I was looking at the statistics for our Portuguese Language Stack. It is evident that improvements need to be made in most areas if we are to get out of the BETA stage. As I was browsing through various interesting questions on the site, I couldn't help but compare it to the English Language Learner Stack, and I noted that our answers seem to be much greater in length. Though this results in thoroughness, it may be a bit of a turn-off for new visitors to the site; especially those who are learners (since its been suggested that learners will be amongst the target audience). Here are some statistics I pulled up:

(Nature of statistics; the accepted answers from the top 10 highest-voted questions)

English Language Learners:

Average word Count - 119.0

Spanish Language beta:

Average word Count - 209.7

Portuguese Language beta:

Average word count - 393.8

*All results were calculated using a freeware word counter. Please note that in both the Spanish & Portuguese stack sites, I have calculated the English answer when I was encountered with dual-language answers.*

Of course, such statistics are flawed in that, no two questions are the same, and some questions require longer answers than others. What is more, the variation in the languages contributes to varying word lengths. However, I feel that these statistics provide some valuable information.

My suggestion is that perhaps we should try to shorten our answers where possible. This would potentially make the site less intimidating to new users. What do you think?

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler" - Albert Einstein

  • 3
    This is interesting data, but is there a concrete question that we would investigate? Or a suggestion? Or?
    – ANeves
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 15:02
  • A suggestion, sorry I should have worded it a bit more clearly
    – Mr Chasi
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 23:44
  • It's not very clear what the suggestion is. (Is it that we try to have shorter or clearer answers?) Maybe you could add an introductory sentence ("I think we could improve the site by providing shorter answers"?) or a summary at the end.
    – ANeves
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 9:13
  • I've added a summary at the end @ANeves
    – Mr Chasi
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 13:14

2 Answers 2


If an answer is repetitive or rambles away from the point, then it is definitely too long, and is generally a bad answer.

But then you can have good answers of different lengths to the same question. One may have more detailed explanations and examples; the other may give just a broad idea. Then it is a matter of taste and of what the viewer is looking for. Some people may prefer the longer, more detailed answer; others may prefer the shorter one.

Because all people are not alike variety is best. So that whether you like detailed answers or prefer brief ones you’ll find something to suit your preferences here. So ideally we should have more answers per question.

Jorge B. points out in his answer that we have few users and questions. We cannot do much about the number of users. We can post more questions to generate more content, though my imagination has been running low of late. And we can definitely write more answers. Right now we have 1.7 answers per question; Spanish Language has 2.5. With more answers per question, some shorter, some longer, looking at the issue from different angles, etc., it will be more likely viewers will find an answer they like.



The question we should ask is: How does the amount of words affects the site quality?

Jacinto's answer have 448 words, but they are 448 great quality words. As once someone told me at SOpt, the answer size is not relevant when it has an above-average quality answer.

Honestly I think we don't have any problem with our answers.

In my point of view the problem is the lack of users who consequently generates lack of questions and visits. More visits is a synonymous of more search occurrences. It's a cycle. See this and this.


A pergunta que se deve fazer é: Em que medida é que a quantidade de palavras tem influência na qualidade do site?

Nesta resposta do @Jacinto temos 448 palavras, mas são 448 palavras de uma grande qualidade. Como uma vez me disseram no SOpt, o tamanho da resposta não é relevante quando ela tem uma qualidade acima da média.

Sinceramente, acho que temos uma qualidade de respostas acima da média, dá gosto ver. Não me parece que seja esse o problema.

A meu ver o problema está na falta de utilizadores que por consequência gera falta de perguntas e visualizações. Quanto mais visualizações, mais vezes apareceremos nas pesquisas. Vê isto e isto.

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Em relação ao espanhol estamos muito bem, é capaz que um site de línguas não ter muitas perguntas por dia mesmo. O nosso principal problema parece mesmo ser o número de visitas diárias.

  • 1
    That's flattering. Fico todo babado :)
    – Jacinto
    Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 21:11

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