I've been doing some research on design choices in online communities, and I'm looking for some examples of design changes, events, feature additions (or subtractions), or policy changes that might have had an exogenous effect on user behavior on SO?

I realize a similar question was asked about three years ago: What events/policy changes etc. in SO have exogenously manipulated things like views, answers, votes etc.?

I'm looking for either updated examples, or possibly even things that were changed more than once.

Just for a bit of context, one example of the types of changes I'm looking for comes from the previously linked post: In June of 2009, low rep users (>500) were shown a "Please consider commenting" message after down voting a post or comment. I'm interested in seeing if that message actually had an effect on user behaviors.

Similar examples would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


In general, Stack Overflow is an example of how to successfully encourage desired user behaviour, so this list is a little unfair in that it shows mostly problematic examples - I guess those stick in one's mind most because they generated the most controversy...

  • Thanks. This is some really useful material to pour over. Any other, major changes you can think of from a bit further back?
    – mdgreenb
    Jun 3 '13 at 18:24

One thing worth to mention is the addition of review queues and review badges. This has greatly increased the amount of people spending their time reviewing.

From personal experience, until that change the suggested edits queue was never empty, having 50-200 items waiting for review. Since the change it's very rare to see more than 10 items in there waiting for review.

  • Hmm. This is interesting as well. As far as I can tell though there is no way to back out historical size of the review queue from the opendata SO provides.
    – mdgreenb
    Jun 3 '13 at 18:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .