To sum up a lot of the threads and comments on Meta.SF: We're doooomed!
That seems to be the consensus. Look at some of the answers and comments in Why the major FAQ/help change? and Can we do anything to change the dynamic of the site?. On top of that a handful of long term, high reputation frequent users have stopped using the site.
I think RobM's comment (if he doesn't mind be quoting him) really sums up the general feeling among the content-creators here:
...this site is getting less and less useful for the people who contribute to the site day by day.
Unfortunately, I have to agree with him.
It doesn't look like we're ever going to get the 'IT Professional' scope changed to be more exclusive (thus explicitly making ServerFault for Operations folks and not just SO's tech support site), and it looks like the new Help Page just pushes us further away from that. We're not going to keep good content here and the creators of that content by Voting to Close and a narrower scope (although that would really, really help). So what do we do?
We need to vote more. Everybody*
The only way good content will ever float to top is people actually vote it up. If you've taken the time to read a question or answer then you've taken enough time to make a decision on how to vote. I mean, look at my own attempts to generate good content - it's not like it's the best question in the world but next time I'll save myself the hour or so of carefully laying out my whole troubleshooting process (complete with logs) and just open a break/fix with Microsoft. It's hard not to be disappointed by the community's reception sometimes.
Remember voting does three really important things:
- It helps the good content float to top and the bad content sink to the bottom
- It serves as a mechanism to tell the poster that the community values their work
- Is an arguably clever psychological ploy to get people to participate
I can't emphasize the second point enough. Voting (either up or down) signals that the community values someone's input or at the very least is reading it and paying attention. The lack of voting, at least in my opinion, sends a very clear message that no really cares anymore. I really hope that is truly not the case.
"All that is necessary for the triumph of crap content is that good ServerFault-ers do nothing."
or but a little more succinctly:
Stop Whining. Start Voting.
(*except for Ward)
PAM, etc.) and speed up identification of content I care to invest time in. Unfortunately, people of my ilk contribute to the problem that Ward describes in his answer.