I spend a significant portion of each day writing perfect questions to ask on Stack Exchange. Other than this place, it's the last place online where it's even technically possible to ask questions at all and stand a theoretical chance of getting non-idiots (or anyone at all) replying.
Lately, in the last few years, it's become utterly impossible to get anything answered. No matter how clear I am, they simply do not read the question before replying. Consistently. I've wasted so much time trying to reason with them and explain myself over and over, but it's meaningless. It's literally like talking to robots or mentally ill people who simply cannot be reasoned with.
I like this site much better from a user experience point of view. You don't have stupid, pointless requirements to enter names/nicknames/e-mail addresses, and no "tags" that have to be filled in.
Sadly, as you are well aware, a depressingly small amount of people seem to use it. So even though it's superior to SE, which in itself seems to have very little traffic at this point, the "network effect" once again makes itself known. I've experienced the same thing myself, over and over again, until I gave up on trying to run websites myself. I would spend enormous amounts of time and efforts creating something and polish it for ages, but it was utterly hopeless to get anyone to even know that it existed.
The Internet is a myth. It just doesn't work as advertised/assumed.
I've looked all over for ages for some kind of decentralized "new Usenet" kind of message exchange system, but it just doesn't exist. Nothing exists. Every time I found a new P2P/decentralized project, I would always find that it's a ghost town and nobody was actually using it. Then I gave up on it and stopped trying to entice people to care/use it, since they just don't care. They seem completely apathetic.
There are a lot of fake things that *claim* to be the future, such as "SAFE Network" and "Ethereum", but it's all vaporware/fluff. Nothing actually usable when you really get down to it and start trying to use them. It's all bold claims and wonderful promises and good-sounding words about security and privacy and decentralization, but in reality, it's... nothing. Literally nothing.
Either that, or I've truly gone insane at this point and I'm just hallucinating all of this, and everyone else is actually communicating with each other using some kind of wonderful protocol.
> I spend a significant portion of each day writing perfect questions to ask on Stack Exchange
Are you serious? I am afraid that will not go down well, but: I doubt that. Nobody asks perfect (SE) questions on a daily basis.
Believe me, I was Nobody on SE. ;)
> stand a theoretical chance of getting non-idiots (or anyone at all) replying
That sounds like a very negative view. For all its faults, this is definitely not what I am experiencing on the internet. Maybe you're frequenting the wrong corners?
> No matter how clear I am, they simply do not read the question before replying.
Communication always is about two parties (sender and receiver). All we can say is: The way you expressed yourself did not work with the audience you addressed. This can be as much a problem with the audience as with your end.
That being said, I must concur that there are real problems with the way many people operate on the internet and sometimes those people are us. Sometimes we are distracted, in a hurry, maybe doing things for the wrong reasons, and sometimes we are just [incompetent without realizing](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect).
If I'd have to place a wager on what drives most of those interactions you described above, I would say those people try to game the fake internet points system of SE to gain some traction on the site.
And now for the core of the problem:
> - I like this site much better from a user experience point of view...
> - a depressingly small amount of people seem to use [topanswers.xyz].
Small communities like the budding SE or this one thrive around a few power users that push them forward. At one point they either make it by attracting enough people to carry forward their momentum, or they exhaust their early users and die out.
When the community gains popularity, the kinds of people you reach expands. When you started, only the enthusiasts would participate. As your community grows, it is more likely to attract help vampires and free riders ("net negatives") who will wear down your good contributors.
The community now needs to balance between attracting enough new users to counter the inadvertent drain of old users and attracting too many "net negative" users. One way to do this is to try filtering them out via self moderation/regulation, which will drive away some potential new users. This is basically the old "Be nice" vs. "High Quality" debate on SE, which really was about getting new users in vs. losing too many veterans due to a low quality question flood.
But there is one problem: The internet is huge. From the point of view of the "non-idiots" there is an endless stream of newbies who will not tire of asking the same questions over and over again, because they are clueless of the system and its history. Even when you educate them all, the on-slew of others will not end. Then, the community falls prey to its own success.
So there you have it: Communities either starve or choke on their success. Or ...
I think one advantage of topanswers.xyz over SE is being no slave to investors. It might be possible to find a stable steady state but that puts a limit onto its size. Very likely, this requires a keen eye of the community to prevent changes from tipping it over into one or the other direction.
> everyone else is actually communicating with each other using some kind of wonderful protocol.
I'd say the technology is there. Just step back for a moment and think about what is happening here: We are conversing with each other with potentially thousands of miles between us. Driven by open software which anyone willing can contribute to. It is built by people who overcame obstacles of language, distance, and culture to work together on a common goal.
Of course, like all technology, the internet can also be used to bad ends, so what we should do is this: Make the best out of it so the net impact of the technology is positive.
> Is the Internet forever lost at this point?
It will be, if we give up the fight and hand it over to the "bad" side.