How can we grow this community?
Codidact's communities have a lot of great content that is helping people on the Internet. Our communities are small, though, and sustainable communities depend on having lots of active, engaged participants. The folks already here are doing good work; our challenge is to find more people like you so we can help this community grow.
This calls for a two-pronged approach: reaching more people who would be interested if only they knew about us, and making sure that visitors get a good first impression. I'm here to ask for your help with both.
Reaching more people
The pool of people interested in electrical engineering is large, from professionals to do-it-yourselfers to students. My question to you is: where do we find those people? You're the experts on this topic, not us. Where would it be most fruitful to promote Codidact? How should we appeal to them to draw them in?
Please don't give general answers like "universities". We need your expert input to decide where, specifically, we should be looking. We are now able to pay for some advertising -- where should we direct it, and what message would best reach that audience? Can you help us sell your community?
Finally, some types of promotion are best done peer to peer. You are the experts in your topic; messages from you on subreddits or professional forums or the like will be much more credible than messages from Codidact staff. For these types of settings, we need your help to get the word out. If you know of a suitable place and can volunteer to spread the word there, please leave an answer about it so we all know about it (and know not to also post there).
Making a good first impression
Pretend for a moment that you don't know anything about Codidact. Visit this community in incognito mode. What's your reaction? If it's negative, what can we do about it? Some known deterrents from across the network:
Latest activity is not recent. This tells people the community isn't active. Anecdotally, we have lots of people ready to answer good questions, and on some communities, not enough good questions for them to answer. Can you help with that?
Latest questions are unanswered. This tells people it might not be worth asking here. Why are our unanswered questions unanswered? Are they poor questions in some regard? Unclear, too basic, too esoteric, just not interesting? Can they be fixed? Should they be hidden?
Latest questions have poor scores. This tells people that either there's lots of low-quality material here or the voters are overly picky. If it's a quality problem, same questions as the previous bullet. If good content is getting downvoted, or not getting upvoted, can you help us understand why?
These are issues we've seen or heard about from across the network, but each community is different. What do you see here? What might be turning people away, and what could we do about it?
Are there things about the platform itself, as opposed to content, that discourage people we're trying to attract? If there's something we can customize to better serve this community, please let us know. If there are other changes in presentation or behavior that you think would encourage visitors to stick around, what are they?
Conversely, what is this community doing well? What draws newcomers in? I don't just mean the reverse of those bullets. What do we need to keep doing, and what might be worth highlighting when promoting this community?
Should the question list not show some questions to anonymous visitors? What should the criteria be? ↩︎
Another thing that would be helpful is to get the existing users to participate more. Upvote good questions when you …
I am a little late to the discussion, but I think I can provide yet another perspective. I found my way to this comm …
1)When you search on Google about a specific electronics/electrical engineering question Codidact is not in the first ch …
Embedding pictures is a pain in the ass. First you have to find the picture and save it locally then you have to drop it …
After reading the suggestion about conferences, I came up with a loose brainstorming idea... What draws engineers to fai …
One way we can grow this community is to have existing users here mention the site at relevant gatherings. Unfortunatel …
I think this site needs to get an aesthetic make-over in order to make users coming back. This may be because I'm acc …
1)When you search on Google about a specific electronics/electrical engineering question Codidact is not in the first choices so I think users should try to upload relevant content frequently and self-answering the question.
2)In chemistry.stackexchange.com you can ask a question and even answer questions even when you dont have a StackExchange account so a good idea would be to do that here as well because many people "get bored" of making a new account and decide to search or write a answer somewhere else.
When you ask or answer a question and if you are not logged in a Codidact account it should create the user right there and then by very few steps.
2 comment threads
Another thing that would be helpful is to get the existing users to participate more.
Upvote good questions when you see them!
For example, the question "208VAC triple-phase to single-phase conversion" was posted 2 days ago. It is on topic, well asked, well written, and appears to be a genuine problem this user is facing. Only two people thought it was worthy though, and one of them was me.
You only need to understand the question, not know the answer, to judge the quality of the question.
Even if you can't answer a question, voting on it is useful. When the question is good, it shows the asker that his effort to write it well was noticed, even if you can't help. Casual visitors see more activity. It also defines better what kind of questions we want here. To me at least, that question is a good example of what we want more of. This is in contrast to some lazy homework problems we have gotten here occasionally.
