We all love Earth Science 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!


2 Answers 2


From the questions I did, I was amazed how high up they were on the search-engine scale. Some of them were ones that I couldn't find an answer for anywhere else, while others had answers everywhere, but still the ES questions were on top.

I believe the biggest issue with this site right now is the number of questions asked daily. I think we need to keep up the quality (which is on average amazing) and increase quantity.

At the present moment, as I believe most of you looking at this are quite aware, we are at 1.6 questions per day. We have to get to 10 questions per day to get out of beta. That's a large jump.

Now, since some people would probably down-vote this if I just go on about things that they already know about without giving any suggestion about what's to be done about it, and since this post was mostly about the quality of the questions, here's my idea... (I'm very accepting of correction so please do so in the comments if I'm off here)

I think we might get more off the ground if we started asking more questions that would make the average person love the Earth Science SE site and therefore come straight here if they happen to have a question.

Example question: Where does wind come from?.

This is a good example of what I'm saying because to begin with, it's a thought-provoking question. One that some people really don't think about, but is actually something that is all around them. But one of my favorite things about this is the answer by casey. First off, it starts with a short, fun, and most of all, simple answer in the first paragraph for the average person. Something almost anyone would understand. Then, after that, it delves way deep into stuff that goes mostly over my head. Stuff for the experts who are looking at this site trying to gauge whether or not it would be worth their while to spend time on it. That in my opinion is an example of an excellent question and answer pair.

Other examples of this type of question would be: How does Antarctica stay frozen?, What started the Dust Bowl, and could it happen again?, How much of the current global warming is due to human influence?, etc.

Now of course we need plenty of the other kind, the ones that would get experts really interested, but the average person doesn't really care about. The kind that currently makes up over 3/4's of this site. But really? Do we think that type of questions will generate the number of users to get this site pushed through out of beta?

Although I'm no expert in Earth Science, it has always been one of my favorites as far as the fields of science go, and I really don't want to see this fail. I don't currently posses the expertise needed to answer most of the questions that I wish I could, or the time needed to create ES quality questions, but I'm cheering you guys on every step of the way.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The small amount of questions asked daily is a problem by the way Stack Exchange works. You are suggesting that ES is somewhat elitist and you would like to put it more accessible. I think I agree with the idea. Since a question can be updated and adjusted by mods or senior users, good answers go top and average answers down, I see no reason why common science question could not be asked. Would a research or inventory put on an accessible list about what we got answered and what could be answered be a 'meta' effort to reach this goal? $\endgroup$
    – marsisalie
    Commented Apr 24, 2015 at 16:47

Final Results

Net Score: 12 (Excellent: 12, Satisfactory: 3, Needs Improvement: 0)

Net Score: 11 (Excellent: 12, Satisfactory: 5, Needs Improvement: 1)

Net Score: 8 (Excellent: 11, Satisfactory: 5, Needs Improvement: 3)

Net Score: 6 (Excellent: 7, Satisfactory: 10, Needs Improvement: 1)

Net Score: 4 (Excellent: 8, Satisfactory: 5, Needs Improvement: 4)

Net Score: 4 (Excellent: 7, Satisfactory: 7, Needs Improvement: 3)

Net Score: 1 (Excellent: 7, Satisfactory: 6, Needs Improvement: 6)

Net Score: 0 (Excellent: 5, Satisfactory: 7, Needs Improvement: 5)

Net Score: -2 (Excellent: 2, Satisfactory: 11, Needs Improvement: 4)

Net Score: -5 (Excellent: 2, Satisfactory: 10, Needs Improvement: 7)


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