Our Area 51 Page shows the number of questions as the biggest issue, with number of visits as also less than ideal.

Can we do something about this? What?!

  • \$\begingroup\$ More puzzle types? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 5:42
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ This question, posted two years ago, is still as relevant as ever. We need professional golfers to use this site, or we don't have a chance. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 6:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think I would participate a lot more if this could be done \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 30, 2013 at 21:27

4 Answers 4

  1. Non-"codegolf" site alias

    Given that this site's URL is "codegolf", I think it could scare off potential users who have no interest in code golf but are interested in programming puzzles (like myself) (before they even click on a link leading here). So I suggest an alias (not sure whether this is possible) or even a name change, I'm thinking: challenge.stackexchange.com.

    A name combining the two is also a possibility, but that may be too long a name.

  2. Post difficult problems from programming competitions / sites

    Not sure if this is 100% in line with what this site is about, if not, it's worth considering an extension to include it. Maybe with a new tag like . Or we could use existing tags - or .

    The answers should either provide a high-level description of the solution, or understandable pseudo-code (actual code optional, but not allowed to be the only thing in the answer). Understandability is key - most efficient solution that's clearly understandable wins.

    There is always the risk that this could turn into the go-to place for finding solutions for any programming problem, however simple, which is obviously not what we want (though I'm guessing avoiding this is not top priority). We should possibly start off with a strict policy to downvote or flag very simple problems and any answers to these questions (though leave reasonably complex questions alone), though that may scare off users, assuming there are many of these questions.

    I'm not sure if this is exactly a problem, but many of these problems may only have a single 'correct' way of approaching it.

    We should be able to find many of these problems, a few users should just vow to occasionally post one or two to keep the site moving along (they could even answer it themselves if they choose to).

    Or is there another site already handling these questions?
    (Update - Stack Overflow currently gets these questions occasionally)

  3. Advertising

    People can't be here if they don't know about it.

    • I occasionally mention this site on StackOverflow questions I deem appropriate.
    • There's a TopCoder LinkedIn group I think we could also mention this on (probably assuming (2) is a valid suggestion) (and similar places).
    • Link to the site on your profiles anywhere and everywhere.
    • Anywhere else you can think of.
  4. Less stingy upvoting

    Everyone who's reading this upvoting any questions or answers that they think are acceptable for this site (even if not great) would already help.

  5. Explaining answers

    Explaining solutions well is also important.

    And reward these with upvotes and maybe a '+1 for an excellent explanation' comment (so new users know its importance, at least until the site gets many users).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Be careful with #2. StackExchange really isn't meant to allow for discussion threads. If you have a question which, when answered, may help build the solution to a particular challenge then that's fine. (Though it may still be arguable whether it belongs here or on Stack Overflow.) Any sort of open-ended discussion about anything, challenge or otherwise, is not. Questions here must have specific criteria by which a single Answer can be judged to have completely fulfilled the asker's needs. \$\endgroup\$
    – Iszi
    Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 18:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 to point 5 also. Answers without explanations are of no use to anyone except the Answerer who gets credit for having won the challenge. The overall intent of StackExchange is to help share and spread knowledge. Simply providing the shortest string of code to solve some problem, without an ounce of explanation as to how it was optimized or why it works, doesn't really help further that goal much. The extra content in the explanations could also help rank your answer higher in Google search results, and therefore drive more traffic to the site. \$\endgroup\$
    – Iszi
    Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 18:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Iszi I think 'discussion' may have been the wrong word to use for #2. I do mean the normal question / answer format that Stack Exchange is known for. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 18:14

We are now 1001 days in beta, so I read a lot about a simmilar site, CodeReview and came to the following conclusions:

I belive the problem is not the number of questions, the problem is (overall) reputation.
We don't have a single user over 10k (but some very close to it). That means on average less than 10 rep/day for a single user.

I suggest that we should move from posting single line code answers to actually explaining how they work, what cool tricks are used etc. and upvote such answers.
I don't see a point in upvoting just an other perl solution that looks like a random string to me. We should also edit our old answers so that they include an explaination, this will result in a bump of that post, which in turn can attact more upvotes.

If you treat such tricks as trade secret, then you should probably move to an other site where the solutions are not revealed.


I'm not sure that getting out of beta is a very important goal, but it would certainly be good to have a few more good questions. It's not surprising that we don't have many, because writing a good question is hard.

More participation in the sandbox would be excellent. How many of the suggestions currently in there explicitly ask for feedback on some aspect? How many have feedback from more than one person?


How about a 'Clean up the Sandbox' event? Over a weekend, everybody try to get sandbox I ready and posted. Do it again (2weeks/month) later for the next one.


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