I've been looking at the various stats which indicate a so-called 'healthy beta', and noticed our visits per day was quite low. This is despite the obvious teeming activity on our site!

Should we be worried about this? Will it just come with time? This is my first beta, so I have no experience. (Then again, I think lots of people are in the same boat.)

*Edit: An implied question is, if we are worried, what can we do? I know already about personally advertising the site, but is there anything more?

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For reference: GL&U currently has 220 visitors/day. The slightly older betas are mostly in the 300-400 range, and the younger ones mostly 150-200. SE claims that 500 is worrying and 1500 is healthy. –  Tim Jun 23 '11 at 10:06
    
I'm also worried by the frequency of new questions that has declined strongly. My impression is that we have about 4 new questions per day at the moment, which I think is not enough to make people come back frequently. –  Deve Jun 25 '11 at 16:26
    
At the moment it's down to 140 visits/day, which really looks worrying :-( –  Hendrik Vogt Jul 30 '11 at 10:06
    
Can actual visitor numbers be related to holidays in Germany? What is the english word for Sommerloch? –  user unknown Aug 1 '11 at 19:27
    
@user unknown Summer slump? –  takrl Aug 24 '11 at 14:39

5 Answers 5

Can everyone please post links to this on their relevant local sites too?

i.e.
- expat sites in germany, switzerland, austria
- university language departments
- facebook

The quality of the site is good but not enough people know about it, it needs peer to peer marketing.

Get going!

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i just read this blog post about SE BETAS

http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/07/does-this-site-have-a-chance-of-succeeding/

then looked up

http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/18413/german-language-usage

was a bit surprised because IMO this site has compared to other BETAS i know very high quality, high Q/A ratio, fast & good & reliable answers with esp high voting rate and also good questions get highly upvoted (on many BETAs i see 1-2 upvotes/a question). Everybody seem to be aware how to start a successful BETA. But why so few question? Im more worrying this than the visits/day, this should rise with ongoing time automatically.

http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/29480/french-language-usage http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/6673/linguistics
http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/21061/latin-language-usage

I would also ask some to take part in these BETAs, can only cause more traffic here imo! Esp. european schoolkids struggling with latin/french can be a boost to our site?

thei comment on running out of questions shouldnt really be the problem?! Where it is more easy to ask good accepted questions as on languages???

Personally I concentrate more on asking questions in a BETA period than answering, just find this easier, more productive and more interesting :) But i see often on SE high rep users, that some ask extraordinary few questions. No offense, especially when a site is out of BETA i appreciate very much the expert knowledge of these guys, but in a BETA phase they draw away alot of attention/opportunities from new/less experienced joining SEer here imho. Not every question has to be answered within some hours, give newbies some chance. Either hold back a bit or plz ask more questions. The afiak 200 limit of daily gainable rep is no limit for rep hunting in BETA period. Understand this as a side note, the biggest help imo is still getting the other proposols above to BETA. So follow and commit

my 2 cents

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I thought about this for a while but I think it's difficult to draw a line between this being a new site which still needs to gain traction and actual development problems. Especially the recommendation that 90% of all visitors should come through Google search engines will take a while.

I think a few weeks ago we had >300 visitors/day but I'm not sure. Maybe the people closer to the site admins could shed some light on that.

Apart from that we need to advertise this site. I would but I'd have to have a successful blog or something first. :)

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The number of visits has indeed gone down somewhat, but I am sure that this is just due to the fact that the regular visitors have asked all their piled-up question. –  Phira Jun 23 '11 at 11:22

Maybe in discussions at Mr. Sick, who has a blog/column at some newspaper (Spon?), one can link to discussions of similar topics here? Of course only, where we have good questions, answers and examples, and not in a spamming manner.

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yeah... right; that *** promoting a site where germans constantly switch between english and german... (is there a even a german interface?) ;-P –  klyonrad Dec 12 '12 at 0:13
    
@klyonrad: There has been made some effort to produce a set of files for greasemonkey, a plugin, afaik, which allows you to make a tabular translation of the UI. I participated a little in improving some phrases, but there was nearly zero feedback. Since I don't need it myself, I soon lost interest. Here is the discussion . –  user unknown Dec 12 '12 at 6:58
    
I have no problem with that; I was simply dissing Bastian Sick. –  klyonrad Dec 12 '12 at 8:11

Looking at Area 51 site statistics, all the numbers are looking good but with one glaring exception: only 2.6 questions per day.

This is terrible! And that number does not even tell the whole story. The figure is artificially inflated by established users posting questions just to make the place look less lonely. Who knows how low it is in reality.

There are of course specific problems with german.SE and its culture, but these mainly affect whether people stick around and contribute regularly. Many Answers are of poor quality but enough Answers are sufficiently useful that, even in the absence of professional linguists and philologists, german.SE should have gained an Internet-wide reputation by now as a resource for (mainly) non-Germanophones.

Consider, however, that the problem may not be so much in the supply as in the demand. In August of this year, Germany introduced the "blue card", a scheme to attract skilled workers and qualified professionals from outside Europe to the country and to allow such people up to six months to go job-hunting in Germany. However, as this article in WELT Online explains, only a handful of blue cards have actually been requested and awarded. A staggering three (!) card recipients actually came to Germany on job search grounds.

The article hints at part of the reason:

"Deutschland wird als nicht so attraktiv wahrgenommen und ist auch wegen der Sprache schwierig", erklärt die Expertin. (...) Leider sei Deutschland im Ausland noch nicht berühmt für seine Willkommenskultur.

I don't think that many Germans actually understand how provincial and insular they come across to foreigners (and I am not talking about avowed xenophobes here). In my experience this is getting worse, not better. At the same time, Germans are neglecting or even discarding much of their cultural heritage as if it were nothing more than outdated fashion.

People who have options decide based on a variety of factors. Besides the absence or presence of a welcoming climate, a principal consideration is economic opportunity, and there simply is not as much dynamism in Germany as in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. And those who do find lucrative work in Germany can easily go for years without learning any German whatsoever.

Desire to become proficient in German is now mostly limited to people who take a genuine interest in German culture and German literature and we may have to simply accept that there are fewer and fewer of those around. This decline in demand parallels the sad demographic trends in German society (it is now the second-oldest in the world, after Japan's). If the nine-figure amounts pumped by the German government into the Goethe institutes worldwide and other cultural promotions are unable to reverse this trend, it is unreasonable to expect that german.SE can remain exempt.

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I vote for optimism. - As you said German isn't that easy. This is the best reason why people should raise questions here. The number of users increased in the latest month despite some "issues" we recently discussed. The numbers on Area51 were by far worse than they are right now. The non-manipulated question rate is approximately one. We need to focus on offering only a few but good answers to attract learners. They are the most important users for this site and they will likely sign up to a site which will answer the questions properly. –  Em1 Dec 3 '12 at 21:55

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