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On the all sites page, there's statistics on questions asked, answered, etc. I'd like to see a number (or percentage) of questions closed for each site.

Update - I don't know the best place to put this information, maybe SO doesn't want it on the main page :) But how about on each meta-site? Although I think having the information in one place would be best for comparisons, I'd settle for having it anywhere. :)

Why? One of the issues that has come up, on several new sites, is how tough the moderators should be (moderators including both official and people with high karma). Should they be really laid-back, and wait for a question to get lots of downvotes to close? Or be more aggressive on closing possibly-poor questions?

Being able to see what other successful sites (successful = original sites, maybe some of the new ones) might be useful, indicating to a new-site moderator whether their site was over- or under-moderating.

Granted, different sites might have different levels of correct-number-of questions-closed. Sites like Programmers, allowing more subjective question than SO, would be unlikely to have the exact same number of closed-questions.

Still, it would at least be an indicator, if one site was significantly out-of-line with other, similar sites.

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Why would you want to advertise that figure so prominently, though? –  Tim Stone Aug 18 '11 at 15:15
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Where else could it be put, that's easily-accessible? As in clicking a link or button, not "write an app that used the SO API to count closed-questions" type access. :) –  John C Aug 18 '11 at 15:18
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Most of the closed questions I see are duplicates, that are easy to recognize because we saw them yesterday, and last week, and the week before, and... –  Bo Persson Aug 18 '11 at 15:18
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This is a pretty pointless request. The only metric you will get from a closed question count is how bad your users are at asking questions. –  JNK Aug 18 '11 at 15:44
    
Note that the amount of closed questions may be a poor indicator of moderator strictness, as many questions are closed by the community and not by the moderators. –  hammar Aug 18 '11 at 15:54

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Just run this query against the site you want to check.

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Interesting. Not as convenient as a link, but at least the information is available. However, something I want to check - total questions includes deleted questions, right? And do migrated questions count? Because looking at the numbers for StackOverflow, it shows 6M questions. And since SO shows as having 2M questions - are there really 4M deleted questions on SO? Wow... –  John C Aug 18 '11 at 17:47
    
Yeah I think it includes deletes. I'm not sure if it includes revisions/migrations but I suspect it does. That sounds right though if you look at question numbers - the newest question a few seconds ago was 7111811 –  JNK Aug 18 '11 at 17:51

Just search closed:1 on the site in question, and divide that by the total number of questions to get a percentage. This search currently returns 4,025, which is 15.2358241% of our 26,418 questions for this site.

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Just discovered that closed:1 caps out at 5K. When I went to superuser.com, and tried both closed:1 and closed:0, they both returned the answer, "5000+" - despite the site having 90K questions. –  John C Aug 18 '11 at 16:01
    
@John Hmm, makes sense but that does put a damper on this method, doesn't it. –  Matthew Read Aug 18 '11 at 16:12

To see the number of closed questions, simply type closed:1 in the search box at the top of any site.

But a site-to-site comparison of the "correct" (or even "excessive") number of questions that should be closed is a bit of folly.

Questions should be closed when they do not add to the value of the site. Period. There is no "correct" number network-wide; It varies widely from site to site, and depends largely on the make-up of the community and how much their subject grates up against our long-standing philosophies of what constitutes a Good Subjective question. Some communities have simply become accustomed to forum-destroying habits brought in from other communities.

Why We Obsess Over Quality Questions

We obsess over the quality because the questions that appear on your home page are going to tell potential experts a lot about your site. It is, essentially, your design, and you only have a small window of opportunity to create an awesome display that will hold their attention.

When experts come across your site, you want them to see very interesting and challenging questions, not the basic questions found on every other forum on the Internet. You want them say "Wow, this is the site for me!" Remember, the pro sites WILL attract the enthusiasts, but not the other way around!

Asking the First Questions

That is why it is so important to get awesome questions on your site and not to fall into the trap of leaving random imponderables and broad discussions about whatever in the name of adding to the bulk of the site.

The goal is to make the site more attractive to expert users, not to simply to have more questions on the site. A site full of intriguing questions will have users slapping their heads saying "Yes! I've always wanted to know that myself!" Those users will be around for a long time to come.

That's just my long-winded way of saying "Try not to obsess too much over how many questions should we close." Just keep an eye on the quality of questions that remain.

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closed:1 caps out at 5K (see comment to other answer). And I agree that a site needs high-quality questions. Unfortunately, I think GameDev is losing the battle against low-quality questions, and was thinking that a low close-rate could be used (in meta) to argue for more closings. :) –  John C Aug 18 '11 at 16:32

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