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I am curious what is the right number of questions to answer (with the highest standard of quality not being sacrificed for quantity) to have your credibility go up by 200 points/day?

My initial data suggests it is somewhere around 5-8 questions, but I assume it varies by user.

Do highly up-voted questions tend to get highly up-voted answers?

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    $\begingroup$ Working for JPL or NASA seems to help slightly ;). $\endgroup$ – Magic Octopus Urn Mar 28 at 17:51
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The cynic's guide to gaining reputation:

  • Post well-worded answers in questions that you think are 'popsci' enough to get into the Hot network Questions list.

  • Wherever possible, include relevant pop-culture pictures, xkcd diagrams or lego mockups of rockets to aid in your answer.

I do not necessarily endorse the above approaches, although they overlap sufficiently with 'answering the question well' to not be an approach to be discouraged. Aiming for a well-constructed answer a day will get you a lot farther than producing many medium-quality answers per day. Even so, a middling answer on a HNQ question can still get you quite a lot of rep.

Finally, I recommend stalking Uhoh. He asks many high quality questions, and they have an unusually good probability to become HNQ questions. It seems to be where most of my rep comes from.

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    $\begingroup$ Following around uhoh does work! $\endgroup$ – Knudsen Number Apr 11 at 1:52
  • $\begingroup$ Your answer I think is actually what I was going for without even realizing it. There was a question about if an object could be launched directly from the Moon to Mars or the one about if relativistic baseball hit a spaceship. I guess it sort of seems that credibility is gained by asking "pop-sci" questions and not really technical questions. The XKCD bit, so true! $\endgroup$ – Knudsen Number Apr 11 at 2:10
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    $\begingroup$ A similar thread in math.meta pointed out that in order to get a highly upvoted question, you start with "My 7 y/o daughter just asked me this question and it had me stumped..." $\endgroup$ – Ingolifs Apr 11 at 2:13
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For some it may be one question every couple of days. For others it may be a few a day.

It is not really a useful metric - and certainly not one you should aim at at the expense of other factors. There is not an optimal rate that benefits you or the site.

Instead, focus on high quality posts. If you can make good posts that the community appreciates, you will gain rep as a side effect. If you post numerous low value posts, you may find you end up with downvotes and penalties.

Please read our help pages, especially https://space.stackexchange.com/help/whats-reputation

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A single well received answer can garner that many votes in a day.

But I am always surprised which of my answers are well received. So difficult to predict, at least for me.

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    $\begingroup$ ditto on the surprise $\endgroup$ – uhoh Mar 16 at 2:15
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Answering 5-8 questions a day is quite a challenge and makes it tempting to begin to drift into the world of link-onlyness.

It's pretty easy to start answering with variations of "I found the answer here." without realizing that you are no longer writing a complete answer.

SE is gamified and different people respond to its gamification differently. but I think it's almost universally accepted that answer quality should always be at the top of the list of things to consider.

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    $\begingroup$ You're on to my bad habits after just a couple days! $\endgroup$ – Knudsen Number Mar 16 at 2:25
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    $\begingroup$ @Knudsen ha! You've written some great answers already, it's greatly appreciated! $\endgroup$ – uhoh Mar 16 at 2:27
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks! I have appreciated your edits. $\endgroup$ – Knudsen Number Mar 16 at 2:29
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At present, I believe that I am the second-most-prolific question writer on Space.SE, after uhoh. Some observations:

  • Everything on StackExchange sites are eventually driven by the questions that are submitted. Both quantity and quality of questions are important to the viability of a site.
  • To that end, I try to submit one question per day. I feel that this rate gives a balance between quantity and quality.
  • I keep a document of questions to ask. You never know when you will come up with a question. I write down at least the title of the question. If I think of something really important to include in the question, I'll add that. If the question is inspired by something someone else wrote, I copy+paste the reference so I can properly give credit.
  • Often an idea will inspire several questions. I write them down, but don't ask them in sequence, because...
  • Variety is the spice of life. You don't want others to say, "Another one of those questions? Ugh!" Also, remember that one of the goals of StackExchange is to build up a repository of knowledge. Variety is good. So I try to mix up questions about old technology with new technology, theory with experience, manned with unmanned, etc.
  • Do search for similar existing questions. If there was a similar past question, either justify why yours is different, or move on to another question.
  • Try to include links or pictures central to the question. Not only is this part of researching the question, it also helps orient those readers who aren't experts in the subject matter.
  • Hot Network Questions is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it brings more people to the Space.SE site. On the other hand, many worthy topics will never become popular enough to make HNQ. I don't intentionally write questions for HNQ, but I have a pretty good sense which of my questions will make it, and those questions cover only a small range of topics. Variety is good, so don't cater to the HNQ.
  • We've all had questions that are duds. Don't get discouraged by them. On the other hand, some questions keep going after 3 days. By posting one question per day and varying the topics, the good and bad questions average each other out.
  • Could I make more reputation? Sure, by asking more than one question per day. However, (1) I couldn't be as choosy about which questions to post. (2) I'd have less time to research and improve my questions. (3) This site isn't the DrSheldon show.

Hope this helps!

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  • $\begingroup$ This is really excellent! It's a very thoughtful treatment of the question, good advice, and should probably be linked to in the help section. $\endgroup$ – uhoh May 2 at 0:35
  • $\begingroup$ @uhoh: Thanks. I've noticed that many of the practices mentioned here (e.g. variety, research, links, pictures) also apply to your questions. $\endgroup$ – DrSheldon May 2 at 0:44
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I do recognizes a few that I probably do do but without realizing it. But I also recognize a few things that I don't do, without realizing it, and should probably start doing! $\endgroup$ – uhoh May 2 at 0:49

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