Hi Bill. Great to see you here! I hope the site can live up to our expectations. We dream big!
I think highly of the GIS Stack Exchange and made a direct link to it here. You’re right, being both accessible and meaningful is a fine line. People are fickle, and the amount of time it takes to become invested in these kinds of online communities is precious and in short-supply. So a site cannot afford to be laissez-faire. It’s rarely a build-it-and-they-will-come situation. I actually do like the ways in which StackExchange (nicely) manipulates participation with the tiny incentives. Give an answer, earn a prize. There must be a whole new field of business psychology about the strategies and tactics of building online communities.
I expect that those of us nurturing this site will have to be one step ahead of the curve to build our community. This may involve social media, promotions, marketing, and moving into the 21st century with academic scholarship. Sharing something as a White Ppaer, and reaching a wide audience, instead of submitting something to a journal and reaching few. I hope to reach into the Scholarship of Teaching (and Learning) around geospatial technologies and bridge some research/practice divides with this site.
Using and improving these sites. A great discussion topic to continue with others as well. We’ll start a new thread!