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Tons of questions on SO get closed for being non programming related. This is fine, SO is a programming site, so it should focus on programming. BUT I think we need a place to discuss topics that are related to the industry of programming and computers. It's be nice if we had a place that was a little more relaxed (still focused on computers), so we could ask questions about:

  • Jobs and Careers
  • Education
  • Projects
  • Technologies
  • Business
  • Consulting
  • Trends

Is super user the site for this? I'm still not exactly sure where its aims lie. I kind of got the idea from other sites. We discuss jobs and careers that are programming related, but we just need a place with a looser dress code to discuss computers and technology. :D

(edit) CONCLUSION: It appears Stack overflow and its siblings will not be the site(s) for this. This is fine, but it does keep SO from being a one-stop site. You still need sites like codeproject and dreamincode to do things like submit tutorials, talk about subjective stuff, and just relax in the non-programming-only lounge. The SO sites can choose what they want to be. :D

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8 Answers 8

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The StackOverflow engine may not be the best format for these discussions. Consider

  • blogs
  • forums

instead.

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seconded. those are widely subjective manners, and not well suited for a site engine that is squarely designed to get that technical Q&A flow perfected. –  icelava Aug 12 '09 at 3:16

No, superuser isn't the site for this! If you really want a Stackoverflow-like site for this, maybe you should consider setting one up with stack-exchange, or building a clone. However, none of the sites that we currently have really cater for business related computer matters.

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There is no current site that is best suited for these type of questions, and I do not advocate for Jeff opening up yet another site to deal with it (if they already have one in the pipeline, fine, if not, I say don't bother).

I recommend setting up one yourself now using some other software, or perhaps signing up for a StackExchange site when they are available.

I am a firm believer that not everyone's idea of what is a good idea should be immediately turned into yet another Stack.

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SO is not a forum or newsgroup, and the software - by design - does not lend itself well to extended discussion. Fortunately, there is still USENET, IRC, that new-fangled Twitter thing, as well as many sites that provide decent forums for this sort of discussion. Personally, i'm fond of The CodeProject, but for some other suggestions, see:

Where can I find interesting programming discussions?
Where can I ask questions that aren’t programming questions?

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I think Hacker News and the Joel on Software Discussion Group are the best places for these topics.

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Discussions reg. Jobs and Careers , Business, Trends can be found in LinkedIn. I suppose social networks are the best place to do this. They also have questions and answers, votes, flags and so on, somehow it is similar to SO but only author of the question can vote for answers. That is why I like SO more, because it is driven by community, not by business consultants that probably have no other work then asking questions like "Why it is better to outsource in ... " (put any country of the world). You can see there what kind of question people will tend to ask if you will allow them to ask everything, so probably you will very soon dislike the idea to have a web site for everything :) Though sometimes there are really good Q&A even in LinkedIn.

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For some time I was thinking if we need “BussinesFailure.com”, or some site designed for business discussions. However, later I realized that business is not “hard” set of rules, as programming is. Business is a bunch of “soft” rules. In addition, in order to be good in your business you need many so-called “soft skills”. This is first issue against such site.

The second issue against business-oriented clone of SO is a connection between business and law. Maybe this link is not so strong in quite liberal USA, but in more regulated EU, it is very strong. Starting even small company, you have to deal with legal system. You even cannot hire developer, without knowing the law. In EU, you cannot start your business without registering it first – this process can take from few hours to few weeks, depending from a country. Therefore, discussing business will always require discussion about local law. Since every legal system is different, those discussions would be meaningless – what Americans know about German or Swedish legal system? Who, apart from EU citizens, will be able to answer questions about intra-EU delivery of software? German legal system recognizes software licenses as a good, while Polish legal system recognizes software license as a service. How do you think discussion about methods of selling software in those cases would look like?

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Several of those topics are appropriate on SO, SF and SU depending on the particulars. For example, career-related questions for programmers is quite appropriate on SO.

I don't see nay point in pooling that because, for example, advice for sysadmins is really quite a different thing than advice for programmers.

Even questions about trends can be framed in such a way as to fit the SO model: you just need to put the question in such a way that it is a question with a definite answer (that can be subjective) and not just an open-ended discussion.

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