4@2k, 4@3k. Most interesting is probably to track visits per day over time - visits translate to questions, answers and users. – Sean Houlihane Mar 7 '17 at 16:12
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    2 months later, 400 visits per day and 77 users with 200 rep. Questions is still low, at 1.1, but the user base is edging up. – Sean Houlihane May 12 '17 at 12:15
  • @SeanHoulihane, thanks for heads up! Yep, questions per day is definitely where we need to focus our energies, imho. – anonymous2 May 12 '17 at 18:20
7

I've just commented on another Meta question about how disorganised the experience felt as someone wanting to ask a question (after having searched for my answer).

There are IoT-related tags on other sites, like home-automation on DIY and iot on Engineering, and there are missing tags on IoT, like lighting and home-electrical (which I've since found should be a synonym of ac-power). Having all of this in a single smart-home tag seems a little broad. It might also enable people from other communities watching certain tags on this site to help out where they can. I'd suggest getting part of the tag descriptions on the other sites to link to this site to help people find it and get a more appropriate home for their question.

It seems there are (to simplify massively) broadly 3 categories a question is likely to be about: Protocols/technologies (eg. Z-Wave, Zigbee, MQTT); Specific devices (eg. Philips Hue, Alexa, Google Home); and uses (eg. lighting, heating, monitoring, metering, sensing, drones). It would probably be a good idea to make sure the uses are able to be tagged sufficiently, as some people will have specific questions about Philips Hue lights (which there is a tag for) and others will have a general question about lighting/heating looking for technology/device recommendations.

Tidy up

I'd suggest getting certain IoT topics tidied up and moved over to this site with relevant tags, especially ones which ask things like Z-Wave vs Zigbee. They rank quite highly in search engines, and if someone starts on another site they'll likely continue there when asking their question(s).

Tag Synonyms

Make common (maybe old-fashioned) terms synonyms so people can categorise their questions better. Part of the reason I found it hard to find the right site to post the question on was because I couldn't find the right tags to use, and felt like the question probably wasn't a good enough fit for the site.

  • smart-home: home-automation
  • ac-power: electrical, wiring, lighting

Give people as much chance to succeed in categorising their questions. I had to edit my question to add ac-power as I only found it after having seen the tag synonyms page while writing this answer.

The examples I've given were only from my own searching... not trying to be an exhaustive list of suggestions.

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    I think this should be a meta question in its own right... We can add tags here only when there are relevant questions (as I understand). – Sean Houlihane Mar 22 '17 at 13:04
  • Thanks for all this feedback—really useful. As Sean says, it might be easier to split this into a meta post of its own so we can review and respond. As for the moving questions to this site, I'm afraid that's not possible now—questions can only be migrated within 60 days of posting. However, feel free to ask similar relevant questions if you think this site could benefit from something like that. – Aurora0001 Mar 22 '17 at 15:12

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