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One of the main sources of this site's traffic over the last few weeks has been other sites on the Stack Exchange network, thanks to the Hot Network Questions bar. When one of our questions is answered within a few hours, and both question and answer(s) receive several upvotes, a link to the question appears across the network.

This is a great way to get exposure for our site, but I know there's more that we can do. What ideas could we implement that would lead to more visitors and users on our site?

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  • Are these visitors coming for curiosity, or are they a source of long-term users of the site? I know I'm only here out of an indirect interest, so appealing to more people like me won't necessarily be useful. – Sean Houlihane May 17 '16 at 10:29
  • @SeanHoulihane We want both readers and contributors. Most readers won't end up participating, or will only ask or answer one question, but that's fine. Some small percentage of them will like what they see and keep coming back. – Nathaniel is protesting May 17 '16 at 11:58
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I have three ideas:

  1. One thing that I have been planning is to write an article in Melissa, a magazine published in Latin. It reaches a fair amount of people who are enthusiastic about the language. I have once published an article there about my research, and I have read numerous other articles. I therefore think I know that a nice little article about this site would have a good change to get published.

  2. At some point I will advertise this site on some Finnish mailing lists. I want to do it properly, so it will take a while to figure out how to do that. I might make a metapost about phrasing such advertisement emails or selecting good example questions for them at some point.

  3. My home city hosts an annual event Athenis Finlandiae dedicated to ancient culture. (You are of course all welcome to attend!) I will probably be given the chance to mention and promote this new site if I ask for it. If nothing else, I will mention it in the inaugurating speech I have been invited to give.

I have postponed thinking about promoting our site until we have it in such a shape that I dare show it to outsiders. Now that our help pages and tour and Latin quick help are in place, promotion is a next priority.

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Community promotion ads

On graduated sites, a sidebar ad appears on the right side of the screen that points to one of several ads approved by each site's community. On Christianity.SE, the following will be a common sight (note the ad on the right):

Screenshot of C.SE showing LL beta ad

There's a fair amount of overlap in interest between Christianity and Latin, thanks to the writings of many of the church fathers and the ongoing use of Latin in Catholicism. Thus, an ad like this reaches an audience that is likely to be more interested in Latin than the general populace. But, there are a few issues:

  1. To my knowledge, Christianity.SE is the only site where Latin.SE has been promoted in this way. One other candidate that comes to mind would be English Language & Usage. Other sites, like Linguistics, History, Spanish, Portuguese, etc., couldn't show such an ad because they are still in beta.
  2. In order for the ad to appear on these sites, someone needs to design it, post it in the relevant meta post on the target site, and attract six upvotes. Ideally, ads should be visually appealing and simultaneously indicate why members of the target site might also be interested in Latin.SE.

So if you have ideas for new ads, are willing to design them, or are simply interested in upvoting one submitted by someone else, that's great! Hopefully we can leverage this built-in feature to expose our site to more people.

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  • I believe these community promotion ads would work much better if we had a decent ad. We should adapt the ad to every target site separately; the sites for history and Christianity are unlikely to like the exact same thing. Unfortunately I lack the aptitude to make a better ad myself. Do you have ideas for a good ad at Christianity? – Joonas Ilmavirta Apr 18 '16 at 18:46
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    @JoonasIlmavirta Agreed. My first thought would be combining a backdrop of a recognizable church father and including a tag line like "Need help reading the church fathers? Visit Latin Language.SE". Perhaps I'll mock something up and post it in chat for feedback. – Nathaniel is protesting Apr 18 '16 at 18:53
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    I just joined Christianity.SE (a perhaps uncharacteristic action of me to take) and upvoted, so it's at 6 now. I'd also suggest an ad for linguistics.SE, but I, too, like @JoonasIlmavirta, lack the skill to make a site-appropriate ad. – Joel Derfner Apr 19 '16 at 11:52
  • @JoelDerfner Thanks! Unfortunately, Linguistics.SE is still a beta site, like many other sites on the network that have an obvious connection to Latin. On beta sites we have the "Site Stats" box on the right instead of the community promotion ad. There's a complete list of SE sites; those with a fancy icon are all graduated and can have community promotion ads. – Nathaniel is protesting Apr 19 '16 at 13:29

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