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While I'm writing this question, here, the last question asked on the main site was posted 16 hours ago.

How can we encourage more questions on this site?

Could the reason so few questions are asked be that this site has an initial research requirement on EL&U to be done—and this means that people do the research, find the answer and so don't ask the question?

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    Some, but not all, might be attributable to the fact that the world's (and thus the ell.stackexchange) population isn't distributed evenly around the globe, and thus activity might be expected to be more concentrated during "convenient" time periods for areas of concentrated user populations. (i've noticed this on other stackexchange sites.) – barbara beeton Feb 5 '13 at 19:41
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    @barbarabeeton I find this happens with Programmers.SE, some of the most active periods are when I'm asleep :) – Deco Feb 5 '13 at 23:49
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    Up to 22 hours without new questions, now. I agree it's disappointing, I want to post answers! I think it's probably because the site is so new; there's a spread-the-word period in any new site's initial phases, I'd imagine. I'd suggest thinking of anyone you know who might benefit from asking questions here, or be interested in providing answers, and send them here (and ask them to spread the word in turn). – WendiKidd Feb 5 '13 at 23:53
  • Carlo, where do you find this initial search requirement? I haven't seen it (except in Meta urgings). – StoneyB Feb 5 '13 at 23:54
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Some hours ago I asked this question at ELU, which I "thought" was to high level for ELL, but it got closed there for it was too basic. Personally, I have lots of question that I could ask here but I'm sure that if I do a deep research on Google I'll eventually find the answer.

Although I'm posting this words as a answer, it's actually a question. I'm an English learner myself, how should I use ELL? I don't feel comfortable asking things here that might show I'm lazy enough to the point of skipping Google or that shows that I find it boring looking things up in a dictionary. Maybe the existence of ELU and Google may place ELL in a very "delicate" situation.

As for answering questions, my shot at this one was kind of criticised (no hard feelings) which suggests that only grammar experts and native English speakers should expose his considerations, which makes it even harder for learners to interact with the site.

In a nut shell, I'm sort of confused and feel like there's a lack of guidance for ELL users. The first question in our FAQ does not help much.

Just my opinion.

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    We're still in shakedown mode, so there won't be much guidance until we've decided ('we' meaning you, too) where we want to take this puppy. As for your ELU question, it would be fine here, because unlike ELU we don't have a General Reference reason-to-close, at least for the time being. And don't be discouraged by the response you got; abruptness is a FumbleFingers thing, because he's very focused on getting it right. – StoneyB Feb 6 '13 at 2:42
  • Personally I think that if, as an English Language Learner, you have a question about something you don't understand, then this is the medium to ask it. Is it possible that a quick google search could answer your question? Sure, so go ahead and try that first. But beyond that... As long as you have a genuine question or confusion about something, I think you ought to feel free to post away. – WendiKidd Feb 6 '13 at 4:47
  • I am inclined to say I am very much agreed to all the points FumbledFingers has talked in that particular answer of yours. That was not a good answer at all. – Mistu4u Feb 6 '13 at 9:30
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    Regarding the I'm sure that if I do a deep research on Google I'll eventually find the answer.I am sure that a lot of questions on Stack-overflow or LaTeX can be find out if the people who asked them did a deep research. But how can one evaluate what is a deep research? Not everyone is skilled in Googling and knowing where to search. So I would not be afraid to ask because of this reason. I also asked questions on SO and LaTeX which are quite basic (and I tried to solve it but I cannot, beginner). I did not get much up-votes, but I got answers, It was useful, I will ask again. – MasterPJ Feb 6 '13 at 9:53
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    One of the goals of SE (I can't find the blog/meta about it right now) is to be the first result in a google search. Most searches I do relating to programming have SO questions as the top hits. We wan't the same thing for ELL too - so that when people who have a learner's-level question about English, ELL pops up right at the top of google – Deco Feb 9 '13 at 7:11
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I think this can partially be attributed to the fact that the site is so new; there's a spread-the-word period in any new site's initial phases, I'd imagine. I'd suggest thinking of anyone you know who might benefit from asking questions here, or be interested in providing answers, and send them here (and ask them to spread the word in turn). Word-of-mouth is always a great way to bring interested folks to the party.

Also if you participate in any other forums for English Language Learners, you might try posting a link to the site there. I feel that ELL has the strong potential to become a great resource for those learning English, we've just got to give it time and get the word out!

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Today it has been 9 hours since anyone has asked a question. Although I have acclimated to stackexchange protocols considerably since my recent rant, I continue to worry that--echoing some of what has been said above--the scolding impact of closing questions for various reasons tends to send eager learners elsewhere, and that the language in some answers is not sufficiently graded to be comprehensible to many ESL/EFL students.

For example, I am a regular responder on grammarly.com, and no question is ever closed there because it might have been answered previously. I think ESL/EFL learners probably feel more comfortable there.

Please reconsider.

  • The problem is that there is no reason to ask here because all the answers are already on EL&U. However, it is still not defined any policy that can guide the questions, many of which are, until now, or very boring or too localized. However ELU is having the same fate. There are no more questions to ask there. While here the absence of a moderator is causing, de facto, the death of this proposal. Coincidence? I don't believe in coincidences. – user114 Feb 25 '13 at 14:03
  • @Carlo_R. They are currently in the process of selecting moderators. Hopefully they will finish the process soon. – ctype.h Feb 25 '13 at 18:52
  • @Carlo_R why is the lack of a moderator here causing the death of this beta? We're doing fairly we'll according to the A51 stats and the comparisons between other betas – Deco Feb 26 '13 at 14:12

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