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It seems to me that Stack Overflow is getting a lot less questions and a lot less answers. More questions have no answers than those with. This is quite a change from a few months ago.

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  • You need to visit the site more. Commented Nov 28, 2010 at 9:00
  • Thats the problem lots of visits no answers.
    – mPP
    Commented Nov 29, 2010 at 4:37
  • 3
    I'd vote this as a dupe but I can't remember the exact wording of all the dozens of dupes since the home page was changed. Noise it is, I guess. "Pointless" is certainly one way to describe somebody who won't accept an explanation even after being beaten over the head with it three times.
    – Aarobot
    Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 3:15
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    @Aarobot So why should anyone come back if theres nothing intersting to talk about. I dont mind helping newbies, but it gets tiring answering q that half the time are homework or because somone is too lazy to read the obvious part of the documentation.
    – mPP
    Commented Dec 5, 2010 at 12:22
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    How many times do you need to have this explained to you? The number of unanswered questions is decreasing. However, you will see more unanswered questions on the front page because the sorting algorithm ranks them highest. As for whether or not the questions are truly interesting to answer - I'm seeing more of them now, again due to the sorting algorithm, which no longer over-emphasizes the useless duplicated-a-thousand-times beginner questions with 14 answers.
    – Aarobot
    Commented Dec 5, 2010 at 16:01
  • read some of my other comments below particularly those to jeff atwood. All tabs are filled w/ boring, newbie, homework stuff. The unanswered stuff in the q is just a sample of the symptom of the problem, SO is becoming boring...
    – mPP
    Commented Dec 6, 2010 at 4:03

3 Answers 3

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The "interesting" tab (consisting mainly of unanswered questions) is great for experienced users of stack overflow, but maybe it's not right for new visitors?

There's a risk—illustrated by this question—that visitors will interpret the questions on the home page as being typical questions on Stack Overflow (rather than questions specially selected because they have few answers), and believe that this means that questions asked on the site get very few answers in general.

It might give a better impression to new visitors if they were offered the "hot" tab rather the "interesting" tab.

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SO is not dying, quite the opposite, it's getting more questions and answers than ever before, just look at the stats. However, you do get shown more questions that don't have answers, this is very much intentional, see this recent blog post. You can switch to the old view by going to https://stackoverflow.com/?tab=active

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  • Im sorry, thats nonsense, in the old days all views seemed busy, there were never so many 0 answers.
    – mPP
    Commented Nov 29, 2010 at 4:39
  • At first I looked at that SEDE query and thought "This should show posts in that month, not up to that month". Then I realized it already was like that.
    – MPelletier
    Commented Nov 29, 2010 at 21:53
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    @mPP: No, this is quite on the mark. The main page was recently redesigned to show you more questions that fall into your interesting tags and more unanswered questions. This is intentional and by design so as to prompt you to answer some of those questions. Read the blog post that Reg linked to. Commented Nov 29, 2010 at 23:08
  • @MPelletier I dont mind answering q here and there, but when i when there is nothing intersting ever for me, whats the point in coming back...
    – mPP
    Commented Dec 5, 2010 at 12:21
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The home page changed recently. Did you take that into account? It's not the same to you as to everybody else anymore.

Stack Overflow is on the contrary stronger than ever with 10M monthly unique visitors.

There seems however to be some truth to there being less answers per question. There's definitely a trend. The big question is not "Is Stack Overflow dying?" but rather "what are you doing to help?" There's an increasing demand for answers, let's meet it.

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  • Yeh lots of visitors but nobody answers questions and there are fewer interesting conversations than ever.
    – mPP
    Commented Nov 29, 2010 at 4:39
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    Less answers per question is not bad per se, in fact it could be a positive thing if (if!) it meant that more people excel at posting correct, helpful, and comprehensive answers right away, to which other people simply have nothing to add.
    – ЯegDwight
    Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 0:46
  • @RegDwight: Excellent point. There are a lot of "me too" answers, I'm afraid. A lot of the time several answers will appear all at once too.
    – MPelletier
    Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 1:59
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    Many or most q on the home page (default view) dont have any answers. This exercise is easy to verify by simply visiting the home page a few times at different times yourself.
    – mPP
    Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 2:35
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    @mpp correct, read the blog entry to to understand why -- the frontpage changed RADICALLY blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/11/stack-overflow-homepage-changes Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 2:38
  • Yes, questions are getting fewer answers - because once they get a couple of answers, they aren't on the front page anymore. The opportunity for a question to get 5 answers is highly diminished. Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 3:54
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    Oops, I didn't mean to upvote his comment...
    – MPelletier
    Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 4:02
  • @jeff SO only has boring, lame, stupid questions on the default page. All the interesting stuff is effectively 'lost' as extra steps are required to get to them. Anything that could be interesting gets shut as subjective most of the time, leaving us with boring questions.
    – mPP
    Commented Dec 1, 2010 at 8:22
  • @jeff the statement remains is SO just about answering newbie q ?
    – mPP
    Commented Dec 1, 2010 at 8:23
  • 1
    @mpp use the hot, weekly, and monthly tabs -- you're doing it wrong Commented Dec 1, 2010 at 8:35
  • @mpp If you need a challenge, hit the bounty questions.
    – MPelletier
    Commented Dec 1, 2010 at 12:04
  • the reason why its dying its because people are tired of some newbie asking a boring question that has a simple answer and has already been answered many times. I sometimes answer newbie q but being someone at a more advanced level, there is nothing interesting for ppl at my level.
    – mPP
    Commented Dec 5, 2010 at 12:06
  • Once you have learnt the basics software becomes more interesting as the opportunities to solve a problem suddenly more open for different approaches. Some people call these sorts of discussions subjective which is why it is futile to start such q as they get closed. If you dont believe next time you are wondering something w/ multiple answers none of which is technically wrong but rather different approaches with different sets of pros and cons and i can guarantee it will get closed as "subjective".
    – mPP
    Commented Dec 5, 2010 at 12:08
  • I have ahad a look again nearly every q is i cant do this... there are very few how or why should i do this that way or this way... Ultimately tehre are no architectural level discussions in any form. Once you have advanced past the newbie level, sometimes you want to talk at this level. Without these sorts of things to discuss it gets boring answering homework, q that are in the docs if the person just tried which make up a large minority of all q.
    – mPP
    Commented Dec 5, 2010 at 12:09
  • @jeff looking HOT
    – mPP
    Commented Dec 5, 2010 at 12:12

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