15

Ahhh...Beer, a lot of people love to enjoy it but as far as participating on the site, we're struggling. Beer.SE is averaging a bleak 0.1 questions a day. While we have a great percentage of questions being answered, at 97%, the lack of activity is concerning.

There are a few active users but the overall userbase seems to be lacking enthusiasm to keep things running. I'd like to direct you to this recent post about when we graduate sites, and when we shut them down. Specifically:

What does this mean? If there's enough moderation for a public beta site to consistently remain free of spam, for flags to be cleared, and for our Be Nice policy to be upheld, your site will remain open. However, if community leaders drop off, flags sit without being addressed, and we can’t find any suitable volunteers to step forward, the site gets closed.

Very recently, Xander agreed to step up and help out with the moderation duties, but we need other active users if we want to keep this site running. The site has been free of spam, flags are slowly being cleared, but there are items sitting the review queues waiting for users to help out.

What can we do to engage the users of the community and rally Beer lovers to participate?

  • 4
    The traffic is higher than at 40 other sites, including ExpressionEngine® Answers which is fully graduated. Perhaps beer users are good at searching and don't have to ask that much? – user1375 Sep 10 '15 at 18:44
  • 2
    @NormalHuman Possibly, but the lack of activity on Beer.SE is concerning. Very few questions being asked, reviews sitting for days before being handled, no meta participation. A site needs users to survive and right now, it's lacking a bit of everything. – Taryn Sep 10 '15 at 19:08
  • I'm not active in other english-speaking communities like Beer Advocate, but I think spreading the word out there on those kind of forums which are already consolidated and well known would be a good thing. My point is: are people even aware of this place? Maybe the lack of activity here is just because SE is a platform well known and common amongst IT guys (like me) but not the craft-beer community. – Edson Marquezani Filho Sep 23 '15 at 21:33
  • +1 to first two answers posted. Easiest thing to do right now in order to boost search rankings, traffic and most importantly, posting activity, would be to broaden the scope of beer to include all adult beverages and then discuss merging with Homebrewing SE at a later date. – Kanapolis Oct 7 '15 at 21:55
  • I tried to start a wine StackExchange site, but couldn't even get it out of Area 51. There were just other sites without larger user bases already well established in that space. Is not the same true with beer? – wogsland Jan 23 '16 at 5:17
10

It feels like our scope is too narrow. Questions about brewing are more likely to be asked on Homebrewing, though they're also on-topic here. Questions about beer drinking just don't seem to be all that plentiful.

A couple days ago I noticed a new Area 51 proposal for Wine and asked there if Beer and Wine should join forces. The topic has come up here before, and we've had questions about whether mead and cider are on-topic here.

Is it time for Beer to either merge into Homebrewing or broaden to cover alcoholic drinks in general? For the former, of course, Homebrewing would need to consent to take non-brewing beer questions, so someone would need to open a discussion with them.

5

The community is willing to help, but there are not enough questions asked. Unless we get many more people to join and actively participate in this SE, the numbers won’t change significantly.

How can we increase the number of users? Word of mouth and posts on other platforms probably won’t cut it. A better option would be a stock of great answers to the most common questions (like an FAQ) so the googling masses will end up here, and start to see the Beer SE as the platform of choice. It has been addressed in this question.

Another problem is a partial overlap with the more active Homebrewing beta SE. Compare the statistics of Beer and Homebrewing. While not exactly on the verge of graduating yet, Homebrewing SE had 53 questions asked specifically tagged beer in 2015. The whole Beer SE itself had 153 active questions this year.

As far as I can see, the only other SEs related to food are Homebrewing, Seasoned Advice, and Coffee. If we cannot keep the Beer SE alive, I suggest to ask the maintainers of Homebrewing whether they’d be interested in merging. Together we are strong, since many people on the Beer SE are also interested in brewing. Maybe they even agree to a more generic name that encompasses the tasting of the product as well as its creation, like Beer, Wine and Brewing.

-2

I would suggest if a site is put together that will handle all kinds of Beer discussion then it should be named: Beer and Brewing. However if a broader range of subjects are to be included, such as Beer, Wine and Spirits (and the making of each); then it should be named Intoxicating Drinks, this way all kinds questions and answers regarding alcohol can be discussed such as:

  • Drinking
  • Creating (Distilling, Brewing, Fermenting)
  • Tasting
  • Serving
  • Pairing
  • Obtaining
  • Storing
  • Understanding
  • Classifying
  • Preserving
  • Etc

All which can be dealt with in one website. Much like how Stack Overflow deals with all kinds of programming related questions. That would generate much more traffic, many more Q/A, as well as keep all the alcohol enthusiasts enjoying feedback from each other.

If an overlap between types of alcohol is something not desired, then putting the same types of alcohol on their own is fine. As long as the making of and the drinking of said alcohol exist on the same site. The overlap would be more constructive due to the same subject and it would keep the same category of interested people together.

  • I would call such a site Alcohol -- short and to the point. – Monica Cellio Jan 6 '16 at 2:18
  • @MonicaCellio that would imply everything about alcohol, a solid site description will clear that up (see my answer for the win) – AGE Jan 6 '16 at 14:54
  • I don't understand what "Intoxicating Drinks" excludes that "Alcohol" includes, but, eh, people would have to decide to change scope before it matters anyway. – Monica Cellio Jan 6 '16 at 15:23
  • @MonicaCellio it would only be relevant to what other Alcohol related stacks would have to say about it, beyond that it wouldn't be an issue – AGE Jan 6 '16 at 15:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .