The IF Answers site is… not really taking off the way I’d hoped.
Many posts seem to be duplicated either here on at the textadventures forums, and most of the traffic to it comes from these two forums as well.
It doesn’t look like it’s becoming the go-to place for questions and answers about interactive fiction. It seems more like a place where questions about Quest and Inform go to be ignored for a few days before they get reposted somewhere else. Most questions only get one answer and people aren’t really voting on anything.
The aim of IF Answers was to be a Stack Exchange-style site for interactive fiction. It’s certainly not succeeding by SE standards:
- Questions per day: “10 questions per day on average is a healthy beta, 5 questions or fewer per day needs some work. A healthy site generates lots of good content to make sure users keep coming back.” IF Answers is getting about 20 questions per month.
- Answers: “90% answered is a healthy beta, 80% answered needs some work.” Looking at ifanswers.com/questions we’re hitting about 80% for the most recent questions.
- Avid users: “Every site needs a solid group of core users to assist in moderating the site. We recommend: 150 users with 200+ rep, 10 users with 2,000+ rep, 5 users with 3,000+ rep”. We are nowhere near this: ifanswers.com/users. We have 7 users with 200+ rep, and none at the higher levels.
- Answer ratio: “2.5 answers per question is good, only 1 answer per question needs some work. On a healthy site, questions receive multiple answers and the best answer is voted to the top.” Pretty much one answer per question at the most.
- Visits/day: “1,500 visits per day is good, 500 visits per day needs some work. A great site benefits people outside the community. Eventually, 90% of a site’s traffic should come from search engines.”. We’re getting about 30 visits per day. 25% of that is from search engines.
It seems to me like the IF Answers isn’t really doing anything - everything that’s on there might as well just be here or at the textadventures forums instead.
So, I’m minded to shut down the site. Gracefully of course - a read-only period, and then making an archive of the content available so nothing gets lost.
But just before I do that, I wanted to see if there’s anything preventing you from making more use of the site? Is there anything simple and obvious that we’re missing that might make the site more likely to take off properly?