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I noticed on the Area 51 site that this site is rated 'worrying' for the number of questions asked, so how can we encourage users to ask more questions?

At this point it looks like Mike B has taken it upon himself to boost the number of questions asked (Thanks @Mike B), but how can we get the rest of the community to contribute more?

  • I have a ton of projects in the "thinking about it stage". I've thought about just asking some questions, but I have no idea if (permits/HOA...grrr) or when I'll get around to doing the projects. Is it appropriate to ask a question if I can't judge if the answer is acceptable? On SO, you throw the answer in an IDE and move on. Also are we encouraging questions we know an answer to, but would like more feedback on? – Steve Jackson Oct 28 '10 at 17:14
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    @Steve Jackson: I would say even if you don't know what the correct answer is don't be afraid to ask, the community will most likely show you the way. As for questions you already know the answer to, I say go for it. I think at this stage of the site it's about building content, I mean where not going to get hits from Google and the like if we don't have content. – Tester101 Oct 28 '10 at 18:19
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We can ask questions that are common diy questions that you may happen to already know the answer to. If it gets answered great, but if not, answer it yourself. There is no shame in building a portfolio of common questions that other may find useful.

I did this with this question, as I know this issue is very common and most people do know no about the products to solve the issue.

  • That's a good point, but how do we get the community motivated to ask these questions? – Tester101 Oct 29 '10 at 19:39
  • @Tester101 - by voting! If users see that good questions get voted up then they'll be encouraged to do the same to earn reputation. – ChrisF Nov 2 '10 at 22:31
  • @ChrisF: I think a problem here is that people are used to using sites like StackOverFlow which are already large and established, and fail to see that when the site starts out it needs good foundation questions to get going. And no offence here, but how can we encourage you to ask a question? Surely with your obvious knowledge you could whip up some good questions, even if you do already know the answer. – Tester101 Nov 3 '10 at 12:12
  • @Tester101 - you're right. I should ask some questions. On Stack Overflow I ask because I need to. On Web Apps I asked because I was on the private beta but haven't really since, but here (and a few others) I don't. I will go away and see if I can come up with a few. – ChrisF Nov 3 '10 at 12:15
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I definitely recommend asking and answering your own questions whenever you feel it is appropriate -- I often do this myself if I feel the existing web search results aren't "good enough" and I can do better, even by myself.

Even if I think I know the answer, the community will often surprise me by adding some stuff I didn't know, too.. so it is win-win for everyone involved.

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