[wp-hackers] StackOverflow for WordPress

Mike Schinkel mikeschinkel at newclarity.net
Mon May 10 15:09:52 UTC 2010

Hi Scot,

> 1,853 questions. So maybe I'm not understanding your question correctly, but WP is already very well served on StackOverflow. ... Why would they approve a StackExchange site for WP when it's already well covered by SO? Isn't SE for NON-programming sites that aren't already covered on SO?

Good question. And not one I can answer conclusively since I'm not them. So I've emailed them to ask them to weigh in.

>  What more do you want to see? 

Another good question.  In part it's what I don't want to see that's more important.  I don't want to see[1] anything about  ASP.NET, C#, Java, Ruby-on-Rails, C, ASP.NET MVC, WPF, Objective-C, C++, Ruby, Visual Studio, and more.

And when I look at those tagged best practices[2], for example, I want them to be all about WordPress and not all about programming in general.  

Really, its the same reason anyone creates a niche business/forum/community/product when one that serves the needs somewhat already exists; to better serve the needs of the niche.

Also when I look at the user list[3] I see lots of people who've answered lots of questions, but I can't see the rating for people who are focused on WordPress.  Even if you could filter by those with WordPress skills, one person may answer a thousand questions with only one on WordPress and another may answer 100 WordPress questions. In the context of WordPress I don't care about the first guy but do care about the second (and my bet is that guy would be otto, or maybe scribu.)

> I think the idea of StackExchange is explicitly for non-programming topics, like photography, or advanced mathematics, or law...

Looking at their process and FAQ[4] is appeared to me the only thing that was relevant to them was "Is there enough of a community to make it success?"  Again, that's my read on it and not their perspective.

But I would argue that WordPress is far broader than programmers. Of those people interested in WordPress I'd say that less than 1% of them are programmers; if more than that surely less than 10%. In addition there are also graphic designers, consultants, agencies, and people who managing hosting. There are also bloggers who've set up their own site and companies now using WordPress as a CMS. And there are end users who are using WordPress because someone else made it available for them to do their job.  My bet is that most of those people will either be intimidated by all the other programming talk on StackExchange and/or feel like it doesn't meet their needs.

That's my view anyway and why I thought it would be great for the WordPress community at large to have it's own specific StackExchange.

P.S. Your email gave me a great idea. They could take all the questions on [5] and redirect them to the new WordPress specific exchange. What a great way to kickstart the content!  As a matter of fact I expect they will need to do exactly this many times over time as niches are identified in large communities; they can be spun off into new sites with content ready-to-go.

[1] http://stackoverflow.com/tags
[2] http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/best-practices
[3] http://stackoverflow.com/users
[4] http://blog.stackexchange.com/post/518474918/stack-exchange-2-0
[5] http://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/wordpress

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