I've seen many topics on meta that continue to say that non-objective less than perfect questions are not allowed. The argument usually back to this quote from the FAQ:

Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

The problem is that this site has no active front page. I have yet to find any page on this entire site, even when only displaying 15 questions, where the last questions isn't at least a week old. Are these week old questions really important enough that they must be kept on the front page? I don't see how dis-allowing some of these 50 closed questions, especially the 21 with upvotes, is making the site any better. The few (less than 10) that have actually been closed the right way by 5 users clearly don't really belong here. The other 30+ that have been closed the wrong way, aka by one moderator, never seem to have gotten a fair chance.

The reason they get closed, is because Stackexchange is supposed to be a place for nothing less than expert advice for expert questions. This is one of the things that makes SE awesome, and I totally agree that's how things should always be.

Sadly, reality has to set in at some point. Almost 10% of the questions have been closed, leaving us with almost 500 after 108 days. This isn't good. The matter at and is that Board & Card games are inherently subjective enough to show that a SE exchange site might not be the right place for them, and users would mostly be better off sacrificing a better UI and site design for a place that actually lets them ask the questions they want.


Am I preaching the doom of this site and saying its terrible?

NO!

All of the problems I listed above hurt me dearly every time I think about them, and I want to make sure we're doing what we can to solve them. We need to put some hustle in so we can be even better if we want to come out of beta. Currently the biggest problem I see is lack of questions, and since most of them never get a fair chance and are closed by 1 mod instead of some of the 50 people who have the privilege cast close votes, this could easily be solved. If they still get closed, the community will have spoken and made the best choice for the site. A mod can never know if they're doing their job right unless they talk to the community, and their actions should always reflect this.

If I thought this site couldn't make it, I wouldn't spend my time on the meta trying to improve it. I want this site to be able to compete so it gets the chance it deserves.

Anyone else have some suggestions to help us become a real boy? Should we continue the current strict laws on questions and hope we get enough, or should we try loosening things up for a few days to see if that improves things? You'll never know until you try. :D


EDIT: I've been convinced that this site should only allow non-subjective questions in 5h3 interest of preserving high quality Q&A. If it can continue that way, it is probably better than any alternative.

The more important part of this question was about how we can help this site succeed. Obviously we can do so by continuing to participate by asking and answering questions, but I'm wondering what else there is we can do. However, if you think my fears that this site will not make it out of beta are unjustified, I will gladly allay them and happily continue to participate with a new spring in my step knowing we will join the proud ranks of the launched sites. :D

share
add comment

3 Answers

This site gets 97% of the questions answered; That's its saving grace.

This site remains of high quality; That's its saving grace.

Lowering that bar for the sake of getting more questions is not a winning formula. I've seen this call for "lowering the bar to get more questions" thousands of times… literally, thousands of times.

Back when Stack Exchange was a for-subscription service, individuals tried to create these sites with little idea of how to draw an audience. When the traffic did not magically appear, most panicked. Sites started soliciting and allowing lower-quality questions under the mistaken belief that "more questions at any cost" was better than nurturing fewer questions with the high quality Stack Exchange users have become accustomed to. The result was almost 3,000 sites shut down with a 99.6% failure rate.

Let's not repeat that mistake. You can't simply lower the quality to attract more questions, thinking that you can somehow just raise the bar later, once the traffic is humming along. It doesn't work that way. The newest questions — the ones that will likely appear on the front page — become and intrinsic part of your design; the purpose of your site and what incoming users will emulate. You have to attract the right type of activity.

To make this site successful, you need a place where people are asking very interesting and challenging questions, not the same questions asked 100 times before on every other discussion site. If you start allowing questions that aren't a step above, it will start to undermine what we believe makes these sites worthwhile in the first place.

share
    
You have many good points. Subjective questions doesn't not necessarily mean lower quality, especially in games, but I can see your arguments and I concur. How else do you propose we improve the standing of this site? We still have some jumps to get over and IMHO this site doesn't have enough momentum to draw people away from Board Game Geek, even if it complements them instead of competing. Sorry if this question is stupid, I just want to see this site go somewhere and I can't figure out how to help it. However, if you are confident that this site will succeed, I will stop worrying. :D –  Gordon Gustafson Feb 5 '11 at 23:22
    
@CrazyJugglerDrummer: Don't conflate the issue of subjectivity with quality. There's Good Subjective. I'm talking about letting less-than-excellent questions (which do not belong) slide in the name of maintaining a higher question count. –  Robert Cartaino Feb 6 '11 at 4:40
1  
@CrazyJugglerDrummer: You improve the standing of the site by asking good questions and by publicizing interesting questions. Most of these sites start out with steady traffic going kind of horizontally for a while. Then, at some unpredictable point, POW the site hits a critical mass "tipping point" and the traffic starts climbing inexorably. But to reach that point, the questions have to attract users. Currently, almost 60% of this site's traffic comes from questions people found in Google. But to keep those users and get them asking good questions, the quality has to be there. –  Robert Cartaino Feb 6 '11 at 4:44
    
I'd rate this answer more highly if it was the lower-quality questions that were being moderated out of existence. Sadly there seem to be few bars to a low-quality question that fits the "style" of Stack Exchange, and many hurdles for a high-quality but non-Stacky question to surmount, because it's so much easier for moderators to come down hard on the latter. –  thesunneversets Aug 23 '11 at 14:15
add comment

I think the answer to your question is the same here as it is for sites that are out of beta: to help the site grow and be successful,

  • ask good questions
  • provide good answers
  • vote up good questions and answers you see
  • suggest edits/edit weak questions and answers that can be improved, depending on your privileges
  • vote down/flag/otherwise act upon bad questions and answers, depending on privileges

Some users have an unerring ability to a) find the weakest allowable questions currently on the site and b) use them as an argument for the question they've just asked which was just closed as off-topic for the site. As the site grows, the number of attempts at poor questions will grow, and the effort to keep them suppressed will have to increase. Providing good content builds the base of information on which future content should rest and sets more examples for new and inexperienced users.

share
add comment

From what I understand, making it out of beta has several requirements; a large community with a "critical mass" of high reputation members, good, high quality interaction, with a large percentage of answered questions, acceptances, etc.

The BCG site appears to have one "missing" feature. A preference that "mature" sites have an average number of daily questions "closer to 15 than to 5." On a bad day, we don't even have 5. That argues against splitting off bridge, chess, go, none of which appear to have "critical mass." The only "splitting" that might make sense to me is "board games" versus "card games." But right now, it seems that BCG is struggling to make it while "united."

share
    
I don't see anything in this post that mentions how to overcome the hurdle described in the question –  LittleBobbyTables Aug 5 '11 at 17:17
    
I was trying to point out that this site seemed to qualify in nearly all respects--except one. Meaning that we should concentrate our efforts on this "one." And that we really shouldn't think about further subdividing the site into component games. More of a "weather report" than anything else. –  Tom Au Aug 5 '11 at 17:42
add comment

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .