What sort of things were overlooked by the community that caused this site to fall short?
The main issues were/are :
- We had 40 questions on day one and about 5/day after that which is very low for a private beta.
- Visits/day have been dropping since day one. (They have increased since yesterday)
- We have had just 5 people sign up in the past 3 days, which means users have not been inviting others to participate which is critical to site success
- The site has not been active as it could have been in terms of improving content and meta participation
I personally believe that the site should have been given a warning, and then some time to tackle these problems, however, that did not happen. Nonetheless, we created some excellent content, that will find a home on EE now.
This is our screw-up, not yours. When we were debating whether to send this site into beta, I voiced some concern that there was a lot of overlap in the definition. After some debate internally, we decided to go ahead with the launch, thinking there would be enough interest in other Arduino topics to carry the site. We were wrong. However, I still think this site does demonstrate that there is a wealth of knowledge that hasn't necessarily found a place within EE.
I do feel that it is (at least partly) our screwup, but that's not the reason I'm quoting this.
Basically, being a subset scope-wise, we had much higher standards to live up to. It was uncertain if we would even have had a private beta, so once we had one, we should have put more effort into proving that it would work. Our questions/day were rather low -- on its own this should not have been a problem, as Chem.SE had similar stats in its private beta. However, we also had a very small group of answerers, and we had low views.
I don't know what we could have done. Some of us delayed answering to let others answer, but that didn't work much. (Also, on other private betas it is quite common to have 4-5 answers on good questions. Here we had just 1-2). I guess this was just a general problem with the community; only a few had immediate questions to ask. It could also be that Arduino.cc and Google manage to solve most Arduino questions one has, and the site just wouldn't have worked as a private beta.