There's a moderation problem on Ask Patents.
Nobody is reviewing.
There are no community moderators.
I'm... not sure what to think about question quality...
So what's going on here?
This isn't really an answer, but adding some info; one of the issues is there aren't really a lot of people with moderation privileges (August 2014):
Privilege Rep Count PastMonth PastWeek protect 3500 1 1 1 mod tools 2000 2 1 1 access review queues 350 40 13 6 close / reopen votes 250 56 16 7 edit 250 56 16 7 vote down 125 225 32 9 vote up 15 3530 152 49 flag posts 15 3530 152 49 total 0 5998 332 110
In that table, Count is the number of users with that privilege, PastMonth is the number of users with that privilege who have accessed the site within the past 30 days, PastWeek is the same but for the last 7 days. The "total" row is just all users.
There doesn't seem to be enough active users to handle site maintenance, in addition to (apparent) lack of community moderators.
Also, even though rep thresholds are low, there still doesn't seem to be enough questions and activity on the site to allow enough users to gain enough rep to make a difference. It seems like the site suffers greatly due to low question activity.
Fast forward three years from this original post (March 2017) and the privilege situation has remained about the same. The highest rep user on the site is no longer active and no new users have crossed the 3500 threshold:
Privilege Rep Count PastMonth PastWeek (Diff Aug '14) protect 3500 1 1 0 (-1) mod tools 2000 3 1 1 ( 0) access review queues 350 65 14 7 (+1) close / reopen votes 250 95 17 9 (+2) edit 250 95 17 9 (+2) vote down 125 354 41 21 (+12) vote up 15 5264 217 83 (+34) flag posts 15 5264 217 83 (+34) total 0 9874 406 143 (+33)
The goals of Ask Patents, I think, are very worthwhile and as a community I think we should support it.
It follows from the above that one of the best things we can do as a community (in addition to becoming actively involved in Ask Patents), I think, is to up-vote good, existing, on-topic questions. This will help get the users who are active there the privileges they need to deal with some of the issues on the site.
For example, Tracking and Managing Group Expenditures (Google) - Patent Application - PRIOR ART REQUEST is a perfect on-topic question and a great success story, and that question and most of its answers deserve far more credit than they have received so far. Another success story is Scaling based on pixel density (Microsoft) - Patent Application - PRIOR ART REQUEST. And there are many others.
Got 15 minutes? Go to Ask Patents right now, and see if one of these RFPAs covers a topic you know something about, and post any examples you can find. They’re hidden in plain view; most of the prior art you need for software patents can be found on Google. Happy hunting!