Is there anything to do besides wait? A peek at Area51 indicates the questions per days is too low, anything besides that?
I was talking to my friend about the blog idea today and explaining how our culture is different from that of Gaming, for instance. We're very focused on procedures, pictures and annotations. For example, it's important for us to know ahead of time that you really do need an offset wrench to hold the top nut of a shock absorber while you turn the inner allen wrench fitting. In that way, a blog can be very useful as a semi-separate resource: if there's a question about the installation of a shock, point the reader at the blog article on it. On Gaming, though, the blog is dying off.
However, Gaming has been doing something really smart that would grab serious attention over here: they're giving away free stuff. They have drawings for free games (if you have sufficient rep and enter the contest) and they give prizes for asking and answering questions in particular categories (check out the on-going Diablo Acts contest). These prizes currently range from free games and tee-shirts up to new monitors and graphics cards.
yx was originally suggesting that we should sponsor track days. That seemed logistically tricky (track days where? We're not all on the same continent). Then we talked about free car parts. A similar problem arises: would there be a specific part? A budget?
But then I had the genius flash: tools. I don't think there's a single one of us that would turn down a free set of tools (or better yet, a gift certificate or budget). Check out the current contests over at Gaming: the goals are to post a certain number of higher rep questions and answers and you'll definitely win prize X.
Do any of us have too many tools?
Original answer follows:
Actually, if you look at the data over time, the site has been the quintessential slow burn. The users and visits have been pretty steadily climbing and we're seeing a steady influx of new visitors, askers and answerers (those last two are new words as of today... ;-).
I don't think this site will ever see the spike that stackoverflow did. That said, I don't think our subject can support that kind of crazy geek feeding frenzy. A slow accretion of people who really like their cars, like to talk about them and are happy to help each other is more our speed.
EDIT after talking with @jmort253 for a while:
The back and forth comments with @jmort253 reminded me of one thing that we could do to build community / attract readers: start a blog. If you look at the Gaming blog, you can see an example of a community blog where people are basically just telling gaming stories or posting reviews. I think our take on it could be much more like the GRM project cars section of their site. In our case, we could range anywhere from a particularly problematic part (my wife's fuel filter was an excellent illustration of "follow your nose") to multi-part narrations of on-going efforts.
How about this: if we start a blog, I'll write up how I once almost managed to drive a ratchet wrench through my skull using an exhaust manifold as a hammer.
I think the main challenge is that there aren't enough niche experts on this site yet. If I post a question about a certain model and year car then I'd hope to get an answer from somebody with the same car. Right now there are not enough people and chances are slim that somebody else with the same car will answer or even see your question so it limits the site to primarily general questions.
There is clearly demand for Q&A and howtos on many different makes and models, just Google any model and you'll probably find a forum for it with active discussion on maintenance and repair.
Evangelization on car forums is the best way to help grow this site in my opinion and I think eventually with specific questions SEO will start to kick in. I think people will always prefer forums / club websites for the community / fellowship aspect but at least for mechanical questions this site will be useful.
There is a StackExchange Blog post with some tips on evangelizing new sites and helping them grow. I just posed a question in the PMSE Community to see if there are any conferences or ideas that could help us grow. For Motor Vehicle Repair, I wonder if there are similar events that StackExchange could sponsor?
Here are some of the tips from the blog post:
Here are some example ideas we have been throwing around for sites to consider:
Sponsor the right kind of conferences. For many sites, we should be able to identify the top 2-3 conferences.
Reach the right kind of publications and bloggers. Make sure that the key experts in every field know about the site; not just the “Martha Stewart” big names; we want to talk to the people who go to these conferences.
Sponsor fun things for each community… especially the kinds of things that are likely to get talked about. This may mean photo contests for the photography site, cooking classes for the food and cooking site, etc.
Make sure evangelists from each community have the opportunity to speak before groups of experts in their fields. We may want to organize a speaker’s bureau that arranges to get our top users bookings at conferences, user groups, etc., to talk about each site.
Encourage and participate in grassroots conversations in existing discussion groups, where appropriate.
We can provide access to professional designers and design give-aways like t-shirts or bumper stickers for interesting contests and events.
Are there any events that relate to Motor Vehicle Repair that could perhaps be a venue for promoting this site? If there are, then that could be a way to try to boost the site closer towards graduation status.
What about Automotive students? Age wise, they are into auto, and can't avoid computers.
These students are mechanics.se and our future 'Professionals'. They could be introduced to an information exchange network that they may have never found on their own since professionals use more paid or proprietary resources to find, ask and answer questions.
It could take them anywhere from a couple minutes to a couple years to become the people we need on these sites, but they will, at some point, become those people. 150 +/- people a year per auto program per school.
How many schools near all of you have auto? Just think of what you could do with a well worded email to your local high school or college auto shop teacher.
Just a thought.