Disclaimer: Just an up-front acknowledgement that as I write I'm a fairly new user (~3mo.), so I don't yet have the history or connection that other more experienced users of this site have. Please accept these as the comments of a relative outsider.
Full dislosure: It was an identify question of my own that initially turned me onto this site.
- Music Fans SE should eliminate or significantly restrict "identify" questions.
There are three sections to this post: (1) Two proposals; (2) Justification; (3) Stats
Two proposals regarding "[identify*]" questions
Treat "identify" questions as off-topic for a trial period of 1 year to see what effect it has on overall participation.
Significantly restrict the "identify" questions that are on-topic. For example:
- Require that any posted video be on a publicly accessible site (e.g., not a personal cloud-share site; not a site requiring fees). (Also in the interest of security. I have no interest in downloading unknown files from random sites.)
- Require that the above site track views, and that the submitted video have a minimum such number (e.g., 10,000). This will at least suggest some future usefulness.
"Identify" questions have been a point of discussion, contention, and, for some, irritation since the inception of Music Fans. For example:
- “Identify this song / genre / artist” - on topic? (Feb 2015)
- Burn the identify-this-track tag? (May 2015)
- On-topic & Off-topic (June 2015)
- Why identify-this-* tag hasn't been banned? (Dec 2016)
- Answered question with dead link (Dec 2016)
- No effort, no research, no use to future visitors (Feb 2017)
- Am I wrong in my judgment of questions that have to be closed? (Nov 2018)
At a practical level, one concern has been that limiting or removing "identify" questions will reduce site growth, which in terms of number of questions is stagnant even with them (see Stats, below). The evidence suggests they may even be suppressing growth.
Speaking only for myself as a newish user, I find "identify"-type questions to be a drag most of the time. They often take a substantial amount of research to answer and are generally of limited long-term or popular value. After three months of looking to "bond" with the site, the "identify" questions are becoming a significant disincentive and have reduced my participation.
I suggest a trial run of either restricting or removing them.
- In Music Fans's first year (Feb - Dec 2015) the ratio of "other" questions to "identify" questions was better than 4:1. However, since 2016, the number of "identify" questions has been holding steady at roughly double, while the number of "other" questions has dropped by more than 50%.
TABLE 1: Questions by year ________________________ [Identify*] ___________ Year Is Not Total ________________________ 2020 189 203 392 2019 236 165 401 2018 206 183 389 2017 235 231 466 2016 231 294 525 2015* 108 472 580 _________________________________ *first site question asked 2/2015
- "Identify" questions are, to a significant degree, both less impactful and less engaging than other questions.
TABLE 2: Question impact/popularity* ____________________________________________________ Averages ______________________ Q-type Score Views Favorite >1 answers/total Q ____________________________________________________ identify 1 637 0 222/1198 = 18.5% other 4 2064 1 506/1549 = 32.7% ____________________________________________________ *Based on data from SEDE
SELECT AVG(ViewCount) FROM Posts WHERE Tags LIKE '%identify%' SELECT AVG(ViewCount) FROM Posts WHERE Tags NOT LIKE '%identify%' SELECT AVG(Score) FROM Posts WHERE Tags LIKE '%identify%' SELECT AVG(Score) FROM Posts WHERE Tags NOT LIKE '%identify%' SELECT AVG(FavoriteCount) FROM Posts WHERE Tags LIKE '%identify%' SELECT AVG(FavoriteCount) FROM Posts WHERE Tags NOT LIKE '%identify%' SELECT COUNT(AnswerCount) FROM Posts WHERE Tags LIKE '%identify%' AND AnswerCount > 1 SELECT COUNT(AnswerCount) FROM Posts WHERE Tags NOT LIKE '%identify%' AND AnswerCount > 1