There are lots of metrics on how well a Stack Exchange Community is doing
- Visits per day
- Questions per day
- Answers per question
One issue with these metrics is they are all traffic dependent and hard for a community to fix on our own.
I am part of the 3D Printing Stack Exchange Beta, and we have problems with getting traffic (which as I mentioned is hard to fix); but, another problem I have noted of late is that reputation is painfully hard to grow. This is mostly because there are very few up votes on questions and answers (even good ones).
Here is a list of our top questions. Note that even the TOP QUESTION often get no votes or at the most just a few - even though they sometimes have over 100 views.
One of the most viewed questions in our community had over 3700 views and had just 34 up votes. That is better; but, still pretty low compared to both the view count and the response a top question would receive on other communities.
The reward system that is baked into Stack Exchange is reputation and much of reputation comes from good questions and answers. Much of this is determined by votes.
This would be a lot easier to track and address if there was a way to see the issue, have a goal, and track our progress.
Is there a way to track either total reputation or total votes for all the users of a community?
Without upvotes and reputation progress, it can be very discouraging to people that put the time and effort into asking and answering good questions. If we want to grow our community, we need to put more effort into hitting the up arrow every time we think that a question or answer was worth the read.
Good questions and answers are what fuels the community and reputation is a good indication of that.
It would be a big help to have a fuel gauge to watch to remind people that we are (or aren't) paying our fuel bills.