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I've been looking at the tags and I was looking at some of the chat from yesterday and saw that we have a really skewed number of questions. Are there some shows/manga that we want to attract/generate more questions for? And is there a good way to do that?

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  • We aren't necessarily looking for a specific series, just a more diverse range of series.
    – кяαzєя Mod
    Jan 31, 2013 at 23:51

4 Answers 4

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Yes this is indeed a huge issue right now as the site right now is mostly dominated by Naruto.

There is a significant lack of representation for the Type B fan genre. (Namely those who watch fansubs/raws and new shows.)

For example, Madoka is one of the most popular shows in this genre. And yet we have only 3 questions in that tag compared to over 70 for Naruto.


LoganM and I are compiling a list of Anime in this genre and are actively seeding questions from that list. (some of which we probably already know the answers to)

Here's the list that I dumped in chat - just to give an idea of what kind of shows we need more of.
As of yesterday, there were no questions in any of these shows. (there are now since I've seeded a few)

Angel Beats!
Accel World
Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu
Black Lagoon
Fractale
Ga-Rei Zero
Guilty Crown
Gunslinger Girl
Hanasaku Iroha
Hyouka
Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai
K-On!
Kannagi
Macross Frontier
Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha
Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai
Shakugan no Shana
Tari Tari
Tasogare Otome x Amnesia
The iDOLM@STER
Tiger & Bunny
Toaru Kagaku no Railgun
Toaru Majutsu no Index
Zero no Tsukaima

Since I only watch shows in this Type B (fansub/new shows) category, I'm actually running down my own MAL list and asking every decent question I can think of - regardless of whether I know the answer or not.

Basically, we're trying to get the volume up in this genre as much as possible as they will be needed to attract this audience.

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Mystical's answer is good. Some of those now have one or more questions from the past 24 hours. However, it is ultimately missing some things as well.

I don't think it's an issue of particular shows. We want more questions for all shows. But we also have an interest in keeping genres balanced so that all users can freely ask and answer questions about the shows that interest them. Right now that is the case for Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, and a handfull of other action/shounen shows. But there aren't many questions from other genres. That makes it hard for new users to contribute, and it's a bit off-putting if you only see one genre on the main page unless you are a fan of that genre. If we went viral right now, we'd be a hit in the Naruto community, but we'd have trouble bringing anyone else in, which would only make the problem worse. What we want is balance, so that we can attract a wide range of users whose interests span all of anime and manga.

The solution is definitely not to lower the number of shounen questions. That would require us to stop people from using the site the way they are supposed to be. We should strive to be a good resource for all genres, and we're already doing that for shounen. Now we need to expand to other genres. The list we put together is a good place to start, but if we stop there we will have just become a reference for those shows. It's got almost no shoujo or jousei works, which is a pretty big problem. It also has no sports shows, and we've had very few sports questions so far. Mecha is also underrepresented on the main site and on the list. And finally that list is tilted heavily towards newer anime. There may be more issues that I have not identified as well.

So what can you do?

First, if you're primarily interested in shounen, keep doing what you're doing. We need a continued supply of good questions and answers in order to keep people visiting the site. You might also consider checking out some other series from different genres if you see one that looks interesting on the main site, but you aren't obligated to do that.

If you're interested in other genres, you should ask questions about shows in those genres. It's fine to ask even if you know the answer. In fact, you can even answer the question yourself if you know the answer. You might want to keep the question open for a little while before you do, because it could bring in answers from other interested people. The list on Mystical's answer is a good place to get started if you can't think of anything. Make sure they're good questions, though. You shouldn't ask a question just for the sake of putting it on the main page; it should be something that someone might want to know in the future. This is called seeding, and it's encouraged on beta sites.

Also, don't spam new questions just for this purpose. This may seem contradictory to the above, but it really isn't. We want to maintain balance, and if one user asks a lot of questions in a short period of time, that isn't maintaining balance. Instead of that, save that third or fourth question for another day. Right now the main page is actually very diverse, so there isn't too much need for new questions unless it fills some hole. If, in 48 hours, the main page has a lot of shounen questions, that's the right time to post some more.

If you see a question that seems like low-hanging fruit that was posted for the purpose of seeding, you should ask yourself if you really need the reputation for answering it. Sure, you can provide a good answer, but so can a new user who is looking to get started on the site. Part of the purpose of asking these questions is to increase the accessibility of the site to those who aren't knowledgeable about shounen specifically, and giving them some easier questions doesn't hurt that. If you're having trouble building up rep because the shows on the main site aren't diverse enough, then you should definitely answer, because you're the people who are supposed to benefit from it the most. If the question goes for a while with no answers, then anyone should feel free to answer it, but as long as it's on the main page, people are still looking at it. For this reason, I don't intend to answer any of these questions unless they clearly aren't going to be answered any time soon, and I'd recommend that other high rep users do the same.

Finally, don't forget to upvote questions you find interesting. This is especially important for the seeding questions, because it's just not as fun asking and answering questions when you only get +5 or +10 per question. These questions won't survive if we don't keep upvoting the interesting ones.

