Alright here is what I have in mind for Q2A which can help if for sure. I'll divide the situation into parts by which each can be understood and handled separately.
- Lack of vision of Q2A. What is Q2A and why is it here? Is it trying just to become a clone of StackOverflow?
- Community Members do not believe in the software, they believe in the team. The lack of team activity on the website leads to a sense of doubt in the minds.
- Currently, we are lacking devs (not core devs) and not many devs are on Q2A because of lack of people using Q2A (and the number of websites using Q2A on homepage, it's just not correct - anyone can see that).
- Lack of communication from devs to members of Q2A. By this I mean, what's going on in Q2A and what devs are planning next? What's new that's about to happen or what has already happened? Basically, someone with authority to talk to. Because of the lack of communication, the first thing which breaks is, the Community.
- Not giving proper exposure to devs and other contributors who spend most of their time in this community.
- A vision is as important as the destination for a ship in the sea. If there is no defined destination then the ship will keep wandering and will never reach a destination or even close to it. Decide a vision and show it in bold on the homepage which reminds all, what Q2A is about. And that will also help you decide what direction should Q2A take in the next release to keep that vision alive.
- This is going to take the most time to explain. In a situation like this, you should focus on grabbing a few more hands for Q2A. Make a small team for different work like Community management, Marketing, Development, Github issue management, docs management and anything else which you think is necessary. By team I do not mean that you have to pay them or anything, just give them exposure and a status that they are part of the staff and that will be enough. This can be done by making them mods, editors, contributors and what else you think necessary.
Now you do not have to make this team in one go. Start by adding one new member who is most active after devs and knows the stuff around Q2A. And then after some time another one when you find someone fitting. Every year a few will leave and a few can be added. This keeps a sense of activeness in the mind of community members that team is alive and active. Which intern encourages them to keep believing in the team. Moreover, a word of encouragement every now and then from the leader that Q2A is here to stay and will stay for many years to come can give much more confidence to the members in believing Q2A. Once they start to believe then this will change into a cycle and Q2A will keep going forward much faster.
- This problem somehow relates to point 2 only. Once people will have trust in the team and Q2A, they'll start coming more and will also bring more people on it. Now with more people in the community will attract more devs towards this community. But that's not where it ends. You also need to help and encourage these devs to stick to the community, which can be done by the Community Manager. Give these devs proper exposure and show trust in their work. Give them proper credit for their work and this all can be done by the Community manager (rarely any devs input is necessary here).
- Here Community Manager plays a vital role. If you see Scott's activity on this website then it's 5 hours back, Sept 30 and July 27, then how can you make a new visitor believe that the project is alive when the leader is not showing here for months. During this time, having a proper communication system is much more important. I would suggest having a Discord channel for Q2A where members can talk to each other and to other devs much more easily and fast. Moreover, it can be left in the hands of community manager only. He should also be able to make Community update posts which can be pinned at top every month. This gives any member a sense of stability that whatever is happening in the community, he is getting to know about it all.
This managers main duty would be to take care of the community, take care of spam, to clear any doubts in the minds of members, to report to devs about any major concerns or activity in the community every day or week. Once the manager feels that the community is getting bigger then he can have more help by adding one or two members under him and creating a separate Communication Team.
- Finally, I have seen for many years a lot of devs came to Q2A but none got supported by Q2A even a bit. Now I do not say to give them money or anything, but give them status as contributors or editors if they are doing well in the community. Even Pupi worked for years then he got a status of a moderator. If you do not encourage devs then how would they find the motivation to stick in Q2A. If devs perform well then give them a higher rank and if they stop performing for a long long time (and do not respond) then decrease their rank.
Few other things to add here are, shift the home website to WordPress with a free but decent theme. Right now it's like making a Mercedes in shadow of a broken shed. Make someone handle the social media channels of Q2A. Scott said that he'll post on these frequently but nothing has been posted on them for montttttttths.
There are many more things but the fact is, will anyone be able to implement these?