Hi guys, I recently discovered this website and decided to give it a try as an active user today. I must say I see a definitive potential in it, but I also see it needs a lot of hard work - from all of us - so it can become what it could become.
Here are my first impressions!
Visually, it looks very effective, easy to read and to access, but also somewhat empty. It clearly looks like a beta phase website and from what I understand it is still in a beta phase, so it's alright for now. Personally, I have no issues with how it looks, but I know some viewers might not find it appealing to the eyes at first, which could lead some people to give up on it on day 1. Of course, it doesn't need to turn into a 3D CGI website, heh, but there are a few things which I believe could be a deterrent for many could-be contributors, most importantly what is shown on the main page ( I'll talk about it on the main page discussion ) and the categories on the right - there are many categories which are missing, and it "looks" like the website simply doesn't "want" them, if you know what I mean. For example, there are a few sports being listed, but so many other sports could be there as well. I know it's just because no one has created them for the website yet, but the first time visitor is not aware of this.
As for the current user base, it's relatively small, but I also like the overall quality of the users. Most people know how to type and take the time to read others, which is great. A lot of people will bring different opinions, and I haven't seen discussions turning into arguments so far, which is even better. But we all know, if the website becomes famous, that there will be rotten apples at some point. You guys have better be ready for this. Not only will you need a bunch of moderators, you will also need bots who will be able to deal with bigger, systematic issues such as mass spam or 4chan raids!
I believe this website needs some sort of mentorship program like Wikipedia has with its newbies. Or, perhaps, a discussion forum similar to topic discussions could be made. Creating topics was somewhat scary to me even with the explanations given. It would be good to have "featured articles" to be given as examples of what to do. Screenshots of existing, almost perfectly made topics, for example.
Financially, I'm not quite sure how you could make the website truly profitable. This website pretty much has the potential to be a free survey database. There are many companies who conduct surveys and sell the collected data to other companies so they can understand the market. Your website has the potential of doing the same thing, but since it is public and for all to see, you give away the data to the companies without gaining any money.
Of course, ads could always be a solution, but you will have to be careful with the ads you choose since this website is about opinions and that it must remain as neutral as possible. If one day there is a doubt as to whether or not your website is being paid to spread certain ideas, opinions, etc. it would probably die instantly.
I don't think you should give up on this website any time soon, but I also believe you will need help from programmers and investors to take it to the level you want to take it. In the meantime, I'll probably be active around here from now on. I wish you the best of luck!