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I noticed that some of the SE sites simply declined in terms of new posts in the last several years.

Is there any analysis of what these sites are, and reasons why that happened? What would be the destiny of these sites, if that decline continues?

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    In theory a site could close if it falls under the minimum health stats as seen on Area 51. I suppose a site gets closed if there is no-one left to raise and handle flags.
    – rene
    Dec 2, 2020 at 11:43
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    From what I observed personally, new sites were proposed due to the hype train, then when the hype ended (or some realized that the strict Q&A format were not suitable for their need), only few stayed. Though, SE did promise that as long as the site is still moderated, it will stay open. Otherwise, the site might be closed (not read-only, but removed from the existence) Dec 2, 2020 at 12:00
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    @rene Could you perhaps give a link to health stats you mentioned, I have the hard time finding them... Thanks in advance! Dec 2, 2020 at 15:39
  • You might be interested in How is the current pandemic negatively affecting some SE sites?
    – mdewey
    Dec 2, 2020 at 15:43
  • @mdewey Yup, a very interesting question, and queries too. Thanks! Dec 2, 2020 at 15:50
  • @AleksandarM on Area 51 each site has a page: area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/106955/quantum-computing that list their stats.
    – rene
    Dec 2, 2020 at 15:54
  • I would participate far more on low-traffic sites like WebApps if I could use my SO/SuperUser reputation and privileges. Gets far too annoying to be low-rep on every new site.
    – pkamb
    Dec 2, 2020 at 17:17
  • @mdewey Seeing a 7 month old post refer to the pandemic as current at time of writing just makes me sad about the current state of things, and about how long this all has stretched on.
    – zcoop98
    Dec 3, 2020 at 1:04
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    Here you can see the main indicators for every site on SE network : stackexchange.com/sites
    – Rubén
    Dec 3, 2020 at 1:09
  • "What would be the destiny of these sites, if that decline continues?" Predicting the future is a bit difficult, but if the decline continues then nobody will ask or answer there anymore, that much seems clear. And if nobody uses a service typically it will be discontinued because of financial reasons. It would be the abyss I think for these sites (not for the content though, that is stored away). Dec 4, 2020 at 22:02
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2 Answers 2

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Is there any analysis of what these sites are

Users with enough reputation can view site statistics on https://[SE name].stackexchange.com/site-analytics, e.g., https://softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/site-analytics:

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Or https://medicalsciences.stackexchange.com/site-analytics:

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Or https://opendata.stackexchange.com/site-analytics:

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and reasons why that happened?

I think this could be explained by a variety of reasons that don't help attract good questioners and answerers:

  • Decent questions getting downvoted, closed, or removed.
  • Low-quality questions or comments.
  • Lack of answers (e.g., https://softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/ has an answer rate of ~50%, not even taking into account all the deleted questions)
  • Competition from other Q&A websites, such as Reddit and Quora.
  • Some SE decisions that pissed off a large amount of regular users (License changes, Monica, etc.).
  • SE fragmentation, resulting in websites having great overlaps (e.g., AI, CV and DS).

What would be the destiny of these sites, if that decline continues?

I don't have any idea, but one of the great upsides of Stack Exchange, unlike Reddit or Quora, is that they typically provide an archive of all questions+answers with a quite friendly license. Also keep in mind that the public Stack Exchange websites serve as a promoter for Teams.

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Chapter one (and only)

It looks like there are a few sites still "alive" thanks to Stack Exchange denizens solidarity that keeps the site live by:

  • editing posts to fix spelling, grammar, formatting and other writing problems,
  • fighting spam and about across the network.
  • upvoting / downvoting

The association bonus facilitates this, as users having rep 200 in any site can edit, flag and comment on almost any post on Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange sites.

Unfortunately, sites like Community Building are still in beta after 10 years than the site proposal was created. According to https://stackexchange.com/sites, it has 2 visits and less than 1 question by day.

Comunity Building Stats as of May 8, 2023

An old meta post from 2019 asked if the site was dead, Is this group dead?. It had only one answer posted until yesterday. According to this answer, there was little activity because there were no new questions. This year, 6 questions and 6 answers were created. Only one new question got answers; it got 1 answer.

A few days ago, I posted three questions on the main site and one on Meta. I deleted one. So far, no answers; only one question got comments from one user that followed me from a post in Super User.

Yesterday I posted an answer to the "Is this group dead?" post referred to above and "started" a conversation about it in the Community Building main chatroom. While writing this new answer for Community Building Meta, I noticed that the community name was not updated in Data Explorer Stack Exchange. Later I will post a feature request, but first, I need to find the proper place for such a question considering the current circumstances.

Epilogue

While the Stack Exchange denizens keep helping the site be free of spam and abuse, this site will keep alive, and new posts will still have a chance to get an answer someday.

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    (Att.: "are still in beta after 10 years than the site proposal was created". Flag for deletion after use.) May 9, 2023 at 11:12

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