Communities

Writing
Writing
Codidact Meta
Codidact Meta
The Great Outdoors
The Great Outdoors
Photography & Video
Photography & Video
Scientific Speculation
Scientific Speculation
Cooking
Cooking
Electrical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Judaism
Judaism
Languages & Linguistics
Languages & Linguistics
Software Development
Software Development
Mathematics
Mathematics
Christianity
Christianity
Code Golf
Code Golf
Music
Music
Physics
Physics
Linux Systems
Linux Systems
Power Users
Power Users
Tabletop RPGs
Tabletop RPGs
Community Proposals
Community Proposals
tag:snake search within a tag
answers:0 unanswered questions
user:xxxx search by author id
score:0.5 posts with 0.5+ score
"snake oil" exact phrase
votes:4 posts with 4+ votes
created:<1w created < 1 week ago
post_type:xxxx type of post
Search help
Notifications
Mark all as read See all your notifications »
Q&A

Welcome to Codidact Meta!

Codidact Meta is the meta-discussion site for the Codidact community network and the Codidact software. Whether you have bug reports or feature requests, support questions or rule discussions that touch the whole network – this is the site for you.

Comments on Dealing with questions "settled on" Stack Overflow

Parent

Dealing with questions "settled on" Stack Overflow

+11
−0

We are a late starter QA site, so we are disadvantaged vs. competitors like Stack Overflow. Namely, a lot of basic questions are already asked and answered there, and people are less likely to organically re-ask them here. For us to accumulate such basic/well-known questions and answers will take a very long time (if it ever happens).

That leaves us positioned to do well on obscure topics, but have poor coverage of basic ones. I wonder if this would undermine our value as a place of reference and learning to potential new users. In essence, wouldn't they say "if everything exists on SO, but only obscure things are covered in CD, I'd rather use SO even though it's not as good because at least it's comprehensive and I can reliably find answers to my question".

I've seen some organic efforts to counter this by CD users:

  1. Some people deliberately re-ask questions here, knowing that they already have an answer on SO. This is a good way to "catch up" but it's a lot of effort and currently there is not enough energy put into it by the community to handle this with sufficient coverage.
  2. There was an idea of automatically importing questions from SO, but it sounds like the admins don't want to do this.
  3. We could just focus on the obscure questions to attract mainly expert users. Once the site is a healthy community for questions by experts for experts, it would presumably begin to attract newbies who ask the basic questions as well.

But what are the feelings of the admin team? I like CD more than SO so I hope it does well. But this issue seems hard to solve individually. It would be a lot easier if there was some "official" strategy that us users could follow with more cohesion.

History
Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.
Why should this post be closed?

1 comment thread

Basis of the creation for the discussion (4 comments)
Post
+10
−0

Partial answer, which I hope to flesh out later (but probably won't have time today):

I hope that people will ask questions here, regardless of whether they've been asked elsewhere, when someone here cares about the topic.[1] This can be because you have a question, but it can also be because you have an answer -- you've just wrestled with this yourself, or helped a coworker, or posted a good answer on a forum that you'd like to bring in. If you have a question, ask it. If you have an answer to a question we don't yet have, please consider asking it and sharing that answer -- or, on communities that use articles, maybe you can do that instead. Either way, if you have knowledge you want to share, please do share it here. We're not all experts, and experts aren't experts in everything, so there is definitely a place for more basic questions.


  1. This was the problem with the bulk imports we did early on: we brought in a lot of Q&A that nobody here actually cared about, so it wasn't curated or maintained or, often, even claimed. A question or answer that someone is invested in is a different matter. ↩︎

History
Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.

2 comment threads

Caring about content (9 comments)
Generally, I try to post questions here even if they are on StackOverflow, unless the question seems ... (2 comments)
Caring about content
Andreas‭ wrote 5 months ago

Perhaps I’m misreading the true meaning behind «caring about content».

If we require that people are self-invested in their content down the road, we’re gonna run into problems once the original authors leave the site. This will happen; not everybody stays around indefinitely, for many reasons. One of the problems I have observed on SO, is how hard it can be to make people collaborate on the same piece of content. For instance, why would I want to edit somebody else’s answer, when I can post my own, which I’ll get my name on, and reputation for, instead of them? There needs to be ways to keep content updated, even when the original authors are gone. That said, of course, we do have multiple answers for a reason, simply when they are too different to fit into one and the same post.

