A handful of sites have conducted a variation of the "weekly topic challenge" idea. I, myself, have become quite fond of them since they do seem to be effective at increasing asking rate and can be a lot of fun. I've personally initiated challenges on several sites (most recently on History and Philosophy) and have worked out a simple process.
The first step mentioned is to ask for topic ideas, but first we have to decide whether we want these challenges at all.
Here's a summary of how it would work:
A meta question is posted asking for topic ideas. You can suggest as many ideas as you want.
Every week, a topic is picked to be the subject of the week. (Other sites have done biweekly challenges instead, but PPCG is reasonably active enough to have one per week.) This would most likely be done by picking the highest voted submission.
Results are tallied, rinse and repeat. (The results are meant to analyze how the weekly challenge went, and will include how many posts were generated as a result of it, how many votes and answers they got, etc.)
Since PPCG is more of an... unconventional Stack Exchange site, the weekly challenge wouldn't be asking for just questions. It could ask for a certain type of programming challenge, perhaps...
- one that you feel is underrepresented on this site (such as boggle)
- one that fits a certain theme (we could have winter-themed questions in December or January)
- one that you want to see users here work together on optimizing or golfing further
- or just something that you think would be interesting.
This could be effective at increasing our low and ever-decreasing question volume, but then again, quality != quantity. So what do you think? Post your thoughts on this below, and if most of us agree that it'd be a good idea for the site, I'll post the meta question mentioned in step 1 and the challenges will start shortly (probably on Friday, as suggested by the MSE post).