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I'd like to hear what kind of contents users of the community like to hear/read more about.

Perhaps some of them are too hard or questions about new aired in Japan anime are too niche. Should focus on recently premiered anime in the US and EU (including newly domestically subbed/dubbed content).

What do you, the users of the site, want to see more of? Certain types of questions about the industry? More an otaku subculture? Cats? Funny jokes?

Are there any events that you would like to see in the future? Perhaps an anime/manga watch/read (sort of like a book/movie club) or and discussion session every week in chat?

Is there something on the site you're unsure about, feel that is unclear, or unsatisfied with? Feel free to give us feedback of how we can improve.

Insert suggestions here

We'll try to accommodate where we can.

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Personally, I think we should be aiming for more questions about currently airing shows in Japan, not fewer. My reasoning is as follows.

Our biggest goal right now, in my view, should be to attract more experts (which for the moment I'm taking to mean people who have fairly broad knowledge of a large number of series). These are the sorts of people who can help us get more answers on questions, get questions off the unanswered tab, and are likely to be very valuable contributors overall. We have a serious problem at the upper end, that almost all of our top users have been here since private beta. Among all users with 2k rep or more, the latest account creation date is December 26th 2012, which is just 2 weeks after we started in private beta and 1 week after public beta began. Going down to 1k rep, there's one user from February, but everyone else has been here a while. That will be a serious impediment to growth as we go forward.

This indicates to me one of two things: Either we aren't reaching the people who know a lot about a lot of anime series, or we are reaching them but they aren't staying around (at least not for very long). To get people to join and stick around, or even to find us, we need to be showing up on the things they're searching for and have lots of content that they find interesting. For experts, I believe (though I do not have strong evidence for this) that this is mostly currently airing shows. If we focus on things which recently premiered in English-speaking countries, this might increase our overall traffic, but the majority of those hits would be from casual viewers, not experts. It isn't particularly a problem to get hits from casual anime fans, but they aren't the type of fans we should be targeting. On that basis, I think we should try to get more questions about currently airing things in Japan and other popular things among hardcore fans rather than casual fans.

It isn't enough to just ask the questions, though. We also need to get answers to them. If we're using these as seeding questions, we need someone to post an answer. It might be a good idea to coordinate in chat or on meta at the beginning of each season a couple of shows which we think we have strong experts in, i.e. people who have read the manga or have been following the series for a long time or something to that effect. Otherwise the questions will probably just go unanswered for a long time, which defeats the purpose.


EDIT: In light of my recent answer at What can we do to get more answers?, I'd like to clarify that I don't think that answer and this answer contradict each other. We can simultaneously move away from particularly niche content and ask questions which are more interesting to experts. It's a hard balance to strike, but we need to focus on currently airing popular series and long term popular series which appeal to broad audiences. This means looking at places like MAL's list of popular anime and finding cases of popular anime which could get more questions while still being answerable by our users here. There's a lot of room between series like Naruto/Bleach and some of the niche stuff which gets asked, and a lot of that represents areas where we are prepared to answer questions but aren't getting as many as we could be.

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First: I agree with Logan's answer quite a lot. He addresses lots of things that are crucial points of weakness in our site.

That aside, I think we're losing a type of question that we once had many questions from, and there is a gold mine of questions that we can draw from that type. The type is "specific questions about events or characters in a single anime".

I say this because of a comparison I did between SciFi's homepage and our own. (If you want to see some SciFi examples of this category: (1) (2) (3) (4))

This type of question composes around half of our most upvoted* questions:

It seems, though, like these types of questions are seen little anymore. Of the 48 questions on SciFi's homepage, 28 are story-specific questions (not including closed ones, even). We barely have half that many; we have many more about things such as identification requests, or involving multiple anime, or are about anime itself. These questions are great, and are on-topic, but are not likely to draw a lot of answers or intrigue from people who find or participate in our site.

So, here's my suggestion:

  • Encourage users to ask (and possibly seed?) questions that pertain to the specifics of anime that they frequent, whether this be Naruto, Bleach, Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki, or whatever.
  • Do not discourage other questions from being asked, of course. As I said above, they are valid and on-topic. We just want to encourage other questions, too.

* - A somewhat distorted measure of popularity, but the best I can do without dedicating hours to browsing all questions.

