I have recently discovered stackoverflow.com and I must say it is something I very much recommend. The idea is simple, and the details rich and interesting.
- create a site for programmers to ask other programmers questions and get answers
- make it so that good material gets community filtered, by a scoring system — you vote on answers to point out what is good, and the question-poster can select the “accepted” answer to the question
- really good discussions can morph from discussions to collaborative wiki-style articles when needed, based on some criteria
- create a score system to reward involvement and discourage bad behavior. You get points for asking questions, answering questions, etc. In a fairly involved way.
- you have questions, answers, and comments on the answers. Interesting hierarchical system that I have not seen elsewhere
- you can say “me too think so” to existing answers by scoring, rather than filling threads with “yes sure”, which other forums tend to do.
- The mechanisms seem to work pretty well
- You do get some questions with hundreds of answers, which kind of hits forum madness and I cannot care to read them all
- You can use it for occasional reading and deep research
My main issue with the site is really that most questions seem to be related to things that are of little interest to me, especially web development in .net and other things that I am surprised to see are as common as they are! Embedded and linux seems to be quite rare, and people doing large-scale embedded even rarer. Simulation and EDA is non-existent from the looks of it.
But that can all change if more people discover it.
So please go there and check it out!