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As of today Travel is 90 days in beta. I'm following the statistics on the Area51 site for the last month, and while the number of visits per day in increasing at least slowly, the number of questions per day is still really low, and there isn't a real improvement.

So if we want to get out of beta, we have to attract way more questions. But how can we do that?

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  • See also – VMAtm Sep 20 '11 at 7:24
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    Publicity! Publicity! Publicity! (But the geeky "stackexchange" name seems to scare away everybody I recommend it too) – hippietrail Sep 20 '11 at 15:35
  • It seems that we are on a good way. The first time the question status is Okay on the Area51 site! – RoflcoptrException Sep 22 '11 at 20:37
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I've studied the progress of our site on area51, and I can say:

We are doing great. Really.

We started on fantastic level, fell down at the middle of the beta, and now we are returning step by step to the positions we had at the start.
40 days before today we had 3.5 questions per day and 100 visits per day (according area51). But at some moment new users came and add some quality to our local party.
Our site even got first real spammers :)

For now, number of visits and number of new users is the most important thing we need to work on - number of questions per day is near the low limit for OK-level, but number of visits is still on very low level.

So share the site content (especially Unanswered questions) to attract new users here.

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    On the Internet, you know you're doing something right when the spammers notice your site. – mindcorrosive Sep 20 '11 at 10:20
  • the site is over 1 year in beta, and the number of questions per day is too small - only 4.2, despite of over 2000 visits per day. Something's wrong! – Dirty-flow Aug 8 '12 at 14:43
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Agree with VMAtm - one of the benefits of promoting unanswered questions is it may attract new specialists, and makes users feel more benefits of the site if the questions they ask actually get answered. Just hate it when in forums you find a question which has sat there for years.

Just started 3 bounties on unanswered questions, so there's an added incentive now ;)

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  • Hehe I couldn't find out whether I can apply for a Ukraine visa in any of the forums or by putting a bounty on my question d-; – hippietrail Sep 20 '11 at 15:40
  • exactly, and a new specialist may know that sort of thing :) – Mark Mayo Sep 20 '11 at 15:52
  • I did another bounty on my aboriginal immersion question that I consider to have failed. Somebody did put some effort into one answer but it didn't come close enough for me to accept it. – hippietrail Oct 4 '11 at 8:54
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Some fun but relevant questions - those that pique amusement or interest like the now infamous vodka question and are likely to be retweeted seem to help garner interest - the spike of traffic after that one went semi-viral on twitter was certainly noticeable, and after the rush of spam that came too died down a bit, we had more users and notoriety :)

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  • Since even the tumbleweed avoid travel.SE on weekends I proposed a kind of game on chat where we have an alcohol based question every weekend. (-: – hippietrail Oct 4 '11 at 8:52
  • Yes, saw it in the chat history, I like it. Kinda helped inspire the delhi belly one, with the train of thought that went 'so what comes next?'... – Mark Mayo Oct 4 '11 at 8:54
  • I think every Friday or Saturday we can have one of those scheduled chat room events where we brainstorm for a killer weekend stimulus question and post it once we hit on it. Let me make this an answer... – hippietrail Oct 4 '11 at 8:58
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Since weekends here are very dead contributionwise but as the vodka question pointed out, not so for casual browsers generally, I think every Friday or Saturday we can have a scheduled chat room event.

We can brainstorm for a killer weekend stimulus question and post it once we hit on it.

Weekend stimulus questions should have wide appeal and a fun aspect but still be a perfectly relevant travel question. The vodka question was the perfect example.

They don't have to be problems you are immediately facing. They just have to be good questions. It doesn't matter whether the person asking already knows the answer or not. What matters is that it be the kind of travel question lots of people would ask or would like to know the answer to if they unexpectedly came across it.

You don't even have to think of the question first. You can think of some amazing travel factoid you happen to have learned and then think up a way to ask a question that would lead to it. Give others a chance to answer first and if nobody finds the answer you had in mind you can then submit your answer later in the weekend.

The key is "broad interest". Something people who don't know anything about "exchanging stacks" or geeky stuff will want to click on when they see it on Facebook or Twitter. But it also must be on-topic!

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I think migrating a few questions between relevant sites has probably helped our google ranking a little since it likes cross linking. We've shared a few good ones with cycling but some others as well.

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  • It would be great to share some with SO, but maybe it is difficult to find such a question ;) – RoflcoptrException Sep 20 '11 at 16:20
  • Maybe something conference related. There are lots of international geek get-togethers. Even SO has had some. Then again they really only cross over with programmers. Maybe questions about travel-related APIs and mashups? – hippietrail Sep 20 '11 at 16:28
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    Or how to calculate an optimal travel route (Traveling Salesman Problem) ;) – RoflcoptrException Sep 20 '11 at 16:29

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