On Sun, Jul 7, 2013 at 10:20 AM, Ross Singer <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> We have pretty established and highly active forums of communication in our
> field. What does SE bring to the table that's enough of an advantage to
> pull people away from the existing forums?

The main thing that the SE model adds is the ability to build up a set (in
one, search-engine-visible place) of consensus answers to questions over
time via the process of commenting and up-voting.  In other words, I view
it as a way to maybe achieve a community-built FAQ or best practices
database.  Mailing lists and IRC channels provide immediacy, but there are
some important library mailing lists whose archives are not (intentionally)
accessible to search engines, and there are none that I'm aware of that try
to maintain a community-curated set of "best" questions and answers.

Of course, for that model to work, there has to be a sizable number people
participating and actually getting answers to their questions (as opposed
to caviling about asking their questions "properly").  Providing immediate
and (hopefully) well-informed answers to questions would have to be
priority for the community of users; a goal of building a knowledge
base would not be achievable without a recognition that it's necessarily a
secondary goal.


Galen Charlton
Manager of Implementation
Equinox Software, Inc. / The Open Source Experts
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