I've noticed that both stack overflow and now programmers are following a similar path. First the sites get going, there's lots of interesting questions and discussions. As the sites become more and more popular there seems to be some issues that make them less enjoyable
Moderation abuse - More people get more points and more moderation power, resulting in more discussions regarding which questions should be closed. While I understand the need for this it seems that a lot of what in the beginning where interesting and popular topics become less and less common.
Irrelevant questions, more closed questions and general lower quality overall. Popularity has it's price and as something gets more popular you'll always lose the "community feeling" and have quality issues. Another problem is that people stop visiting the sites if all they se is negative, closed and stupid questions.
Duplicates, after a while the sheer volume of content makes it hard to ask any questions because it's already been covered. The is partly a problem of spamming the new questions with "noise" and also that you don't feel like contributing to something where "everything"'s already been covered. This problem is aggreviated by stringent moderation that too aggressively shuts down questions that are "kinda" similar
These are hard problems to solve for sure, or you might argue that there is no problem and everything works fine. I do however have a couple of suggestions for possible improvements, feel free to shoot them down :)
When sites such as programmers become big enough, switch to "moderation mode" where questions have to be "accepted" by a moderator to show up. This will hopefully reduce noise a lot since moderators will pre-emptively be able to keep off duplicates, irrelevant questions etc etc. I will also reduce or remove the distracting comments about questions validity.
Make moderation powers available only to a select few. You need enough moderators that content goes through quickly but not so many that the quality of the moderation goes down. Moderation powers should probably be based on being amongst the top x% of users for a period of time (like a quarter). If moderation powers are based only on points than anyone can start moderating by scraping together points over time which might result in some dubious decisions.
Anyways, just a couple of things to think about. I really appreciate this resource so I'd hate if the level of discussion was lowered due to it's popularity and overall noise.
Perhaps the bias should be a bit more lenient against more discussions type questions if they add real value.