Somehow I get the feeling that the influx of new (and good) questions is rather slow. So I have a few suggestions here for you that might give somebody a good idea how to spend a useful hour building the community.

  • Clean up and improve community wiki questions, especially those tagged . How to manage big lists? has good suggestions.

  • Ask a good question yourself, even if you know the answer. For example, from @Caramdir, How to install a current version of TikZ?

  • Help with unanswered questions (old questions without upvoted answers). You can even place a small bounty to rub people the right way into providing a good answer.

  • Suggest, approve, edit and extend tag wikis. Some popular tags will certainly appreciate more love.

  • Retag (carefully) old questions to better reflect our current tagging policy. (Take it easy though, as retagged questions are bumped to the top of the queue.)
  • Improve the formatting of new questions (code, images, links).
  • Nag meta.SO and staff with our favourite feature-requests and bugs. For example, if you can suggest a good 404/captcha image (also on meta).
  • Promote the site to attract new users, and by extension, questions. Some ideas:

    • Run a poll asking "Where did you learn about TeX & Friends?" This is to see whether the website has a sufficient exposure besides the broad SO/SE community. I would guess that basically everybody came from there, which neatly leads to...

    • "Do you have a friend or relative that frequents CTAN mailing list, or an IRC channel dedicated exclusively to LaTeX? Invite them today and win bonus 50 reputation!" (okay, probably without the fake rep award). But you get the idea. There are communities that already serve a similar goal as TeX-SE (I used to ask non-obvious stuff on #latex on irc.freenode.net) Perhaps some of them will be interested to give it a try and see whether they like it.

    • Inexperienced users are also likely to be interested in what we try to do here — it's no big secret that hunting info on some obscure package/style file, or trying to find a package that "does foo with bar" can be daunting for TeX beginners.

    • Share a question on Twitter to spread the word.

If you have more ideas, please share them.

  • Interesting point about the 'culling' as we have no idea what is worthwhile from their POV.
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Commented Aug 19, 2010 at 20:33
  • Sure, but I think it's safer to assume that they will. Commented Aug 19, 2010 at 20:40
  • Undoubtedly: I was just idly wondering what the criteria for culling are. I guess at least partly to do with the likelihood of ad revenue from showing unique users.
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Commented Aug 19, 2010 at 21:38
  • 1
    There are no money to be made from poor academic souls, let me tell you that.. Commented Aug 19, 2010 at 22:16

2 Answers 2

  • Go through old unanswered questions — the default view is ordered by votes, which is a good place to start — and see if there is something you can do to move the questions towards resolution.

    Stack Exchange defines unanswered questions as being not just questions with no answers, but questions with no upvoted or accepted answers.

  • Encourage new users with attention. The review page shows activity (e.g., first answer, first question) by new users: provide them with advice, up votes, etc.


Think up something you don't know how to do in *TeX. See if someone has asked about it before. If not, ask how to do it.

  • 1
    Yeah, but I don't know hot to think up something I don't know. :-) I tend to do that anyway, but good suggestion. Commented Oct 28, 2012 at 3:47
  • @PeterGrill Generally I search for related terms for about 15 min, then figure I've done due diligence and post. Worst thing that can happen is it is closed as a duplicate and you read the other question and get your answer that way.
    – Canageek
    Commented Oct 28, 2012 at 5:54

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