93

I think there are numerous factors, but statistics is one of those areas where a really large number of people are using a fairly demanding set of ideas with very little background in it -- in a way that (for example) people generating programming questions, largely aren't. This results in a tendency to ask very vague - but often surprisingly specialized - ...


41

Firstly, thank you for contributing to our site already. I've noticed you several times and have already been glad of your positive presence. there are a good number of more or less easy questions here, but they tend to come in "waves". In particular, there are lots of self-study questions, some of which are quite simple (posted by students at the start of ...


36

Yes, Cross Validated should participate in Winter Bash 2015.


34

I am not sure how responsible the following is for the recent drop in answers per questions ratio (possibly not at all), but here is one thing I noticed and would like to bring it up in the context of this discussion. I am following the [pca] tag and am trying to make sure that all of the questions related to PCA are either answered or closed. As there are ...


31

Let's look at the data. First up is a plot of acceptance rates versus the number of answers, with a weighted GAM smooth superimposed (courtesy ggplot2). It shows $11,609$ users. The strongest signal is a strong "learning effect" for those with $25$ or fewer answers. (There are many possible explanations: it's not necessarily due to learning to write high-...


29

We need more answers, and therefore answer-writers There's no escaping that more answers to on-topic questions are required to close the gap. More active participation in closure queues is a partial solution to our increasing volume of questions. However, a particularly distressing trend in this plot is that the number of answered questions per month is ...


27

Math.se has more site traffic than Stats.SE. https://stackexchange.com/sites?view=list#traffic Math.SE has much more site traffic. Moderator @whuber notes that depending on the statistic, the ratio of the sites' traffic statistics can vary between 3:1 and 11:1. The sites' topics are very different Math.SE tends to attract questions which are more-or-less ...


24

I presume this is a tongue-in-cheek self-reference, but the question is a good one. Let's take it as a general question -- so let us imagine that we face some case where someone posts a lot of questions. I don't think that some high number of questions a day is automatically a problem in itself, as long as the usual conditions for a question to be suitable ...


24

I'm not literally blind, but I'm legally blind, with corrected acuity on the order of 20/200. My condition could be more informatively described as "low vision". So I'm just as dependent on my vision as a normally sighted person, but I can answer your question to some extent. The most important rule is that text should be text. That is, don't use images of ...


23

A quick and unsystematic look through my own responses suggest that lately (though not previously) maybe a third of the answers I give are to a question where no answer is ever accepted. These seem to be questions where the OP is beginner with low reputation asking a practical, more research design-oriented question. Unlike the @drnexus's experts, I ...


20

As a very "journeyman" statistician myself, I feel somewhat qualified to post an answer expressing skepticism about the power of the less academically high-powered to make a serious dent in the "unanswered questions" issue. I scored 99.5% in my undergraduate stats exams, but despite a fair amount of self-study since then, I've never taken a Masters, had ...


17

My guess is that novices ask questions that bore experts. So, experts don't bother to answer, seek clarification that never arrives, seldom upvote the question, and seldom upvote an answer (if one occurs). Novices who just had a one off question don't return to the site or know how to use it to upvote the questions or mark it as accepted.


16

I share many of the reasons for answering questions with the others given here - especially that of keeping sharp. But I'll add an extra one that actually got me started on this site in the first place. I'm not the world's greatest programmer, and found Stack Overflow to be a wonderful resource for answering my questions. I felt it was right to "give ...


16

I guess my comments grew long enough for an answer. Each of those users will have different profles of time spent per day and how it's achieved. Some aren't here so much nowadays but were very active in the past. For me it varies. I don't work full time atm so I spare a little time each day, but I recently reduced my time here. I do a little when I first ...


15

I think there are several (confounding) factors here. The biggest, by far, is the number of views a thread gets. If no one views a given thread, there are obviously no opportunities for people to vote. Moreover, every view isn't necessarily another actual opportunity for people to vote anyway; many of the views may come from the same people (who may have ...


