Categories Users Search
Sign Up Sign In

How should Codidact "advertise" and gain community members?


This came up a bit in my post to try to get a TRPG site going, but I think it's really a broader issue, not just to starting new communities but also to the ones that are already launched.

Just how should we go about trying to gather people, and generally get the word out about the existence of these Codidact communities? There are a handful of people that have been keeping an eye on it from the kerfuffle of Stack Exchange last fall, but I'm not convinced we really have enough people to grow outside of maybe those couple communities that decided to abandon Stack Exchange entirely, and I think it'd be helpful to ensure we even cover communities that Stack Exchange doesn't.

If you want to look at some history (and there may be better examples out there, I'm no "business major" in the slightest so this is just what I'm familiar with), I'm thinking of the post where Joel Spolsky announced Stack Overflow, which has this paragraph that I think is relevant:

Pattern-matching rules fired in my brain. The hardest thing about making a new Q&A site is not the programming—it’s the community. You need a large audience of great developers so you have the critical mass it takes to get started. Without critical mass, questions go unanswered and the site becomes a ghost town. I thought the combination of my audience (#15 on Bloglines) and Jeff’s (#89) would bring enough great developers into the site to reach critical mass on day one. So Jeff and I decided to go in together on this.

I'm willing at this point to be optimistic enough that at some point we'll hit that "critical mass" once enough Q&A is posted here, and then people will find their way here regularly by search engines while looking to an answer to some specific question, but I think it'll take a while to get there. In the meantime, do we need some sort of "advertising" strategy, where I'm not sure "advertising" is the best term (though maybe actually buying search keywords and social media ads is an approach if somebody wants to figure out funding for it)?

There are communities elsewhere (on Stack Exchange, Reddit, and various forums of all stripes out there on the net), but I'm not sure how to go about letting people there know about Codidact without it coming across as "spammy" and trying to "steal" their users from their community. Do we have a Spolsky & Atwood equivalent (for each site?), where a couple prominent people could be convinced to let their readers know about this place?

history · edit · permalink · close · delete · flag
Why should this post be closed?


Definitely relevant, perhaps even a duplicate? Spread the word - SE meta information page? aCVn 17 days ago

@aCVn Thanks, that's definitely useful background. I don't think it's a duplicate though, as I read that as primarily asking about posting on SE and I'm trying to ask what we should be doing instead. Peter Cooper Jr. 17 days ago

This is a critically-important question. We need to find and attract the people and sites with reach, without being spammy. Promoting on SE where practical is good, but we need to go beyond that too. Also, when those people come to check us out, they need to find active communities -- chicken and egg. Monica Cellio 17 days ago

There were similar questions asked on CM.SE (unrelated to Codidact, nevertheless they could help out): 1, 2, 3. Zerotime 16 days ago

@Zerotime Thanks, there are definitely some good ideas there. I'm rather intrigued by the idea of trying to build a reader base through expert content (blogs or the like, maybe a weekly column of an "expert" answering mailed-in questions) for a topic before opening up full peer-to-peer Q&A. Peter Cooper Jr. 16 days ago

Show 1 more comments

1 answer


A related question is whether advertising Codidact as a whole even makes sense, or if we should focus on advertising certain sites to their relevant communities. The latter is likely more effective - we're not wiki-how with a Q&A site for everything.

For example, with the TRPG community I know half-a-dozen relevant outlets to find the right people and advertise - game shops, podcasts / streamers (e.g. critical role, roll20, sponsor a module from content creators, never mind google adwords ("how do I" && ("5e" || "dnd")). That's a very different approach than a shotgun: "Codidact - build a Q&A community" virtual billboard.

I would suggest a new site "pitch" include a plan of how the initial sponsors intend to advertise and recruit users (and/or funds required). For some sites this will be much more important than others - a large community seeking a home will have lower needs on this front than a half dozen folks trying to start something from scratch.

history · edit · permalink · delete · flag