The New Year quickly approaches, and the site is fairly mellow these holiday seasons. It gives one some time for reflection. (This is a long post, and if you want the nitty-gritty you can read just the stuff in bold and the boxed question at the end.)
Most of us who are still regularly on the site have been here for a long time now. I was maybe 16 or 17 years old or so when I first eagerly looked into the first try of getting the Econ beta off the ground (I did not have much to contribute haha). There is always some sort of core group of familiar faces we see on this site, though for myself I know I am much more quiet than I used to be. With time maybe comes a little less of that youthful zeal from being a fresh youngin' wanting to make their mark, though for us who have stuck through the, what, over 4 years now of this site, I know we very much would like to see this place continue to grow and be healthy.
If you got through my corny paragraph okay let's talk candidly about the site.
There's a lot of unresolved close votes and other review queue votes. Part of this is that we are slowly getting more people around, some with good questions, some with not-so-good questions. More activity will lead to more reviews in the queue. But I also think we are getting less people who cast votes in the review queue. Some questions will get stuck at 3 close votes and then...not much activity afterwards. I have not been too active in sitting down and busting through all the items myself, but that gives me some ability to observe the queue over time. Preferably, our core users would not have to wait for me or another mod to cast the (binding) closing vote on something in the queue, but my lack of activity probably is not good either.
Our percent of questions answered continues to be a bit low. We're stable, but fairly small, so my guess is there's not enough time for us to answer all questions in a way that we might find satisfactory. The Community Bot nonetheless continues to bump lots of questions to the front. Fresh faces are needed to help us keep up "output" (answers) on this site, but fresh faces also probably look to see what kind of "output" there already is to see if it is worth investing their time into making a place for themselves in our community. You could make an analogous argument for attracting working economic professionals to this site (indeed, we have before.) Then there is also the fact that lots of questions often are just noise, and people do not like walking through a house with everything lying on the floor.
Our questions per day are on the low side. Although we continue to get good traffic, probably because of our growing base of useful existing answered questions, our questions per day has been steady, but hasn't really gone up. Part of this I blame myself for not enough of a moderating presence. Clean house analogy blah blah blah.
There are smaller, interrelated observations I will make as I go through some plans and proposals I'd like to suggest for the site in the answers below. Some personal resolutions by me, some involving a little bit of public contribution from some of us who are established, and then a few proposals that maybe are a little more out there and involve a bit more public participation. You are encouraged to vigorously voice your opinion on the viability of some of these resolutions/proposals. Do not lend my voice extra weight because I am a mod or because I have been here a long time.
In short, though we've hit an equilibrium where we have pretty consistent activity, I think one more push can get us on a steady state to a better one, where we can potentially finally graduate this site. So to summarize my big questions for you all:
What resolutions would you suggest for increasing the overall activity and/or quality of our SE?
Essentially, I just want some central place for discussion of our site going into the New Year. Thanks for your time.