I was reading this post about one person's issues with Stack Overflow, and something it said struck me (as I noticed the same thing, but didn't attempt to articulate it):
The "flavour" of StackOverflow today is entirely different than the flavour it had when I started. When I started the community as a whole still had a bit of a sense of humour. Sure sometimes questions and/or answers would be a bit off-topic or a bit irreverent, but it gave more of a community feel that way, even if it was on occasion less-than-"professional".
He then goes on to list his version of O’Sullivan’s Law of community moderated sites (call it Richter's Law) and continues:
This happened at Wikipedia and it's happened at StackOverflow. StackOverflow was once fun. It is no longer. StackOverflow once had a tolerance for things a little outside of the norm. It does no longer.
This put words to something that has been rattling around in my head for a while, and a few posts here and there on Meta have really been about this underlying concern (IMO). Many times things which are very relevant to those who "base their lives on Jewish law and tradition" get downvoted/closed/deleted because they are about history, about Jews, about whatever, in a very narrow reading of the rules. (And את חטאי אני מזכיר היום - I have participated in enforcing those rules).
The problem isn't the scope per se, the problem is the scope makes it a dry academic exercise, not a community that invites participation by people who want to be part of a community, not just who enjoy dry academic exercises.
This problem isn't unique to Mi Yodeya within the Stack Exchange network, but that doesn't mean Richter's Law, like O'Sullivan's Law, can't be consciously overcome here, even if it is embraced and encouraged elsewhere.
So what tweeks to Mi Yodeya's scope can be made that keep its character while broadening its reach? Or in the alternative, you could answer that you like Mi Yodeya just the way it is, its perfect, and then we can see which gets the most upvotes.
EDIT: An example of the kind of thing that I am talking about, more extreme than I imagined when I posted this question, is the closing of this question, which was arguably just fine for 6 years (it was not a well-viewed question, so that is debatable).