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We recently had our Lifehacks Site Self-Evaulation where we, the Lifehacks community, evaluated ten questions and their answers, rating and comparing them to other sites around the internet. Now, we, the Lifehacks SE moderators, want to do another type of evaluation. Instead of evaluating individual questions and answers, we would like to ask you, the users of Lifehacks SE, to evaluate the site as a whole.

There are a few things that you should try to look at and judge. Also, please offer ideas for improvement if you have any. Here's a list of things like that you may want to think about when leaving your answer:

  • Question and answer quality - Is this site helping to make the internet a better place? Does the question and answer quality match up to other SE sites? We did do this already, but this should be a bit more general.

  • Moderation quality - How have the moderators been so far? What could we work on and improve?

  • Site scope - Are there any problems with our scope? Too broad? Too narrow? Not well defined?

Please post your evaluations as an answer here. We'd like to hear from everyone. The more the merrier. Your opinion does matter and we want to hear it. So, What do you think of Lifehacks SE?

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I'm sure this won't come as a surprise, given I've made my opinion of the site fairly obvious in meta posts like this one and this, but I find the quality of our site to be very low.

Moderation Quality: I find the moderation on the site, both from the community and the mods, is very poor. Looking at our 50 newest questions, 17 of those have been closed. Of those 17, 14 (82%) of them had the deciding close vote cast by Robert. Of those 14, only 4 of them had a close vote from someone other than Robert (that number includes this question which was closed by robert, and later migrated by a site mod). The SE team shouldn't need to step in this frequently to help the community moderate when have 3 mods, and the site has been in beta for several months.

Site Scope: The site scope is poorly defined, which is evidenced by the fact that 17/50 newest questions have been closed. That, to me, indicates that our users don't really know what kind of questions are allowed on the site. A large part of this problem is that our primary scope is just "Everyday problems where the conventional solution isn't obvious or doesn't work", which just raises more questions than it answers, since it's an extremely subjective measure. With the exceptions of action take by Robert, our community tends to be very lenient in what's considered an "Everyday problem", which essentially has turned us into "Everything.SE", which we should very much not be.

We're also very inconsistent, something which is supported by some recent questions I've flagged.

The question https://lifehacks.stackexchange.com/questions/7598/how-do-i-get-rid-of-scutigera-coleptrata-in-my-flat was closed by Robert for the following reason:

Hi and welcome to the site. Unfortunately, general pest control questions are outside the scope of this site. See What topics can I ask about here? Sorry about the confusion. – Robert Cartaino♦ Jul 6 at 3:37

I strongly agree with this, and read this to mean this question does not require a "Lifehack" (aka it has a conventional solution), so I decided to go along and flag other questions with the same tag which had the same problem.

How to eliminate rats from kitchen?

Use mousetraps or hire an exterminator. This question is still open.

How to store bananas and keep fruit flies away?

Do exactly what the answer suggested, which is a fairly obvious and conventional solution. This question is still open.

How to deal with cockroach at home?

Hire an exterminator, as suggested by the appropriately named Caption Obvious. This question was closed as a duplicate, but I'd argue that's an invalid closure, since not being able to afford an exterminator (aka money) factors heavily into the kind of solutions which will work for each problem.

Which is the best lure to use on a mousetrap?

This is a conventional "How To" question. The kind of bait to use in a mousetrap is not a Lifehack. This question is still open.

I really don't see any reason why any of these questions should be left opened when that first question closed by Robert was closed, so this just indicates to me that our community is very inconsistent in applying our rules, which is likely caused by how poorly defined and broad our scope is.

Question Quality: There's been meta posts on this before, but I find the quality of questions to be very low. We get many questions where the solution is obvious (wait until the end of your shift), can be solved by a conventional solution (use earplugs), or would just be better answered elsewhere (ask our Home Improvement sister site instead). There's also questions which are just terrible, like this one: How do I safely clean a laptop using scuba gear?. You shouldn't use Scuba gear to clean anything, it's a terrible idea, and the fact that question has a net score of 10 doesn't reflect very well on our site.

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    As a dive professional, I will confirm that using scuba equipment to clean things is a bad idea bordering on dangerous. – Unionhawk Jul 10 '15 at 12:06
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    Thank you for your very honest response. We will really try to work on some of the things that you mentioned. – michaelpri Jul 10 '15 at 15:59
  • Just to let you know, without the great answers I have received my question I would have never got rid of fruit flies. So sir, I appreciate your answer to this question but if I had to choose between it and the answers I got to my question I would go for them without hesitation – Flair Jul 20 '15 at 21:53
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I'm a little bit surprised on the low response rate here, but here are some thoughts from a relatively new guy on the block. And to start with the summary: I believe the main issue of Lifehacks SE is the low traffic it accumulates.

Moderator Quality

My experience with the moderators are that they try to do their work diligently. But as the rest of us, I also believe they are kind of cought up with dilemmas regarding low traffic, scope and how to build the community as a whole.

Question and Answer Quality

Sadly I'm not impressed with neither questions nor answers. Questions does often not reflect what have been tried or not, and what limitations apply for them searching for a lifehack. Answers tend to be repetitive with slight variations over a given theme. Personally I also see it's hard to avoid the conventional answers.

Site Scope

I read somewhere that the intention behind a SE site is to provide better answers on a given topic than what is available elsewhere. I'm not sure we're hitting this target due to a scope which both is too narrow and too wide.

Given there exists a given number of questions regarding how to get stuff done (with either conventional or unconventional means), this is an extremely wide field covering lots of areas of expertise. At the same time, trying to make boundaries and excluding all the conventional answers, we are kind of shooting ourself in the foot.

  • We limit the questions, on a level which the OP doesn't understand as they need an answer to their question whether it is an conventional or unconventional answer
  • We limit the group of answerers (or quality of the answers) as we require the answer to be unconventional

How can we have better response to questions than other sites given that we limit both questions and answers, whilst still maintaining a very wide thematic scope?

Summary

So I would love for Lifehacks SE to survive and thrive as a SE site, but then I do believe we need to get a higher level of traffic, and in some way raise both the quality of question and answers so that OPs while have a greater sensation of beeing met with helpful responses to their issues.

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