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I'd like to get feedback from the community, about what people think our goals are, or what goals our users would like this community to have?

There's no wrong answers here, and an answer such as "we should have no goals" is also perfectly fine.

I do think that various people here will have different opinions about how they want to see this site grow though. Having a clear idea of what the community wants, can help us so much in terms of deciding where to focus our energy, and also in terms of deciding policies (such as when a question needs to be closed, etc.).

A long time ago Stack Exchange suggested these goals which they no longer endorse so strongly anymore. Do we want to grow from our current 12,401 users to something like computational science which is at 28,000+ users? Or do we want to focus more on bringing in highly regarded experts, such as MathOverflow which has at least 10 Fields Medalists?

Do we want to work towards "graduation" (which admittedly is not what they call it anymore) out of Public Beta (meaning that, for example, we as a community get to choose our own ads rather than them being chosen by our sponsor)?

What do we want this community to be, and what do we want it to look like 10 years from now?

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For me, the ultimate goal of any site in the StackExchange network is building a repository of topical information. For this site in particular, the goal would then be to build a repository of knowledge about topics in quantum information science.

The utopic scenario is not that someone thinks of a question, comes to the site to ask it, and gets a good answer. Rather, the ideal scenario is that one thinks of a question, googles it, and lands on a post where the question was already answered. That is why I consider the titles of the questions to be of the utmost importance, as accurate and descriptive titles dramatically enhance a question's reusability, which is how I would measure the true worth of a post.

Of course, we are never going to run out of questions, hence why I call this scenario utopic (or would that be a dystopic scenario? I'm not sure). Still, the focus should always be to have questions being as reusable/searchable as possible.

What goals our users would like this community to have? How do people here want to see this site grow?

I'm not convinced that these sort of things are actionable. The goal seems obvious: to have many experts in different fields frequent the site and ask/answer questions. But that sort of thing, if it is ever going to happen, will just be the result of a slow increase in the number of users and content on the site.

I would say we'll start seeing a steady growth of new users when we get to the point that googling something related to quantum information often leads here, same as it happens whenever you google something programming-related with stackoverflow and similar sites.

Do we want to work towards "graduation" (which admittedly is not what they call it anymore) out of Public Beta (meaning that, for example, we as a community get to choose our own ads rather than them being chosen by our sponsor)?

We have ads? I've never seen any on this site. I'm not even sure what "graduation" would mean here. We already have a custom design and we don't have the "beta" marker (at least not when seeing the site on a desktop browser), and afaik they stopped closing beta sites except for extreme cases (which don't apply here), so what would "graduation" actually entail?

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    $\begingroup$ +1 I think knowledge repository is a very appropriate objective for this site and the re-usability of questions is an excellent content moderation principle to lead us there. Thank you for articulating this so well (and repeatedly around meta). $\endgroup$ – Adam Zalcman Apr 27 at 17:01
  • $\begingroup$ If you have a question about what graduation would entail, I'd be happy to answer it if you asked it in a post. I can't answer it in a comment. Thank you though, for taking the time to answer my question! $\endgroup$ – user1271772 Apr 28 at 2:12
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I am of the opinion that a mission of this site should be to inform and educate the interested public about the strengths and limitations of quantum computing.

We should be welcoming of the merely curious but we should be dismissive of cranks and take a hard line against trolls. Sort of a way to be more of a q&a counterpart to the shtetl-optimized comment threads.

I don't mind badly formatted questions with strange grammar as many show a sense of genuine curiosity. I'm not a fan of many homework questions if only because often no effort is made to motivate the question.

I also think that the community-wiki feature is not used as much as it should be and have tried to use this when I answer some borderline questions or questions that can veer into opinions. Many of the best MathOverflow questions are CW.

There are many in the who's-who of quantum computer researchers who frequent this site but I don't suspect that this site is or ever will be the main way they communicate amongst themselves (nor do I think the shtetl-optimized threads are either). MO can be at least somewhat welcoming to amateurs/hobbyists so this site should be also somewhat welcoming to the similar curious.

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 and Thanks so much for the feedback! What about any concrete goals such as "graduating" or reaching 30,000 users (for example), or getting more of the experts here (e.g. maybe about 50% of the mathematicians I know are on MathOverflow but probably <5% of the quantum computing researchers I know are here)? $\endgroup$ – user1271772 Apr 23 at 2:35
  • $\begingroup$ Shtetl-optimized and other blogs seem to take the role of a clearing house for the quantum-computing community... I’m not a researcher myself, I just like thinking about these things. I also think much of this community has a lot of business folk which might turn off researchers. We’ve had some heavy hitters that have contributed in brief spurts but I’m more intimidated by them than I should be! $\endgroup$ – Mark S Apr 23 at 2:53

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