In the last couple of months Stack Exchange has undertaken significant effort to make the network more welcoming. From a regular user's perspective, we can only see the internal consequences and ripple effects this has had.

I was re-reading Tim Post's Answer about the science behind what led to determining the necessity of the welcoming push.

In this post it is mentioned that Stack Exchange now employs highly skilled data scientists that seem to have a finger on the pulse of whether or not the efforts are paying off.

I'd be interested if the trend and numbers on this have seen a significant change with the welcoming push and in which direction. Has the initiative worked so far? How is Stack Exchange measuring this? Are there any particular areas that yet need more work?

Edit 15.10.2019:

It's been a full year now, it doesn't look like a response is forthcoming

  • 10
    Not answering because I don't have an answer yet. There are numbers, and they are moving, but we need to be sure we understand what's moving them and why. It might be another month or two before we have enough data to put solid theory out, but I'm pinging Julia to see if she'd be interested in say a monthly .. "It's network data science time with Julia!" thing here. Stay tuned.
    – user50049
    Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 13:02
  • 2
    @TimPost I have a feeling seeing the effects of what is being worked on first hand would to well to quell some of the fear and concerns over the whole initiative and inspire some confidence in established users who are anxious to see SE do well. Thanks for taking time to respond to my post :)
    – Magisch
    Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 13:03
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    Definitely, I agree. We're at an awkward point where it's difficult to define clear KPI-oriented goals in the absence of knowing what's possible in a community of this (unprecedented) size that's largely self-governing. That's why I'm very careful when talking about things like the attrition rate, because how we measure that matters just as much as the measurement itself, and we don't base strategy off of stuff we're not sure of yet, so it's hard to produce public artifacts or even a solid roadmap at this point [1/3].
    – user50049
    Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 13:20
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    [2/3] However, I think there's stuff that we can share as we progress, but there's going to be a giant "We're sharing this for the sake of sharing it, don't shake your fists if decisions don't seem to reflect it yet" and that sort of thing.
    – user50049
    Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 13:21
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    [3/3] In other words, I think there's a substantial part of the community that would love to see all of this 'done and over with', and we're nowhere close to that, which ... well, we have to be careful to set up scenarios where we know we'll be at passionate odds with some folks and have no other answers. Quiet is, sometimes, the best strategy in those cases. But we'll see what we can do.
    – user50049
    Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 13:21
  • It's going to be interesting to see if there's a dip in the metrics where established users simply ignore the "new contributor" thing and go back to their previous behaviour.
    – user351483
    Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 13:27
  • adblock facilitates that behavior quite well
    – Kevin B
    Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 15:31
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    it's been a month @TimPost Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 11:39
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    Note about bounty placed 10/5/19: The company's description page says: "2018: Welcome Wagon launches, as our data scientists, developers, long-term community managers, and UX specialists evolve our Code of Conduct, commenting, and other features to make the site more welcoming, diverse, and inclusive." Commented Oct 5, 2019 at 16:33
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    It is important to add a new extension to this question asking: is stack exchange studying the welcomingness of existing users in aggressively thinking and pushing their policy to make the new users feel welcoming. In lieu of making new users onboard, is SE even trying to make exisitng users exist and reinforce trust in them? Commented Oct 5, 2019 at 16:35
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    @Jeff now it's a year. And see what happened to Stack Exchange. I'm really sorry to see the good thing you created destroyed from within in such a horrible way. If there's any chance you can buy your place back, pull some strings, etc... now it's the time. Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 7:10
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's no longer relevant
    – Magisch
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 7:16
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    It has been a year @JeffAtwood
    – Alex
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 8:01
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    @Magisch I honestly fail to understand how it's off topic or no longer relevant, specially that a question asked today was closed because it's a duplicate of this one.
    – gdoron
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 8:39
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    and exactly who would believe whatever they posted at this point anyway?
    – user148287
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


A full year passed since that "1 or 2 months" @TimPost mentioned.

You can clearly say, they don't want to share the numbers and I can only assume, they are bad and damaged the site and its communities.

  • No point speculating, we're in a different time with different problems now, and a blog post from 2018 is the least of our current concerns.
    – Magisch
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 8:29
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    @Magisch I think it's all related. All their actions recently ignored the community opinion and refused to even share details and numbers. This is just another example, where even the co-founder of the company (@Jeff Atwood) didn't get an answer to his question (or at least, a public one). Answering this question is another step required to restore trust from the community.
    – gdoron
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 8:36
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    why would anyone trust anything they publish regardless
    – user148287
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 14:57
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    @SomeoneWhoUsedToCare On the positive side: The data is available. Assuming that the raw data has not been tampered with, one can inspect it. And actually, I started diving deeper into the data dumps from the surveys. Until now, I could not confirm the claims that have been made in some of the "data science" blog posts, but of course, that does not mean that they are wrong. It might only mean that (I'm not a proper data scientist, and) they didn't publish the process of how they conducted their Chi-Squared-Test and how they derived the p-Values that they published...
    – Marco13
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 15:00
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    "Lies, damned lies, and statistics
    – user148287
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 15:02

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