Unlike our first Answerathon, the second one did not fare quite as well.
For comparison, let me quote what I said at our last wrap-up:
I am truly awed by the response this competition has gotten. It ran for 33 days (treated as 29 for competition purposes), which, frankly, was 31 days longer than I expected it to go. A whopping ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY-FOUR answers have been posted as a result of this Answerathon.
Well, this time around we did indeed last only two days. While last time we got 184 answers as a result of this program, this time around we got just 9. Congratulations to LoAni for winning, but I'm not sure this really counted as much if barely anyone participated in the first place.
So, what happened?
Just spitballing here. Please add a comment and/or answer adding to this list if you have something to suggest, in the interests of garnering more participation for next round.
- Are people just busier? I know I wasn't able to participate this time because of college; I had much more free time when I was in Yeshiva.
- Before the Answerathon started, mbloch raised the concern that the Answerathon and siyum programs might interfere with each other. I pushed ahead with this based on this conversation in Bam, but in hindsight I wonder if he was right after all.
- LoAni suggested that there are simply fewer easy-to-answer questions, since they all got swept up last time. I'll have to crunch the numbers, which might be harder than my SEDE skills can handle, but I'm not convinced. The last Answerathon was nearly a year ago; surely new questions have cropped up since then which slipped through the cracks at the time. If someone wants to look into this, feel free.
- LoAni also suggested there's less novelty. I'd be shocked if we managed to go a month last time on novelty alone, but perhaps this in combination with other factors?
- LoAni also suggested that it's harder to qualify this time, but that's not exactly the case. The list is actually broader than last time, as self-answers and questions with negative-scored answers were eligible this time. The only harder requirement was the +2 score requirement, which has less to do with the answerer than everyone else. Further, the public Answerathon was intended to offset this, but perhaps that backfired?
What worked for you? What didn't? What changes should we make for next time? What changes should we roll back?