I recently read T.E.D.'s post on the recent cancellation of quite a few sites here at SE. I was wondering what we could do to improve the site's performance. Here are some thoughts:
We seem to be suffering from a lack of experts. It seems like we should reach out to people who have an academic background in history. It's good that we are getting quite a few people, like myself, who have an active interest in history, but no academic credentials, but it would certainly be good to have people who have devoted their careers to the study. I don't know if this has been considered, but maybe we should reach out to the various history departments throughout the world? It would be really nifty if professors asked questions here for their students to participate in. This seems like a good example of us being able to use the "technical-fetishism" displayed by many academic institutions to our benefit. Also, I'd imagine that many professors would have an inclination to help us advance the spread of historical interest.
Not only do we lack experts, as Hauser notes in TED's thread, we also lack diversity in interest. Again this could be improved by reaching out to institutions or various groups that have an interest in a specific historical field. It would be nice if we could implement specialty into the site's mechanics, possibly by letting users select one or two historical fields to specialize in (or automatically selecting a specialty for users based on the tags of questions they answered, possibly modified by the reputation attached to each answer). We could also have incentives for having uncommon specialties such as providing badges or incentive bonuses for a certain amount of posts for uncommon tags.
I don't know if this has been considered or if it's necessarily a good idea, but maybe offering users similar incentives as the above mentioned point for directing users to the site?
Anyway just some things to consider. I'd love to hear what you guys think.