Lately I've been observing some developments that in my opinion are going to have a negative impact on the project and its community. I think I'll bring them to public attention. Probably for the last time. Granted it's not my project and I stopped caring about what's happening around here some time ago, but still, I'd be sorry to see it roll down the hill.
The first issue is that I'm really getting tired of all sorts of good questions being closed. Not-programming related, subjective etc. The line is too thin to objectively qualify a question to be unsuitable. I think the site is not improving through this but only getting more close-minded and consequently unattractive for many permanent residents.
This is one fresh example:
I'll allow myself to quote a comment:
I think removing questions like this would seriously reduce the value of StackOverflow - it's a community, not just a place to fix scripts. That's my subjective view, anyway. – AP257
So I'm definitely not alone in this assessment.
I'm not sure if you realize what's coming up. I'll explain.
The official policy is that "this is a place for questions that can be answered".
Well, it is to expect that sooner or later all the questions that could be asked and answered will be asked and answered twice over. Guess what? It's already happened! Whatever relatively general question you may ask it will be closed and the author will be pointed to a dozen of duplicates.
Please look around to see if your question has already been asked (and maybe even answered!) before you ask.
Yes, sure, now it's about all questions have already been asked and answered. Saturation is achieved.
I felt from the beginning it was dangerous to base a project on such policies which put a limit on the project growth and development. Now I'm sorry to see it did strike back.
Last months I've been hopelessly browsing through the questions trying to find something new and interesting to read and enlighten myself. Futile. All duplicates and immediately closed. Any more or less general question thinking out of the box is closed. What is left is a pile of "support" questions, that is people throwing in a piece of code asking why it doesn't work or how to concept some quite large piece of software without even trying to think about it.
I've got zero interest in support questions.
The quality of questions has dropped significantly. Any more or less interesting open-minded question is closed. As if it wasn't enough that no new quality questions are coming in, you now close anything that could ignite the atmosphere of endless boredom. it's like you're sawing the branch you're sitting on while it's already creaking. Not particularly smart.
The second problem that furthermore aggravates the situation is the more granulated segmentation of the site into subsites. SO, SuperUser, ServerFault, Programmers, OnStartups etc. I think I said this before and I'll repeat myself: I don't manage to browse 3-4-5-6-7 sites simultaneously. I'm interested in many things from different areas and it was great when it was all coming together in one stream. Anyone could pick up something of interest and knowledge. But not anymore. I can manage to browse 1 max. 2 sites but that's the top. But not 5 at the same time. It's beyond my abilities and available time.
Not to mention that the value of reputation you put that much stock into is automatically decreasing as the number of sites is exploding. Reputation on a single site is great. Reputation on just one of 5-6-7 is so-so, nothing special.
I think it's time you started to think about the future of the project in the sense of defining the right strategy instead of bluntly multiplying the sites and tightening the screws.
When SO is completely overrun by lazy coders and unintelligent support questions I'll go. Please do something to prevent this from happening.