I know we've been in beta for a very short time, but I was wondering how we are doing on traffic compared to web apps' private beta.

I see a few questions with very low view count, and I worry we aren't performing well for the site to survive in the long run.


We're at a bit of a penalty compared to other sites when it comes to a limitted pool in the private beta. We have ~330 users, and last I checked we had 45 with only 1 reputation and 90 with 100-101 reputation. Many of these users have badges and votes (the 100s I included all contributed a downvote), so it's obvious that they are participating to an extent. But the fact is that we aren't getting a lot of activity.

The primary reason users won't look at questions here is because of lack of experience with the particular subject. And this is where games are struck the most, because the sheer number of different games yields a much larger diversity in the scope of each user's experience. For example, I play several genres, with some focus on platformers/scrolling shooters/fighting games/RPGs, but the actual games I've played don't always match with everyone. Consequently, the people who are focused in a genre still yet aren't guaranteed to play the same games as others (see how many questions we have on scrolling shooters and fighting games, which are no less of a large fraction of the net community as RPGs and first-person shooters). This is much different than when all you need is general knowledge of a programming language or concept to address the majority of questions.

So when we only have ~330 users, we're going to be a mixed bag of small groups who play the same games and lots of games that no one shares in common. This leads to people who don't end up posting with fear for testing the water ("it feels like I'm the only person who's played this"), and people who also don't look at a number of questions because they are out of their interest ("only people who play Red Dead Redemption or have considered looking into it will actually look at a Red Dead Redemption question"). And because our experience scope intersections are that much smaller, it's going to be a lot of those small groups all looking at the same questions, and a bunch of people who get no attention. We do have a large set of intersections as is (StarCraft, WoW, TF2, and many more), but none of them are going to be as broad as, say, "C#" in a programming community or "GMail" in a web application community. And this hurts us when we've only got so few users.

I want this site to survive just as much as you do. But I think we should delay our traffic worries until the public beta begins and we can really expand our userbase. Our private beta, due to our experience scope intersections, is better suited to things like hammering out parts of the Top 7, as well as the concerns that random pointed out here.

  • 3
    Great analysis. – juan Jul 12 '10 at 14:33
  • This explains well the reason that question acceptance rate in this site (<80%) is much lower than other beta sites (>90%). – Oak Jul 12 '10 at 15:08

Just some stats taken directly from area51:

So, we seem to do pretty well, however, we need to answer some more unanswered quesions, as we're about 5% below the other sites on that statistic.


If you check the site page on Area 51 you'll see the stats the team are collecting.

As of 12th July 2010 the Gaming site (4 days - private beta) is at:

504 questions, 882 answers, 78% answered, 329 users, 1,924 views/day

The Web Applications site (11 days - public beta) is at:

833 questions, 2,272 answers, 92% answered, 2,485 users, 3,760 views/day

There are about 100 fewer users in the Gaming private beta than the Web Applications one. I think the key statistics to look for are when the site goes public. If it gets to around the 3,500 to 4,000 mark then it will be doing at least as well as the Web Applications site.

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