I think it is pretty hilarious that history.se has less than 4000 questions and skeptics.se has more than 8000. Oh, well, at least we have more questions than beer.se.

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    Skeptics has 5,416 visible questions, according to their questions page. Where did you get the 8000 figure from? – yannis Feb 6 '15 at 16:05
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    I'm skeptical of your numbers; can you show your research? – Mark C. Wallace Feb 7 '15 at 22:18

Well, they have been a full launched site for at least 2 years, and we are just a beta.

OTOH, a comparison of our stats with theirs when they launched out of beta 2 years ago is interesting.


  • 5.7 questions per day (Okay)
  • 90% answered (Okay)
  • 464 avid users
  • 5,698 total users (Excellent - 40 users with 2,000+ rep, 27 users with 3,000+ rep)
  • 1.7 answer ratio (Okay)
  • 3,786 visits/day (Excellent)

History Beta (as of this posting):

  • 4.4 questions per day (Needs Work)
  • 94% answered (Excellent)
  • 465 avid users
  • 6,430 total users (Excellent – 60 users with 2,000+ rep, 36 users with 3,000+ rep)
  • 2.1 answer ratio (Okay)
  • 6,747 visits/day (Excellent)

Looking this over, you are quite right to zone in on our Questions per day. It is probably the one thing holding us back in "beta" state. In every other respect, we are doing better than Skeptics was when it left beta. We are getting almost double the visits per day they were.

If I had an improvement suggestion for users here to get us over the hump, it might be to consider editing weak questions into an acceptable shape in some circumstances where we might be meerly closing them today. We could try an overt question push too of course, but that's liable to be just a temporary bump. What I think we need is either a slight (0.6 question per day or so) cultural change, or of course just wait until we snowball up enough users to get us over the hump with our current way of doing things.

  • Are we still a beta? – Rohit Feb 8 '15 at 13:48
  • Here's my experience with editing other user's questions. I find a piece of work (usually popular political myth, or incredibly poorly formed). I edit it to be minimally historical without distorting the user's question. It gets reverted by the user. Then in short shift the question is rightly closed as off-topic. I then ask the question I would have asked, which displays research and is actually about history not a request for my own ideas to be played back to me. My question gets closed as dupe of a closed off-topic. I hit refresh in another window. – Samuel Russell Feb 9 '15 at 4:16

I think it has to be easier to ask a question on Skeptics than it is on History just based on the very nature of each site.

  • I'd agree with this. For the most part you can't just make up brand new history, whereas their preview is essentially all things that may or may not have happened. – T.E.D. Feb 5 '15 at 14:00
  • If we were talking about any other site I'd agree, but asking (on-topic) questions on Skeptics is notoriously hard. If it's actually harder to ask (on-topic) questions here than there, then we may have a problem. – yannis Feb 6 '15 at 8:10
  • @YannisRizos - I just checked our main pages. 17 of our last 50 questions are on hold or closed (34%). 13 of their last 50 questions are on hold or closed (26%). So it looks like it is indeed easier to ask an on-topic question on Skeptics than it is here. – T.E.D. Feb 6 '15 at 15:50
  • @T.E.D. Hm, yes, the all time closed/total questions show that we are a bit more close-happy: 519/3,661 on History, 544/5,416 on Skeptics. However, it should be noted that these numbers don't include deleted questions. – yannis Feb 6 '15 at 16:13
  • @YannisRizos - Yup. This shouldn't be taken as scientific or anything. However, I have no reason to think that our number of deleted questions is likely to be out of proportion with the held/closed questions. – T.E.D. Feb 6 '15 at 18:06

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