In late 2009 Kip created these awesome posts explaining where SO users are from:

This question was marked as a duplicate of that one yesterday, but the data was still from 2009, so while technically a duplicate, the answer wasn't actually there.

For the sake of making sure there was an answer, I answered to Kip's question with updated data.

Since Kip's 'question' was actually an awesome explanation of stats, I was reluctant to butcher his question with my work, not to mention that his work still has merit in that it is a great historical indicator of how things were in late 2009. Having my post as an answer doesn't necessarily help, since anyone visiting via a duplicate link will still see the outdated data from 2009 rather than the updated info below.

Being someone who fears the wrath of Meta, I don't want to take a false step, but I would like to know, is it appropriate to start a separate meta 'question' that contains all these great resources as a one-stop shop for all your geographical user data needs, or would that be considered a duplicate of Kip's post? If so, how should it be handled?

1 Answer 1


This is exactly why these questions aren't on-topic. They're localized to a specific moment in time and become out-of-date pretty much immediately.

No, we don't want a separate question every time the data gets updated. That just spreads out the data all over Meta and makes it too hard to find.

So the only really good solution is to provide an answer that explains how users could retrieve and compile all this information themselves, which you appear to have done pretty well in your answer.

  • 2
    There are a lot of posts that seem limited in time but yet still seem to be on-topic for Meta. Like the 'many memes of meta' and the like. Those are kept updated as a community wiki, and do serve a valuable purpose. While I can understand the reasoning, if the information is valuable, where does it belong? On an external blog?
    – jmac
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 23:38
  • If you want to keep updating the stats, by all means go for it, but keep them in the same answer on the same question. That doesn't warrant separate questions.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 23:41
  • What I was trying to get at was that rather than have 2 separate questions and an answer with information all related to the same thing, creating a single post that could be updated regularly as a CW by anyone (like the meta thread, etc.) would be an easier reference, but I am worried that would be considered a duplicate of the original(s). Of course I can just keep updating the answer, but it is less than ideal.
    – jmac
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 23:43
  • I don't understand. You can convert your answer on that question to a community wiki if you want to encourage people to update it...
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 23:45
  • 3
    Looking at a question like The Many Memes of Meta the concept behind the CW below is clear in the question, and the answers provide the information. This makes sense as a resource and is easy to handle. Right now the info on location data is in an original question, a supplementary separate question, and an answer to the original question has the most updated data. Changing my answer to a CW will not solve that part. The post by Kip while awesome was a one-off, and doesn't lend to continuity is all.
    – jmac
    Commented Sep 26, 2013 at 23:54
  • 1
    I've modified the question to fit into a more familiar format. Honestly, there's no reason to keep the 2009 stats visible on the page since they're outdated and replaced by newer stats, so I just converted it to a standard FAQ-style question.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 0:03
  • Thanks for taking care of it -- though seeing the method, I probably could have done that myself. Apologies for the added effort on your part!
    – jmac
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 0:04
  • 2
    "This is exactly why these questions aren't on-topic." - Eh, I'm not convinced of this, SE let Jon Seigel perform and post the results of various statistical analyses here, which seems to be the same thing.
    – Tim Stone
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 0:24
  • @jmac Having a community wiki question that is intended to be updated over time is very demanding on a community. Usually they just get left out of date fairly quick. If they don't it's because there is a lot of value to be found in keeping it up to date, and many people are actively involved in updating the information. I don't see location information about SO being so valuable as to be worth such significant community efforts. You're free to do so, but my guess is you're not going to see an entire community pitching in.
    – Servy
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 0:27
  • 1
    @Servy I don't actually think the results will go out of date that quickly, but having stats from 2009 likely isn't so good at showing what participation is in 2013. I just got confused because the other question was closed as a duplicate of a question that provided info from 4 years ago (which hardly seemed proper), no update should be needed until at least 2015 or so, no?
    – jmac
    Commented Sep 27, 2013 at 0:42

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