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  • Yes, I agree that we should get more in-universe questions like these. They tend to be more easily answerable (for those who have seen the series), less subjective, and more often searched for. The trouble is that general questions are easier for everyone to participate in, so they tend to generate lots of upvotes and views compared to in-universe questions. – Logan M May 16 '13 at 22:07
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    With that in mind, I'd go a bit further and say that general questions like "What is the meaning of X in anime?" or "Does X occur in anime?" should be somewhat discouraged except in the case that they are actually useful to someone or commonly searched for. That isn't a call to pile on downvotes, but I think overall as a community we could use a bit more downvoting of general questions which aren't particularly useful (preferably with some sort of comments). – Logan M May 16 '13 at 22:09
  • @LoganM Yes, I agree with both comments. I know that some questions are hard to get upvotes for, but let's face it: that's not the most important thing here. Getting solid content that will bring users--even one user--is important. As per your second comment, I think the first one you brought up is a borderline case; often it does mean something, and sometimes something very important. The second question you posed will almost always be NC so I think that discouragement speaks for itself. – Killua May 16 '13 at 23:05
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    The problem is that the votes are important. They indicate what our community considers valuable content, and serve as positive reinforcement for the existing behavior for our current users. When identification and general questions and answers are getting lots of upvotes, there's little incentive for users to post in-universe questions, even high quality ones. – Logan M May 17 '13 at 0:21
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    As for the example questions, I don't have a problem with useful questions. The first one sometimes falls into that category, but I feel like a lot of the questions of the form "What does X mean in anime?" are about things which occur very generally in lots of types of fiction, not just anime. As for the second question, we could come up with lots of similar questions which have not yet been closed as NC, such as this recent one (not that I have a particular problem with this question individually; the problem is the volume of similar questions). – Logan M May 17 '13 at 0:25
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Perhaps some of them are too hard or questions about new aired in Japan anime are too niche.

Answering niche questions may do the opposite. If we're looking for more experts (as Logan mentioned), they may be impressed with the answers and hang around for a while.

I know I joined because I saw some interesting questions and thought I could look a little deeper into some of my favorite series and see if anyone had any more info on them.

What do you, the users of the site, want to see more of? Certain types of questions about the industry? More an otaku subculture? Cats? Funny jokes?

I don't know about the users as a whole, but I'm a user too, and I'd prefer if the site veered away from the otaku scene (although, not to dismiss it) and stuck to covering anime/manga first. I feel questions like Is the term Otaku derogatory? and Do otaku tend to be bullied? are not really the topic at hand

Similarly to Eric, I think that series specific questions are more desirable than generic question. Questions such as What differentiates anime from regular cartoons? are great, but it doesn't differenciate us from all the other sites out there that discuss the topic.

Whereas questions like Why does Yuuki's room change? aren't going to be as readily available. This is what makes StackExchange's answers valuable and draws people in.

Are there any events that you would like to see in the future? Perhaps an anime/manga watch/read (sort of like a book/movie club) or and discussion session every week in chat?

I think the flavour of the week questions are good for garnering some interesting questions that people mightn't usually have asked and though some weeks will have less questions that others, we should stick with it.

Personally I'd be somewhat up for a discussion group. There'd have to be a solid base of people doing it or it might just slowly fade off.

TL;DR - I think niche questions are a good thing and should be encouraged

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I agree with a lot of what Eric said. Looking around the front page every day, I've been finding fewer and fewer questions about shows that I watch such as Naruto and Bleach. I feel like part of the reason for this is that there has been some amount of push to have a more diverse question base. The problem with this is that this leaves people who don't read/watch the series that the more eclectic questions are being asked about with nothing to answer.

I think trying to go back to having more questions about shows like Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, and other very popular shows might be a good idea. That doesn't mean that people have to only ask about those shows, but anyone who looks at are site who only watches the popular shows will likely not stay if none of those series show up on the first page or so.

One area where I feel we are generally lacking (and this may contradict slightly with the previous part of my answer) is in series that aren't shonen. Most of the series asked about are shonen, with a little seinen and even less shoujo or josei. I don't know how to fix this, because presumably most of the people on the site watch and read mostly shonen, but I feel like anyone who reads/watches primarily shoujo won't want to join the site because they won't have anything to answer and won't feel like they'll have answerers for their questions.

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  • +1 for the genre/demographic monoculture part. – chirale May 19 '13 at 23:15

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