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The Codidact Vision


This was previously posted on the forum and then the project wiki on 2020-02-02. Now that we have this blog, I'm reposting here for more, err, visibility.

Codidact's goal is to enable communities of shared interests to come together and determine for themselves how they pool, share, and teach their collective knowledge, as part of a shared network of like-minded people.

We've known since at least the time of Socrates that asking questions is central to learning. Q&A is central to Codidact; it is by asking and answering each other's questions that we grow. Community is also central; all are welcome to ask and answer, but a successful community has a core of people who are there for the community, to build and curate and expand the community's repository of questions, answers, and other knowledge.

Codidact puts people first, because people build strong communities.

Q&A is central, but it is not the only tool a thriving community needs. Codidact supports other forms of knowledge-sharing too. Whether your community wants to build a set of reference articles for key topics, or a framework for critiques of users' work, or a "sandbox" in which to refine questions (learning how to ask), or a blog, or something we haven't thought of yet -- Codidact supports these types of content alongside your Q&A.

One size does not fit all. Different communities have different needs. Decisions about communities should be made by the communities.

Codidact is not an SE clone. It's not just Q&A. We're aiming higher, and we'll learn as we go right alongside the communities we host. We've identified a set of core features that we need to launch, but that's just the beginning.

Our big ideas for the platform include:

  • Community-defined categories of content (like Q&A and wiki and blog), which support different types of posts and maybe different licenses. Not everything is a question. Graphic Design can do critiques; SciFi can have an on-site blog; Worldbuilding can have a question sandbox; User Experience can have a set of templates for common Balsamiq components.

  • Effective signposts for all users, whether new or experienced -- just-in-time help, action-oriented guidance when something isn't quite right, and transparency so users aren't left wondering why a post got the reaction it did.

  • A system of trust levels that allows everyone to start participating right away, with more privileges gained with successful participation.

  • A way to see context-relevant information about users -- for example, that this answer is from somebody with a lot of well-received answers on this specific topic.

  • A way to have the discussions that are sometimes necessary to improve a question or answer without getting in the way of people just looking for answers.

  • A way for community members to interact informally, strengthening the bonds within the community -- because communities are made out of people, and people need to have the option to get to know each other.

  • Community self-determination in everything from site design and functionality to who the moderators are, with support from the rest of the network on an instance.

These are our broad goals. Codidact will evolve over time as we learn more from our communities. We see our communities as our partners. We won't have everything right away, but this is the path we are on.


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