I'm a community manager here at Stack Exchange, and part of our jobs here on the Community team is to periodically review sites in beta to see how they're progressing. Part of this involves encouraging periodic self-reflection, and part of it involves just looking at the site: the questions being answered, meta activity, traffic numbers, active users, etc.

It shouldn't surprise anyone reading this that, while there is a core group of members here, there are not very many - and the daily traffic and number of questions being asked does not indicate there will be many more any time soon. Those of you who are here are doing a fine job, but with only about half a dozen people with more than 500 reputation on the site regularly, there's a real danger that quality could head downhill in a hurry.

One concern we have to address is in moderation: one of the Pro Tempore moderators has all-but stopped visiting the site. Moderation is a volunteer activity and moderators are free to come and go as they please, but on such a small site, moderation is particularly important when there are so few people who can perform any kind of housecleaning. We definitely don't want a lack of leadership to mark the end of the Poker site, so I need someone to step up and volunteer to help out in that area.

When we launched this site into beta, there was some concern that it was unnecessary given the game was already on-topic on Board & Card Games; you've surpassed the traffic on that particular tag, but that's not saying much - and on a dedicated site, you miss out on the review and moderation support that comes with being a part of a larger community.

To be clear: we don't need to shut this site down right now. But I have to say, the writing is on the wall, and if y'all do want to keep doing this, I'd like to hear that and - more importantly - hear why: is Poker.SE doing anything to fill a niche in the poker-playing community, is it in any way "making The Internet better"?

...and if so, how can we avoid this turning into a complete ghost town?

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I'm almost every day in SE because of my work and for a few days I'm on poker.SE too. Trying to get links clear of affiliate data, improve questions and give good answers. So if you still looking for volunteer, I'd be one. –  Jurik Feb 8 at 19:16

9 Answers 9

Yes.

n.b. Answer best read whilst listening to Hans Zimmers "Time" ;)


I believe this site avoids something that puts off so many people from using other more established forums. Noise.

Experience counts for so much in poker, and that's what makes this place unique. More signal. Even 2+2 tried to implement a basic reputation system through vBulletin a few months ago but it failed because of the software. Supposedly, one of Poker.SE's biggest competitors wanted what we have here!

Poker is such a big, diverse topic that it's not even niche. It's Epic. Put aside the people who fill threads on other forums with meaningless comments and tenuous answers and you've got the inner workings of the human mind in ALL it's glory. Maths, Psychology, Logic, Emotions, Creativity, you name it, it's here! We just need people.

Admittedly, Poker.SE is a small site, but as a moderator being privy to the traffic data, we are growing, slowly.

"I walk slowly, but I never walk backward." - Abraham Lincoln

The last time I looked, and I look everyday, I'm pleased. I see the numbers going in the right direction. It may not be enough to have StackExchange keep the site alive, and that's understandable, but we're moving in an upwards direction. We're getting stronger, slowly.

Looking at the success of many other poker forums, I have little doubt that the content is there to constantly fill the pages of Poker.SE. All of the sites I know have had to dedicate threads within their sub-topics to cater for those that just want to chat, and still they generate Hundreds's if not Thousands's of new questions, valuable questions, every day!

Poker.SE's problems aren't content related, they're traffic-related. B&CG generated just 24 questions with a poker tag since October 2010, if that's up to date. Poker.SE created almost 10-fold that, 230, in 11 months (Jan 2012-Dec 2012).

Poker.SE can make the internet a better place as you say, but a goal that big needs time to achieve it. People have tried before with this format and they've not succeeded. It's a pity, because clearly when this gap in forum format arises in the poker community, people see the need to fill it. I don't think there's any doubt that it's valuable, but making it catch on is apparently the difficult part. I also don't believe there has been an implementation of this format for poker that's better than Poker.SE.

It's not all my thoughts, but it's a start.


If I had to point out just one thing that would help a lot, is that we don't have a dedicated hand-history converter. FlopTurnRiver.com takes requests for new formats to be added to their HH converter here: http://www.flopturnriver.com/reports/Report_Bugs.php?type=format. If people want to push that forwards, as I have, make a request for Poker.SE

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+1 for just We just need people. –  Soner Gönül Dec 21 '12 at 13:44
    
We need people but we also need moderator nominees to step up, per the post above. Unfortunately, if we cant' get a response on that front, it will not bode well for the community. –  Robert Cartaino Dec 22 '12 at 15:27
    
Step up how? Just nominate themselves for the official role here? –  Toby Booth Dec 22 '12 at 17:06
    
@TobyBooth Yes, as well as follow through on the commitment and help moderate/promote/etc the site. –  Anna Lear Dec 27 '12 at 4:45

Not sure.

Isn't part of the goal of this site to make long-lasting, useful, canonical answers? I see very little of that on this site, and most people who talk about poker on the Internet have never been encouraged to have a goal like that.

