I think it can safely be said that Math.StackExchange (and MathOverflow and perhaps some of the sister sites on the SE network) are the best resources for (English-speaking) people with objective math questions on the web. There are other math sites, such as those mentioned in Useful Mathematical Fora (and some of them, like AoPS, provide extremely valuable resources to the greater mathematical community).
But MSE is not perfect. For instance I can think of 10 problems facing MSE right now without working too hard:
- There is a learning curve here. Many new users do not know (or read) How to ask a good question? and correspondingly many new users first experience with the site is getting downvoted. We desire questions written in MathJax, which itself has a learning curve (although we seem pretty good about editing it in for new users). Some might ask Are we too trigger-happy about deleting (relatively) new posts?
- Even for established users, there can be disagreements. Sometimes, someone notices that Someone is wrong on the internet. Tensions fly, and sometimes it's hard to Be nice. How many people find MSE a comfortable place to work and interact? We are a community.
- Roughly speaking, there are 3 people who ask a question for each 1 person who answers a question each quarter. [This and other statistics are at this Community Blog Post]. Further, very many users ask many questions and relatively few (by comparison) users answer many questions. How many find MSE to be a place that gets answers quickly and effectively?
- For those that do ask and answer, are we voting in a way to both incentivize good behaviours and to distinguish between good and bad content? Should everyone need to reread Vote early, vote often and vote more? [This was another theme of the same Community Blog Post].
- MSE is not just about getting answers to new questions. It is also about serving as a repository of good questions and answers from the past. Unfortunately, searching for past questions can be really, really hard since search engines don't index on LaTeX. While having informative titles and believing in our search engine of choice is our working solution, let's be frank: searching for math online (and offline) is an awful experience.
- Along similar lines, we have a growing base of Abstract Duplicate questions. Some users diligently maintain our List of Generalizations of Common Questions (so that we have canonical questions/answers like Single Variable Calculus Reference Recommendations), but many do not.
- The site is growing rapidly, and for whatever reason we have an extremely high questions/tag ratio compared to other sites. This can mean that organizing newly asked questions into digestible chunks is hard. Does the typical user have a way to view and find questions/answers that intrigue them? This is especially desirable for users to peruse questions of their interest and for power-users who answer very many questions.
- The meta-tags proof-verification and solution-verification are increasing in popularity. These tags are a bit against the organizational grain of the site. See Would a tag for "check-my-proof" questions be useful? and linked meta threads. (While this isn't actually a pressing issue, I conjecture that in time will come back and burninate these tags).
- There is a contentious (for lack of a better phrase) downvote-for-the-sake-of-deletion campaign from some users. This prompted meta threads such as Under what circumstances is it appropriate to delete a question that has received a good answer? and Is it appropriate to downvote answers for the sake of deleting a question? Roughly speaking, we might hope that users edit poor questions that receive good answers into good questions for the longevity of the site (or more reasonably, those who answer poor questions might edit them into good questions; this behaviour is incentivized by some relatively recently added badges). But in fact every once in a while, some upvoted answers are deleted as some users remove poor questions.
- This site is being moderated by 9 semi-tyrannical volunteers who sometimes make mistakes and who each have fluctuating commitments. Historically, there has been friction between moderators or perhaps between some of the mods and some particular users (although right now it happens to be that the mod team gets along with itself extremely well).
You might find other problems. That's what this post is for!
What do you find to be the largest problem facing MSE today? Why is it a problem, and is there something to be done about it?