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When I first heard of the Mythology Area 51 proposal, I was very excited, and obviously I jumped in headfirst. However, I have been discouraged about the lack of influx of new users when we went public, and I have been thinking about why.

Think about the big sites: nearly all of them are helping people with practical, useful information in solving problems in their lives. However, no one has Mythology problems.

However, this is not necessarily a requirement for a good stack. Code golf certainly isn't about helping people with their off-internet problems, and the history beta seems to be doing just fine. However, if not going to be a site that has practical information, we have to focus on the other things that make people go to a stack - fun!

tl;dr what can we do to make Mythology.SE more fun?

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However, no one has Mythology problems.

Sure they do.

  • Most importantly, mythology/classics academics and researchers.

    Ideally, SE sites are aimed squarely at that kind of audience.

    How to attract them? talk to your friends in academia. Email professional mailing lists (nicely, no spam). Show up at conferences to promote.

  • Students majoring in it.

    How to attract? Maybe fliers at a university with important classics department?

    The risk is that the main problem will be "do my homework for me".

  • Writers (e.g. Rich Riordan, Eric Flint) who do serious mythology research to write their books.

    How to attract? Contact them and ask if they have a mythology question that they were chasing down but had trouble finding an answer (Flint is quite approachable, Riordan is reputedly less so by a mere mortal but perhaps high-flying SE bigwigs can pull it off).

  • Film industry experts working on mythology based works.

    OK, presumably, they could not care less about accuracy. After the Clash of the wimps remake I'm kinda pessimistic on anyone in Hollywood caring about actually being familiar with sources.

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Depending on how (un)academic you want to make the site scope, have popular culture weeks.

E.g.

  • A week of questions inspired by ${currently_popular_inane_mthology_inspired_movie}

  • A week of question inspired by ${bestelling_book_based_on_myths}

etc....

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Studying ancient myths is it's own reward!

How can you not read any of the wonderful interesting questions and answers we have on the site and not think the site is fun? If we keep getting content of this quality, I will continue to come back. If we need to make that more "fun" to appeal to a broader audience, then part of what makes this site so interesting will go away.


Also, can we stop making meta posts about traffic? It's only been a week since we've gone public; we need to be more patient. Mythology is a very obscure topic, so it's normal not to have a huge spike of users who want to join the moment we go public. If you want to grow the traffic your time would be better spent recruiting new users, or promoting the site on blogs and social media.

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    I'm doing those things too! – durron597 May 18 '15 at 19:03

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