Two questions, perhaps, but so interrelated that I don't see a meaningful way to prize them apart.
There are several discussions in meta concerning the scope of GD.SE, whether it should be expanded, degrees of overlap with other sites, and so on. I'm not trying to rehash these. It seems to me there are many valid points in all of these discussions, but it remains that they haven't gone very far and no clear conclusion has resulted from any of them. At the same time, my efforts to interest other designers in GD.SE have not been very fruitful.
I'm a relative newcomer to the SE family. Up to now I haven't felt that I could make a meaningful contribution to the discussion, but recently I decided to look at the problem from a marketing perspective, and that's when I saw the gaping hole in the discussions hitherto.
Here's the problem as I see it: in all the discussions of what the scope of GD should be, two questions don't seem to have been asked or given the importance they require, and definitely have not been answered. These are the who and what questions: who is this site for, and what do they need? Any product, to be viable, must have potential customers and must provide some kind of clear benefit in exchange for their contribution of time, money, or participation. If these aren't clearly defined, success is uncertain at best. That is true no matter how "good" the product is.
Form follows function, but GD.SE started with a format without really defining its function (usefulness, to whom). If we get the who and the what in view, I think the rest will follow. That includes branding, which is an impossibility without knowing both the audience and the message. (You'd think I would have figured this out sooner; my company tagline is "Your message. Your audience. Our business.")
So... who is this site for, really? Who are we trying to reach? And what would make GD.SE a valuable resource for those people? (Starting point: If you're a designer, what would make GD.SE a more valuable resource for you?)