I'm willing to do an a analysis of questions to date if it's of use to anyone in our discussions. I was thinking of categorising and quantifying a snapshot of what we've (apparently) decided is on-topic (by looking at all questions that haven't been closed as off-topic), but won't put in the work if it isn't useful (although I then shall have to find another diversion from trying to find the d*mnable bug that's preventing the next release of my d*mnable application).
The broad categories I was thinking of:
- Application of technology (e.g. choice or use of particular software, standards for data exchange, DNA testing)
- Best practice (e.g. naming standards, research logs, source citation, evidence vs. information, how do I start my family history, document preservation, ethics, copyright)
- Brick walls (e.g. I've done X to find the parents/birth/children of Y in town Z in region R circa Date without success. What might I do now?"
- Fishing expeditions and cousin-bait (e.g. I'm interested in any information about Fred and Mary Bloggs, London, circa 1828.)
- Identifying sources (e.g. where can I find sources on...)
- Other related specialist subjects (palaeography, heraldry, terminology)
I may come up with other categories as I do the analysis, or please suggest any I've missed.
This is one axis of a two-dimensional matrix -- the on vs. off-topic axis. The other and probably more important axis is: good vs. bad question which is being discussed at How do I know that I have a good question?. I can use the votes for each question to quantify good versus bad (although I'm not convinced at this stage that it will be statistically significant).
Update: I'm working on this based on a snapshot of questions taken yesterday afternoon and will publish the results early next week.