Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Comment to "Response to Experts Exchange blog post." disguised as a post

This is supposed to be a comment for this blog post made on the inter-webs:

The low barrier to contribution and asking questions is what makes SO succeed.

It's difficult with fight with free and good. I doubt a paid model for getting information is viable anymore now that the free models such as Wikipedia and Google are pretty much entrenched in the minds of most internet-savvy people. By information, I'm actually referring to summarized (can't think of a better term now) information: information which answers one's question and/or provide links (usually free, unless it's a book or a paper) for deeper understanding. It's also concise, yet precise.

SO also aims for its questions to be as general as possible so as to be relevant to more questions, yet specific enough for the question poser to benefit. I don't know about EE, but the ability to refactor questions and answers in a democratic fashion as opposed to locking/closing threads is the way to go.

Democracy is sometimes the tyranny of the majority. Also, people can be lemmings, influenced by the herd mentality or idol/rock-star worship. However, most of the time it turns out good. The site owners make decisions on their own, albeit after sometimes consulting the users. It's not a pure democracy, and I doubt that one can be possible. I wonder if an anarchist question-and-answer website in the style of 4chan will succeed or not.

Important too is that SO implements and change features relatively quickly so it can stay ahead on the curve.

Notice that I didn't mention EE much above. I'm equally annoyed like many others who have to scroll all the way down to get to the answers, but I understand that they (EE) have the right to do so. It's their website after all and I don't feel the need to contribute more to criticising a site that seems to getting out of the equation.