Voting is free and easy. Help the site by rating posts when you can.
1 comment thread
I am a little late to the discussion, but I think I can provide yet another perspective.
I found my way to this community via searching advice on improving my schematic clarity and found Olin's $tack answer. The quality of the answer led me to opening their profile, where I found the link here as well as his other posts. I was happy to see the "Papers" section here, as a person learning more about EE, I found it a great resource. Andy aka recently made a post about Flyback topology (should it have been made in/moved to Papers?), and Lundin wrote one on memory allocation in embedded systems - I found those great as well. Having these types of "Papers" written by great contributors is invaluable in my opinion. They distill decades of experience, dozens if not hundreds of application notes, it is as close to having direct mentorship as one can get. I think an expanded "Papers" section would be great, maybe renaming it (Guides?) could be considered. Nominating good or great questions that get an awesome answer to be added to that section for reference might ne considered too.
Thank you to all the volunteers and contributors of EE Codidact.
0 comment threads
Embedding pictures is a pain in the ass. First you have to find the picture and save it locally then you have to drop it onto a special box before it can be processed. On SE, you just drag it to where you want it to appear and it's job done. There's still the issue of an embedded picture not showing until you click in your question edit area. It may sound trivial to some but, to me it's annoying.
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After reading the suggestion about conferences, I came up with a loose brainstorming idea... What draws engineers to fairs/conferences (apart from free lunch)? Most definitely technical speeches/slide shows about a certain technical topic. This is well-known: try to host some embedded systems fair without technical speakers and it will soon die out in a couple of years.
So how about trying something similar to bait the right people here? Some communities here have monthly challenges. How about a monthly electronics topic? A theme of the month?
Theme of the month/monthly topic (call it as you like it) is picked by voting on suggestions from a meta thread. Good suggestions that finished 2nd place etc can be used next month.
The theme could be anything. PCB layout, MOSFET design, switch regulators, soldering, analog comparators, microcontrollers, FPGA - whatever people fancy. (Ideally not too narrow a topic though, I think.)
During the month, everyone is especially encouraged to ask questions post high quality technical content related to the theme. Essentially get real nerdy.
Optionally, maybe allow some article/blog style posts in a certain category, if someone wish to share some open product design, evaluation board adventure, source code etc.
Optionally some Hall of Fame meta post where the best post(s) of the mouth (in terms of score) regarding the monthly topic get mentioned.
What I'm aiming for here is to increase the amount of good content, but also to draw attention to the site by people interested in a certain topic telling their friends. I know that we have lots of knowledge and expertise within the existing user base - we just need to create an incentive for those people to ask and write about whatever topic they are most interested in.
0 comment threads
One way we can grow this community is to have existing users here mention the site at relevant gatherings. Unfortunately, those have been non-existent or virtual due to covid. Passing on a recommendation about a Q&A site is the kind of side-conversation that doesn't happen as much in virtual meetings.
I was planning on promoting the site at the next Microchip Masters conference, but there hasn't been one since the site started. It's not clear there will ever be another one.
If folks here ever do get back to real physical conferences, it would be useful to have business cards to hand out. These would be a great way to start a conversation about the site. I envision the Codidact logo on them, along with a short tag-line about the EE site, and of course the URL.
0 comment threads
I think this site needs to get an aesthetic make-over in order to make users coming back.
This may be because I'm accustomed to StackExchange's appearance but to be honest, this site is ugly and unappealing visually. The only colour present other than white (which is about 95%) is blue.
There are no side borders enclosing and answer or a question.
The comments on a question/answer are unnecessarily bothersome to read. Why do I have to click on a thread link to see them even if there is only one comment?
I don't like the front page and its list of posts. There needs to be more space between each post. Right now, the title of a post sits just beneath the tags of the post above it. It's annoying to look at.
I don't like the way votes are displayed. Just putting a + or - infront of a number is uninteresting. Why not make the upvote number green and the downvote number red? Also, why does the vote bar go right for upvotes and left for downvotes? It would make more sense if the vote bar were vertical and went up for upvotes and down for downvotes!
Sorry if I'm sounding harsh but this is honestly what I think of the site currently (04-02/2022). I hope you can use some of my thoughts.
1 comment thread