Since announcing the new plans for Stack Exchange, there’s been a lot of discussion about what kind of new Q&A sites will work best on this platform.
From my answer to the Firearms proposal: “The power of the Stack Exchange platform is detailed, expert answers to extremely rare, ‘long-tail,’ highly technical questions. To get expert answers, you need experts. To attract experts, you need a site where people are asking very interesting and hard questions, not the basic questions, so that it’s clear that this is a PRO site, not a consumer/enthusiast site.... and remember, the pro sites WILL attract the enthusiasts, but not the other way around.”
From my answer to the Law proposal: “There are only 200 easy law questions, and they've all been asked 100 times on Mahalo and Yahoo!Answers. But there are 20,000,000 detailed, difficult, long-tail questions that only professionals can answer, and we'd be doing a REAL service to the Internet by creating a place where you can find answers to the 20,000,000 hard questions, not the 200 easy ones.”
Our core mission at Stack Overflow is:
Make the Internet a better place to get expert answers to your questions.
The “expert” part of that mission is important, otherwise we’re just building another place for the same questions that every other Q&A site has. We want the law Stack Exchange to attract lawyers, the movie Stack Exchange to attract filmmakers, and the aviation Stack Exchange to attract pilots. What makes a community great is great people... that is, real experts. And the experts want to hang out with other experts.
You’re reading Joel on Software, stuffed with years and years of completely raving mad articles about software development, managing software teams, designing user interfaces, running successful software companies, and rubber duckies.
I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, easy web-based collaboration software, FogBugz, an enlightened bug tracking and software development tool, and Kiln, a distributed source control system that will blow your socks off. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.