We've now been in public beta for over a year. According to our Area 51 stats, we've come a long way.
Our % answered is excellent. 100% of the questions on our site have received answers.
Our "avid users" stat is also excellent. We have a solid group of core users to assist in moderating the site, with enough rep to perform many of the tasks to assist in running the site (vote to close/open, edit permissions, moderator tools, etc.).
Our answer ratio is also excellent. Each question receives, on average, 3.8 answers. The recommended ration is at least 2.5 answers per question.
Even our visits/day has improved significantly. I've watched our visits/day grow from around 300/day to the current 1170/day.
There are two areas where I feel we need significant improvement.
First, and foremost:
We need more questions!
We're sitting at an average of 1.4 questions a day. The standard is that 15 questions a day is a good target. Less than 5 a day is a sign that we need improvement.
I believe I've seen us as high as 8-9 questions a day. However, we've had a steady decline over the past few months. We need to fix this.
We also need more participation!
The other issue is, in my opinion, overall participation from the user base.
People are answering questions. That's fantastic. But its not enough.
We have more than 80 members who have enough reputation to cast close or reopen votes, but I don't believe I've ever seen a question closed entirely by users. In fact, I don't remember the last time I've seen a question that needed to be closed that had more than 1 close vote by a non-moderator.
Now, it could be argued that this perhaps points to an "over-eagerness" on the part of moderators to close questions, but we really do try and work to avoid closing questions, and I believe that our moderation here is much more lenient than in most other SE sites in that we actively suggest improvements via comments to the OP if we think there's any way the question can be salvaged, before closing, and many questions that are "borderline" are left for several days to see if any improvement is forthcoming.
In addition, quite a few of the questions we've closed have either received a single close vote from a non-moderator user, or received flags (sometimes from users who had enough rep to vote to close, but did not).
Furthermore, I don't recall ever seeing a closed question with a reopen vote cast by a user.
User suggested edits are extremely low, although there are plenty of questions or answers that could use edits/improvement.
Flags are very rare (which is probably more of a positive than a negative).
Our chat room has become deserted. We tried one topic-driven chat event and I believe I was the only one who showed up to give any feedback to the OP. One other user showed up... almost 2 weeks later, after the chat room had auto-deleted due to lack of activity.
So what do we do?
I'm looking for suggestions.
In addition to asking you all to be more active, ask more questions, and take advantage of all of the privileges you've earned through rep, I'd love to see answers to this question telling us what you think we, as a community, can do to help boost the areas we need work in.
Do we need to change our scope? Allow recommendations? Make specific appeals to target audiences? Advertise in a certain place? Run contests? Throw some bounties out on key questions? Capitalize on popular events or hot topics?
Don't limit yourself to just this meta question, though. We need more meta participation in general, so ask more questions about the site itself, look through existing questions, vote, and add any answers you think are good suggestions.
Also, I encourage you all to participate in this site evaluation question. The Stackexchange Community Team is reaching out to us. It is vitally important that we show that our community cares enough about this site to at least participate in the discussion they've opened up.