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Why has the number of questions dropped sharply between September 2019 and November 2019 (and never recovered), despite the traffic staying constant?

https://softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/site-analytics:

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    Probably because you haven't been asking enough questions Franck! ;) Seriously, it's good to see that you are still around. Apr 21, 2020 at 20:12
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    It might be worth checking the numbers also on a longer timescale. It seems that the rate in which the questions are being asked now is similar to the numbers before 2019, there is a big increase during 2019: chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/12851/2020/4/28
    – Martin
    Apr 28, 2020 at 9:42
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    Hypothesis: with 21000 recommendations we have finally covered every software available on Earth. We just need to keep up with new software. May 12, 2020 at 19:17

2 Answers 2

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Good to see you Franck. I'm not certain, but I think it was a result of two factors:

  1. Software Recommendations was flooded with off-topic questions for a while due to questions being directed to our community via a somewhat ambiguous form on other Stack Exchange sites. I think Stack Exchange removed or modified that form around the time our new question volume returned to a more typical level.

  2. I believe the sudden decline was around the time that Stack Exchange treated a moderator very unkindly, and consequently there was a mass exodus of active users and moderators from the Stack Exchange network.

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    What strongly speaks for 1) is a look at the number of answers, which did not change much – so the high amount of "additional questions" was unanswered, most likely because … well, they were closed for being off-topic? Then, I'd assume that closed OT questions don't receive that many page views anymore (especially then being deleted, e.g. by Roomba). So I concur with that. And while 2) was a really bad thing, numbers of visits even increased – which speaks against that having had a big influence concerning Franck's question (though I think it contributed).
    – Izzy Mod
    Apr 26, 2020 at 22:51
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Probably because too few questions are getting answered. Most of the traffic is probably people checking periodically for answers to questions that never got answered.

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