You all requested, so I’m providing (as a one-time only deal) some feedback from the team based on your evaluation. Before I proceed any further, I want to tell you that these evals should be a time for your community to take a look at itself and determine how you measure up against the rest of the internet. You should take these evaluations as a chance to be critical of yourselves, take the role of the outsider coming into the site and seeing you as you are for the first time. We learned a lot from observing your self-evaluation; thank you all so much for taking the time to engage in some introspection.
The majority of our commentary about this evaluation was reflective of the how of the evaluations themselves, but I will do my best to distill the site-relevant stuff back to you.
Too much trivia. Look, I love trivia. And movie buffs love trivia. But, and this is a question that deserves a meta post all its own, is that who we want here? Do we want movie trivia people or do we want those people who love the art of movies? Do we want Comic Book Guy telling us that Star Wars Ep.3 is the Worst. Ever... Or do we want the next Roger Ebert, James Berardinelli, and Laura Mulvey to be finding their voices here? Perhaps I’m being extremist, but my point remains the same: who is your audience? You all MUST figure this out, because this site feels undecided until you do.
Not enough analysis. This goes pretty much hand-in-hand with the above. We’re seeing what we feel are pretty surface-level questions about various film and TV works. This is really saddening to me, because shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Battlestar Galactica (2005) or even films like The Artist and Marvel’s The Avengers have deeper, meaningful questions that can be asked, from mise en scene questions to purely character-motivation and storyline impact questions. Yes, Stack Exchange is not a discussion forum -- but multiple perspectives that are supported with evidence are perfectly acceptable and useful. We want to see either better curation of the content -- strive for better, more thoughtful questions! -- or a stronger push for analytical content.
Traffic. Perhaps the least of our worries, but M&TV’s traffic is fairly flat and we’re seeing a loss of user engagement. The latter, specifically, is what worries us. We believe that the lack of really engaging content is driving away potential contributors. This is the crux of all our concerns. We are confident that addressing the above two issues will help resolve this one.
Again, thank you so much for your participation in the self-evaluation. I hope that the feedback is useful to you in deciding where to focus your efforts, whether they take the form of meta posts, chat discussions, more critiquing/edits/flagging/closing, and/or FAQ improvements. There will be more evaluations coming, so you'll have a chance to examine your progress and work towards reaching your full potential.