I know that one of the main areas where our beta here is lacking is questions per day (and possibly correlated, visits per day). At the time that this similar question was asked, apparently the site's shrinking QPD was a concern, and back then it was 8.6. Around a month ago, it was 4.1 and today, it's at 3.9. Have we perhaps all but saturated the well of Japanese knowledge? Are we all out of good questions? Anyone, please share your thoughts.

Don't forget to check the trend lines for QPD/TPD. We're actually up from our bottom of 1.4 back in May. –  Troyen Sep 25 '12 at 22:44
(1) I restrict myself to one question per day max - perhaps I should not do this. (2) How do JLU stats/trends compare to other stackexchange sites? The need to increase (is this the same as "improve"?) the # of questions per days is surely relative. (3) How do the meta stats get incorporated into these numbers? –  Tim Sep 26 '12 at 23:27
@Tim (1) If you're asking solid questions with a lot of effort and thought put into them, I wouldn't restrict yourself to an arbitrary number. (2) The German site is probably the best comparison because they launched a week before us and were the first foreign language site. I don't have trendlines, but empirically they always have had more traffic and lower QPD. (3) Meta JLU is not counted. Meta posts used to be a separate metric on the sites list but is now gone. –  Troyen Sep 27 '12 at 4:25
@Troyen: Thanks. I've seen the stats. The most interesting point to me was not QPD but 90% of visits should come from search engines. Foregive me if this is obvious to others but I imagine if we increase the # visits from search engines (become a natural source of reference) then the other stats will almost take care of themselves. We have a gold mine of information but I am not sure it is picked up. (Perhaps one way to do this would be to rethink the question titles or the tags in which many see little value?) –  Tim Sep 27 '12 at 10:26
@Tim That's my thinking as well. This topic may be of interest to you. –  Troyen Sep 27 '12 at 17:33
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3 Answers

"Have we perhaps all but saturated the well of Japanese knowledge? Are we all out of good questions?" - no and no

Let's deal with "How to improve the site's qpd?"

"Questions per day" is a secondary stat off of two things: "exposure of the site's members to Japanese" and "number of site members visiting regularly".

I know that personally, my low question count is a direct result of a tight development schedule for the last year... interfering with my ability to study as I'd like. I can't really speak for anyone else, but I find I have a new question at least once or twice a day when actively studying.

We have a few things causing us problems for increasing our visitors.

SEO is really, really hard for Japanese language-related questions. Kana/kanji/multiple-romaji writing systems prevent most questions from coming up near the top. There are also some incredibly crappy sites out there with ridiculously high page-rank for "Japanese language". I'm not sure what the solution to this is... but it's probably going to involve a bit of research into "how are people most likely to ask 'why is を used with 行く?'" on a search engine, and then seeing if we can tweak titles to match the most popular question forms.

In lieu of the above, one approach I've taken to with some success is plain old redirection. I'm a member of three other online Japanese-study communities, and I'll filter my answers on those communities into three buckets.

  • "What the heck are you even asking?"
  • Ahh... you want a book/jisho/website/movie/dance-partner recomendation... "how about X?"
  • A serious question about Japanese? (search for the answer on JLU) "X on JLU provided an excellent answer to this question here (with link)." Depending on the tone of the community, I'll occasionally add a small summary.

In the rare case where someone here hasn't asked the question, I should probably be better at stealing (and rewording) the question.

This has worked reasonably well... I tend to get very positive responses and hopefully a few new users for JLU. (as well as providing link-bait for search engines)

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I tend to ask more questions in chat these days, because I'm less likely to receive downvotes or criticism there than on the main website.

Chat is good for quick "translate this for me", "what's a good book for...?", and "do you know any sites that have...?" questions. Not saying all your questions are like this, but most of the questions we field in the chatroom (in general) are along these lines. –  jkerian Sep 28 '12 at 0:13
@jkerian Some are "bucket #2" questions (from your answer), but I wouldn't be surprised if some of my questions are "bucket #3 but possibly too n00b to ask on main" style questions. –  Andrew Grimm Sep 28 '12 at 1:04
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I am not technical but it seems that "Japanese Language and Usage" does not get picked up by people searching a site like this:

  • Perhaps it is as simple as (literally) a catchier name or a few "hooks" permanently on every page?

  • Just putting 日本語 into Google brings up the JLPT website - maybe we need 日本語 in the title/on every page?

  • "Learn Japanese" might not appeal but it is probably what many input looking for the like of JLU. Alternatively "Japanese Language Exchange" might more effective.

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