Given the rate at which Stack Overflow accrues questions, would it have the capacity to look for patterns of questions asked about programming languages or implementations or patterns in solutions/implementations.
If so, would it be capable of categorising posts (q/a) in terms of things you might be expected to ask 'at your observed stage of questioning/answering' within some kind of normalised distribution?
It might be helpful to me to know that if I'm asking about something now, that I'm likely to want to find out about some related (but unknown, to me) topic later.
I'm wondering what the capacity is for something like this. I mention psychohistory because recognising patterns relating to human behaviour to work out what small changes can be introduced to result in a statistically-knowable future outcome would seem to fit the kind of situation Stack Overflow is in. It has direct question/answer situations occurring regularly, with patterns of thought in terms of problem solving that it might be able to influence by introducing programmers to concepts they don't yet know they need, making it likely that they can cut the wasted time at a later date to learn something when they could learn it sooner.
Any ideas on whether or not SO can / should implement something like this?
"Topics you might find interesting"
On SO: Machine learning how to use the Facebook interest of a users to give a decision this question references an implementation suggestion for machine learning.
Also on SO: What machine learning algorithm would be best in this scenario? a comment has an interesting and potentially related problem (what movies you might like) that could relate to 'What questions you might ask'.
I would like to see something like the following, assuming I ask a question tagged as PHP and MySQL and asked about "how" to "connect" to a "database":
Topics you might find interesting:
Abstracting DB away from applications Tagged as
What's the best way to abstract the database from a PHP application? Also tagged with
Something like this can encourage my learning from basic database access learning to patterns of usage I may (should?) come across later.
If anyone is interested: http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/eventssummary/event_11-12-2012-13-34-29 there is a talk on this topic, which may be of interest to any SO staff in London at the time (just found this).