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Is it possible to run weekly queries (through SEDE)on

  • proportion of questions asked by freshly registered users during the previous week that are downvoted without comments, but not closed;
  • proportion of questions asked by the above-mentioned users that got no answers during the previous week.

and display the results on each SE site's page (just like beta sites have their metrics displayed)?

I'm sure similar metrics can be devised and displayed - there's plenty of screen space at the right side of most SE pages.

EDIT: Yannis provided the following link http://stackexchange.com/sites?view=list#percentanswered which has been rather helpful in sorting out sites and confirming earlier guesses. However, most regulars don't visit this page, and it would be beneficial to have this information displayed on the relevant site.

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Why is everyone assuming that posting a comment is always the friendly thing to do? I've seen some incredibly rude comments on first questions by new users, would those count in your "newbie" friendliness metrics? –  Yannis May 17 '13 at 5:13
    
@Yannis - rude ones will likely be flagged (not necessarily right away, though). –  Deer Hunter May 17 '13 at 5:20

1 Answer 1

I don't think that information would be terribly useful.

First, 1 or 101 reputation aren't necessarily accurate representations of 'newbieness'. What about the user who has posted numerous iffy or downright bad questions, thereby still having 1 reputation? They would weigh the stats down. (since at some point, people would be less inclined to bother commenting.) And isn't a 11 rep user still a 'newbie'? What about when they go from 1 and get 20 upvotes so they are at 101; newbie again?

Second, a comment does not mean anyone was 'friendly' to the newbie. Imagine such a comment, for instance: "What the %$^# did you try before coming here and taking up all our time with your worthless question?" or even more simply, "Try anything yet?"

Third, whether questions are answered is an important metric. But again, it has nothing to do with whether people are 'friendly' to the newbie or not. Again, imagine:

"Well, this was a stupid question; don't you know all you need to do is..."

It could also be argued that newer users may tend to have a higher percentage of 'unanswerable' questions, so the metric would make us seem 'less friendly' simply because someone asked a question that could not be answered.

Next, I doubt those stats would do anything. But if they did anything, it might just be to make some people try to do the bare minimum to qualify as being 'friendly'.

Machines/queries can't judge 'friendly'.

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The criteria can be made more exact, and no single metric is perfect. However, I find it unfortunate that only beta sites have publicly and instantly available data on questions without answers. –  Deer Hunter May 17 '13 at 5:23
    
@DeerHunter stackexchange.com/sites#percentanswered –  Yannis May 17 '13 at 5:24
    
A question that could not be answered should be closed, shouldn't it? –  Deer Hunter May 17 '13 at 5:25
    
@DeerHunter As I noted, the number of answered questions is a useful metric, IMO; but it has nothing at all to do with 'friendliness' - or newbies. I can't imagine how you could possibly tweak things to make them even remotely useful, though; not just 'perfect'. –  Andrew Barber May 17 '13 at 5:25
    
@Yannis - thanks a bunch, have never used that before, confirmed some guesses of mine. –  Deer Hunter May 17 '13 at 5:29
    
@DeerHunter You may also want to check out SEDE (FAQ). –  Yannis May 17 '13 at 5:30
    
@Yannis - I know about it, but not everyone uses it, and those who don't are by large contributing to newbie-unfriendliness... –  Deer Hunter May 17 '13 at 5:36

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