Monica Cellio‭ wrote 5 months ago

I'm sorry I was unclear. I didn't mean I expect authors to care forever and maintain their own posts for years; people come and go, as you said, and this is why other people can edit too, or write better answers. I meant that if there is somebody who is here now who cares about the answer to a question (and that question is otherwise good, fits the community's scope, etc), then I don't think "but it's already on SO" is a reason not to ask it.

Andreas‭ wrote 5 months ago

I understood that, but maybe I’m just reading too far into it, in considering it not just for the current situation, but future situation. I took a piece of text which was written in the context of now, and applied it to the future. Perhaps that was wrong.

Monica Cellio‭ wrote 5 months ago

Oh, I think I see. I meant to be expansive: if you think it's useful here, now or for the future (like canonicals), then don't let the fact that SO has a version of it stop you. We can make the Codidact copy better than theirs! :-)

Karl Knechtel‭ wrote 4 months ago · edited 4 months ago

Some reasons why someone might be personally invested in replicating a Stack Overflow question here (yes, all of them apply to me :) ):

  • It's not actually clear which version of the question on Stack Overflow is "canonical"; there might be multiple highly-voted versions of essentially the same question or a set of related questions don't do a good job of splitting up the "problem space"

  • The existing "canonical" sucks: it has too many answers, the answers are poorly factored, the question is improperly scoped (such that people who get their question closed as a duplicate complain about various irrelevant details), etc.

  • It's hard to engage with the Stack Overflow community to improve the canonical, because people (especially the original authors) reject or roll back edits

  • The canonical is hard to find because the necessary keywords overlap other questions and/or it drowns in a sea of lower-quality questions in the search results

  • Codidact-specific markup tricks :)

Andreas‭ wrote 4 months ago

It's hard to engage with the Stack Overflow community to improve the canonical, because people (especially the original authors) reject or roll back edits

How is this not going to become a problem of equal weight, at Codidact?

The other issues you mention have solutions that are easier to imagine, however, this one is harder to solve unless we force posts into becoming community wikis, or similar, and take away the original authors’ sole ownership of it. Reputation and ability progression (and possibly more), are linked to the ownership of posts, so solving that requires more. Shared ownership, with shared benefits (distributed) (ability progression, etc), is possible, but then we need ways to prevent fraud, which the Stack Overflow Documentation suffered from so badly it was eventually shut down.

Monica Cellio‭ wrote 4 months ago

When Codidact gets that large, one option communities could use (that SO doesn't have) is to collect well-developed canonicals into a new category and direct people there. You'd still be able to close new questions as duplicates across the category boundary. I imagine developing the Q&A in its usual place, and then when the community decides it's "baked" enough, moving it, preserving all attribution and editing ability.

I'm not saying communities should do this; I think it'll be a while before we have the scale problem. I'm just suggesting one way that communities could address the problem when it arises. There might be better ways too, either existing now or things we'll develop in the future. We, unlike SO, can improve the platform to meet community needs, which I think is pretty powerful.

Andreas‭ wrote 4 months ago · edited 4 months ago

Monica Cellio‭ I don’t really see how that solves the issue. Also, if this risks discouraging further edits, improvements and updates, the canonical may simply age out.

Karl Knechtel‭ wrote 4 months ago

Andreas‭ My real concern is only about "canonical" questions - i.e. ones that are relatively important to the site, because they can preempt beginners' issues and close a lot of duplicates. If the question is moved into a new category, but can still be used to close duplicates in the main Q&A, presumably that new category could have its own rules and conventions for editing.

Ideally, content like this is already among the highest-quality on a given site, so the community shouldn't see the need for significant future editing. However, as I imagine things, a community might want such content to be collaboratively edited by default - perhaps to merge and reorganize answer content into a single summary. Of course, saying this is just kicking the can down the road, and there would still be a social problem; but in principle, it'd be one that has a standard, community-wide solution, so overly "possessive" answerers could be more easily overruled if the community deems that necessary.