[wp-hackers] StackOverflow for WordPress

Doug Stewart zamoose at gmail.com
Tue May 11 05:16:18 UTC 2010

On Mon, May 10, 2010 at 8:08 PM, Jane Wells <jane at automattic.com> wrote:

> Is there a reason we'd put any official Q&A on some other service instead
> improving our own resources at WordPress.org? Why not put our energies into
> improving our own site and support services?

I realize that this is a bit of an argumentum ad absurdem, but here goes:

Is there a reason to rely upon Google for "official" search results for a
site instead of WP's built-in capabilities? Is there a reason to use Twitter
for an official micromessaging platform as opposed to P2? Is there a reason
to avoid coding a brand new webmail tool atop WordPress and use GMail
instead? Why hold weekly meet-ups on Freenode? Why not code an IRC-alike on
top of WordPress?

The answer to each of those is slightly different, but much of it comes down
to a single, UNIX-y concept: do one thing, do it well, and make all your
interconnects easy to hook into. StackOverflow, ServerFault, et al. are
spectacular platforms for getting questions answered and the skills required
to integrate them are far less trivial than one might think.  Personally, I
think that Automattic and the WordPress community could do a whole lot worse
than acitvely using an SE instance to answer questions once, and only once
and then spend the time and effort that would have otherwise gone into
making wp.org more SO-alike into making WP 3.1 and beyond the premier
content management and display setup in the world. The system, as currently
incarnated on The Org, is a recipe for repeated effort and frustration. It
has improved markedly over the years but still lacks a certain je ne sais
quoi. For whatever reason, the way that Spolsky and crew have implemented
"curated Q&A's" works at a scale that would benefit the WordPress community.

That's just my $.02.


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