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Welcome to the Power Users community on Codidact!

Power Users is a Q&A site for questions about the usage of computer software and hardware. We are still a small site and would like to grow, so please consider joining our community. We are looking forward to your questions and answers; they are the building blocks of a repository of knowledge we are building together.

Comments on How can we grow this community?

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How can we grow this community?

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Codidact's communities have a lot of great content that is helping people on the Internet. Our communities are small, though, and sustainable communities depend on having lots of active, engaged participants. The folks already here are doing good work; our challenge is to find more people like you so we can help this community grow.

This calls for a two-pronged approach: reaching more people who would be interested if only they knew about us, and making sure that visitors get a good first impression. I'm here to ask for your help with both.

Reaching more people

The pool of people interested in computers, frustrated by computers, or trying to do new and interesting things with their computers is large. My question to you is: where do we find those people? You're the experts on this topic, not us. Where would it be most fruitful to promote Codidact? How should we appeal to them to draw them in?

Please don't give general answers like "software forums". We need your expert input to decide where, specifically, we should be looking. We are now able to pay for some advertising -- where should we direct it, and what message would best reach that audience? Can you help us sell your community?

Finally, some types of promotion are best done peer to peer. You are the experts in your topic; messages from you on subreddits or professional forums or the like will be much more credible than messages from Codidact staff. For these types of settings, we need your help to get the word out. If you know of a suitable place and can volunteer to spread the word there, please leave an answer about it so we all know about it (and know not to also post there).

Making a good first impression

Pretend for a moment that you don't know anything about Codidact. Visit this community in incognito mode. What's your reaction? If it's negative, what can we do about it? Some known deterrents from across the network:

  • Latest activity is not recent. This tells people the community isn't active. Anecdotally, we have lots of people ready to answer good questions, and on some communities, not enough good questions for them to answer. Can you help with that?

  • Latest questions are unanswered. This tells people it might not be worth asking here. Why are our unanswered questions unanswered? Are they poor questions in some regard? Unclear, too basic, too esoteric, just not interesting? Can they be fixed? Should they be hidden?[1]

  • Latest questions have poor scores. This tells people that either there's lots of low-quality material here or the voters are overly picky. If it's a quality problem, same questions as the previous bullet. If good content is getting downvoted, or not getting upvoted, can you help us understand why?

These are issues we've seen or heard about from across the network, but each community is different. What do you see here? What might be turning people away, and what could we do about it?

Are there things about the platform itself, as opposed to content, that discourage people we're trying to attract? If there's something we can customize to better serve this community, please let us know. If there are other changes in presentation or behavior that you think would encourage visitors to stick around, what are they?

Conversely, what is this community doing well? What draws newcomers in? I don't just mean the reverse of those bullets. What do we need to keep doing, and what might be worth highlighting when promoting this community?


  1. Should the question list not show some questions to anonymous visitors? What should the criteria be? ↩︎

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There are quite a lot of low scoring questions (1 comment)
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Users will follow good content. If the content of StackExchange is CC licensed, can't "we" "just" import all (or a selected highest quality subset) of questions and answers from StackExchange?

I am not deeply involved in the community (eg have never been a moderator), but even if this "seeding" was only done using some publicly available data dumps from many months ago (before SE Inc turned off the data dump facility) then it would, in my opinion, make this site an entirely viable everyday use, over and above SE.

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Been there, done that, didn't work. (2 comments)
Been there, done that, didn't work.
Olin Lathrop‭ wrote 11 months ago

This was tried early on, and found not to work. Note that the communities that did import SE content are clumped near the bottom in activity. I think this is Writers, Outdoors, and Photography. Maybe there are one or two more.

The search engines seem to ding us for having duplicate content. Some of that even seems to spill over to communities that didn't import. It's also frustrating when see a question and find it was asked six years ago somewhere else. There is almost no upside, and significant downside. There is very little activity in old questions scraped from elsewhere. It's "fake" content that hurts sites.

tartley‭ wrote 11 months ago

Thanks for the context.