We on the Community Manager Team use the opportunity of site self-evaluations to see how things are going. Looking over this quarter's evaluation, I'd say that things are going rather well on History.SE. I appreciate Mark C. Wallace's analysis of the sample questions and all the input on the July sample. They were very helpful in my evaluation.
Quality, overall, looks good. Yes, there are some below par questions mixed in, but I see a number of real pearls too. I love seeing well researched answers that cannot easily be found anywhere else. Sure there could be improvement, but I'm not much concerned on that front.
Traffic has improved quite a bit since the last evaluation and it's solidly in the green. A good deal arrives at the site via search engines (Google, mostly), which is an important sign of success. You all should be proud of your progress toward making the internet a better place to learn about history.
As I see it, this site is on a good trajectory, but there are still things that can be improved given time and some effort. The easy thing to articulate is that there seem to be about a dozen folks who participate regularly and a 100 or so who participate occasionally. I suspect that the community would be stronger with more folks providing input on the shape of the site.
Harder to address is my concern that the core of this community are not on the same page when it comes to future direction. Particularly difficult is how much leeway to give askers of controversial questions (religion, politics, verging on bigotry, and potential conspiracy theories). For better or worse, History is on the Stack Exchange site circuit for people who ask such questions. The temptation is to tighten the rules so that you don't have to deal with the fallout of such question. But there's a lot to be said for Mark C. Wallace's suggestion of demanding answerable, civil, and researched questions.
In sum, you all have built a site full of potential that is already helping thousands of visitors a day learn a thing or two about history. A primary goal should be to invite more people to participate either through personal and professional contacts or by drawing in casual users. I look forward to seeing this site grow in the months ahead.