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enter image description here

and together with the 30-days numbers

\begin{array}{| r | r |} \hline \hline \text {Metric} & \text {30 days in Beta} & \text{60 days in Beta} \\ \hline \text {Q per day} & 5.1 & 5.3 \\ \text{% answered} & \text {85%} & \text {84%} \\ \text{avid users} & 38 & 48 \\ \text {total users} & 473 & 730 \\ \text {answer ratio} & 1.9 & 1.8 \\ \text {Visits/day} & 238 & 202 \\ \hline \end{array}

Numbers are rather stable. Questions per day did not dwindle further down, which was my fear 30 days back (but let's admit it, this is partly due to the efforts of a single user which alone has asked $11.3$% of all questions in the main.

I remind that "visits per day" is a median not an average, and 30 days back it was certainly influenced by a specific question. Since then it has gone down to 170 -so the fact that it rose again shows a tendency for the distribution to permanently shift to the right (even though it is still very low of course).

The rate of new-users is $\sim 8-9/\text{day}$, which is low. Moreover, $67$% of the 730 users shown had not any reputation-affecting activity (as always I count users with reputation 1 or 101)...

So, this time around, should I cry "We need more and active users?" And if I were to cry such, what kind of users? Now we arrive to the theme of some of the responses that my earlier "30-days in Beta" post generated: because what I see in the main is mostly undergraduate questions and very general real-world questions, asked by persons that seem to have nothing to do with Economics. They have every right of course, and I would even say that we have every obligation to help people understand the way Economics thinks about the world. And we must realize that the subject matter itself, influencing so much people's lives, will inevitably draw here such kind of attention, regarding current economic events and hoping to get something more than your usual analysis from a columnist in the media. And, whether we like it or not, this is totally consistent with the SE motto: "expert answers to your questions" -note that the motto does not say "expert answers to your expert-level questions"... But I will admit that education and "economic columnism" won't, eventually, be enough -not for me anyway.

The numbers seem to hold, and my feeling is that this site does not face the danger of being obliterated any time soon by SE. So its character will have the chance to develop. And, aren't we in an on-line world started by developers?

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Alecos, excellent post! $\endgroup$
    – Ubiquitous
    Jan 18 '15 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ If Economics isn´t relevant for everybody´s lives, then there´s something seriously wrong somewhere. $\endgroup$
    – Lumi
    Jan 19 '15 at 2:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Lumi in the same manner are physics, chemistry, biology... $\endgroup$
    – FooBar
    Jan 19 '15 at 8:30
  • $\begingroup$ @FooBar - not really. Economics is the discipline which studies in its various forms the organisation of society. It gets lost in its own arguments sometimes that living and breathing people are being talked about as 'homogenous labour inputs'. $\endgroup$
    – Lumi
    Jan 19 '15 at 20:03
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I'll extend my comment to an answer:

Start/keep advertising the site especially to first and second year grad students. These are the people with the many good questions, and in case of the second-years, also with some time on their hands.

Also, if you get people hooked up at the start of their grad studies, they most likely will tend to stay on the site. Similar reason as to why all the brands/supermarkets try to become the pregnant woman/couple's #1 choice - young families tend to change brands quite seldom.

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    $\begingroup$ Maybe one thing that could be done is to have TAs and profs encourage students (grad students) to use the site to figure out classwork. $\endgroup$
    – jmbejara
    Jan 20 '15 at 9:46
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So, this time around, should I cry "We need more and active users?"

Yes

For this site to grow and flourish, we need an active community. From that community, questions, answers, and site-graduation will grow. Like you, I believe that we're in no danger of being obliterated by our benign overlords: as long as the site ticks over, and maintains itself, with little need for the involvement of SE staff, and no risk to the brand, we'll be given lots and lots of time to bloom and grow.


And if I were to cry such, what kind of users?

Economics graduates, economics postgraduates, researchers, govt and industry economists.

Our near-market is probably, but not necessarily, already active on the web, and comfortable with the idea of a website as an area of two-way interaction between people.

They might participate in forums, and be getting a bit jaded by how the same discussions keep coming round again and again: the Stack Exchange ethos of labelling, closing and redirecting duplicates might appeal to them: answer the question once canonically, then always refer back to that.

They might participate in discussion groups, but be a bit put off by frequent lapses away from civil discourse, in which case the Stack Exchange ethos of firm moderation and maintenance of the golden rule of "be nice" will appeal.

And remember, vote early, vote often.

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  • $\begingroup$ An important part of increasing the number of active and avid users is voting. There seems to be very little voting happening right now. $\endgroup$
    – jmbejara
    Jan 28 '15 at 7:36
  • $\begingroup$ @jmbejara q.v. meta.economics.stackexchange.com/a/20/44 $\endgroup$
    – 410 gone
    Jan 28 '15 at 10:02

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