I peruse both Coffee and Seasoned Advice daily. Even since the inception of the Coffee site, I frequently see coffee questions on Seasoned Advice. Coffee is on-topic at Seasoned Advice, but it's MORE on-topic here!

I assume this is because users (new and "seasoned") simply don't know there's a dedicated Coffee site! Every time I see a coffee question on Seasoned Advice I comment on it (and sometimes answer) to encourage people to join us over here at Coffee. Some recent ones... this one from today, and this one from a few days ago that got supercollided and got an inordinate number of views... and another that spurred this answer to a related MetaCoffee question. All would have been very welcome over here at Coffee! :)

Clearly, we're not going to migrate previous SA questions about Coffee. I also understand not wanting to immediately migrate new questions because of this "policy" (which I view more as a suggestion); i.e., don't migrate a coffee question, because Coffee is on-topic at SA.

I think this is significantly impacting Coffee.SE's adoption and relevance. If we had all of the New Coffee Questions over here at Coffee, I think we'd have a much better chance of getting off the ground.

How do we get people to ask Coffee Questions here instead?

  • I was about to suggest a Community Promotion Ad, but it turns out the top-voted one on that thread is for Coffee already... :\
    – hairboat
    Aug 8, 2015 at 2:25
  • @abbyhairboat - Yup, we do indeed already have a CPA in place that shows up pretty frequently on SA already.
    – hoc_age
    Aug 8, 2015 at 2:32
  • Might want to feature this if you think it appropriate, @hoc.
    – hairboat
    Aug 8, 2015 at 2:45
  • @abbyhairboat - Great idea, thanks for tagging!
    – hoc_age
    Aug 8, 2015 at 13:10
  • Also, it seems like this must have been faced (and overcome) by other sites that are proper subsets of other sites -- e.g., Vi and Vim that is entirely on-topic at Stack Overflow. Maybe we can learn something from others successes...? Maybe just not enough interest in coffee to be differentiated or me continuing to be impatient. ;-)
    – hoc_age
    Aug 8, 2015 at 13:11
  • I strongly suggest that you combine the "Tea" or include tea. I am not a die hard coffee drinker thus I don't have much to contribute Aug 10, 2015 at 1:14
  • @MahendraGunawardena - Tea was explicitly excluded from this site. While I personally agree, it's not in the charter!
    – hoc_age
    Aug 10, 2015 at 1:23
  • 1
    @hoc_age There's a pretty huge difference between this and SO spinoffs. In those cases, there were already tons of questions and users, essentially forming a subcommunity within SO - people who see each other over and over on answers and comments to the questions they care about. So when a site was created, they all knew about it, and they could very easily just move on over. In this case, coffee is a very small topic, and the people answering coffee questions on Seasoned Advice mostly never regarded it as a separate topic, so there wasn't really a subcommunity to move over.
    – Cascabel
    Aug 12, 2015 at 17:00
  • Also with respect to "all of the New Coffee Questions" -- that's maybe one every 10-15 days on cooking. I don't think it'd make a huge difference compared to your one question every 1-2 days.
    – Cascabel
    Aug 12, 2015 at 20:37

2 Answers 2


Why limit the hunt to Seasoned Advice?

Sure, they get coffee questions, and that's why you've got a community promotion ad up there. But what if we try thinking beyond "where are the coffee questions and how do we get them here?", and instead, think: "where are the coffee people and how do we get them here?".

What kind of people are coffee Q&A people? Millions of people drink coffee, but what we're looking for here is coffee hobbyists, not just drinkers. People who like to experiment with brewing methods, spend money on gear, and optimize for various qualities. They aren't just coffee drinkers - they're coffee tinkerers. So people who might be drawn to this site are tinkerers in other fields who dabble in coffee (among many other likely hobbies).

Some initial thoughts about where these kinds of people might come from:

  • Bicycles
  • Beer
  • Homebrewing
  • Lifehacks
  • The Great Outdoors

There are probably way more. Not all of those sites are graduated, so you won't necessarily be able to place community promotion ads, but it might be a place to start if some Coffee SE ambassadors try to make new friends in those chat rooms and see if they've got any coffee questions.

The upshot of this type of activity is that you aren't trying to take existing people or questions from a site that already welcomes them; you're just trying to show people who might be interested in coffee tinkering that there's a place where their questions would be welcome.

My advice, in the general, tl;dr sense, would be to think about what other types of people would be likely to hang out and ask questions here (the hard part), and then figure out where to go to reach those people (the easy part).

  • If I remember right, community promotion ads also are discouraged/disallowed when there's not a direct connection, so community ads might not work on sites like Bicycles even though they are graduated. (I think I saw a dev or CM veto an ad for that reason, but can't remember where.)
    – Cascabel
    Aug 12, 2015 at 16:54
  • @Jefromi Correct. Community promo ads are probably not the way to go here. But trying to make friends with like-minded individuals (in chat, for instance) would be fine.
    – hairboat
    Aug 12, 2015 at 18:49

I think you may be looking at this from the wrong angle. The purpose of creating this site wasn't to start moving a community (or their questions) from one site to another. You're supposed to be out there on the Internet to find a new community (or at least a new scope of questions) that were not being well served before.

Where is this untapped audience? Or questions that cannot be asked elsewhere? Finding them is your job now.

If you read my article about why (sometimes) we split off subjects from existing sites — Apparently this is a duplicate — I list a few of the criteria we would be looking for:

We would be looking for things like:

  1. An ecosystem of questions that are not already in scope on the existing site(s)
  2. A show of numbers that clearly demonstrates the parent site is failing to attract that
    audience ← this is a big one
  3. A weighty argument that a new community exists that does not identify themselves as part of the larger subject (see Ubuntu versus Unix)
  4. Scope Failure — Maybe we got it wrong the first time. A large subject can cover a huge number of topics. But if the site is not competitive in any particular subject, it may be time for a breakup ("sum of the parts")
  5. etc.

I think (1) is a tough sell. I haven't seen many of those "largely off-topic for a cooking site" questions yet.

Secondly, if you're trying to divert users/questions from another SE site, that disproves (2) by definition. That would have ended the creation of this site before it even got started.

That leaves (3) and (4) — a community that loves their coffee, but it would never occur to them to try our Cooking site.

But I don't believe soliciting and diverting users from other SE sites is the way to go. The best way to bring in that new audience is to find OTHER coffee communities and show them what Stack Exchange is about.

That's why we created this site.

  • To clarify my answer, I'm not suggesting that this site divert users from other SE sites. I'm suggesting that other communities might have users who would also be interested in coffee Q&A in addition to where they already hang out - they just don't know about the site yet. It should be done in conjunction with branching out to other non-SE coffee communities.
    – hairboat
    Aug 10, 2015 at 17:15
  • (In short, I agree with Robert.)
    – hairboat
    Aug 10, 2015 at 17:15
  • Coming over from Seasoned Advice... I think (2) is a good point from the perspective of a user with a potential question too, not just in terms of duplicate sites. If people think cooking is an obvious place for their question, and they get good answers there, I really hesitate to try to steer them to another site, especially given that questions get fewer views here. The changed beta graduation model helps a little bit (I'm not quite as worried that we'd be steering them to a site that might disappear) but the concern is still valid.
    – Cascabel
    Aug 12, 2015 at 16:51
  • For what it's worth, at least some people buy into (3) - I saw a few people saying "I'd never have thought to ask on Cooking, I had no idea it was on topic". This was mostly during the Area 51 period when people were really fighting to get Coffee off the ground, so I might take it with a grain of salt, but it's probably real to some degree.
    – Cascabel
    Aug 12, 2015 at 16:56

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