How do we grow the site?

For example, for one question I emailed John Donaldson (USA Zone President in FIDE) a link to the question, "Which is the World's largest chess club?" -- but he decided to reply via email, than post an answer himself; which is fine, it's awesome he replied so fast to a random email.

Other option might be creating social media accounts that are under the communities control, since for example this Twitter account for Chess.SE appears to just auto-post question based on factors that are unknown; though honestly doesn't matter how they're posted since no human is actively engaging users via the account.

Any suggestions?

UPDATE: Not sure what to make of the lack of comments. Anyone have any comments on the topic?

UPDATE 2: If you have an idea/suggestion, please post one idea/suggestion per answer, not a group of them within one answer. Doing so will allow the community to better express their support of a given idea.

  • I wish I knew...
    – Daniel
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 15:48
  • @Daniel δ: Thanks for the comment! So, not "knowing is half the battle". ;) I'm not really able to think of anything either, or at least that I know would likely make a difference. For now, I don't believe it is an big issue, but longer term it will be an issue. Also, if it matters, I've previously made an attempt to get another SE community to work together to grow the site, and nothing to my knowledge ever happen; which is to say most users have no solid idea of what to do.
    – blunders
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 16:12

3 Answers 3


Never drive a newcomer away by punitive dogpile downvoting.

It’s not just the newcomers who are offended by this. It turns my stomach, and is the main reason I myself rarely participate in stackexchange.

Everyone was a newcomer once.


Finding other chess related questions/answers/comments (and the related users) -- and engage the users in a meaningful way, possibly pointing them to the new Chess.SE site.

Here's one way to find chess related SE content on other SE sites.

  • 1
    +1: In fact, I just posted a comment referring the OP of a chess question on BCG to this site. tttppp seemed a likely candidate, since s/he has no small amount of rep on BCG and this chess question was asked only three months ago.
    – Daniel
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 16:40
  • +1 @Daniel δ: Great, and agree tttppp would likely value getting a ping about Chess.SE, though I would be careful about just posting comments that might just appear to be advertisements; meaning it's best to combine it with a meaningful answers and/or comment. Other thing, with might not be obvious, but it's always a good idea to confirm the user being engaged does not already have an account on Chess.SE via their network profile; for examples, here's ttppp. Cheers!
    – blunders
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 17:02
  • Yep, checked that before I commented. But I take your point about "advertising". One reason I wouldn't be too worried about it in cases like this is that tttppp seems already interested in chess. If I wasn't so sure about that aspect, I would probably be more careful to give the invite some greater intrinsic appeal.
    – Daniel
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 18:28
  • @Daniel δ: Yes, I know, and agree -- just basing this off of responses I've gotten researching the topic on SO-Meta in the past, though that's SO. Really in the end depends on the user and the SE posted to I believe. I've used a similar approach to engage existing dormant users with great success; also note that oddly the community thought this was a bad idea too.
    – blunders
    Commented May 23, 2012 at 19:18

Unfortunately, I don't think Chess Stack Exchange has potential for much further growth.

Stack Exchange sites are about objective takes on answerable questions. Most questions that have a definite answer can be answered with an engine, a tablebase and other resources... Those are not features of Chess Stack Exchange (and probably can't be). Since opinion-based questions are not acceptable, we're left with questions about records, statistics, history..., about the rules, about trying to explain an engine's output in human terms and not much more...

Furthermore, there's a very high focus on chess computers (probably due to our proximity to Stack Overflow) which is itself a very niche topic inside chess. Most of the chess community couldn't be bothered and may not be interested in participating in a site where more than half the questions in the front page are about engines.

In short, chess forums are great and the Stack Exchange format is also great but they do a poor match.

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