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This is pretty much to contribute to the 7 Essential Meta Q's.

I committed to this SE when it was in Area 51 solely because I am on a team competing in the FIRST Robotics competition, and because pretty much all SE sites have a high technical level, this site can really change a lot of FIRST teams. The only thing this website needs is more participants.

I think one way to promote this site is to get FIRST to promote it for us. The only problem is that FIRST is a K-12 competition primarily, but mentors also take part in FIRST teams. This might bring the technical level of the website down, but I still think that many high schoolers have enough knowledge to handle and contribute to this website properly, so would FIRST be a good place to get more users? I'll most likely tell my team to use this site when they have a building issue they aren't able to solve.

A second idea I have is to advocate to close some of the proposals on Area 51 that are related to robotics and bring them over here. This post very nicely talks about this more: Would we be better off with a combined Robotics, Automation and Mechatronics proposal?

What are some other ways we can get people to come here?

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Pretty much copied from http://meta.libraries.stackexchange.com/a/109

Related questions on other new sites: Chemistry, Libraries, Chess , WindowsPhone (these are some of our newer sites, you can probably find the questions on the older ones if you want. Or use this filter I just created)

Few things you can do (some stuff taken from my post here):

  • Create a community promotion ad and post on a graduated site. Maybe on Electronics. Mathematica.SE and chem.SE have done so on Physics. You can also promote the site with RaspberryPi.SE, using their chat or meta as a medium. Preferably not the meta (though a single post may be OK).
  • Create an A4(or whatever) poster for your users to print out and stick somewhere. We did that on chem
  • Write an awesome blog post, like this one by a TW mod
  • Encourage colleagues/classmates/friends(robotics enthusiasts) to join
  • Try to get more experts engaged. Remember, the more experts you have, the better the site is (we don't want to degrade into Yahoo! Answers)
  • Retweet the upvoted questions posted by the site twitter bot (not in existence yet, but should be soon). This spreads the word about the site pretty easily.

Thankfully this didn't happen as we held of promotion until after we went public.

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  • $\begingroup$ Has there been any progress on a poster? I can litter my campus with them (ssshhhh!). $\endgroup$ – Josh Vander Hook Apr 25 '13 at 18:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Josh: The community ads are a start. Ask MarkBooth in Robotics Chat for details. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Apr 25 '13 at 18:32
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There are a lot of questions about robotics on stackoverflow, with the following tags:

Could we start flagging some of those questions for migration to this site? A lot of them ask things that are similar to what's asked on this site, but the answers are of poor quality or nonexistent alltogether.

If the questions there are too old to migrate, how could/should we suggest this site from those questions (i.e., in a comment, in an answer, etc)?

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    $\begingroup$ Seems like an interesting idea. Thanks Ian. I've added an rss feed ticker for those tags to our Robotics Chat which should help us identify possible candidates. $\endgroup$ – Mark Booth Jun 5 '13 at 18:01
  • $\begingroup$ Also, remember that questions over 60 days old can't be migrated, so we mustn't flood moderators with flags they can't act on. Much better to act on only new questions. $\endgroup$ – Mark Booth Jun 5 '13 at 18:06
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I like Ian's suggestion to flag questions on Stackoverflow for migration, but we have to be careful.

If you are going to flag questions for migration to robotics:

  • Always make sure the question is new enough to be migrated.
  • Always make sure the question is suitable for robotics.
    • Whether or not it is on-topic elsewhere, make sure it is on-topic on robotics before suggesting it be migrated.
    • A question that is not constructive or not a real question question is likely to be not NC or NARQ question on robotics too.
    • Some questions which might be considered too localized on another site may not be too localized on robotics, but you have to be sure before you waste moderators time considering a migration.
  • Try to suggest migrations for questions with no answers or wholly inadequate answers.
    • It isn't fair to migrate questions which already have good answers.
  • Consider the impact on both sites.
    • Stack overflow moderators deal with hundreds of flags every hour, so we should try not to be obnoxious in our suggested migrations.
    • Conversely we do not want to flood robotics with questions we can't handle.

Potentially, after we graduate we might be able to arrange a mass migration of robotics questions, but even that is questionable and it doesn't help spark interest in robotics now.


If people are happy with the above restrictions and want to start suggesting migrations, I have added an RSS feed ticker to Asimov's Corner, the robotics chat room, which should highlight all questions on stack overflow tagged with the four tags Ian mentions.

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Just as a heads-up for those who had missed it... we now have a Twitter feed (thanks Manish)

Now created as a separate announcement, with tag

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    $\begingroup$ Use [meta-tag:featured] to link to a meta-tag. :) This one links to it on main.. $\endgroup$ – Manishearth Dec 29 '12 at 8:14

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