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I was an active member during the beta launch of this site, checking the site regularly for questions I could answer and writing exhaustive answers.

Since the past 2 months or so, increasing number of questions are targeted towards misconceptions towards astronomy encouraged by popular science. The very good questions are research based and would require a lot of effort, often more than my capability.

This is apparently having a negative effect on site stats. Please give suggestions on what can be done to solve this dilemma? If you feel that I am incorrect in saying so, please point out the fallacy.

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For posterity, I'd like to add something to RhysW's otherwise good answer:

Up-vote quality questions & answers - always.

I know "above k" users say that the rep-points doesn't count, but it does. Getting that first up-vote triggers the reward system even if you like it or not. Votes are feedback (in both positive and negative terms). This is true for both pros and amateurs. We're all humans.

Let's face it, there will always be more amateur astronomers than professionals. We need to treat those few as our precious. One loss is one too many.

Up-vote a quality answer

  • even though you've already posted an answer yourself.
  • regardless of their rep-points.
  • always!

Up-vote a quality questions

  • even when you don't know the answer.
  • regardless of their rep-points.
  • always!

FTR: I'm an amateur amateur astronomer, not a professional.

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I imagine this is much the same problem that we have had since the start of the site. Professional level astronomy is a field that definitely does not rival the fields of programmers or the fields of physics and mathematics.

We are just coming up on a year old and our user base has been slowly growing, but i would like to point to some previously raised meta questions, for example this one by Jon

Let's ask more meaty questions!

This demonstrates that perhaps the best way to combat a decline in quality is to ask high quality questions yourself. If we can set a good example on a frequent enough basis we will have a much stronger starting point for new users.

Aside from this we would benefit largely if we could attract more professional astronomers here also, not to downplay our amateurs or current professionals of course. Advertising outside of the SE network is something we considered looking into at the birth of this site, perhaps its something we should consider looking into again now that we are approaching one year!

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