We need more questions
It's been pointed out by numerous people on many occasions that we need more questions. The graph of questions per week over time has remained almost flat, but despite that, our answers per day keeps going up. I attribute that mainly to the many users who answer 10 or more questions and have asked only 1 or 2, as you can see on Area51:
Because of this, it's clear to me that we're already are doing a good job with this site, but this should help us do a great job by increasing the number of questions we get and hopefully attracting new users. I've spent many late nights worrying about how we can get our amazing, intelligent, experienced users who are teachers at every level of Computer Science Education to ask more questions.
Here is the solution I've come up with:
In order to get our knowledgeable users to ask more high-quality questions, I'd like to begin having periodic competitions, each with a specific theme. These competitions will then challenge you, our users, to ask specific questions on that theme.
My goal is to motivate our talented users to ask more questions and to improve the quality and focus of questions asked.
Why are focused questions so important? I'm glad you asked! It's vital that the questions stay focused because otherwise it would be unfair to other competitors. One question could cover the entire topic, making impossible for people to ask other questions on the topic which are not duplicates. We will be holding questions on each topic to a higher standard for focus for that reason, which means that we will close questions more freely. Here is the structure of the competition:
- We will collect topic ideas on meta1.
- We will choose a topic, and ask a meta question challenging users to ask and answer questions about that topic.
- Users answer that meta question with questions they nominate as the best question and answer they nominate as the best answer.
- Once the period is over, we announce the winners (probably 1 question and 1 answer) and lock the meta post for posterity.
- The winners are contacted, and they may, if they choose, have a free Stack Exchange t-shirt mailed to them at an address they will submit privately2.
The rules of each competition will be announced with the competition itself, but questions will be scored according to the following guidelines:
- How many votes has the question or answer received?
- Is the question about a specific issue that could actually be encountered in a CS classroom?
- How tight is the focus? The more focused a question is, the better it will do. General questions may also be disqualified at the judges' discretion.
- How good of a model is the question for the tags it uses?
All of the judging will be done by your very own CSEd Community Moderators.
If you have any complaints, questions, concerns, judgments, screams, axes, votes, emoji, and so on, feel free to share them with us here, as answers. This idea obviously can't become a reality without your full support, and so if you all don't like it, it won't happen.
1 After the first contest. We already have an idea for the first contest.
2 When we send your t-shirt to you, we will have to know your address. The only people who will ever see your address will be the community moderators (who have all signed the moderator agreement) and stack exchange employees, which ensures that your information will be kept private.
This post was inspired by this Meta Stack Exchange post