7

We have now been in beta for over 6 months and I think our Area 51 summary is a pretty accurate representation of our status:

Area 51 summary

Not a lot of questions, but enough expert users that the questions are being answered, and according to our site self evaulation answered well. I guess the issue really is how do we get more traffic and more questions? We have a community promotion banner, but I do not know if it is running anywhere other than Travel.se. I know it needs some up votes on academia.se.

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5

Looking at recent activity along with user retention, I'm not that worried about the slow rate that questions trickle in. Area 51 does have some delay in updating (I forget how long it is now, much shorter than it used to be, but I believe there is some delay). We're starting to push up into the 2 - 5 questions per day range - but the site is a bit too young to measure consistency in that regard yet, because it also had to overcome some hurdles.

We started this because trying to actually get this information in the sea of junk such as:

  • Crap lawyer sites that seem to promise to tell you something, but ultimately lead to a consultation form
  • Crap official sites that are so horribly maintained that you can't even find the result that the search engine excerpt showed
  • All kinds of blogs that have out of date or plain misleading information

But initially, all of that junk outranked us by far. Looking at the steady growth we're seeing in the number of page views / visits, and that more new questions seem to be commensurate with said growth is very exciting. It's exciting, just on a small scale, because we're so young. The only thing to really worry about as far as these numbers go is that folks here have enough to do to not get bored and leave, and I think we're far from that. There's lots of editing, tag changes, tag wiki building, voting and everything else that makes a healthy site happening.

I'm pretty confident that as we're indexed better, the number of questions per day will continue to rise. In fact, the thing to prepare for is a steady increase of new users that have never used a Stack Exchange site finding us and tripping about a bit.

Now, with that said ....

I've been promoting the site mostly by word of mouth, and that seems to have been successful for the most part. I know quite a few expats in my building from various countries and all of them told me they liked the site and had a good experience here after I recommended it.

Other things I've been thinking about doing is getting permission from my homeowner's association to put up some flyers with the little 'fingers' having the URL for folks to tear off, the same for certain grocery stores and other places expats in my area tend to visit. We're .. not that hard to find :)

I think that's really the second way, other than just organic search, that we're going to grow. Genuine Hey, I found this site and guess what, you don't have to keep trying to find stuff on the State Dept. site recommendations, or evangelizing the site, is going to be important. If you've got ways we might be able to help you do that, we're all ears.

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