Too many answers is obviously not an issue. It is a good thing to have. On StackOverflow.com about a quarter of all questions are not answered.
Too little questions is a little disappointing but I do not agree that moving to questions in Russian is the solution to this problem. I will try to explain in a moment.
First, what can be done to promote this forum:
- I agree with statement of Aleks G that we should somehow
promote it to the Russian language students abroad. This is good
idea. (Though the question is how). It can be done via two ways: via
teachers/academic circles, and via students themselves. Maybe we can
go to Facebook interest groups and mention this forum there.
Another idea (coming from Olga's comment that many Russians on this
forum prefer answering questions to asking them) is that we need to
encourage existing users to ask questions. I, for example, did not
ask a single question :-) mostly because of laziness, not that I
think that I already know all the answers. I will try to ask more.
Maybe others can do the same. In fact, on stackoverflow many experts
with sky-high reputations are constantly asking questions. Maybe
Russians here are just shy (just teasing). :-).
The only thing I personally do not like is when the question is
asked only "for filling the beta site with content". The question
should be interesting to both parties: asking and answering.
Another possibility to promote is to tell our Russian speaking
friends/colleagues that this conference exists. Not all of them are
interested in Russian language as a subject but some of them may be.
Problem of small number of registered users of this site will go by
itself with time. We do not need to drastically change our
traditions for that. In fact, the more popular is the studying
Russian among students with English as a first language or
international students with good command in English, the more
popular will be this forum. And talking here in English will with
time attract students to the forum.
I have just looked at statistic page: Russian Language and
Usage is not doing too bad comparing to other language sites. Number
of users is comparable with French, German, and Chinese forums while
they are 2 to 3 times older than we. Number of questions per day is
more than of French site (1.4 vs 1.2). Though we need 10 times more
to get out of beta (as far as I understand from this page). :-(
It is a classical, so-called problem "22": we are not getting enough
traffic because the site does not come even close to the top results
of the Google search query "russian language forums". But to
get closer to the top we need more traffic. What can we do about it?
Maybe write a wikipedia article :-).
Secondly, why I would prefer Russian Language and Usage as it is predominantly in English:
Most important, to my mind, it is what makes this site unique. I've seen many
sites on Russian language in Russian but it is my first which has
a tradition to write in English. Imagine you would send a twitter
message about this forum. What would be its distinguishing features?
One of them could be that it is in English, second that it is
completely community based - no corporate sponsors.
Being in English this site gathers together the people with similar
experiences - people who was exposed to English through living
abroad or intensely communicating with English speaking people while
leaving in Russia. Common experiences mean more interesting conversations.
For me, it is interesting sometimes to compare Russian and English.
With site being in English it is more likely that I will be
I enjoy writing here in English because the practice improves my English
as well (hopefully:-).
Most people participating in discussions on the OP here agree as far
as I understood that if a question is posed in English, it should be
answered in English and the same for Russian. If this happens,
we will create kind of zebra, two sub-sites in one. It will not make
sense to create links from one question to another if they belong to
a different language subsystem. What will happen most likely that
within one question people will answer in Russian the question posed
in English. I had similar experience on French Language and
Usage site. I asked in English, but some comments came in French. I
felt little unwelcome.
In conclusion, I do not agree that giving up the original tradition of writing in English is worth to get more traffic. Note, by the way that French Language and Usage uses lots of French but their traffic is less than that of this site.