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We all love Islam 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!

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One thing that I have noticed about this site is that it seems that the first language of many of the contributers is not English. This is occassionally a problem for native English speakers reading rather ungrammatical posts. It would be useful if there were some more native English speakers who could help edit those posts into better shape.

A related problem is that many of the posters seem to be unfamiliar with the typical posting style/format of S.E. posts, which causes them to seem rather TL;DR, incoherent and unprofessional.

Finally, I wish that the answers were more based on authentic Islamic teachings and answers to questions rather than original research, but apparently I am in the minority on that count.

On a positive note, I have definitely felt welcomed here and helped by answers to my questions about Islam. I am not particularly well educated in Islam, but it definitely seems like there is a lot of quality content here.

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Final Results

  • inre the second question: 5 "excellents" for nothing more than a cut-and-paste? is that really what we're going for here? – goldPseudo Jun 12 '13 at 15:09
  • @goldPseudo We still have a big bunch of them. Unquoted. Just that they are old when the copy-paste rules weren't as ironed out as they are now and aren't plagiarized. – Bleeding Fingers Jun 11 '14 at 16:58
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I find that very few of the sample answers are providing any information that can't already be gleaned either from a fairly brief (English-language) Google search or a rather basic knowledge of Islam. What we do have, while acceptable, is fairly simplistic. We are, quite frankly, not bringing anything new to the field of Islamic Q&A.

We are not (yet) making the Internet a better place.

I know that most (if not all) of us don't claim to be "scholars" by any stretch of the term, but if the extent of our combined "scholarship" is just a regurgitation of the low-hanging fruit, then I doubt we will attract many users with an actual background in Islamic scholarship. We can't be satisfied with answering according to what is easily available, we need to be getting out there and finding new information to bring in.

  • The biggest stumbling block for not getting new information here is non native speakers of English as suggested by the other answer. – Islam Jun 10 '13 at 5:48
  • @Ali I don't think so; given how much non-English information is out there, having a userbase where English is a second language could actually be beneficial. – goldPseudo Jun 10 '13 at 6:36
  • Maybe The problem is that those who know much non english(arabic) information tend to have problems using English – Islam Jun 10 '13 at 6:43

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