This is probably one of the hardest questions for PF in my mind. We don't have a lot of questions per-day and the questions we do get are very similar (in most, not all, cases).

Based on A51, it seems the questions per-day is something that is lacking from getting us out of the Beta and into the relm of sweet headers.

Question stands: What can we do to help ourselves get out of beta, as normal/power (daily) users?


Share and promote.

There is a meta question I posted a while back about how to attract higher level users, such as fitness and kinesiology professors/researchers and other users such as that. It didn't get a lot of traction at the time.

However, you can always share a link to the community, whether it's on bodybuilding forums, fitness forums, facebook, etc. The more eyeballs and quality questions will help drive traffic and interest, rather than 29 more iterations of "I work out but got a poochy belly, what do I do?"

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    I think we also need to be somewhat clearer towards users what exactly can be asked here. The help page states that PF is not for questions about "nutrition unrelated to exercise, such as food safety, nutritional needs for children, etc.", but I'm seeing questions regarding nutrition that are relevant to physical fitness sometimes getting closed, sometimes not. The message that's being sent out is not clear-cut enough, and the site needs a strong identity to attract good questions. – G_H May 19 '16 at 5:40
  • @G_H - All nutrition can be relevant to fitness. It was determined a few years ago that only nutrition involved with an ongoing program was on topic here. That's why your mfp post, while very informative, isn't really on topic. – JohnP May 19 '16 at 15:39
  • Got a link to any meta discussions where it was established? I'd be interested in seeing it. Nutrition involved with an ongoing program is certainly a specific definition, maybe it needs some elaboration in the help page. It's kind of an odd definition, from my POV, so maybe the discussions clear up the reasons. For example, is a question like "does beta-alanine improve performance in strength-focused training" on-topic or not? Would it be seen as program-related? – G_H May 19 '16 at 18:08
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    @G_H - meta.fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/137/…, meta.fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/306/…, meta.fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/287/…, and you can always type "nutrition" and "scope" into the search bar and see all the side/peripheral discussions that went on. (Note, the discussions/decision predate my time on the site by a few months). – JohnP May 19 '16 at 19:00
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    @G_H - And the discussions on scope from the original members of the site (Many of whom are still here, Dave Leipmann, Greg, Ivo, Berin, etc. are very interesting, and help really define the "nutrition related to exercise" stance. For your alanine, question, my first gut thought is yes, since it's asking about the element in the context of strength training. I'd have to see how the question was actually worded, though. – JohnP May 19 '16 at 19:08
  • Thanks for the links! The alanine question is simply an example, so not something I wanna ask (plenty of answers out there for me in studies). – G_H May 19 '16 at 20:00
  • @G_H - You could always post a relevant question and answer it yourself. That's perfectly allowed, and especially if you're using studies, would be a nice addition. You might also get other answers with information you hadn't heard/considered. – JohnP May 26 '16 at 16:35

More rigour in applying the stack exchange standards of questions and answers on this site.

Personally i have an interest in this topic but when I first looked at this site some time ago I decided that the same problems endemic to online fitness fora existed here:

Under-informed, overly broad questions(yet almost exclusively personal) and opinion based, excessively long answers.

This may seem a little harsh as there's clearly much work being done on a topic where misinformation and false assumptions are the norm, but IMO It's well short of stack exchange standards. Stack Exchange is a harsh place, where rigour is paramount; this is what sets stack overflow etc apart and is what is needed to set this site apart from similar online offerings.

In practice this would require severe editing, closing and duplicate-marking of questions and far greater criticism and editing of answers.

  • I think most would agree with how critical we are of our own and others answer on here. To properly understand the basics of nutrition, macros and dieting you would need to invest around 15 minutes in solid reading of information (see my answer here: fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/31181/… ) culling 'long' answers is not the way forward. – John Jun 15 '16 at 7:06
  • I think this particular site is very lacking in that criticism. I think the long answers partially stem from a failure to close/severely edit poor questions. Instead it seems that poor questions and the resulting tomes are what gets upvoted most here - kind of flying in the face of stack exchange in general. – Niall Jun 15 '16 at 7:30
  • @JJosaur I saw that question and answer. I thought the question was poor and would have been closed, severely edited on another site. I thought your answer (which shouldn't have existed) was excessively long, included detail fat beyond what was relevant and it's focus on that detail made it generally opinion-based. – Niall Jun 15 '16 at 7:35
  • Well the premise of SE is that through providing good answers and generating rep you can eventually approve edits and edit answers. Feel free to set your sights at that rep target and work to get there. – John Jun 15 '16 at 7:45
  • @JJosaur The goal of SE is to provide a peer-reviewed repository of good answers to specific questions, not to generate rep. – Niall Jun 15 '16 at 7:57
  • Agreed. My point still stands. This has become a conversation so feel free to raise it in chat. – John Jun 15 '16 at 7:59
  • @JJosaur to link those points back to the topic of why the site is being held back - the existing standard of rigour is so low that it's off-putting to anyone who wishes to contribute. To attract people, there must be an acceptance of the problem and change lead from within. – Niall Jun 15 '16 at 8:02
  • Just in case there was ever a question of what @Niall is saying: fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/31218/… – michael Jun 16 '16 at 14:58
  • @Michael Link has 404'd – John Jun 21 '16 at 9:45
  • @JJosaur thank goodness. It was the t-shirt with arms cut off question. – michael Jun 21 '16 at 13:47
  • @michael - Yes, I deleted that as soon as I saw it. – JohnP Jun 22 '16 at 22:28
  • @JJosaur - I wavered on whether to close that question, as it doesn't really fit what I would deem a quality fitness question. IMHO, a question like that is basically "Hey, I work out an hour a day. How can I gain weight?" He's not asking for improvements in his workout regimen, he specifically just wants a diet. That's an edge case that has been tolerated in the past, but (again IMHO) isn't really a good fit for the site. Just because you say "Hey, I hit the gym on occasion" doesn't bring a question on topic. – JohnP Jun 22 '16 at 22:31
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    Additionally, it would help the moderators that if you see a question you believe is off topic or is not up to the standards of the site (or what we would like the standards to be), vote it down, vote to close and/or flag for moderator attention. – JohnP Jun 23 '16 at 14:40

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