3

The title says it all. Do you not participate because you have nothing to say? Do you simply not know about meta? (In which case we'll see no answers to this meta question.) Are you simply not interested in participating?

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8

Compared to stackoverflow which currently has 1.5% as many question on meta as the main site, this site has got 10.1% meta questions.

So, there's proportionally a very high amount of meta'ing going on. What we need is less meta and more real questions.

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  • 2
    To be fair, this is a new community that's still trying to figure out things that SO figured out years ago. Fairer to compare us to one of the newer stackexchange sites. – freiheit Dec 3 '10 at 17:35
5

I think maybe we shouldn't particularly try to... I think meta may already have a healthy level of activity...

95% (99%?) of users of bicycles.SE are going to be coming in because they got a search engine hit. Hopefully in a way that answers the question they were googling for...

The 1%-5% of users that actually create an account, ask questions, answer questions, etc are the community we're interested in maintaining... But I expect that most of that community is either interested in sharing their expertise and/or in getting answers to their questions, not specifically in maintaining a community...

And if that community is happy on the main site, maybe they don't need to bother with meta that often... There's already mechanisms (downvoting, flagging, flagging for moderator attention) they can use for problems with individual questions or answers... We are getting (excluding questions from moderators) one or two questions on meta every week, and only a couple dozen main site questions every week...

I think us moderators could use the "featured" tag on meta for things we think might be of general interest to users, and if we feel the need to ask about how to handle something (or explain why we did something) and comments aren't enough room, a post on meta and a link to the meta post could be good... Basically, make it easy to find meta, but don't worry if not too many people go there...

I'm hoping that if there's questions about or problems on the main site, most users know they can use meta... And if it's really bad (a sudden onslaught of spam posts, for instance), they can also post to meta.stackoverflow.com in case the bicycles moderators are all asleep.

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  • "because they got a search engine hit" -- Yes that's why/how I arrived; it wasn't because "I'm active on SO and I want to know about bikes: so, I'll look see if there's a SE bike-related community" ... it was via Google, responding to a query (though I recognised SE when I saw it as a Google result to my query). And after I asked a question and people gave me useful info on bicycles, then (I already knew about meta.SO) I began to look for other ways to try to encourage, interact with, and repay the bicycles community (including by visiting meta.bicycles). – ChrisW Feb 27 '11 at 8:01
  • You might find it interesting to look at how many users are also users on other SE sites. And, of the people who sign up: where do they come from? From Google, or from another SE page? – ChrisW Feb 27 '11 at 8:03
3

The way to encourage more meta participation is to treat every question like gold. When someone does come in here with a question, provide the best, most helpful answer you can muster.

Ask interesting questions. Meta is more than talking about the problems with the site. Meta is for talking about promotional activities, and that means finding cool resources and projects you guys can be working on. We have been sending top users from various sites to take at conferences and we're always looking for excellent opportunities to let people know about this site.

When this becomes a dynamic and interesting place to be, the people will gravitate naturally towards participation.

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2

I check meta regularly, vote up questions & answers I agree with, down the ones I don't. Most of the time my opinion lines up with an existing one, no need to duplicate it.

I think you'll find most users are interested in bicycle Q&A, not discussing tags or what's on-topic or other minutiae.

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0

Didn't realize there was a meta until I accidentally hit a linked post on the sidebar.

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