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Have we ground to a halt?

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It seems like this place has ground to a stop. I have been trying to do what was suggested earlier of going back to old questions (as surfaced by the Lottery tab), but that seems to be all that is happening here lately.

I rather suspect that all the people who used to answer questions back on SE are here, but all the people who ask them (mostly transients, I suspect) are still back on SE. Because visibility.

What is the way forward?

Why should this post be closed?

1 comment

The newest question seems to be nearly a week old, so I'd say you are probably right thinking that the people who mainly ask questions aren't here at the moment. We would need some form of advertisement for this site. Seems like we are back at the point where things like contests might be useful to get Writing.Codidact out of its rut ;) Secespitus 3 months ago

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I think your assessment is correct: we have lots of people here to answer, but we aren't seeing many new questions. Inertia is keeping the new questions mostly on SE. I, too, have been going through the lottery tab, casting votes and looking for things I can add useful answers to, but we need new questions too.

I haven't spent time on SE lately but I still get the Writing.SE newsletter, so I see the titles and opening words of some new questions. A lot of them do not seem to be high quality, but some are promising. If you see a question there -- or anywhere else (mailing list, Quora, Reddit, wherever) that's a good on-topic question, please feel free to bring it here! This was something Joel and Jeff actually advocated in the early days of SO -- they'd see a question somewhere, ask it on SO, get an answer, and report back in the original setting. So long as we cite appropriately, we can do that too.

Doing that will provide some questions, but it won't provide a lot. That leaves two other paths: (a) ask more questions ourselves, and (b) attract more people to this community. Secespitus suggests in a comment that we consider contests again, which would address (a). What other thoughts do people have? (Anybody who wants to pitch a contest, feel free! What organizing theme might we use? Last time it was tags; we could do that again or do something else.)

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I must admit that I've kind of dropped off of this site. My investment is really in having a place which can come to the rescue when I have a problem I can't solve. I don't sit around and answer questions every day; which is not something I'm very proud of, but is the truth. Thomas Myron 3 months ago

However, contests could be something which might keep me around more regularly. It would depend on the contest: I don't want to be writing novel-calibre/length works (I want to save that effort for my own novels), but having a place to write short stories just for the sake of keeping in writing-shape is something I can get behind. A more casual approach, if you will. Thomas Myron 3 months ago

Ooh, I like that idea. When we have categories (let me ping the devs to find out how soon we can have that), then we could have a dedicated place to post our own writing, e.g. short stories, and the act of writing them would probably also generate main-site Q&A. Monica Cellio 3 months ago

If short stories are something other people are down for, I would be remiss not to mention the contest which I ran for several years. (https://www.heroscapers.com/community/showthread.php?t=35829) It's died off due to lack of writers, but it has some good guidelines and rules we had to hash out over many months to get it perfect. Could be worth a look for that. Thomas Myron 3 months ago

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