We've been struggling internally the last couple weeks, I think Casebash puts it together well:
I actually think the decision to make this a research based site (like MathOverflow), as opposed to a more popularist one like StackOverflow may have been a mistake. For a research based site to succeed, it is important to start with a core group of researchers, which recent meta posts seem to indicate that we don't have. With a more popularist site, you still need experts, but they can be workers in related fields who studied psychology in college, rather than researchers
This Answer made me realize this is important enough to get it's own post. We are scaring off users which have backgrounds in psychology. Period. Even I myself have found the site less pleasant to use after the first couple weeks.
I'm not saying a research-level site is bad, I'd love for us to have one of those two. But I don't think we can start with a research-level site from the ground up. We can built a "populist", broad interest level site from the ground up. If our "populist" site is successful, we'll have an engaged community from which to attract more PhD, research level users. Doing that backwards is not working.
While I agree with many of the closures that have happened, I think we need to decide which kind of site we need to be, and we need to seriously be able to focus on attracting the appropriate audience. We can maintain SE-quality content, but we need to decide on a sane initial research requirement and tone for the site.
I think we've been courting the "researcher only" crowd for far too long and we have nothing to back that up. Anyone suggesting the site should continue in this direction needs some major back up at this point in my opinion.
Which kind of site do you want Cog Sci to be? Back it up. I want to hear your plan for how the site can survive as a quality, useful resource for a wide variety of people. How can we attract the user base you feel we need?