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How can we grow this community?

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Codidact's communities have a lot of great content that is helping people on the Internet. Our communities are small, though, and sustainable communities depend on having lots of active, engaged participants. The folks already here are doing good work; our challenge is to find more people like you so we can help this community grow.

This calls for a two-pronged approach: reaching more people who would be interested if only they knew about us, and making sure that visitors get a good first impression. I'm here to ask for your help with both.

Reaching more people

The pool of people interested in Linux is large, from software developers to hobbyists. My question to you is: where do we find those people? You're the experts on this topic, not us. Where would it be most fruitful to promote Codidact? How should we appeal to them to draw them in?

Please don't give general answers like "conferences". We need your expert input to decide where, specifically, we should be looking. We are now able to pay for some advertising -- where should we direct it, and what message would best reach that audience? Can you help us sell your community?

Finally, some types of promotion are best done peer to peer. You are the experts in your topic; messages from you on subreddits or professional forums or the like will be much more credible than messages from Codidact staff. For these types of settings, we need your help to get the word out. If you know of a suitable place and can volunteer to spread the word there, please leave an answer about it so we all know about it (and know not to also post there).

Making a good first impression

Pretend for a moment that you don't know anything about Codidact. Visit this community in incognito mode. What's your reaction? If it's negative, what can we do about it? Some known deterrents from across the network:

  • Latest activity is not recent. This tells people the community isn't active. Anecdotally, we have lots of people ready to answer good questions, and on some communities, not enough good questions for them to answer. Can you help with that?

  • Latest questions are unanswered. This tells people it might not be worth asking here. Why are our unanswered questions unanswered? Are they poor questions in some regard? Unclear, too basic, too esoteric, just not interesting? Can they be fixed? Should they be hidden?[1]

  • Latest questions have poor scores. This tells people that either there's lots of low-quality material here or the voters are overly picky. If it's a quality problem, same questions as the previous bullet. If good content is getting downvoted, or not getting upvoted, can you help us understand why?

These are issues we've seen or heard about from across the network, but each community is different. What do you see here? What might be turning people away, and what could we do about it?

Are there things about the platform itself, as opposed to content, that discourage people we're trying to attract? If there's something we can customize to better serve this community, please let us know. If there are other changes in presentation or behavior that you think would encourage visitors to stick around, what are they?

Conversely, what is this community doing well? What draws newcomers in? I don't just mean the reverse of those bullets. What do we need to keep doing, and what might be worth highlighting when promoting this community?


  1. Should the question list not show some questions to anonymous visitors? What should the criteria be? ↩︎

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2 answers

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Firstly, as an official Ubuntu Member who frequents the tech support IRC channels, I think I can help with getting more activity here.

One of the most recent "whoa what happened here" events in the Ubuntu world, phased updates, may be a great boon here, since I wrote a thorough answer as to what phased updates are and why apt now behaves differently on you-know-what-website. It blew up with activity and is still blowing up. I'll just copy the question and answer over here and start directing people on IRC over here rather than to the old place.

Additionally, using this place as a sort of wiki (making good, high-quality self-answered questions) may drive more traffic, as we become a known source of high-quality information that can't be found anywhere else except for official documentation

Finally, I implemented the whole LeftSEForCodidact thing that @re89j suggested. I even wrote an explanation for why I'm moving to over here on my old profile.

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Thank you! (4 comments)
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I stopped using a former Q&A Network of Sites because of their poor political choices.

Before I left, I noticed a number of people who also objected to those politics renaming their usernames to ${FormerName}Reinstate${Someone} where $FormerName was their former username, and $Someone was a person who was most aggregiously violated by their politics.

So I'd recommend we all stop contributing on the former network, and change our usernames there to ${FormerName}MovedToCodidact or ${FormerName}LeftSEForCodidact

SECOND IDEA: Email notifications. I use email as a task list of sorts, and it would help me be more productive and participate here more if I could get en email notice when there was a reply/answer/comment on a topic I was interested in. Maybe some degree of batching would be nice once this community gets more prominent, but email alerts please!

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"${FormerName}LeftSEForCodidact" - I literally did just this. (Just learned about The Mess earlier to... (1 comment)

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