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This Stack Exchange site is 210 days old. That's pretty much seven months, six of those in public beta. As it happens, just today our Area 51 stat of site visits, which is a 14-day average, has grown to reach four digits. We are at 1069 visits/day as I'm writing this. This is great news.

With these two milestones of site age and growing visits it seems to be a good time to lean back a moment have a look at our site.

The Beta Stats

Area 51 has five statistical values which are indicators about the site. The user base has slowly but constantly grown over time as have our site visits, which are arguably the two stats that help to better all the other stats. The trend is certainly encouraging when we look at those two stats, they have greatly improved since the 90 day mark. One other stat I want to highlight especially, we have a 95% answer rate. This is very fittingly rated "Excellent." It shows nicely that people who find their way to this site a very likely to get an answer.

The growing user base also helps with the community moderation. More and more the pro tempore moderators — including myself — are just the human exception handlers we're supposed to be. As evidenced by the close review queue the community moderation works great and as moderators we only cast our binding votes as fifth, sometimes fourth vote. (Exceptionally off-topic questions excluded.)

The only stat that is really lagging behind is our questions per day metric, which is also a 14-day average. It has been fluctuating a lot on a rather low level, mostly between 1.5 and 2.5 questions per day. We're also closing 20-30% of incoming questions due to low quality or for being off-topic. That leaves rather few questions that can get good answers.

Site Promotion

This brings us to the things we can improve. How do we get more people posting more high-quality questions?

We've had some good posts on meta about site promotion already which hold good ideas. Just have a look at them.

There were also 35 Announcer Badges awarded, honoring people who shared links to the site outside the network. Bringing in views — and sometimes new users and questions. At this point I want to voice a special thanks to Aurora who has been very active in that area. If anyone has a good place — and maybe even a few followers it would help the site a lot to get some attention from other places. There are also still first badges to be earned for 300 or 1000 visitors brought to the site.

Robert Cartaino's blog entry about site promotion gives also some great ideas about site promotion. Maybe some of the ideas in the meta posts or the blog are a good fit for your interests, or your activities, or your abilities and present a great opportunity for you to help this site. After all, you're reading this, so you're already interested.

Site Organization

From time to time it's also good to have a look at the content on our site.

  • Do we reach the people we want to reach?
  • Are we content with the content on this site?
  • Is the content on our site what the title promises?
  • How are new users welcomed?

I had a look at our tags and threw every tag with 10+ questions in a SEDE query1 and created a shiny diagram from it. Have a look.

Pie chart of the aforementioned question to category distribution.

Note that a question can be in more than one category. In fact all the "Product" questions refer to "Smart Home" products. Furthermore, there are 72 questions that are not tagged with any tag that has ten uses and as such not included.

On a first glance it looks like we're doing not too badly on the overall promise on IoT. Networking and connectivity, the use of smart home solutions and products as well as the build the IoT device yourself are our top categories, rounded by some security questions and very few privacy concerns.

In a recent meta question, "Helping this site grow — can users interested in our site find us?" it was asked if the tag line is really helpful. After half a year sporting the tag line we decided on in January it might be time to tweak it.

Internet of Things Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of everyday objects embedded with electronics to be sensed, monitored, and controlled remotely.

With an overview of our questions in mind there might be some room for improving our slogan.

Way forward

While I have thrown some site history and stats around this still is very much a question. So what do you think are things we should change or tweak to improve the reach and user experience of this site?


1 Feel free to fork it to get more detailed results out of SEDE. SEDE updates weekly on Sundays. Thus, the queries and the static diagram will run apart.

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