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In the blog post (A Recipe to Promote your Site) over on on the Stack Exchange blog last August, it was made very clear that communities should make every effort at promotion. I am not aware of any real promotion efforts that have gone on in the past or are in the works at present.

I think our biggest problem is that at least for the moment, our primary userbase is users of Stack Exchange, rather than students, teachers, and translators (など) of Japanese. We need to get our name out to the Japanese community, rather than just the community of Stack Exchange.

So I ask: What can we do to promote JLU?

4

Hand out/leave fliers at classes, study groups and bilingual communities

I have a few places in mind where I can leave a stack of fliers about JLU to spread the word. As JLU being a community about a natural language, which is used day-to-day and face-to-face, I imagine the community as a whole to have as much real-life connections as online connections (leaving out the searchability factor of the internet). Well, maybe a biased guess.

If this idea is well received, I'm hoping stack exchange inc. could provide suitable materials. It will be useful across all network sites, as it should be common for members of a vertical Q&A site to have interest-based connections at offline spaces like study groups, uni labs, or specialized shops.

The design could be white-labeled for cost efficiency, with only the logo, description and URL replaced appropriately for each site.

Note: the only paper-related SO/SE material I could find was the stickers.

  • This is a really good idea. I know of several places as well where I could leave fliers, as well. The only real issue I see is that they have to catch the eye -- I've found that people generally don't pay much attention to plain text fliers. – rintaun Jul 28 '11 at 1:56
  • @rintaun eye-catchiness is where I'm counting on the designer in residence at stack exchange inc, or the "professional designers" mentioned in the "promotion recipe" article linked from the question =) – ento Jul 28 '11 at 15:19
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Just to get the ball rolling, I suggest that we reach out to bloggers about Japanese and ask them to write articles about us, mention us in other articles, or link to us from their blog. Obviously, the more prominent the blogger, the more exposure we get. Unfortunately I'm only one person, and I don't know that many Japanese-related blogs or bloggers. As such, I've made this post a community wiki so that others can add to the list of Japanese blogs, or put their names down as a volunteer to reach out to that blog.

Blogs

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    I'm the author of NihongoUp and also a great fan of StackExchange (I have been waiting for JLU since it was proposed ^^). A blog post covering JLU is on my to-do list... If you have any other ideas how I could support the project let me know ;) – Philip Seyfi Jul 30 '11 at 15:49
2

I don't think it is possible to get a broader acceptance if only questions by and for linguists are asked. This question about the difference between two seemingly identical Kanji is a good example of a question that goes right above everyone's head and is completely useless outside of an academic discourse (which, while interesting, does not interest anyone who just wants to speak the language), yet it has the most upvotes on the front page right now. I've said this a few months ago, and I will say it again:

The absurdly high standards of the community result in a tiny community. I have no clue on 90% of these questions, yet I speak Japanese daily to my wife. I want to like this site, but it rarely proves useful.

It's not useful to insult every mediocre question that is not crystal clear and perfectly consice with condescending comments.

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    I found that question useful, and I'm certainly not a linguist (though my interest is primarily in reading/writing Japanese, so it's probably more relevant for me). It was also asked in the first month of the site, and older questions tend to have more upvotes simply because they've been around longer for more people to see them. – Troyen Oct 13 '11 at 22:09
  • Regarding the difficulty of questions, there certainly are a lot of questions that require advanced or particular knowledge of the topic to answer, but I think that's true of StackExchange in general. I do agree that sometimes comments are harsher than they should be (or they make assumptions that they shouldn't), which I feel gives an unfortunate negative vibe to the community. – Troyen Oct 13 '11 at 22:12
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    I have to defend about every second question I ask, which then gets a dozen upvotes afterwards and results in a great answer. That just feels wrong and unnecessary. People don't have to answer questions they don't like (I frequently go "meh, not gonna bother" on Stackoverflow too), but it would be nice if they didn't write insulting comments. – Kdansky Oct 14 '11 at 7:29
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    I would agree... if I didn't see the basic problem as being in completely the opposite direction. The vast majority of the questions here are answered in any decent first/second-year textbook, dictionary, or decent kanji-jiten. I don't see a single question on the front page that's of even marginal interest to a linguist. (To be honest, the linguistics SE isn't that far ahead of us there) – jkerian Oct 14 '11 at 20:58
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    I think the basic problem is not that we're "linguist focused", but rather that people have invented various ways of getting around the "this is not a dictionary-replacement site", "no resource questions", and "don't poll for opinions". The results are incredibly specialized questions that don't do much for someone trying to generally learn the language (and therefore more useful in your situation). Upper-level learners, the ones who have that knowledge, have better luck on yahoo-ja. The bar for asking/answering questions in Japanese is fairly low, but almost nothing here is above it. – jkerian Oct 14 '11 at 21:08
  • ux.stackexchange.com/questions/12100/… (same goes for "this") – hippietrail Oct 18 '11 at 13:39
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    I have to say I agree with that. Quite a few questions work around the restrictions by making the questions less useful, but technically correct. Which to me, only shows one thing: The restrictions do not improve quality, because they are bad. I'd prefer a lot of dictionary questions (especially broad ones which result in a list of useful expressions for certain topics) to the kind that we have now. dict.leo has a lot of questions purely about vocabulary and "how do I say X" and those are a always good read. @hippietrail: Fixed, good point! – Kdansky Oct 18 '11 at 14:16
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    @Kdansky: I guess I don't see how changing questions from "specialized with lots of context to try to make them relevant" to "specialized and brief" would improve the situation. – jkerian Oct 19 '11 at 16:53

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