I really like SO. It’s quickly become an invaluable resource for finding and getting programming answers.
I generally browse the new questions to see if there’s anything I might be able to a answer. Even when you find a question you already (think you) know the answer to, it still requires some research. Answering questions is a great exercise.
A couple of weeks ago I started to take notice of how fast the question count was increasing. So I decided to track it and quantify the growth. Here’s what I found:
So on average there are about 1472 new questions every day! That means when I browse through my 50 or so new questions, there are more than 1400 other ones that I’m not seeing. And that’s if I visit every day.
Yeah, yeah — I know about searching, using the tags, unanswered questions, etc. What’s remarkable to me is the shear volume of questions. Two things strike me about this:
- There seems to be a lot of question duplication. You can see that when you go to a question and look at the related questions on the right hand column.
- My sense is that the number of views per question is also going down. I don’t know for this sure, but it would follow that there must also be fewer answers per question.
These are just anecdotal observations on my part. I didn’t mean this to be an exhaustive analysis of SO, and I’m not trying to be critical. It just seems to me that the “weight “of SO is bound to become an issue in the future.
SO is a great site and I’m sure Jeff and Joel are very aware of these patterns and are plotting solutions while the rest of us sleep.
So based on 14 days of data – - here’s about when the number of questions will hit future milestones:
We’ll have to wait and see if these predictions become true.