After only a few days of public Beta, 85% of the committers have signed up, 50% of followers have signed up and 9% of commitments have been fulfilled. These are good signs but there are less good signs:

  • numbers of new questions is a bit slow

  • questions are leaning a lot toward basic questions that a single wikipedia or google search could solve almost instantly

  • 30% of committers only committed to this proposal so you would expect more dedication and more activity from them.

  • 85% of committers + 50% of followers account for almost 100% of our current about 300 users.

So it is time to discuss ways of promoting the site and make it grow and more dynamic.

  • It seems we're doing fine, except as far as traffic is concerned (176, and even 500 is worrying). We should really encourage everyone to spread the word. May 10, 2011 at 10:17
  • Could you change the title to something inviting/actionable like "Please help to promote our community?"? :) May 14, 2011 at 18:35
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    @Tom: I actually disagree - I think the title is good as it is. Your "Please help..." is a plead that don't invite me. I actually was intrigued by the current title as I want to help promote the site, and want to see proposals for how to achieve that. The current title invites for constructive answers. Your suggestion just invites for answers like "OK", "I'm in", Yes, lets do!" etc., which are not very constructive...
    – awe
    May 23, 2011 at 8:29
  • @awe: It would result in actions, such answers would naturally be placed as comments. Helpful people will be more likely to jump in, instead of now having a lower view/day count than other questions... May 23, 2011 at 12:41

8 Answers 8


Don't lose sight of the obvious — provide high-quality content and draw people into your site by becoming the preeminent music Q&A destination. Google and social networking are your friend.

We find that the best way to attract new users to the site is by highlighting your most intriguing questions. People love answering questions, and a particularly interesting and intriguing question is irresistible. It's the quickest, most definitive way to help someone realize "Yeah, this site is for me!"

Use those social bookmarks!

Social Bookmarks


One of the major problems Stackexchange sites have(after the initial population, it is of course a huge advantage to begin with) is that the major pool of users for each site comes from the stackexchange network namely the big IT related three SO SU SF.

Obviously not all of these users are musicians, nor do all of them have time to be on bicycles.se, skeptics.se, homebrew.se, music.se stackoverflow, etcetera and still have enough time to pursue the real life interests/hobbies they are asking questions about.

You need to get users from outside the stackexchange network. The problem with getting users from outside the stackexchange network is that they are not schooled in the stackexchange mode of operation. Also for topics such as music/the arts, musically creative people tend to be less rigid and if they don't have the IT/SO background overly-zealous moderation may be an off putter to them.

I think moderation of SE sites like music.se should take this into consideration with new users, and at least try and edit new users questions or guide them before just blankly closing them. We want users to feel like they can interact when they get here, so they should be handled with kid gloves initially, until they learn the ropes.

I believe that this will help the site grow and be more accessible to any new users that come here.

I also think that designing and applying a style to music.se (al la gaming.se - photography.se), will give the site more of an individual character, which may make a difference.

Just opinions.

  • 1
    I think closing strictly was a good idea during the private beta to provoke discussions on scope and content but that we must be very inviting to new users. I would also suggest that a beta or alpha relook be applied.
    – ogerard
    May 29, 2011 at 18:18

There are the social networking means provided on the home page of this website. I didn't do too well trying to get people to commit to the proposal during the commitment phase, but it's worth trying again, so we should encourage everyone who has an account on those sites to advertise (can we have a banner on the main site, like the one that's currently displayed about the 7 essential questions on meta?). I found StumbleUpon to be quite effective at that.

Among those interesting websites that are missing from that list, Youtube, Myspace and Last.fm seem like relevant places to spread the word, although I'm not sure exactly how (merely send a message to all your "friends"/followers?).

I know of a few other more specialised places (e.g. the Modern blues harp forum, or the one on HarpTabs), but the promotion on such places should come from someone who is already a member, so that it's not perceived as spam or as a tentative to "steal" their user base.

I'm also trying to spread the word offline. Time will tell whether or not that works.

Maybe this should be a different question, but I don't see how we can attract real experts over here. I expect most of them to be too advanced to need this place, or too busy to spend time on the net helping less advanced people... but I'm eager to be proven wrong (and by no means do I intend to offend those who are already here and whose presence I'm unaware of).

  • I don't have a problem with the less advanced questions, it's the "What is a note?" type questions that are the problem; they should just be Googled. (Fortunately I don't think we've gotten one that basic.)
    – user28
    May 5, 2011 at 14:28
  • Neither do I, but I think your point should be included in the policy or FAQ -- or should you start a new discussion to see how the community agrees on that? I personally expected this question to be closed for that very reason. May 5, 2011 at 14:36
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    I think it is somewhat addressed in the FAQ. Also here: http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/02/are-some-questions-too-simple/
    – user28
    May 5, 2011 at 14:46

Now that our friends from guitars.SE have joined us, it could be helpful if they advertised for this website in the on- and off-line guitar community ;-)


Ogregard made a suggestion in a side question: To promote the site, follow the Music Tweeter?

