We're still in private beta, while the site should have gone public seven days after launch if everything went well. So we're not ready yet to leave the private beta, our very low number of questions is the primary problem.

I compared the number of questions we have so far (65) with the data I have easily available (Skeptics and Biology), and we're very far behind those two sites in question volume for the first week. Those two sites had around double the number of questions we have so far, and we had slightly longer than a week time.

So, what's stopping you from asking more questions? Why don't we already have enough questions to leave the private beta?

We need to demonstrate that we have enough experts collected here to start a good chemistry site, and for that we need to ask more high-quality questions and get some good answers for them.

  • $\begingroup$ Are not-really-expert-level questions fine? (see my questions, I dont think they are expert level :/ ) I can up my question-asking rate if such questions are OK, the primary reason I didn't do so before was that I didn't want to flood the site with such questions--I don't think myself capable of cooking up expert level questions, and we have "quality over quantity" and all that rot :/ $\endgroup$ Commented May 5, 2012 at 2:19
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, you probably know this, but don't use the metrics on area51 till the site has been alive for a month or two. Though you did the smart thing and compared with Skeptics &c :) $\endgroup$ Commented May 5, 2012 at 2:24
  • $\begingroup$ Too bad we don't have pro tem mods yet--otherwise we could add a banner that said "ASK MORE QUESTIONS,STUPID!". Also too bad that banners don't support <blink><marquee> Do they? :P Seriously though, we can ask the SE guys to step into their mod shoes and do the job. Much of the community is inactive on meta, which is bad during private beta. $\endgroup$ Commented May 5, 2012 at 9:17
  • $\begingroup$ Did some jQuery out here, here are the question/answer ratios of the top 15: Infinity, 3, 3, 2, 1, 0.4, 0.33, 0.3, 0.28, 0.16, 0.12, 0, 0, 0, 0 (Infinity is this guy with zero answers ). Yep. Definitely a problem. $\endgroup$ Commented May 5, 2012 at 9:41
  • $\begingroup$ Yay at least i figure in the top users list... anyways all i wanted to ask is just the number of questions is what matters or even the answers to them??? $\endgroup$
    – Ashu
    Commented May 5, 2012 at 14:51
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    $\begingroup$ @ashu Whole bunch of metrics here:area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/4964/chemistry (note that the 'healthy beta' stuff isn't applicable for us--its for public betas after a few weeks). Note that its not limited to the metrics given there. We want quality questions, each with more than one quality answer. Or something like that. $\endgroup$ Commented May 6, 2012 at 4:43

2 Answers 2


Quality trumps quantity… we could do with some more questions, but let's not worry excessively about it. I'd rather have a quality site that builds slowly and attracts regular expert users than a site loaded with popular science questions (which is fine, in some proportion) being given poor answers (which is never fine… and even popular science questions often require a lot of effort to be correctly answered).

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    $\begingroup$ I don't think we have a popsci issue (yet). And chemistry isn't as "popular"(in a sense) as physics--physics has all sorts of strange stuff like relativity which is gobbled up by the public and they end up with truckloads of misconceptions. Chemistry has strange stuff as well, but the general public doesn't seem to know about them (too complicated usually). $\endgroup$ Commented May 7, 2012 at 3:29
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think we need to resort to popular science questions, but I found that the users likely to be able to ask very good questions often prefer to mostly answer, and need a little encouragement to ask themselves. $\endgroup$ Commented May 7, 2012 at 6:06
  • $\begingroup$ @MadScientist thats the main problem with high-level sites like theophys and mostly older scientists, they are not used\willing to ask questions in internet boards and identify it with ignorance imho often. But there are currently not many chemistry students here afaik, more graduates\experts. Poker.se started with around 100 in public beta afaik, this site will go soon public too $\endgroup$ Commented May 7, 2012 at 12:01

Maybe make a meta post on biology and physics meta and offer invites to some experts who couldnt commit to chemistry.se? Also its summer time :)

Chemistry has not so much popular science level questions as those 2 branches (biology and physics are of bigger interest to laymen), so I was expecting less questions than on biology.se. Also, even when theoreticalphysics.se failed and was shut down, I suppose SE will give a less popular topic like chemistry more time to grow and generate a high-quality site. With successful biology and physics site on SE, shutting down the interlinking branch chemistry would be a disaster for us and them :)

So I would rather focus on quality than creating many bad questions.

Expters ask few questions, and this site has many according to the area51 commitment page, so create high quality content during private beta and Im pretty sure after public beta there will come enough questions from physics and biology members besides chemistry students.

I do not really worry about this site, matter of time to me seeing how well physics and biology.se work


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