I noticed a relatively new user posted this in a question about the performance of this site.

When asking How does one prevent Facebook from automatically combining uploaded photos in the timeline?, I got some votes, but no answers.

While I really like the StackExchange model, the Web Applications forum is not running as well as it deserves.

Do others share this view or is this just an outlier? Is there anything the community can do to prevent this sort of view?

  • My personal problem with this site was that it seemed dominated by web developers trying to shoehorn their favorite non-existent feature onto another web app. That basically means you can't answer a question without creating own yourself, which really turned me off.
    – Ivo Flipse
    Aug 22, 2011 at 18:20

2 Answers 2


This has been mentioned/referenced on the podcast as one of those sites with a higher than you'd care for hit-and-run ratio.

Most of the people hitting the site rarely come back. Either this is because they've found their problem already solved or because they don't remember their cookie, you'll see plenty of tumbleweeds rolling by.

People too used to Stack Overflow's response rate of a dozen answers inside the first five minutes may be biased when it comes to other sites at their speed of answering.

But Web Apps certainly feels like one of the more, if not the most, quiet of the graduated sites.


This site has an incredibly large scope -- any website that can be classified an 'app' is fair game here. There are millions of websites and thousands more every day. So the scope, if anything, is getting larger and larger over time!

While in practice this means that giants like YouTube, GMail, Facebook, etc will dominate -- and this is as it should be -- it also means that the core user base will be "web app generalists". That is, power web users.

It's hard to form a core community around such a massively broad topic, and it's also possible that people who are heavy, say, Facebook users, may not necessarily be web app generalists, maybe they're just hardcore Facebook users. In which case they'd be better served by, perhaps, facebook.stackexchange.com and youtube.stackexchange.com.

I do think we'd see stronger communities about more specific web apps, but

  • it's unclear which web apps have a large enough presence to justify their own sub site

  • those site-specific sites would certainly drain away much of the audience of this site

So, it's tricky. We have an experimental thing coming soon that could help; keep an eye out for it on the blog.

  • Sounds like silos are hitting the corn belt Aug 22, 2011 at 21:51
  • It is indeed tricky, and I have always wondered how the giants would do on their own :: Facebook.SE, Google.SE, Twitter.SE. Because then the scope of web apps would not apply and the hit and run Malaise is talking about is hopefully lower. Who knows. I will wait for this experimental thingamig deluxe.
    – phwd
    Aug 24, 2011 at 13:22
  • I reckon you were aiming at this blog post @Jeff? I think it would be great to focus the site around certain topics, but we'd still need to attract more users or get these brands to use us as one of their Q&A channels.
    – Ivo Flipse
    Aug 24, 2011 at 19:30
  • 1
    Also makes me wonder why WebApps wasn't just merged into SuperUsers; does it really matter if I'm a desktop app super user rather than a web based app super user?
    – Yahel
    Aug 24, 2011 at 20:56
  • 3
    @yah they are very different audiences Aug 24, 2011 at 21:28
  • These mini-sites should be used for everything! ...no more annoying migrations. ...just tag changes!
    – A.M.
    Jul 16, 2013 at 18:12

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