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I think it would be helpful to the site to know why some users stop using the Judaism.SE. Can/should we create a survey/poll specifically for users who meet a certain reputation level and have not used the site in an extended period of time (6 months?). This may be helpful in determining ways to improve the site.

  • If they are registered I think we (mods?) have their emails somewhere. – Double AA Feb 29 '12 at 18:29
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    @DoubleAA, I don't think that would be an appropriate use of that information (viz, what their addresses are). Moshe, I don't know any other means of contacting them (besides leaving comments on their posts on the site and hoping they see them eventually). – msh210 Feb 29 '12 at 18:38
  • @msh210 I wasn't suggesting that it was. Just pointing out that the issue is an 'ethical' one not a practical one. – Double AA Feb 29 '12 at 18:39
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    not sure why it wouldn't be ethical, I get 'customer service' emails all the time. They can always simply choose to ignore or delete it; but any data that is received would be useful. The reason for this suggestion is because I've seen several users who were frequent and interesting contributors in the past that have been inactive for a while and I think it would behoove us as a community to know why. – none Feb 29 '12 at 18:46
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    I HATE SPAM!!!!!!! – Shmuel Brin Feb 29 '12 at 19:06
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    @ShmuelBrill no problem, just make sure to never stop using this site! ;) – none Feb 29 '12 at 19:26
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    @ShmuelBrill ..And I hate all caps. We've all got problems! :-D – HodofHod Feb 29 '12 at 21:12
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    Let's start surveying now! Why did you ('none', formerly 'moshe') decide to stop using the site? :-D – HodofHod Mar 2 '12 at 4:40
  • I don't think that would be an ethical practice. – TRiG Mar 9 '12 at 20:26
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Unless a user has posted their contact information publicly, only moderators and employees would be able to see this private information.

Per the moderator agreement:

  • I acknowledge that I may have access to potentially personally-identifying information about Mi Yodeya - Stack Exchange users and that in connection with such access

    • I will use such information solely in accordance with the then-current Privacy Policy of Mi Yodeya - Stack Exchange,

    • I will not disclose this information to anyone,

    • I will not store or copy this information and

    • I will only use such information in connection with performance as a Mi Yodeya - Stack Exchange moderator for the benefit of Mi Yodeya - Stack Exchange.

(Sorry for the formatting!)

Per our privacy policy:

If you are a registered user of the network and have supplied your email address, we may occasionally send you an email to tell you about new features, solicit your feedback, or just keep you up to date with what’s going on with the network. We generally use the network to communicate this type of information, so we expect to keep this type of communication to a minimum. If we do send you information that you did not expressly request, we will provide you with a way to request that you don’t get any similar notices (opt-out).

So, technically, yes the moderators could do an "exit interview" with users who seem to have walked away from the site.

However, we do not condone nor encourage this action. Our users have repeatedly made clear that they prefer not to be contacted unless absolutely necessary. Newsletter emails, election notices, even messages letting users know they were suspended have been met with responses that boil down to, "Why are you contacting me?!"

I strongly believe that conducting an exit interview, even with as nice a community as we have here, wouldn't be productive and could open you all up to some unhappy people.

Ultimately, the best way to stem any attrition is to

  • Always endeavor to have good content. Make sure you're using your site every day, asking questions, participating in chat, checking meta, etc.
  • Always be friendly to new souls. Make sure new users on the site feel welcome, but are also made aware of the ways and means of this community.
  • Always let top users know they're appreciated. Sometimes that means upvote, sometimes that means letting him/her know from time to time that s/he is doing an excellent job and that you really enjoy their latest posts.
  • Always remember that this is your home too. You're part of this group! Treat this place as your home, and extend to others the same courtesies you'd want to be shown yourself if you were on the other side of the table.

Some of that seems obvious, but it's always worth reminding ourselves.

I'm marking this because this request contradicts some of our core philosopies about how/when to use user contact information.

  • You're all free to disagree with me! If you feel I'm wrong, please let me know. – Aarthi Sep 24 '12 at 22:47
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    I think the key here is the 'certain reputation level'. If someone invested X​>>​0 time in the site and then left with no obvious outbursts of anger, then the ratio of our chances of gleaning some information to possible annoyance level rises dramatically IMO. Although I suppose you could argue that practically speaking X is too large to gain a large enough data set to be worthwhile. I can't comment about that. – Double AA Sep 25 '12 at 2:05
  • Wouldn't that be "soliciting feedback", though? – Seth J Sep 28 '12 at 1:55
  • Would it be better if everyone who ever registered an account were sent the same survey that they could choose to take or not? – Seth J Sep 28 '12 at 1:57

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