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Early this year, I asked about a Windows 7 upgrade from Vista which made my computer unbootable, on an older account (which I can't find any longer). I followed it for a few months; it got ~50+ views and not even a comment. I ended up reinstalling Windows 7 from scratch and gave that as the answer.

Then, 11 days ago, from this account, I asked a question about storage occupation post failed update from Mojave to Big Sur. It's been viewed 15 times, no votes, no comments, nothing.

Just yesterday, I asked a question about GTX 750 on EXP GDC having issues, and it has 25 views with one comment (a clarification for my intended meaning with a phrase from the question). With this one, it's reasonably still too early to say that the response is mum, I concede - except it was actually downvoted.

From my experience on Stack Overflow, and a bit on Bicycle Stack Exchange and Cryptography Stack Exchange, responses are unexpectedly fast and helpful. However, in spite of my best efforts with Super User, I am having no such luck. My questions appear to be being ignored.

I understand that this is promptness is luxury and most forums are not like this, with months before useful developments take place. I understand that I have no right to expect a community to be fast, for it is a voluntary exercise and no one owes another anything.

But, a fast response time is my chief reason to love the Stack Exchange network, since others like Reddit and Quora are dog-slow. So my experience from Super User shocked me, to say the least.

My question is:

Is Super User slow to respond to questions in relation to other networks for all and in general or am I doing something wrong with my questions?


No hate on the community; this sincere concern stems from love of the unparalleled level of prompt and helpful responses I experience across the Stack Exchange sites, except Super User.

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    @DavidPostill : helpful reminder about bounties. Thanks. As for improving it, I cant see much improvement of the mentioned questions that I haven't already made. – An Ant Dec 5 '20 at 9:59
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    I already posted an answer: I believe your questions are simply very simple questions to ask that you are making more complicated due to excessive content and odd formatting. If I scroll through questions and see question with formatting and narrative like you have, my brain literally turns off and I ignore them. But looking at your question here, you seem to tend to lean on jargon instead of simply stating the core question. For example, what the heck does “TOT” mean in the context of “…except it was actually downvoted. TOT” – Giacomo1968 Dec 5 '20 at 19:20
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    @Giacomo1968 Okay, I can certainly agree with most of what you say. Perhaps I can do a better job with the formatting , sure. TOT is not jargon, TOT is a text-emoji , like :) or XD or ;) . the T is the closed eye with a tear streaming down and the O is a wailing , open , mouth. Overall : crying emoji in text. – An Ant Dec 6 '20 at 7:14
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    @AnAnt You’re welcome! Removed the TOT because this is not the kind of place where emoji and ASCII art is really welcome or used. – Giacomo1968 Dec 6 '20 at 16:34
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From my experience on StackOverflow, and a bit on Bicycle Stack Exchange & Cryptography Stack Exchange, responses are unexpectedly fast and helpful. However, in spite of my best efforts with SU , I am having no such luck. My questions appear to be being ignored.

Well, the most common response time to a question here is no more than 5 minutes:

enter image description here

This is on par with other sites of similar size, like Mathematics and Ask Ubuntu. On smaller sites, it tends to be longer, e.g. 10-15 minutes for Bicycles and Cryptography.

Is SU slow in relation to other networks for all and in general or am I doing something wrong with my questions?

That doesn't mean you're doing something wrong; it could very well be that you ask a specialized problem which not many users are knowledgeable to answer. 'Niche questions' (by no means intended as a disqualification) would be slow to get answer on any site in the network, not just Super User.

If, after the bounty, you still don't get an answer for the Big Sur question, you might give it a try on Ask Different. (Don't do it right now, cross-posting is not recommended.)

  • This might be interpreted as telling that if a question by some reason did not attract attention for few minutes then it is buried so deep afterwards that its chance of getting noticed quickly tends to zero with time. – მამუკა ჯიბლაძე Dec 13 '20 at 15:39
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    I think the median value is quite a bit higher than the peak value (5 minutes). I think that the median value is a fairer measure. – Peter Mortensen Dec 13 '20 at 16:54
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Your questions are relatively simple in the context of what the core content is but difficult to read and understand at first glance.

I personally think the mixed formatting of your questions — with seemingly randomized bolding and italicization as well as unnecessary headers — makes me not even want to read the question.

First off, I answer and participate in this site — and others across the Stack Exchange network — and I do a lot of copy edits of posts. Many times what I do includes breaking up a huge wall of text in a single massive paragraph into smaller chunks. It’s easier to read that way and I believe helps the most get positive interactions.


The macOS Big Sur Question.

That said, I look at something like this question and I immediately stop wanting to read when I see the following:

  • “Big Sur Update Problems , After Update Fails, Space is Still Occupied”: Your “question” starts out with something very unhelpful: Saying you have “Big Sur Update Problems.” No disrespect but what does that tell anyone? That you updated to Big Sur and now have problems? Your title should focus on the actual problems. So I fixed it by changing it to: “After a failed Big Sur Update, of 17GB previously available only 5GB remains free on my machine. What to do next?” Also, that original title is not a sentence but each word is capitalized which is not great grammar-wise.
  • Those Subheads Aren’t Helpful: The original post had the following four subheads “How We Got Here,” “The Problem,” “My Theory” and “The Question.” No disrespect but this is not the kind of question that needs some movie-like 3-4 act structure: Your original Big Sur update failed, 12GB of 17GB takes up space and now you don’t know what the next steps are. This can all be stated without the heads.
  • Asking “Anyone with similar experience?” at the end: This might be just me, but asking something like that after you have stated you have a problem and outlined the details is a bit pandering/coy. Do you want people to respond with answers or “Me too!” responses like: “This happened to me too! How do you solve it? Let me know!” By basic definition of what this site is, anyone who can answer your question has had experience and will provide you with an answer. Please do not coyly ask for commiseration when what you want is a solution.

