I have just been over to Area 51 to check on how we are doing as a site, as we are coming up to a third the way through beta.

The stats look like this

  • 294 Questions. We should be aiming for over 750, but 1500 would be excellent. This reads that we are on-track, but the rate of new questions seems to have dropped off a lot since the first week. Often only a few new questions appear per day. We should be aiming for at least 10 per day on average.

  • 94% Answer rate. This is well above the 90% suggested as excellent! Well done us.

  • 80 users with 200+ rep. Aiming for 150. This should be fine.

  • 3 users with 2,000+ rep. Aiming for 10. Looking at the top users, this should be fine.

  • 1 users with 3,000+ rep. Aiming for 5. Should be okay, but may need a push!

  • 3.5 answer ratio. Aiming for 2.5. Again, well done us.

  • 210 visits/day. 500 is considered poor, 1500 is good.

This would suggest we have a few areas to worry about. The number of visits/day and the amount of questions. Logically, the number of visits would mean the more questions will come. I already love this site, so it would be a shame to see this beta fail. Any thoughts on how we can try to promote this further?

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    I'm rather impressed with the reputation people have accrued; the main thing other sites seem to be getting hung up on is enough 2k and 3k users, and it looks like we're going to make that no problem – Michael Mrozek Nov 14 '10 at 19:34

You raise some good points that I've been thinking about lately as well.

I don't see us failing, it just may take longer than necessary expected. From the Stack Exchange article "When Will My Site Graduate?", the answer was "it takes as long as it takes," and as long as we keep that in mind, we'll be good.

There are some good ideas from "A Recipe to Promote Your Site". I've been considering re-joining Facebook (I left a while back), or getting into Twitter and just signed up to Twitter, to start promoting the site.

The thing I've noticed is a general drop-off in interest. A few weeks ago we were getting 1300-1400 visitors/day; now we're at 854 and dropping.

I think that if we have questions, any questions, we should be asking them. Not shotgunning questions, necessarily, but asking any board game/card game questions that come to mind. We seem to have a good solid core of Dominion, Carcassone, and 18XX questions, but there have to be more games out there than these.

We need to suck people in and get visibility -- we just need to figure out how.

  • We also need to get as many people as possible to participate in the advertising of this site. How, I do not know, but the announcer badge has only been gained 4 times so far. – Codemwnci Nov 14 '10 at 22:17
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    @Codemwnci - comparatively, StackOverflow is freaking huge, and the Announcer badge has only been earned 71 times -- the badges seem to be just plain hard to earn. And there is such a fine line between "advertising" and "spamming" -- I know when I was on Facebook, I got really irritated with the number of Mafia Wars and Farmville updates I always got, and I'd hate to drive people nuts with constant "Like board games? Come to BoardGames.StackExchange.com!" posts. We'll just have to spread the word best we can, and grind away. – LittleBobbyTables Nov 14 '10 at 22:23
  • What's your Twitter nickname? ... I tried the obvious ;) – Jon Hadley Nov 15 '10 at 10:00

I have the same worries.

If you compare BGC with other game related sites, you see that these site offer either games for sale or games to play. And we have neither. Our main goal is to be a Q&A site, but maybe we can use some games to lure game players into this site.

If the community likes the idea, we could be a portal for games played online.

On BGC we can have a "topic" that somebody wants to start an online game. Players that want to play can "answer" the game. The game itself is played on some other site. So the question can be closed if the game has been started.

I can offer right now the following:

  • Diplomacy, 7 players, weekly turns. So be prepared for a long time.
  • Werewolf chat, 8 or more players, on the chat. Short games. But we need more activity on the chat.

And I'm sure there are more people that like to host games.

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    My concern would be we lost focus on real questions, and see an large increase in "Looking for Settlers player" and "Looking for chess player" all the time, instead of seeing actual game questions. I appreciate the contribution, but I don't feel this as being in spirit with the site. – LittleBobbyTables Nov 14 '10 at 21:47
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    The other issue this raises, is that the spirit of StackExchange, is that 90% of traffic will eventually come from search engines. The type of questions we have now will live on, but the "do you want a quick game of..." questions are only relevant for that space in time and become obsolete. – Codemwnci Nov 14 '10 at 22:14
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    I really am not keen on this idea. It seems to me this would push the site in a forum-like direction which would be... unpleasant. – ire_and_curses Nov 15 '10 at 1:52

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