There is user concern regarding the direction ServerFault has been heading over the past year; in particular what some, myself included, see as a significant rise in inappropriate and bad questions from new users.
The SE team wish to discuss these concerns with us, as such a number of us held a conference call yesterday to discuss issues and possible improvements - there were also questions regarding clarification of SE's intent for the site.
We will hold this call with the SE team in the next week (date/time to be added to this question once confirmed), everyone will be invited, this question will form the basis of the agenda.
Please feel free to suggest changes to existing questions or new questions; but do it quickly, otherwise they may not be discussed on the call.
Question #1 - What do the SE team consider ServerFault is for and what do they think are the problems with the site currently?
Question #2 - What is the SE team's primary commercial focus for ServerFault (résumé's, page views etc.)? and how does this define or refine the site objectives?
Question #3 - What rôle do the SE team see for more experienced, higher-rep, committed users in ServerFault as the site matures? Do we differ in our behaviour from other SE sites?
Question #4 - Can we discuss matters that impact ServerFault only on Meta ServerFault? Having to discuss them on Meta SO makes us feel second-class is not common knowledge and doesn't naturally occur.
Question #5 - Many experienced users wish for some way to filter out poor quality questions - how does this idea fit in with SE objectives and how could this be achieved?
5.1 - Could a filter be based on OP rep and/or question length?
5.2 - Could a filter be based on question rep - i.e. opt out of negatively-voted questions?
5.3 - Would any filter be best 'awarded' for rep in the same way as other privileges?
Question #6 - Could new users be encouraged to understand the site more and post better questions if their initial view of the site was a 'best of' view - perhaps best of the week/month/quarter/ever - in terms of Q and or A rep?
Question #7 - What could be done to ensure that new users can't ignore notices regarding the site's objectives and our expectations for new users? Could we force new users to agree that they've read these before asking their first N questions, maybe even answers? Perhaps even warn them that they may see some negativity if they ignore the requirements?
7.1 - Could we even have some kind of filter to intercept questions with a big warning if they trip on certain words (such as 'home') i.e. "Are you really sure you want to post this here? ServerFault is for professional IT only, we have a great sister site for home questions at superuser.com"?
We need to emphasise that we're not being 'mean' about restricting content to pros only but wish their questions to be asked on the site most likely to garner answers.
7.2 - Could we have a system for new users where if they get no response or negative votes they could either get an email or a notice saying "Hey you've got no answer/negatives, perhaps you should edit your question with THESE areas for improvement and you might have more success"
Question #8 - The Help Center main page says "Anybody can ask a question", to some new user's that seems to suggest "Anybody can ask ANY question" - could this be reworded to clarify this point?
Question #9 - Reddit has a 'flair' status to indicate that a user is confirmed as a real expert or represents an organisation or product. Could a similar system be considered so that where we have users that work for MS/Oracle/HP etc. they can be identified as such without having to read their user profile? Perhaps we could insist on their icon being their logo and maybe have their ID as "user (of company)" - i.e. "MarkX (of Intel)".
Question #10 - Could there be a "Help me buy IT stuff" SE site, one place where we DO allow product recommendation questions - maybe even a degree of spam - so we can send that kind of question there without guilt - could/should(?) be cross site (SO/SF/SF)?
Question #11 - What is our close vote to question ratio compared to other SE sites?
(For reference SF closed 25-30% of new questions this year)