How Stack Overflow Builds Communities
Not sure how many of you are aware of this phenomenon called Stack Overflow. A question-and-answer site built around programming has been hugely successful in building a strong community. It was so successful that the group behind Stack Overflow, has spawned two more sites based on the model. And wouldn’t you know that each have corresponding meta sites which discuss the details of their counterpart’s operation. (Confused? It gets better!)
Since their launch, each have grown and matured and have a found a very important itch to scratch. No, it wasn’t creating a programming helpdesk. They’ve found a model which can be repeated across an infinite number of topics. So they’ve automated the the core processes into a scaffold and built a self-organizing, self-spawning community called Area51.
I was intrigued with the process and committed my time to a community to discuss the
tips, tricks, and uses of WebApps. (I love the irony.) And while the community primarily drives the creation of these sites, I see the opportunity to “water down” the existing ecosystem and wonder how this will get addressed. Currently we are the first community to be vetting through this process and are currently in day two of the closed beta. I will reserve my thoughts until I’ve had more time to get involved. The Stack Overflow Blog discusses their thoughts and methodologies regarding Area51 in the VIA link below.