Look, I don't want a modern design, or a modernized design, but Webmaster World really does seem pretty blah to me.
It's the reason I have not been active so much. I mean, I am a web designer and I like to frequent websites that I respect. I do respect Webmaster World for its wealth of information and the integrity of its membership, but I think I would probably be participating more myself if Webmaster World updated it's logo and brand, as well as the complete website design.
Instead, I just use it as a resource. If I have a question, I usually ask elsewhere. Of course, some of this has to do with the fact that I am managing my own communities and trying to implement the same design updates.
But, there really is no excuse not to with the resources you have at your disposal, and in that way you are showcasing your membership's expertise. Even though for a long time the minimal design technique was good for the search engines, now extremely stunning designs can use the same HTML footprint by fully utilizing CSS. And you should be the showcase for that.
I personally think that the forums should remain the focus, but the website should also offer more, at the very least a few different sections, and examples such as a member's directory of websites, an approved illustrated tutorials section, an original articles section, free webmaster tools/scripts, showcase member talents, etc... Why should Google be the only one offering members email, blogs, sites, coding assistance, APIs?
I mean, it's time to promote and support the term "World" in your "Webmaster World.com" brand, instead of exploiting it. As an example, I would lose the .com in your badge, its kind of obvious, don't you think?
I know its a tall order. But there are some domains I don't promote because I don't have the resources to do it. I still intend to develop them later down the road, so I don't sell them or take them out of my future long-term plans. You do have these resources, and they are all right here. Certainly, it can be a nightmare, any large project can be. Anything worth doing is going to be hard, though. And if you simply organize them into steps to short term goals, and follow through with those steps, you can easily accomplish them.