I've just been to the stats of travel.SE and I found their stats phenomenally better than ours. While 8 questions and 1800 visits per day is excellent, I do think that some part of this has to do with the objective of the site: academia is much more exclusive than travel; in other words, all academics can have travel queries at some point of time, but some or many travellers may never get academia-related queries.

This is the basis of my question: how sound is it to judge different SE sites based on the same set of criteria? Should A.SE shoot for the same targets as others?

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    btw this question has come up since the very beginning of area51 and the SE program. It's a lost cause to argue for different standards for different sites, because the SE admins believe that no matter what the site, there are self-sustaining levels of involvement that need to happen. They may not be entirely wrong on this. – Suresh Jul 4 '12 at 19:53
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    On the other hand, academia.SE has much wider userbase than cogsci.SE or bio.SE... heck, it can have a potentially wider base than cstheory.SE and that made it out of beta. Since none of those sites were able to change the yardstick, I doubt academia.SE can do it. – Artem Kaznatcheev Jul 8 '12 at 3:49
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    @Suresh: It may be a lot cause, but that does not imply that we should not argue. – JeffE Jul 8 '12 at 17:34
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    Fair enough. I guess I'm tired from the cstheory arguments. Also I do feel that 400+ visits per day is on the low side. – Suresh Jul 8 '12 at 19:38
  • I suspect things will pick up significantly in about a month, when the (US) fall semester begins. – JeffE Jul 28 '12 at 4:15
up vote 7 down vote accepted

I agree with Suresh, somehow, these levels are transverse. We probably won't make it very soon up to 15 questions and 1500 visitors per day, but the minimum is 5 and 500, which sounds more reasonable to expect. One of the nice things about AcSE, is that the overall quality of the questions is pretty high, and we're slowly, but surely, building a base of good questions.

As Daniel said (and others before him), the number of questions is directly related to the number of visitors, so we only need to attract (and retain) users :)

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    we just crossed 500 visits/day btw – Suresh Jul 13 '12 at 7:22
  • @Suresh Yep, I hope we'll keep it at this level or even increase, there has been a peak of visits recently, it might affect the actual average. – user102 Jul 13 '12 at 7:30

According to the SE "targets" A.SE is currently weak in questions per day (4.6/15) and visits per day (448/1500). I think we currently do not generate enough content to make people want to visit A.SE regularly. I would like to see a much greater number of questions per day. Three times as many, for a total of 15 questions per day, seems reasonable to me. So I think the target set by is for A.SE, independent of how other sites are judged.

I think in order to get to out target questions per day, our visits per day needs to increase. It wouldn't surprise me if this also needed to increase by a factor of 3 to get 3x as many questions. So again the SE target seems reasonable for A.SE.

Then there is the question of can we get to 15/1500. I think there are enough people in academia with on topic questions that we can.

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    We don't need 1500 visits and 15 questions per day to get out of beta. But we need to get out of the red zone and have a few green categories – Suresh Jul 4 '12 at 19:51

I used to be a mod on another SE site whose stats were similar to those of Academia, if not a bit worse. It was also a rather "specialized" site. In private communication with Aarthi Devanathan, I was told not to worry much about the stats -- they understand that for more specialized sites, those standards are not necessarily the right ones to judge the health of a site.

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