We all love English Language Learners Stack Exchange, but there is a whole world of people out there who need answers to their questions and don't even know that this site exists. When they arrive from Google, what will their first impression be? Let's try to look at this site through the eyes of someone who's never seen it before, and see how we stack up against the rest of the 'Net.

The Site Self-Evaluation review queue is open and populated with 10 questions that were asked and answered in the last quarter. Run a few Google searches to see how easy they are to find and compare the answers we have with the information available on other sites.

Rating the questions is only a part of the puzzle, though. Do you see a pattern of questions that should have been closed but are not? Questions or answers that could use an edit? Anything that's going really well? Post an answer below to share your thoughts and discuss these questions and the site's health with your fellow users!

3 Answers 3


So, I've been busy and distracted and I misunderstood the evaluation as rating just the answers and not the questions for the first few I reviewed.

I found it a little difficult to do the evaluation, because I think there is a lot of value in being able to put a very specific question that you aren't able to easily coerce into a Google search to a community of expert volunteers. I think in some ways ELL is different from a site like StackOverflow, because the questions are about the medium we are using to communicate. If I had a question about a programming language I didn't know very well and I had to ask the question in that language, I'm certain it would be difficult for me to ask it coherently or in a way that other folks with the same question would be able to find it.

Granted, the community does have the opportunity to refine the questions through editing and tagging, and after going through the evaluation, I intend to shift some of the time I've spent answering questions to editing and tagging them.

  • Yes, but I was ignoring the quality of the question and how easy it was to find in a search.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 17:26
  • Ah, thank you, the word just in your edit clears things up for me :-)
    – user230
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 17:46
  • It's strange how one little word can make all the difference isn't it?
    – ColleenV
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 19:44

Final Results

Net Score: 23 (Excellent: 23, Satisfactory: 5, Needs Improvement: 0)

Net Score: 15 (Excellent: 17, Satisfactory: 10, Needs Improvement: 2)

Net Score: 8 (Excellent: 13, Satisfactory: 12, Needs Improvement: 5)

Net Score: 7 (Excellent: 14, Satisfactory: 9, Needs Improvement: 7)

Net Score: 5 (Excellent: 10, Satisfactory: 11, Needs Improvement: 5)

Net Score: 3 (Excellent: 9, Satisfactory: 12, Needs Improvement: 6)

Net Score: 3 (Excellent: 6, Satisfactory: 18, Needs Improvement: 3)

Net Score: 1 (Excellent: 9, Satisfactory: 12, Needs Improvement: 8)

Net Score: 0 (Excellent: 7, Satisfactory: 16, Needs Improvement: 7)

Net Score: -2 (Excellent: 6, Satisfactory: 12, Needs Improvement: 8)


I skipped this review:

 Why is there no agent in these present perfect passive sentences?

This question doesn't make any sense. How can it possibly be answered? How can I compare this question to other resources on the internet?

Should I vote to close once the self-evaluation's complete?

  • Pretty much par for the course in ELL questions - the actual question here is Why is there no agent in these passive sentences? - which "doesn't make any sense" only if you already grok what the passive is about. Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 12:30
  • Ah, I see you edited it and answered it. I was holding off on any action until the self-eval was over, but I suppose it's good that the problem's been dealt with. Next I have to decide what to do about this one―I suppose the right thing to do would be to write an answer…
    – user230
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 15:13

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