We all love Tor Stack Exchange, but there is a whole world of people out there who need answers to their questions and don't even know that this site exists. When they arrive from Google, what will their first impression be? Let's try to look at this site through the eyes of someone who's never seen it before, and see how we stack up against the rest of the 'Net.

The Site Self-Evaluation review queue is open and populated with 10 questions that were asked and answered in the last quarter. Run a few Google searches to see how easy they are to find and compare the answers we have with the information available on other sites.

Rating the questions is only a part of the puzzle, though. Do you see a pattern of questions that should have been closed but are not? Questions or answers that could use an edit? Anything that's going really well? Post an answer below to share your thoughts and discuss these questions and the site's health with your fellow users!

3 Answers 3


After going through the review queue (most of which were asked, edited, or answered by the same small group of people), and checknig our most recent stats on Area 51 the biggest thing that sticks out for me is the fact that we only have a handful (36) of active users.

This is partially due to the fact that the Tor community in general likes to stay anonymous online and a great many people create a new account each time they ask a question, post an answer, etc. These accounts aren't spam (they're mostly legit questions and answers); it's just the way the Tor community does things (weather they need to or not is a different question alltogether).

However, despite that, there are still a very small number of active users compared to total users.

The other thing I noticed while going through the review queue is that the answer quality was consistently low. I suspect that this will improve with time (or once we fix the above problem and have more active users).

  • For a first self-eval, this didn't do bad at all. We're also aware that things are going to be a little different here when it comes to metrics that measure engagement and participation. The one thing you really need to watch for is enough users unlocking enough privileges for active community moderation, which is a prerequisite to being able to sustain an election, which is a prerequisite to graduation. Everything else looks good here, it's a really solid site (and good service for the Tor community)
    – Tim Post
    Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 10:14

Final Results

Net Score: 5 (Excellent: 5, Satisfactory: 0, Needs Improvement: 0)

Net Score: 4 (Excellent: 4, Satisfactory: 2, Needs Improvement: 0)

Net Score: 2 (Excellent: 2, Satisfactory: 3, Needs Improvement: 0)

Net Score: 0 (Excellent: 1, Satisfactory: 2, Needs Improvement: 1)

Net Score: -1 (Excellent: 1, Satisfactory: 2, Needs Improvement: 2)

Net Score: -1 (Excellent: 0, Satisfactory: 5, Needs Improvement: 1)

Net Score: -3 (Excellent: 0, Satisfactory: 3, Needs Improvement: 3)

Net Score: -3 (Excellent: 0, Satisfactory: 2, Needs Improvement: 3)

Net Score: -5 (Excellent: 0, Satisfactory: 2, Needs Improvement: 5)

Net Score: -5 (Excellent: 0, Satisfactory: 1, Needs Improvement: 5)


In addition to Sam Whited's answer, I was fairly regularly struggling to find the questions+answer pages in Google results for related terms. Often I'd have to go to the second page, only rarely were we high up in the rankings - usually for specific terminology where I used the exact terminology in the question.

  • Say hello to SEO ;) We're still fairly fresh in Google's eyes and not very active compared to some other SE sites. Once more people start linking to helpful answers on their blogs/&c. that should help with ranking on more generic terms. Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 16:23
  • 1
    That's very true, and hopefully will improve with time, but it's still worth calling out as it is one of the review criteria. Commented Jan 4, 2014 at 8:44

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