Most hand discussion is, importantly, discussion: often the participants comment on many different features of the situation. Relatively infrequently is the best play derived from anything like first principles. Moreover, discussion of specific hands is the sort of thing that is difficult to work, SEO-wise. It's not clear that the most similar hands will share many keywords.

I've played poker for a decade, I co-host a poker podcast with thousands of listeners every week, I'm a long-time 2+2'er, etc. I'd really love it if this site were something different and better. But I'm not sure how we can encourage people to do things in the Stack Exchange way--I've never seen it done before, and I certainly don't think that it's being done here so far.

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I think this is a problem of people that are not familar with stackexchange. I know it from stackoverflow and see that EVERY question must be in a most perfect format like every answer. Good questions like "What is best tracking software?" need good answers that not just say A or B but also take care of the WHYs. People need to understand, that good answers are like good articles. –  Jurik Feb 8 at 19:01

Yes.

I am not very good at the game yet. I've only been playing about 8 months. And at my age I sometimes have trouble remembering the hand history to properly post a question which may explain why I haven't posted that many. That said, this is the best place I've found for asking questions and getting good answers. I'll volunteer as a moderator if that helps.

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YES

To be honest I have only just discovered the site myself, but I use StackOverflow pretty much daily and will probably start doing the same on the poker site.

I dont mind volunteering to be a moderator.

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YES

A userfriendly SE Q&A infrastucture will allow Poker.SE to replace a lot of forums. As it happened earlier with another SE sites. It's important to involve the active players and professionals, but that is a slow process. We need some patience.

And, yes, availability of convenient hands converter is critically important because most of the questions will eventually concern the analysis of specific hands

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What I would like to point out is that the whole structure of Poker.SE fits perfectly with the needs of a poker Q&A website. This formula that StackExchange websites rely on can very easily (and should !!) replace more established poker forums.

Like Toby Booth said: the website is perfectly structured and works fine. However, its problem is the lack of traffic and small members count. I mean, it does have these things but it's nothing compared to the gigantic StackOverflow.

If we could find a way to somehow draw the crowds here, it would just be perfect.

In the meantime, I believe the best choice is to keep waiting and monitoring it. I don't know how the traffic is evolving, but I visit the site daily and I can sense that slowly but surely the activity is going up. This is why I suggest to keep the site around, at least for now.


As for the moderation requirements: I'm totally available. Like I said above: I visit the site daily and there's very little chance that will change. I checked now out of curiosity and I see that I have the 5th highest reputation, which is very good I believe :) . Also, I do have some moderation experience that I made on a website, so I do have diplomacy and know how to deal with general problems that users (especially beginners) may have. In addition to this, I now learned how all the StackExchange mechanics work (reputation, flagging, close votes, reviewing, editing, migrating offtopic questions etc.) by being active on other StackExchange sites (like StackOverflow).

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I'm Not Sure

I like Poker, but wonder if it meets the SE guidelines for viability. Poker averages something like 0.4 questions a day, versus a guideline of 15, and 150-odd visits a day, versus a guideline of 1500. Poker also has only 12-13 users with over 500 rep, and six of these are also on Board and Card Games including yours truly. (I used 500 as the cutoff because that's what's needed to cast close and reopen votes.)

And if we are short on moderators because of the limited number of high rep members, that could be a problem. Maybe we're better off pooling our moderator (and other resources) with Board and Card Games.

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YES

I think the twoplustwo format is essentially flawed, and that a stack-exchange-type system is much more suitable for hand review at least. I believe that the main place for discussion poker will be a SE-type place within a couple of years. poker.SE seems like a great place that will fill this goal when the time is right. It also has the advantage of being community-oriented, non-commercial and not for profit, unlike many of the other sites. As others have said, I think this just mainly needs time -- people will flock here in the end.

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YES

I use Stackoverflow almost every day because of my work. And when I started to play poker more professional, I looked for something similar like Stackoverflow for poker and then I found this SE.

And yes - we need people. And they will come as soon as we get the good questions and good answers. I think there will be two types of questions.

First of all there are hand discussions. And like Toby already mentioned, a tool to implement hand replays would give us a good boost. Same as a short-cut to display cards in Text like [As] for ace of spade.

Second are questions around poker - about rules, tournaments, bankroll questions and so on.

I'm working for one of the world wide biggest customer support companies as a programmer/product-manager and imho there's nothing on the market that is as good as SE format. It's just a question of time and our small community here until more poker player realize that SE is by far better than any forum software.

I'm in close contact with some major pro poker players - maybe I can try to get their eyes on poker.SE - so YES we need this poker.SE!

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Cool, glad you're finding this useful so far. Anything you can do to improve the utility of this site and get the word out is worthwhile! –  Shog9 Feb 8 at 19:32
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Yes, I'll do so. And I think it's main essential that we do a good start. That means improve answers and tell new users to edit their answers instead of just give more informations in the comment function. Or if there's already a good answer, try to improve it instead of writing a new answer that has almost same content but is a bit better. –  Jurik Feb 8 at 22:59

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