Recently a new trend has been observed by me. Most of the questions go unanswered (including mine). Upvotes and downvotes are rarely given. The frequency of asking questions has also gone down dramatically. Why is this happening?

  • Well I got a day-shift switch. I dunno if I'm that important or have serious delusions of grandeur . Won't buggle much around that. jokin'
    – userDepth
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 8:01
  • 1
    I have noticed this as well. Even mentioned it in chat a while back. Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 18:04
  • I have noticed this also, I thought that perhaps my questions and answered were just deteriorating :). Good to hear from the answers below there is another explanation...
    – andrew.46 Mod
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 1:40

2 Answers 2


There are two separate phenonomen:

  • The one you've noticed is seasonal. Around launches activity skyrockets. Around LTS releases this is usually more significant. Your 7 months with us covered the 16.04 LTS release.

    It's also summer now in the northern hemisphere. That accounts for >90% of the demographic here. We're chilling on holiday.

  • There is also a real and sustained separation between the number of new answers and new questions. I'm not allowed to give specifics but 4 years ago, we got a lot more answers than questions. Now that is almost reversed.

    Why? I don't know. I'm open to suggestions explaining this, and fixes.

  • 3
    Perhaps Ubuntu is getting more and more popular, so lots of new naive users having lots of trouble upon migration from Windows but not many experienced ones out there to help them out. Perhaps when these new users will gain more experience there will be even more new users and the trend will continue. Because of Ubuntu becoming the market leader all new Linux distros are also Ubuntu based. A prominent example is Elementary OS.
    – rancho
    Commented Aug 10, 2016 at 23:09
  • @rancho We can also blame on content producers the misunderstanding of Linux being an alternative of Windows (in the naive context). By all means it is not, let's once an for all put that clear. Linux is not for clicking buttons and calling Tech support.
    – userDepth
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 8:00
  • 1
    I guess the increase in questions could be explained by things being re-asked and closed as duplicate (instead of being answered) I don't have a graph for this though.
    – Oli Mod
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 10:11

Since Oli mentioned "a real and sustained separation between the number of new answers and new questions" I'll add a graph of this, taken from SEDE. This includes now-deleted posts.

qa on au

You can see three phases: rapid growth, where answers exceed questions, steady state with answers evenly matching questions, and slow decline (punctured by 16.04 release) when the number of questions exceeds the number of answers.

The total number of votes on recent posts (less than a month old) has remained relatively stable throughout, but there is a trend for more downvotes and fewer upvotes:


One (quite general) reason for this to happen on Q&A sites is that as the number of available answers grow, more people find answers without asking questions. Those tend to be the people who can analyze their problem, form an effective search query and recognize relevant results. So the new questions are skewed toward people unable to do the above, leading to more duplicates, more unclear questions, and dissatisfaction/fatigue of answerers.


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