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thatismatt avatar image
thatismatt asked

[meta] Do you think this site is a useful resource for SSC users?

As a user of SSC do you think that the new ask.sqlservercentral.com site will add to the community?

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Steve Jones - Editor avatar image
Steve Jones - Editor answered

I hope this will become a more question and answer site for specific items, more like an FAQ. However I treasure the discussions on SSC proper, and hope they continue.

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Matt Whitfield avatar image
Matt Whitfield answered

Yes, because it will create a good separation between the 'I want to discuss topic X' type of topic and the 'I find google challenging' type of topic. I think the SSC forums will benefit from having more discussion & debate - where simpler questions can be answered here.

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Melvyn Harbour 1 avatar image
Melvyn Harbour 1 answered

One thing that I think we're quite aware of is that many SQL Server questions don't have a straightforward answer, and do require discussion. So 'how do I make my query faster' probably hasn't got an answer, as such!

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Jack Corbett avatar image
Jack Corbett answered

I posted something similar on "The Thread" on the existing SSC forums. The thing that, in my opinion, SSC from other forum sites is that it really is more like a community than just a place to ask a question. So while I like some of the features (voting, reputation, tags) in the StackOverflow model, I don't see the community there. I don't know if it is the people posting or the model that causes that. So I guess we'll see.

Mel, is there a plan for integrating it with the existing SSC site so you don't have to maintain 2 accounts/profiles?

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Phil Factor avatar image
Phil Factor answered

I'm in two minds about it but then a lot of people aren't, they like it and find this sort of approach more useful. Actually I use StackOverflow a lot, especially for the .NET stuff, but I really like the more discussion-oriented approach of the trad forum on SQL Server Central. This approach is fine for instant answers to immediate problems, but for education and the meeting of minds, give be the trad forums. Perhaps I'll use both.

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Bob Hovious avatar image
Bob Hovious answered

For the user looking for a quick answer to a commonly asked question, this can be a valuable resource. But it is also the model followed by a great many other sites. What differentiates SSC (in my mind at least) is not only the unique sense of community, but the discussion and debate that takes place in the forums. Following and sometimes participating in those discussions has been an often humbling and consistently rewarding experience which I can only compare to an ongoing online seminar.

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Grant Fritchey avatar image
Grant Fritchey answered

I'm not sure I'm digging it. Simply voting answers up or down, unless there is a lot of actvity, can really leave a user wondering which answer is right. If one person says yes, ANSI '89 joins are just peachy keen and the next person mentions that you might want to consider switching to ANSI '92 since the outer join syntax of '89 isn't supported in 2008, and both answers get one up vote. What's the OP to do.

Also, I'm not seing where you go to respond to a post (not that the respones are easy to read).

I do prefer the discussion aspect, the ability to quote other posters to address specific points... I'll play here occasionally and see how it goes.

Just trying editing because I can.

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Kev Riley avatar image
Kev Riley answered

Sharing many of the same feelings as others here.

Not sure how this format will sit alongside the existing SSC forum, will it be obvious to newbies and veterans alike, as to which is the right place to post questions/discussions etc. StackOverflow has been going for quite some time now and you still see people being berated for posting in the 'wrong' place, although it may be more confusing over there as they do have a multitude of sites (StackOverflow, ServerFault, MetaStackOverflow, SuperUser,..)

I am a user of StackOverflow, but must agree with what others have said here about the lack of community feel - SO users are interested in gaining rep, SSC users seem more interested in helping people.

Guess will have to see how this pans out....


Edit:

just been browsing around and this question jumped out at me as a typical type of question that does not fit with this type of format that 'rewards' the right answer.
RBarryYoung - not criticizing you per se, as I've seen that you are trying to raise some momentum here!

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RBarryYoung avatar image
RBarryYoung answered

I have hammered the SO model pretty hard in the past (see here http://www.sqlservercentral.com/Forums/Topic730000-61-1.aspx), however there are some things that that I do really like about it:

  1. Visuals: Strange to me, but a very big part of the SO appeal (even to me!) are the simple yet appealing visual presentations. This is an area that we could leverage a little bit more here, by adding a little bit more color (see www.Stackoverflow.com). I will probably post another question about this soon.

  2. Performance/UI: SSC (usually) has excellent performance, but the SO sites are even better, particularly at "widget" type interactions. That's the feature whereby you can enter an answer, coment, vote, etc. without having to repaint and/or re-request the whole page. It really leverages the advantages of AJAX (which is what I assume it is written in), and makes it a much better experience (UI wise) for the user.

  3. Tags: The tags and tag-system are great, and a big help.

  4. Search: SSC has serious problems with search, but the SSC sites have been pretty good about it.

  5. Badges: What a great idea for encouraging participation and particularity for stimulating certain parts of the Web 2.0 social tools. For instances, the "stars-rating" on SSc for posts and threads was great, but it died for lack of use. Here, you could have just created and awarded a badge for people who rated a lot of posts (i.e., rate 50 posts=Silver "Rater" badge, rate 250 posts and earn the "Star Rater" badge). We could do the same thing here to encourage more upvotes on comments (a big problem on all of the SO sites). And the best thing is, this additional "encouragement" tool, means that you can adjust the awards without messing up the points system.

  6. Code Block: The good news is that Code Blocks are dead easy once you know how to do them (the bad news is that they were designed for C/C++/C#/Java and they are not as good for SQL, and can be a real problem for VB).

  7. Modal Persistence: I have made 500 to 1000 posts on other SO sites, but I have never lost a post because I timed-out in edit mode.

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Mitch Wheat avatar image
Mitch Wheat answered

As an active user on SO, I like this format!

Grant Fritchey mentioned that he didn't see how the voting up/down corresponded to correct (or quality) answers. As the site attracts experts (such as Grant), these people tend to get more votes (from the other experts) and things kinda work themselves out. Though I'm not suggesting that a high reputation is a single indicator of a person's knowledge or expertise.

One thing that StackOverflow does: when you sign up for one of the SO sister sites (such as serverfault.com), if your reputation is 'high enough', you immediately get 100 reputation points. This makes 'seeding' a new SO-based site easier.

SO does have it's shortcomings, and improvements/changes are made from time to time. Will you be 'shadowing' these changes, or was this a 'one-off' software licensing?

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