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I am a fanatic user of Stack Overflow. With the help of other users I’ve solved a lot of problems as well as helped others solve theirs. but lately it seems not too many users are willing to help each other out anymore. What’s happened?

I used to ask questions and receive useful answers on Stackoverflow (and votes at the same time), but the last couple of months I don’t get a lot of answers to my questions. Questions get no views, answers and votes. When I answer someone else’s question, it tends to get only one vote. This makes it impossible to get new badges. In my opinion Stackoverflow is only useful at this moment when you have a problem that is already answered on the website.

I get the impression that people aren’t voting, viewing and answering questions anymore because the amount of questions seems to be “overflowing”. I guess the website is outgrowing itself. It has to change some things to not become a victim of its own success.

People use the site because they get answers. People answer questions because they want to help people and get reputation and badges. If there are too many questions, people won’t vote for questions and answers because they get “pushed away” from the site really fast. If answers don’t get up-votes, people stop posting answers, because they don’t get reputation and badges. If question aren’t answered people stop asking questions and go elsewhere with their problems.

Am I the only one experiencing this problem? Or am I using the site in a wrong way? What could be done to get rid of the “overflowing” problem?

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11  
You say you're a fanatic but you don't have Fanatic. –  random Apr 14 '11 at 13:49
    
Hmm, and you follow the .NET tags? I haven't seen this problem... –  Cody Gray Apr 14 '11 at 13:59
    
Yup I follow the .NET tags, they only get highlighted –  Ivo Apr 14 '11 at 14:01
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1 Answer

up vote 20 down vote accepted

Going through your questions, I graphed the number of votes and answers you received for each question:

enter image description here

Honestly, it doesn't look any worse now than it did when you started. You had a good response summer 2010, though, so perhaps you are comparing what you are seeing now with what you had last summer, vs what you had when you started.

The question you asked two days ago with no votes and no answers is clearly an outlier, and reviewing it I feel you could probably refine it a bit better. Obviously the back button refreshes the page elsewhere on your site, so what makes this page different than the others? Your question as stated is rather vague, and you aren't giving enough information for someone to provide an answer - at best they can give you debugging techniques that might help, or shot-in-the-dark suggestions on what might be happening.

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Thanks for the feedback on the last question and the "facts" graph. The facts are different then my feeling indeed. Thanks for analysing it! –  Ivo Apr 14 '11 at 14:07
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SO is probably the only site in the world where you can ask a question about some generic trend in a community's support section, and get a custom rendered graph outlining your own statistics, alongside a detailed analysis, from a fellow user fifteen minutes later. Nice work! How did you create this? –  Pëkka Apr 14 '11 at 14:09
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@Pekka He only had 22 questions to go through, so I looked through his user account and put the date, votes, and answers in a spread sheet, then graphed it, screencapped it, and uploaded it. I imagine the same information could be obtained for any user using the data explorer, or graphed for all the questions over the entire site. Honestly I think there's some truth to the overall question being asked - but it's not going to be apparent by looking at one user. I'd like to see an aggregate graph across all questions over time, and if I become sufficiently bored today I'll do that... –  Adam Davis Apr 14 '11 at 15:56
    
Shame you didn't get bored enough. :( –  Benjamin Sep 5 '11 at 10:31
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