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I've been observing the Movies Stack Exchange site and noticed a relatively low level of activity, particularly in terms of the number of new questions posted daily. On average, there seem to be only about 5 or 6 new questions each day. Moreover, I've observed a lack of questions on certain popular or notable movies, such as The Barbie Movie and Oppenheimer.

I'm curious to understand why this might be the case. Are there specific reasons why Movies Stack Exchange doesn't see as much activity as some other Stack Exchange sites? Also, what factors might contribute to the limited discussion on certain movies?

I'm especially interested in understanding the following:

  1. Are there trends or patterns in the types of movies that generate more engagement on the site?
  2. Does the site's user base or the Stack Exchange format influence the kind of movies that are discussed?
  3. Are there ways to encourage more diverse movie discussions, including on films like Barbie and Oppenheimer?

I appreciate any insights or observations from the community about these patterns of engagement and topic coverage on Movies Stack Exchange.

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    Maybe SE users wait for streaming and don’t go to theaters? Nov 30, 2023 at 5:12
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    What "low activity"? This question that was asked yesterday is at 5K views: movies.stackexchange.com/questions/121522/…
    – BCdotWEB
    Nov 30, 2023 at 14:38
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    @BCdotWEB - You may find this video instructive; youtube.com/watch?v=6lKuugZCD6A Questions that hit the HNQs often get good viewership, but they rarely hang around afterwards.
    – Valorum
    Nov 30, 2023 at 15:32
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    "On average, there seem to be only about 5 or 6 new questions each day" - Actually the number is closer to 2.
    – Valorum
    Nov 30, 2023 at 16:39
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    Just in case anyone wonders about "silencing criticism" or whatever, note that I just cleaned up a lot of comments here. Not all of them were problematic, but some of them were, from various sides, and were flagged and cleaned up by different people sporadically. But when half the comments vanish, keeping replies to non-existent comments around doesn't make sense either. The question here is a valid meta discussion, let's all try to keep it constructive.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Nov 30, 2023 at 21:33

1 Answer 1

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The very short answer is that the site's userbase has declined dramatically in the past few years. Engagement levels are lower than they've been at any point in the site's history.

  • Voting engagement is alarmingly low.

In 2023 Movie&TV:SE (75K members) had only 172 users that voted more than 10 times. Sites with comparable userbases had many more people voting on questions and answers. For example, Worldbuilding:SE (82K members) had more than four times as many active voters over the year, Music Theory:SE (69K members) had three times as many. Even Law:SE (42K users) had three times as many active voters over the year despite having almost half the userbase of Movies:SE.

Voting health is indicative that the community is effective at "identifying and rewarding good questions" and "weeding out bad questions". I'd argue that simply isn't happening at the moment.

  • User engagement (questions and answers) is alarmingly low.

As you can see from a simple SEDE search, the number of questions being asked, and the number of answers being posted have both taken a nose-dive in recent years. They're well below where they were when the site launched in 2012/2013.

We're now at the point where the average number of questions asked per day is only 2.4, significantly below the point at which a site would have graduated under the old system. Worryingly, this number appears to be continuing to fall.

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    If you check the same SEDE query you provided for the mentioned other sites, even their 2023 participation also seems lower than their previous years. Also not to forget overall SE controversies, no winter bash etc have effects too. And of course, we should; always upvote good posts as appreciating good content increases participation. And "positive feedback" to posts.
    – Ankit Sharma Mod
    Nov 30, 2023 at 17:09
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    @AnkitSharma - I'm at a loss why you're clinging to the Winter Bash thing when the query is annual and it's been trending downward for multiple years
    – Valorum
    Nov 30, 2023 at 17:21
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    I didn't say only one thing as I always like to see the full picture with open eyes.
    – Ankit Sharma Mod
    Nov 30, 2023 at 19:04
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    "Voting engagement is alarmingly low." It's not always easy to vote on this site, either given the variety here. Some Q&A is good even if you haven't seen the movie/show but others are pretty indecipherable without that context.
    – Laurel
    Nov 30, 2023 at 19:35
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    @Laurel - If there were more questions, there would be more questions to vote on. If there were more answers, there would be more answers to vote on. I think the major problem is that there's simply less quality content all round, and that stems from the decline in the active userbase.
    – Valorum
    Nov 30, 2023 at 20:29
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    Obviously the next question is "What happened in 2018 that resulted in such a precipitous decline in questions and answers?"
    – Valorum
    Dec 1, 2023 at 16:32
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    Wasn't the "Monica Incident", which was my first thought...
    – FreeMan
    Dec 1, 2023 at 18:57
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    @FreeMan - Sorry, this question was posed rhetorically. I was referring to the decline that came about as a direct result of banning ID questions. It would appear that a significant portion of the site's userbase stopped showing up almost immediately afterwards and Movie:SE has never recovered since.
    – Valorum
    Dec 9, 2023 at 0:58
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    @Valorum Found it, it was indeed in 2018 Dec 11, 2023 at 14:16
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    Comments have been moved to chat; please do not continue the discussion here. Before posting a comment below this one, please review the purposes of comments. Comments that do not request clarification or suggest improvements usually belong as an answer, or in Movies & TV Chat. Comments continuing discussion may be removed.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Dec 12, 2023 at 14:21
  • @Giacomo1968 - Well, there was a steady increase before that also.
    – Valorum
    Dec 31, 2023 at 1:12

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