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When chatting in Tavern on the Meta, someone said this:

10K views, no votes on question or answer. Typical for Android site.

That message really hit me by heart.

It's a grassland full of grass, but no tall grass. It's a forest full of trees, but no apples. It's a site where people from all around the world come to ask, but only a few people are answering and voting, and nothing else. The questions get posted, and get answered from the few of us, left at a net score of zero or one, and so do the answers. Despite our traffic ranking top 10 among all SE sites, we get far fewer up/down votes on posts, and far fewer comments and discussion. We have 7k+ Tumbleweed badges with no more than 190k questions, while Stack Overflow has less than 950k that badge among >45M questions. We get more than one T badge for every 30 Q, and this ratio is increased by half on SO. Meta Stack Exchange has less than 600 Tumbleweeds among 300k questions (it's hyperactive).

Most people with 2k+ reputation, as well as a few below 2k, have been very active on this site for a long time. You are undoubtably the firm supporters of this site. But look, we have only 79 users with 2k+ rep, and 1,726 users with 200+, among 152k users. Only 1.16% of all users are getting avid. Compared to Stack Overflow, 387k out of 8.2M has 200+ rep, with a net "avid rate" of 4.71%, 40x as we have.

As eldarerathis pointed out in comments, discussion about site promotion has been a topic since 2011, when this site had just guaduated from Beta. The Community Manager Shog9 wanted us to maintain a sustainable growth.

Everyone that has been active are still active, but we aren't quite reliable. The number of us is too few. We attract a lot of users every day, but we can't maintain a sustainable growth of avid users. In long run this could be a problem. So, do, or shall we, put some effort to make this site look more active, so we have a real activity that catches up with our traffic?

  • I must admit, that other Android sites are also in a similar problem, according ti my observation. Like XDA, Android Central, the Android part of Reddit, etc. The best among them is XDA, because new developers are born every day, so they can maintain a stable growth of user activity. Reddit and Android Central are very similar to us, with new users coming and asking every day. – iBug Dec 20 '17 at 1:08
  • I started my activity on SE on this site, but the flagship site, Stack Overflow, is way too active, and earning reputation and learning new stuff is moderately easy and fast there. – iBug Dec 20 '17 at 1:12
  • You know how much effort I spent before my rep on SO surpassed that here? One single month of half the activity earned me 3.5k on SO, despute the fact that I have written more bad answers there. – iBug Dec 20 '17 at 1:15
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    I can't find the article as of now, but this reminds me of a 10k rep person who left StackOverflow back in the day, complaining (among other things) that earning reputation was too trivial. – Death Mask Salesman Dec 20 '17 at 14:05
  • If we lack curious people who like to experiment and find answers by themselves, I reckon that answering questions will fall on our shoulders, pal. – Death Mask Salesman Dec 20 '17 at 14:06
  • +1 for analysis and articulation. I too often felt it is the (few) regulars . For some reason our middle order (to use a cricketing term) is weak. I my be wrong, but I noticed that even first time users seem to less often returning to check – beeshyams Dec 20 '17 at 14:49
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    We actually had a pretty lengthy discussion about the lack of the "middle-class" here waaaay back in 2011. It's been a difficult problem to cope with, and one that (I believe) is exacerbated a bit by the fact that there tends to be a pretty big imbalance when it comes to end-user type problems. Unlike SO which is (in theory, at least) devs helping devs, we tend to be "power users" helping "casual users"... – eldarerathis Dec 20 '17 at 15:06
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    ...In other words, not only is everyone operating on different levels, we're not even in the same general vicinity as one another. At lot of people just want to use their devices, and don't want to worry about understanding the intricacies of how Android functions. On the flip side, everyone on SO has some kind of ostensible interest in how development happens. The result is that here we have a mass of users who tend to answer, and a (much much) larger mass who tend to ask. – eldarerathis Dec 20 '17 at 15:08
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    @beeshyams I like it when you talk about cricket :) but seriously I think there isn't much feedback in the community (in fact you've mentioned this before:. I have deleted my answer, since there was no feedback from you as requested which I do support). Also I think most users have favourite tags that they participate in and to focus mostly on these such that when a typical question comes its gets lots of attention e.g comments, upvotes etc whilst other do not easily receive as much, hence can have 10k views without even a comment. – xavier_fakerat Dec 20 '17 at 17:22
  • Thank you for your feedback. I replaced the mentioning part with a vague one so everyone is equal now. – iBug Dec 21 '17 at 0:18

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