15

I'd agree that there is at best a weak positive correlation. But what is effort? It's not just the effort that went into an individual answer. The effort of following the forum over a few years needs to enter the accounting. So effort is obvious short-term effort $+$ whatever long-term effort is pertinent. Over time on the forum, you learn at least ...


15

Some of the sources of information: The "Users" tab, which stares at you every time you use StackExchange: That should be on screen every time your read or post on the main site. If you investigate it, it has a wealth of information - reputation shows how much net reputation (upvotes + acceptances + bounties received - downvotes - bounties awarded) a ...


15

Downvote Here is the mouseover text on the downvote button: The question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful I'd recommend we be more liberal with actually clicking on that button. If a question is "not useful", downvote it! If someone else finds it "useful", they can always upvote it. Why? This is why: The system will ...


14

I should be talking about @Glen_b's data (this is a statistics forum, isn't it?), but I have little experience with forum reports and find that I want to see a much longer run to comment. So instead I will expatiate in a miscellaneous way on what I take to be the main underlying question here, how to make Cross Validated work better? Optimists might look ...


14

Based on number of posts: Time of day: Looks like 3:00-7:00 (all times are UTC) is half as busy as 14:00-18:00 day of week: Saturday is the least busy day, followed by Sunday combined: 6:00-7:00 Saturday is just over 20% as busy as 15:00-16:00 Wednesday via this query -- http://data.stackexchange.com/stats/query/51030/posts-by-day-of-week-and-hour-of-...


14

I've been watching this for a long time now. While both questions and answers are growing, there's a somewhat faster increase in questions than answers, and over a period of a couple of years it can be quite alarming (and then there are occasional apparent rapid increases - "jumps" - in the level of questions that I have no good explanation for). While the ...


14

I'm not sure there is a 'too many' in a general sense. Let me make a couple suggestions: Try to keep your threads consistent and manageable. I think it's OK to put more than one question into the same thread, when the questions are closely related, or are variations on a theme. When there are many questions that aren't closely related, the thread is at ...


14

We do not have a problem with unanswered questions. We have a problem with low quality questions. See the below image from this sql script which gives for the monthly answers and questions the 10-log of the average score. The overall decline for both questions and answers makes somewhat sense, since it takes time to acquire votes. (It does make the ...


13

See this blog post I wrote for the CV site, Voting behavior and accumulation of old votes on CV (I know I need to work on my titles). As of 2012, there was non-trivial accumulation of upvotes for older questions, they are somewhat invisible to regular interaction though. Here I have updated the query to return the aggregate counts of Vote Day - Post Day. ...


13

Using this simpler query I obtained the number of new questions and answers per calendar month for the whole time of CV existence. Here it goes (vertical dashed lines separate years): The last two months do look alarming, but I would say that at the moment it is a bit hard to say if the number of questions is going to stabilize again or to continue to grow ...


12

I can not speak for everyone obviously but my problem with the answers on CV is the fact that I can't seem to communicate with statisticians. I don't understand and appreciate the lingo and the attitude. You might call it that I lack the basis, but I have never experienced mis-communication of such magnitude with experts or enthusiasts in any other field. ...


12

I think the biggest factor that allows SO to function is that there are a lot more people contributing answers and working to maintain the site. That is, the number of people asking is larger, but the site as a whole maintains some sort of balance between the number of askers and the number of active answerers. It seems that we are slipping out of balance, ...


12

You should generally ask questions separately unless they're very closely connected (in a way that it's natural to answer them together). Posting laundry-list questions will get your question closed. You should be okay posting a several questions a day, but the people best placed to give good answers may only have time to look at one or two, so the more you ...


12

If a user asks an on-topic, answerable question, will that user get an answer? Most likely yes (currently ~60% of all questions are answered). The question graph is biased because the unanswered question series assumes these are 'on-topic and answerable questions' which they are not. There are thousands of questions among that total which are duplicate, ...


12

Solution: exact copy elsewhere It is possible to have a virtually identical format, widely and productively used, under control of a non-SE entity that is invested in high-quality treatment of the subject area. I'm thinking of this site's bioinformatics equivalent, BioStars. https://www.biostars.org/info/about/ https://physicsoverflow.org/ Recent efforts ...


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