I started using this site in 2010. At the time it was a hive of activity. There were about 20 or 30 respected names in SQL Server regularly contributing. Discussions were lively and often entertaining. A wide variety of questions were posted, and often the questions were "seeders" by experts, designed to provoke discussion about common issues that arise. It seems that over time, a lot of the big contributors have moved on.
My impression is that the maintenance of the site (answering and editing questions, retagging, reporting spam etc) has been left to about five people. This must be dreadfully demanding on them and a bit dispiriting. So where did the others go?
My theory is that there are a few factors at play (not Phil, sadly).
So what can be done about it? I don't think you're going to solve it by hoping that more and better quality questions magically start coming in. I think you need to contact previously enthusiastic contributors and see if they're interested in submitting seeder or discussion questions. It might not work but it's probably better than doing nothing. I also think that rather than ignoring lazy questions, we might be better to do what we can to turn them into something valuable. What else can we do to reinvigorate interest?
Lastly I want to recognise the contributions of the experts who have hung around and give freely of their time and knowledge. You've improved the worklife of countless SQL minions around the globe. Your efforts should be lauded. Thank you. Sincerely.
asked Sep 07, 2014 at 01:03 AM in Site discussion (meta-askssc)
As one of those still crazy after all these years, let me chuck in a few thoughts:
answered Sep 07, 2014 at 07:00 PM
Sorry, I don't come over here much and probably should. Great question.
I'll say this, as of my last trip to Red Gate back in... September I think, Red Gate is still dedicated to this site. That may change, but the site has seen a constant and steady growth in the number of users and the number of questions (however horrible many/most of them are), so they see a reason to continue its support.
As to the rest, while we may not have some of the bigger names answering questions, I do think we've got some of the smartest people I know answering questions around here (especially @ThomasRushton).
I'm not sure the seeder questions is the key. I mean, we could take the SE approach and just nuke questions that are, in our considered judgment, not worthy of answers. But I don't think that's the approach that RG wants. It's not terribly nice or helpful and we are trying to be that. Is that working? I guess it depends on if you're one of those people asking or answering questions.
answered Dec 02, 2014 at 01:15 PM
Grant Fritchey ♦♦
Well, I'm sure if I am cool enough for the "cool kids" group, but I'm back. :)
"Back in the day", I was one of the most active contributors here, but then a former manager who disapproved of me spending any time here and other excuses pulled me away. I'm back and active once again, and I hope to stay that way for a long time. I love and support this site because I know some of the people here and am confident in the quality of the answers. I typically only check "that other site" when I have a .NET question or something else I can't find here.
I've reached my quote quota for this answer, so I'm done.
answered Dec 31, 2014 at 06:55 PM
Tom Staab ♦