# Promoting the site

+ 10 like - 0 dislike
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I thought it might be good to start thinking about ways of promoting the site in the theoretical physics community and get the attention of search engines to it (so if someone searches for something related to theoretical physics the site would show up on the first page).

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One simple thing that you can do and in my experience helps considerably is to add a link from your academic homepage to the site, so when your colleagues or other interested parties visit your homepage they notice it. It will also help with search engines like Google.

You can also use a flare like the following if you prefer:

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answered Nov 4, 2011 by (0 points)
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Advertise TP.SE by the word of mouth, preferably in f2f situations. If the subject shows some signs of interest, type the following:

http://bit.ly/tpse

(While it is better to send the full link http://theoreticalphysics.stackexchange.com/, I have found it extremely awkward to type it on someone's else computer - it is just way too long, making Just give me a second a plain lie.)

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
answered Nov 6, 2011 by (1,260 points)
I think some sort of tutorial which walks you through the process of signing up and answering and asking questions is required. If you just send someone a link to the site, the slightest bit of uncertainty about what to do once they get here will push them back to that grant proposal, homework assignment, slide presentation or debugging they could have been doing instead. Build it quick and simple, and they will come.

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@ChrisFerrie: That may be an important remark. I was curious we potential participant hesitate to join (even if the participation may be beneficial for their research). Do you think it is more the matter of motivations (_I don't have time or will to join a forum, where people are wasting their time..._) or some technical/GUI issues (e.g. _How the heck should I sign in?!_)?

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I suppose it is a combination of the two. I've watch people click on the link, get to the site, stare at for a second and then turn around and say, "I'll sign up later". Since we can't change the amount of time people have, something else needs to be done to push them over the initial hurdle. Perhaps a different GUI for visitors that are not logged in? Off the top of my head, I think a short tutorial might do it.

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@ChrisFerrie: As I've checked, posting doesn't require signing in. As for myself, I find the GUI very well-designed. Maybe its sth about "Welcome to Q&A for scientific theorists and academic scholars interested in theoretical, research-level physics", which might be confusing. Also, I also saw people only giving a glance to it, and then going back to there stuff.

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@Chris, we have the same issue on cstheory. People don't want a new time sink. The only way to get them to use it is to make it useful so they will know they are going to benefit from using it, and that is not easy. We wrote [this](http://www.cs.utah.edu/~suresh/cstheory.pdf) and Suresh got it published in [SIGACT](http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=1907450.1907532), you may want to write something similar at some point.

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+ 4 like - 0 dislike

I think, to first order, the issue is time. Watch a new user visit the site and you will see what I am getting at when I say there are too many hurdles to overcome. We are extremely guarded when it comes to our time. The first hint of the possibility of having to solve a problem (no matter how small it is) that is not guaranteed to check something off our to-do list puts us in fight-or-flight mode.

So how do we get a new user to post and answer a question without ever asking themselves, "OK, what do I do now?" Because the answer will be: something else.

I suggest making a tutorial that walks a new user through the whole process once.

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answered Nov 11, 2011 by (660 points)
To be honest, I think many people see the site, and don't participate until they actually have a question they need answered, and once that happens many stick around.

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@JoeFitzsimons - Really? The reason I stayed was because there was a question I could *answer* on the first page. If all I saw was a bunch of field-theory questions (like the current front page -- and, no offense to field-theorists), I probably would have went back to Googling the questions I have.

This post has been migrated from (A51.SE)
@JoeFitzsimons - ...and everyone has questions. There, I just asked another one! I could fuel this site with how much I don't know!

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Excellent! Thanks. I was just judging by things likes Scott's blog post about getting into mathoverflow.

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+ 4 like - 0 dislike

We need to attract people from more physics communities. Currently virtually all content falls into the high energy and quantum information categories. It is important to bring in other communites such as condensed matter

If anyone reading this is sufficiently knowledgeable in an area of physics underrepresented on the site, I kindly urge him to post relevant questions

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answered Nov 26, 2011 by (1,725 points)

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