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Seems like a lot of questions about individuals homebrewing problems and advice seeking/trouble shooting questions.

Didn't seem like these were the types of questions with definitive answers per se that the stack exchange site was about.

Granted I am not as active as I used to be, but the nature of the site seems like every other brewing forum and less about "hard" questions and debated answers.

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It will be clear by my reputation that I'm probably not qualified to answer this question and may inadvertently prove another point, but it's precisely the combination of individual homebrewing problems AND deeper, harder, more debatable questions that keeps me coming back to this site day in and day out. I've learned more about homebrewing here than on any other site on the web. I've felt welcome to be a newb, have had my own brewing process enhanced by your answers to my specific questions, and have educated myself reading more complex discussions about topics that are beyond me. I've enjoyed learning the specific rules of the site and feel encouraged and inspired to learn enough to one day be able to make a meaningful contribution. Brewchez, you in particular have taught me tons through your answers and comments, so even though I can't really participate on the 'hard questions and debate level', I'm thankful for your expertise and hope that you and the other guys with big reps will see value of letting the site grow even if it means diluting the conversation a little. I can see myself eventually being able to engage in a deeper debate, and look forward to being able to do so. All because I found this site, liked it, and keep coming back.

  • Thanks for the kind words – brewchez Jan 26 '13 at 17:56
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I guess this is my fault to some extent, since I'm apparently the most prolific moderator. Denny and I are the only two of the four mods to have done any moderating at all this quarter, though.

Basically, I don't want to be a total ass when I close a question, and want to have a good, solid reason behind it. Sometimes I'll get the feeling that it's not a good question, but I don't have the time to spend looking for the similar question that applies, or the time to coach the person asking into the kind of useful question that you're looking for. So I wind up just letting it lie, or just doing a quick edit to fix the painful grammar problems.

I also don't particularly want to run new people off.

I'm pretty much just trying to keep ahead of the worst stuff, but haven't had as much focus on the overall strategy of keeping the site reigned in to the original goals.

  • I get what you are saying and as a moderator on a different (more traditional) forum I know if can be tough. I only posed the question as a thinking point. I like this format, but at the same time I think it sort of doesn't really work as well as a traditional forum does for a topic that is so subjective sometimes. A topic where different points of view can come together to create new ways of thinking. Like I said I like the voting part of it, but the "rules" were posed to me a certain way many posts ago. I just wondered what the SE "homebrewing-beta" founders thought of that drift. – brewchez Sep 19 '12 at 0:50
  • For a stack to really take off and remain healthy I feel it needs a core group of mods and regular users who have a common set of values and mission. Does that not exist here? – Preston Oct 28 '14 at 13:20
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It appears that this site format has some "known problems" with precisely this issue. Site success is measured pure volume (question volume being our only black mark) but there's no measure of quality or how closely it matches the intent of the site.

There's some good discussion of the failed Economics site in this SO Meta thread.

We seem drawn between keep the site churning out enough conversation to make it useful while still retaining experts through the kind of tricky questions you're after.

I don't profess to know the answer... Just joining the conversation :)

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