You are reading this post on meta - great! So you are interested in this site, and very probably you have been watching it for some time. Seeing the questions come in, do you think, it's launching?

Do you want this site to go live? We need your help! To cite from the newest SE blog post:

We closed a couple of small sites - Arduino and Big Data... We may have the same problem with Network Engineering (currently in private beta), but we’re more optimistic about that site.

Are you?

Often experts tend to mostly answer questions, some rarely post questions themselves. Seeing the existing answers, I see experts on this site. However, I don't see much questions.

Imagine, our experts would post questions too. Sometimes answering it right away, like a blog in Q&A style, some kindly let open for us others to answer. Posting a question means being able to specify a problem. Can you do this?

Would you join us in building questions and answers, during the beta phase, creating the foundation of the live site? Let me know!

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    I've begun adding some of the questions that junior engineers are in the habit of asking me. I'm sure many of us out there have these sorts of questions, maybe this is a good place to start to help us build that "critical mass" of questions we need. May 19, 2013 at 22:38
  • @BrettLykins Great! I'm sure your real-world questions are a good fit, I noticed already some of them. I'll try to do the same.
    – Stefan
    May 20, 2013 at 10:57
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    With all these questions being posted by experts (that people who are not members of this community are apparently asking them), where are the actual questions posted by actual members of this community who actually need help solving a real problem that they presently (today) are unable to solve by themselves? I think these kinds of questions are essential to a true (not faux) community. Without them, I think we have little more than a clique: a small group of people, with shared interests or other features in common, who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join them. May 20, 2013 at 19:07
  • @CopyrightX We start with an empty site and some committed users. By posting our questions, even if we might already know one answer, we get further and possibly even better answers, are building content which hopefully attracts new users. Google indexes our site and brings in new users, helping our community grow. Didn't you see days pass by when we got just 1 or 2 questions? I want to survive beta and want to go on. So I don't waste the beta days waiting. I posted some questions and answers, and I'm happy about further answers, additions and recommendations I got. And that the site grows.
    – Stefan
    May 20, 2013 at 19:40
  • Just posted my first question. A lot easier to answer questions than ask them. Got a habit of just researching answers myself. Trying though
    – mellowd
    May 27, 2013 at 21:11

2 Answers 2


(This remark is probably more appropriate as a comment to your question than an answer, but alas there is insufficient space in the comment field for the remark, thus my choice to post it as an answer instead.)

I see 3 up-votes for your question at the moment, so I guess at least 4 people here do indeed want to see more questions for this community, but my personal experience is that many members of this community are rather hostile to most questions outside a very narrow scope (no training questions, no certification or exam questions, no academic questions, no SOHO networking questions, et. al.).

It goes without saying that there are vastly more amateurs in Network Engineering than professionals, so if people here really want to avoid automatic closure, then opening up to amateur-type questions might be a good idea.

I'm a professional of many fields, but not a professional Network Engineer, so I'm unable to post either questions or answers within that narrow scope. That said, however, I've nonetheless invested quite a lot of time composing thoughtful, intriguing questions on the main site so as to try and contribute to this nascent community, and my amateur contributions have thus far clearly been unwelcome.

For example, I posted one question on SOHO networking which only one hour later was well on its way to being closed when I deleted it voluntarily. The first vote to close the question was rendered only 6 minutes (less time than I had spent proofreading it before posting) after I posted it. When I voluntarily deleted the question before it was closed by others, I involuntarily uttered a surprised and sardonic chuckle to discover that doing so had earned me a "Peer Pressure" badge... as if caving in to peer pressure was a praise-worthy character trait: one of the very few negative aspects of the SE community model I've encountered thus far. I posted another question on academic preparation for working in this profession and it too was closed <24 hours after being posted.

So although I hope I'm mistaken in this regard, I suspect that as long as those sentiments remain a popular force here, the questions-per-day ratio for this community will continue to fall. When I first looked at that ratio on day 1 of the private beta, it was very high, around 22 questions-per-day. I looked again towards the end of the private beta too, and IIRC, it was down to around 15 at the time. At the moment, it's down to 11.4 questions-per-day (about halfway between the 15 and 5 threshold numbers describing the health of a SE community).

I saw a similiar trend with a slightly older community (Reverse Engineering whose question-per-day ratio, after 60 days in beta, is currently below 1), So although it's clearly too early to predict for Network Engineering, based on those three data points alone, I worry that this community may have a rather limited lifetime regardless of encouragement such as yours.

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    I agree. I am not an expert, but I am working towards it. I really want to learn more, but I feel intimidated by some of the responses to questions that may not be expert-level questions. Sure, we don't want "my linksys don't work no more" questions, but I think relaxing the expertise level of the site, at least for a little while, will let users that don't know as much about networking ask questions that those of us who do can answer gracefully. Experts already know the answers to many of their own questions, that's why they're experts :) May 19, 2013 at 6:04
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    I disagree with you -- I like the narrow focus. I think non-professionals are welcome here. I think non-profs are very capable of asking on-topic questions. And I'm upvoting your answer here because it really does add a lot to the discussion. NE is narrow focus in order to maintain high fidelity. It will (by definition) succeed or fail on it's own merits. May 20, 2013 at 13:31
  • Thanks @CraigConstantine. Your thoughtful disagreement could become the start of changing one's beliefs. But, "I think non-profs are very capable of asking on-topic questions." begs for evidence. Please point to some non-professional (aka. amateur; a person who does something not for money but instead for the love of the thing: from late 18th cent. French, from Italian amatore, from Latin amator ‘lover,’ from amare ‘to love.’) questions on main. Merely owning Linksys equipment seems to disqualify mine. I won't be buying Cisco gear just for the privilege of being allowed to contribute to NE.SE. May 20, 2013 at 18:54
  • I'm guessing at who might be "non-prof" (meaning not doing it as a job; NOT meant to be derogatory) based on their current reputation, the Qs they've asked, and how many (few if any) answers they've run up the flag pole: networkengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/395/… networkengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/607/… networkengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/493/… May 20, 2013 at 19:53
  • AND (comment length limit) those Qs are pretty easy for the NE community to field high quality answers AND the Qs have been upvoted significantly and all not closed. JUST realized that in the second example the OP admits they're studying; Thus non-prof example QED. ;) May 20, 2013 at 19:56

Edit: It looks like our site traffic headed the right direction.

As of 7/30/2013, we're above 1,000 visits per-day!

However, it seems we are still lagging in questions per-day, only 5.4.

So remember, if you've got good questions that you've answered before, (for yourself or others) put them up here to help us grow.

In addition to questions, according to the stats on the Area51 site for Network Engineering, we are still lagging well behind the goal for visits per day.

Currently (5/18) it shows 395 visits per day, when the ideal would be 1500+ visits per day. We are even below the "needs work" threshold of 500 visits per day.

I know we are still early in the Beta stage, but I would hate to see the efforts go to waste that everyone has put into this site so far.

Long story short, be sure to share this site around with your colleagues at work, friends on Facebook, connections on LinkedIn, etc.

  • 3
    Don't worry, if NE dies SF will scavenge the wreckage and migrate anything of value. =]
    – Chris S
    May 20, 2013 at 5:14
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    22-May Area51 shows we're up to 450. Number of users continues to increase too. May 22, 2013 at 14:27
  • 1
    Over 900 now. So it seems to be going the right way. Spread the word!
    – Daniel Dib
    May 28, 2013 at 5:48

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