8
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Running this query gave this graph. enter image description here

As we can see activity in terms of total questions asked has significantly declined. Since the peak in 2017. And as per my knowledge excluding myself only three other users have crossed the 3K rep threshold out of which only one is still active that again I can't say with 100% assurity because I've not been active since the past 7-8 months.

In essence we've had no new close voters while many other regulars have stopped answering /asking questions or reviewing (Yes, I'm one of them).

Does the community feel that this decline in activity is troubling or was it inevitable and nothing can be done about it?

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well, the summer 2018 drop superimposes with the rise of the new COC (code of conduct). Just saying. $\endgroup$
    – andselisk Mod
    Mar 1 '19 at 12:31
  • $\begingroup$ It would be interesting to see how many of the questions asked received answers. Were answers keeping up with questions at peak? $\endgroup$
    – Jacob
    Mar 2 '19 at 10:26
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    $\begingroup$ My 2c: This may be anecdotal, but I feel that generally fewer people are interested in meta and discussion how the site functions. I find that to be a bit more worrisome than Q&A activity itself, which, although not amazing, is in my opinion OK at this point in time. Question volume is one thing to look at, but question quality is also important, and we shouldn't seek to boost volume at the cost of overall quality. $\endgroup$
    – orthocresol Mod
    Mar 3 '19 at 19:27
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    $\begingroup$ I don't see why a code of conduct would affect the number of questions asked. A more useful statistic, if you want to correlate this with user engagement, is to consider return users, that is fraction of people who ask more than one question, and for how long they continue to do so. Otherwise it is just the winds of chance blowing the "wrong" way, and aside from advertising there is not much to be done. An alternative explanation is that people are increasingly finding the answers they need here or elsewhere - thus no need to ask. $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn Mod
    Mar 7 '19 at 10:59
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    $\begingroup$ I left the community because I felt that a few very active users were unacceptably hostile to users who asked questions they deemed unworthy. AFAIK, attention was called to the issue but nothing was ever done to address the toxicity. This may explain any drop in return users. $\endgroup$
    – KanyeBest
    Mar 10 '19 at 6:02
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    $\begingroup$ @KanyeBest There is a line between showing some personality and being derogatory. Responders seem to try to keep an even keel, even when it is not always easy. Some questions are good but there is also a lot of half-digested "junk". Responders include some really smart people who afaik "work for free" and posters don't always respect that. It takes an unusual personality to want to assist random strangers. If you don't have a little "fun" doing this you really are not gonna keep it up. My unfiltered 2 cents. $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn Mod
    Mar 10 '19 at 9:54
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    $\begingroup$ @KanyeBest, thanks for your comment. I understand where you are coming from, and it's a concern that I share. At the same time, it's not true that nothing has been done; it's just that we don't publicise what we do (everything takes place directly between the user and the mod team), and thus the average user is not privy to these. I dare say the situation is better right now, although (as with anything) there is always room for improvement. $\endgroup$
    – orthocresol Mod
    Mar 10 '19 at 11:52
  • $\begingroup$ In making these graphs, it would probably make sense to leave out the last data point. For one thing, it probably represents an incomplete month. Also, there is a lag between asking questions, and answering/closing/deleting them. $\endgroup$ Mar 10 '19 at 15:35
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$\begingroup$

I edited your query to display the questions answered.

SELECT
  DATEFROMPARTS(
    DATEPART(yyyy, CreationDate),
    DATEPART(mm, CreationDate),
    1) AS Month,
  COUNT(*) AS AllQuestions,
  COUNT(CASE
    WHEN AnswerCount IS NOT NULL THEN 1
    ELSE NULL
  END) AS HasAnswers,
  COUNT(CASE 
    WHEN AcceptedAnswerId IS NOT NULL THEN 1
    ELSE NULL
  END) AS HasAcceptedAnswers
FROM PostsWithDeleted
WHERE PostTypeId=1
GROUP BY DATEFROMPARTS(
    DATEPART(yyyy, CreationDate),
    DATEPART(mm, CreationDate),
    1)
ORDER BY Month

It looks like the number of questions asked continued to rise even as the number of answers provided remained static.

Perhaps this equilibration is to be expected.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks for posting this! For me as someone who likes to answer interesting questions, the decline in total questions is not worrisome. It would be great if the number of questions with answers would stay robust, and if the fraction of answers that get accepted would increase. I understand that when you answer old questions, the OP might have moved on, but others might learn from the answer. That's what might have happened Jan 2019. Or there is a lag between answering questions and them being accepted, but I would think that would just be a couple of days. $\endgroup$ Mar 7 '19 at 18:15

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