That said, I have posted an answer to your Big Sur question after my cleanup of the question. Here is what the question looked like originally and here is my cleaned up and updated revision.


The External PCI Card and GPU Question.

And in the case of your issues with an external PCI adapter and graphics card, your original formatting was truly confusing so I have updated that as well; your original version can be seen here and the updated version can be seen here.

This was equally a simply issue that was hard to decipher because you used things like:

  • Quote formatting where there was no quote.
  • Bold and italicized text that didn’t need to be bolded or italicized.
  • Linking to an image on your Google Drive when it could simply have been added as an embedded image in the post.
  • Listing specs but doing so in such a haphazard way it was hard to understand what is what.
  • And finally, you are referring to “EXP GDC Beast v8 Mini PCI-E” only by it’s technical name and never clearly stating that it is an external GPU adapter. Not only is that a very niche item, most people really don’t know what that is. So just using jargon further makes it hard for people to understand what you are dealing with.

The Follow Up External PCI Card and GPU Question.

I am loathe to update this answer yet again, but I would like to shed light on a recent interaction you had with me in the comments on a new question of yours specific to the external GPU adapter you are using:

“@Giacomo1968 I don't see your issue. Are you running SU from a 100 GB HDD in your basement ? So what if mine is a very niche question ? Niche problems exist too, and I'd say its well worth it if I manage to fix this that the solution be public and can help even one person !! I do not understand this obsession you have in your comments across all my questions about the question needing to be universal... a specific question is "good" , as stated in the SE guidelines. A good , serious technical issue that needs the help of a forum is not be general, it tends to be specific and unique !”

Screenshot of the above comment; the upvote on the comment is me acknowledging I read and the flag is a moderator flag I made due to the rudeness:

enter image description here

Let me state clearly, I have positively edited your post to make it clearer read and understand. Here is your last edit. And here is mine. My edits were done even after you insulted me by saying:

“Are you running SU from a 100 GB HDD in your basement ?”

Seriously? This is how you deal with people who disagree with you?

What the heck do you want from a community that provides you with rock solid advice for free?

Congratulations! You purchased a piece of endless tweaker hardware for $40 to $50 that “promises” to connect your laptop to an external GPU. Mazel tov my friend! Hardware that you claim will work by then you state you need to literally wrap in aluminum foil to get it to work:

“To test if electrical interference and related noise from other devices was the cause, by securely wrapping all cables from the EXP GDC in aluminum foil.”

But when somebody dares to point out to you that maybe — just maybe — this questionable piece of hardware might be the cause of these issues, you lash out at them.

You can’t have it both ways:

  • You want a fast response but you don’t want any criticism of the hardware you are struggling with. And you engage in personally insulting those who try to help you using the “tried and true” nonsense insult that implies “you spend too much time here.” What else could implying someone is in a basement like a “loser” responding to you mean?
  • When the response is slow you are oblivious to the fact you are using niche hardware and perhaps people can’t really give you advice.

Perhaps I can give you a much better tact: You are constantly pointing to other forums where people clearly have more experience with this external GPU device. Perhaps it is better if you post on those forums about this specific piece of hardware. And perhaps when you get a solution after hashing things out there, you post your solution here.

Why complain about Super User’s lack of response to external GPU issues when you clearly know there are other forums that can better address your niche issues?

Anyway, once bitten twice shy: I’m avoiding your posts moving forward for all of the above reasons.

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    I immediately ignore any questions that contains “Asking “Anyone with similar experience?” since in my experience those users are incredibly difficult to work with or they don’t actually have the problem and are “asking just to ask” – Ramhound Dec 5 '20 at 21:04
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    I have upvoted this answer, since it appears, despite the author of the question getting answers to their question they are unhappy with those answers. – Ramhound Dec 12 '20 at 15:35
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I have found that one thing applies for all Stack Exchange sites, and all other forums for technical questions.

If you ask a question which is hard and if the answer is not reachable with search engine easily — and especially if you don't frame your question in a good way, because of lack of knowledge of the subject — you won't get an answer, at least not the one that is satisfying.

The easy questions are the ones who get a lot of comments and answers.

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I can't speculate about the Big Sur question, but I'll take a bite on the other one

Two reasons I suspect –

Firstly, while incredibly neat, and I keep trying to talk myself out of getting one every 3 months, the GDC beast is a very niche piece of kit. Only a very specific class of enthusiast, who happens to want to game on a laptop with no discrete video card or thunderbolt, and in 2 of 3 different ways to install the GDC, is happy to either leave the mini pcie or m.2 bay wide open (or use an expresscard, but $deity, Its been eons since I have seen one). Essentially the people best suited to try to find a problem are pretty rare on the ground anywhere.

I'd also say it's December, and folks tend to be less active around then.

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Is Super User slow to respond to questions in relation to other networks for all and in general

According to https://stackexchange.com/sites#percentanswered (mirror), superuser.com currently ranks 166 out of 177 in terms of the percentage of questions that get answered. This doesn't take into account the many removed questions.

Then, 11 days ago, from this account, I asked a question about storage occupation post failed update from Mojave to Big Sur. It's been viewed 15 times, no votes, no comments, nothing.

Beware that such questions with no votes and no comments will get automatically removed, which will make it impossible to answer it. For example, see all my questions that got automatically removed over the past 60 days:

enter image description here

Just yesterday, I asked a question about GTX 750 on EXP GDC having issues, and it has 25 views with one comment (a clarification for my intended meaning with a phrase from the question). With this one, it's reasonably still too early to say that the response is mum, I concede - except it was actually downvoted.

Getting downvoted is indeed an issue here and doesn't help attract experts able to answer questions.

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