We really need to promote the site more, we should be worrying given the low statistics.

Please help to cover more topics more in-depth. :)

  • 1
    I wouldn't be worried quite yet, it's still fairly early. Which is not to say promotion shouldn't be done.
    – user28
    May 17, 2011 at 15:46
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    The music tweeter is ok but no-one actively seeks followers, which makes it basically useless - my comment from here meta.music.stackexchange.com/q/154/149 (apologies), - "I used twitter quite effectively for guitars.se, if one of the mods would like me to sign the account over to them i would be more than happy to. I think it could be re-purposed for music.se since all the followers are targeted to be musicians of some type or another (the feed has dried up since the merge, but you can easily grab the music.se feed), if anyone thinks its useful. twitter.com/#!/guitarstackex"
    – Bella
    May 29, 2011 at 16:47
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    The account has some guitars.se users plus 1500 other mostly music related followers, I can continue to manage it as I did for guitars.se it takes roughly 30-60mins per week, or sign it over to whoever. It did definitely make a difference on guitars.se bringing in new users, and was consistently in the top 2-3 of referring sites on the stats.
    – Bella
    May 29, 2011 at 16:49
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    Ok i have now re purposed the account to twitter.com/#!/musicstackex, it seems that someone has fixed the feed as well, happy days.
    – Bella
    Jun 6, 2011 at 21:59

AFAIU, SE expects most of the traffic to come from search engines, so working on bringing the site up in the list of search engine for relevant terms is important. (That would increase the traffic).

A simple thing you can do is linking from your professional sites or homepages to the site. Spreading the word is also important. Share some of the questions you find interesting on social media like Facebook, talk about the site with you colleagues, friends, ...

But in general, I think it is too early to worry about these numbers. Wait for a month to see how things are going. For now what is needed is more questions and more answers.

Try to write good questions and answers that will not only be helpful for yourself or the OP but will be helpful for anyone searching for a similar question.

ps: and be more welcoming to new users. Don't trash their question but help them to improve it to a questions suitable for the site, the kind of question you would ask if you were in the place of the new comer, and during this process teach them how to write better questions.

  • Not worrying now means that the situation will still be worrying in a month, as it takes doubling the amount of viewers to still be in a worrying state. Why we should worry is that if there is not enough participation the site is more likely to get less visitors over time than more. Some questions can simply not be saved and if done even could result in hate speech or the user leaving our community, because it's simply changing the intention of the user in a way that it does no longer answers his question. People do like good improvements but they dislike bad changes... May 15, 2011 at 14:11
  • @Tom, what I am saying is that these numbers doesn't mean much at the moment, so I don't think we need to worry about these numbers, that is different than saying not worrying about the site.
    – user107
    May 16, 2011 at 6:44
  • @Tom, yes some questions cannot be saved. As long as it is possible to improve a question in a way that would still answer the question the OP has there should not be a problem, it is often the case that this is possible. Of course it needs more effort than just voting to close, but I think that's the way the communities are built and the norms are set.
    – user107
    May 16, 2011 at 6:47
  • +1 for you PS. I have seen example of a potential expert user, which is not familiar with the "SE way" of doing this, and he felt that he was not welcomed well (see his answer to the question "We should try to produce more “expert” questions". It looks like some good effort from @ogerard and @Tom Wijsman have made him more happy. We can only hope he will stay...
    – awe
    May 23, 2011 at 8:50

I've been thinking further as to what would get the message out there.

After playing at a few festivals and thinking about the ubiquitous nature of stickers on flight cases, instruments, trucks etc, I think music.SE stickers could be a valuable addition.

This suggestion might have to wait until the branding and logo is designed, but I think will have some visual impact that could help drive new users to the site.

Additionally, a useful target might be music schools or music courses at colleges and universities - flyers showing students where they could go to for some answers they may not get in a course could be very helpful.


I was discouraged from participation by the title which does not give the right impression although after my recent question on area51 I realize that I am absolutely in the target group of this site.

You should really consider changing the title to something that conveys "music site for musicians".

  • What, exactly, about the title do you think is misleading / excluding? (I don't know if the name will be changed at this point, but it helps the discussion to know details about why the name made you think the site wasn't for you.)
    – Laura
    Oct 10, 2011 at 20:16
  • The subject of this site is what I would associate with a site called "music". When I see "Musical Practice and Performance", I imagine that this is a restrictive site and that it is about, well, performances like bands, singers, essentially that what is the subject of the other proposal.
    – Phira
    Oct 10, 2011 at 21:48

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