For now, Mystical and I are mostly dedicated to this, and a few other users like Krazer are helping. Anyone else is welcome to help. I don't think there's an immediate need for more questions from anime like the ones Mystical listed right now; instead, we should let the first wave gradually be answered and keep adding a few more whenever the balance gets worse. However, we're still lacking in other genres, particularly shoujo and jousei, so those should be a high priority. Right now, we've actually had the opposite effect: Naruto is pushed all the way to the 28th question. So we should hold off from the list shows for a little while and let the site reach a more stable balance before we add more. I have no doubt that in a day or two we'll need some more to rebalance the site.

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  • Much better put than what I've said.
    – Mysticial
    Feb 1, 2013 at 0:57
  • And as for the problem of getting shoujo and josei genres. I believe the problem right now is that we don't actually have anybody active here who watches those genres. So that might be tricky to get the ball rolling.
    – Mysticial
    Feb 1, 2013 at 1:02
  • @Mysticial The OP seems to have some knowledge of at least a couple of shoujo shows. Krazer has some answers about shoujo. I can wing a few questions from Kimi ni Todoke, Shugo Chara, Maid-sama, Honey and Clover, Kuragehime, Usagi Drop, etc. So while I agree that it will be harder, it's worth doing. Of course, the problem might work itself out on its own once we bring in more people interested in e.g. romance shows, but it also could keep getting worse if we do nothing.
    – Logan M
    Feb 1, 2013 at 1:20
  • I've only seen Skip Beat and Kare Kano - ages ago. I can try to squeeze a question out of them. We'll see.
    – Mysticial
    Feb 1, 2013 at 1:22
  • I think it'd help to put "shoujo" in the name of the question and/or in the body so shoujo fans can find it by searching. I've searched for "shoujo" to try to answer more questions but I don't have time to type in every shoujo series title just to check if there happens to be a question for it. I've just done a search of the titles you mentioned here in these comments and it looks like nobody did end up squeezing out a question about any of them, so they're not searchable for a shoujo fan to find and want to become active in the site in order to answer them.
    – seijitsu
    Oct 30, 2014 at 11:03
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The more useful point, rather than what series would we like more questions for, is how to attract the sort of people to get invoved in the site who know the answers to questions about other series and genres.

Mysticial's list above was comprised of then-airing series, which I watch, but conspicuously did not contain a single shoujo, josei, children's, etc. series to generate more diversity of content (as noted in comments above). However, the problem with simply having people like me (who are quite knowledgeable about pretty much all shoujo series from the 1970s to the present) ask more questions is not going to fix the lack of questions, because what is needed is more people who can answer the questions.

I have asked a number of questions (such as 1, 2, 3, 4) which are not about extreme minutia or obscure series, but when no one is able to answer them and no one is interested in them enough to even upvote them, my reputation suffers because these questions did not generate enough response from others (I've certainly earned the Tumbleweed badge). If people can't answer simple questions about Sailor Moon, I can imagine the lack of response I would get if I asked a question about classic shoujo anime such as Mahou no Mako-chan or Seine no Hoshi or even something contemporary such as Chihayafuru. So to keep my reputation up and my time not wasted, I practically need to ask questions that either 1) I can expect someone already knows the answer to or 2) someone can Google search to find the answer for me, and I need to at the same time avoid posting questions that 1) I imagine not many people here already know the answer to and 2) cannot be easily found by web search but would instead require the answerer to have actually watched the show in order to know the answer. In other words, if my asking questions about a popular series is met with few views, only 0 or 1 or 2 upvotes, and no answers, I'm not motivated to ask more of the same nor to ask more niche questions than those. If someone else is attracted to the site who is knowledgeable in the genre, then I would become more motivated to post more questions, and the number of questions and answers would both increase.

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I am not sure that is such a bad thing. As a whole, this site's population represents the demographics of the real world anime/manga fans. That means, there are more questions here because more people follow it. In other words, if you randomly pick an anime/manga fan, he/she is more likely to be following Naruto. That's not easy to change.

Any artificial means to "correct" the demographics would be futile for now. Let's say, I feel like I should correct it, and start watching some relatively rare anime. Then I ask questions, but what's this? No one answers, because no one else watches them! The other alternative is answer my own question, but what purpose does it serve, if no one else finds it useful?

However, I am not entirely pessimistic on this. As more people join, we would hopefully have more "non-Naruto" fans (here, I use Naruto to represent the other popular series as well), and then we would hopefully get more questions on other anime too. However, the distribution will always be skewed in favour of Naruto and other popular anime.

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    It's not so much the fact that Naruto is the most popular that's the problem; it's that it is dominating to the point that it's turning away fans of other types of shows who don't watch Naruto. If I go to myanimelist.net/topanime.php?type=bypopularity, Naruto is indeed quite popular, but only #4 on that site (which may not be entirely representative, but it's a good guess). Bakemonogatari has 60% as many viewers, but 0 questions vs 67. AniDB has very similar statistics. Even if these are skewed and it only has 10% the viewership of Naruto we're still overdue for some questions about it.
    – Logan M
    Feb 1, 2013 at 16:36
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    Also, if by "obscure anime", you mean the sorts of things Mystical listed, then I don't think they're that obscure. We have quite a few users interested in these shows. If you mean parappa-the-rapper, then I'll admit that it's pretty obscure and unlikely to help anyone in the near future.
    – Logan M
    Feb 1, 2013 at 16:38
  • I get it now. Let me think about it.
    – Masked Man
    Feb 1, 2013 at 17:12

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