I found it hard to condense my question into a simple title and not sure it fully explains my question. I am not sure if this occurs elsewhere on SE, but I have a specific example:

SuperUser covers general computer use, including Unix, Linux, and Ubuntu. Unix & Linux covers Unix, Linux, and Ubuntu. Ask Ubuntu covers Ubuntu.

Logically, would think that if you have a question specific to Ubuntu, you should ask on Ask Ubuntu and you will get the fastest, best answer, with Unix & Linux being next, and SuperUser being last. However, the reality is the exact opposite. A question on Ubuntu on Ask Ubuntu can go for large lengths of time, with little views and few to no answers. The same question on SuperUse will receive multiple answers, extremely quickly.

I am not belittling the users of the other, more specific sites in any way. However, its simply a function of the number of users. More people simply means more answers, faster. When it comes to users, SuperUser is a behemoth.

I have personally experienced this, as well as others I have talked to. I have told those people to remove their question from the other sites and post on SuperUser, because of this. They have told me that this solved their problems.

It definitely appears to me that is detrimental to SE. A new user coming in asking a question on Ask Ubuntu will get frustrated from the lack of answers and potentially write off SE as a resource. They dont realize that they thought they were choosing the best forum to ask their question, they were in fact choosing the worst.

Am I wrong? If not, can this be fixed? Should this be fixed?

  • There are differences at the site's view frequency depending on their popularity. – πάντα ῥεῖ Mar 26 at 18:49
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    You might be surprised to know, Ask Ubuntu has a better answer rate than SuperUser by a whole percentile stackexchange.com/sites SuperUser is a slightly bigger site but to say "A question on Ubuntu on AskUbuntu can go for large lengths of time, with little views and few to no answers. The same question on SuperUser will receive multiple answers, extremely quickly." is factually wrong. A lot of random factors go in to how quick you get an answer, peoples experiences will vary. – Mark Kirby Mar 26 at 18:54
  • U&L beats them both by 10% and is growing fast. – Mark Kirby Mar 26 at 19:06
  • @MarkKirby is is not factually wrong. as i said others and myself have seen it firsthand. – Keltari Mar 26 at 19:40
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    Well the statistics show you are more likely to get an answer at Ask Ubuntu but really the difference is negligible. Your experience is subjective and there could be a myriad of reasons why you had that experience. "others and myself have seen it firsthand." Thousands of people claim to have seen aliens but that does not make aliens on Earth a fact, my point is, your mileage may vary but the stats show that there is no real difference in the answer rate. – Mark Kirby Mar 26 at 19:49
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    Does this answer your question? Super User versus Unix and Linux versus Ask Ubuntu, and the Site's Stats Q&A. – Rob Mar 26 at 20:59
  • 10% more users a behemoth does not make. – muru Mar 27 at 1:55

An Ubuntu-specific site makes sense in itself, ignoring all else. So is a general Unix & Linux site. Perhaps so does superuser.com (although IMHO it's a bit too general). However they weren't formed simultaneously. And - you can't just excise a third of a site because another site got started.

So yeah, there's overlap, and sometimes it's frustrating to need to decide where to ask something without knowing where the better chance for a response will be. But there's no justification for removing any of them, so - things stand as they are.


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