I have used it my whole way through university, without it things would have been much different. I could not continue without SO, but as I use it more and more I see it is the best because of how it works. How did this all happen, I know it is community driven, but did one person say, "SO will be like this and this"?

SO is separated by the rest of programming help community's because it has standards. I was an avid user of Experts Exchange which I paid for, but no way in a million years did it come close to the quality assistance I gained at SO. So basically my question is, how did these standards, which make SO what it is, come about?

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In the beginning, before there was a community, we used a standard generating automaton. We called it Jeff. –  Yannis Mar 11 '13 at 1:24
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Upvote for feel-good buzz in my tumnmy –  Adel Mar 11 '13 at 1:26
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Site founders and UserVoice –  Doorknob Mar 11 '13 at 1:40
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Check out some entries on the Stack blog, as well as some of these CodingHorror entries. Some of Joel's posts on the topic should also be of interest. –  Jim Mar 11 '13 at 1:58
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@Yannis: In the beginning, there was Jeff. And Jeff saw that the world was naught but Expertsexchange, and the world was full of much sorrow. And so Jeff said, "Let there be StackOverflow!" and lo, six months later, it was so. And Jeff saw that it was good. –  nneonneo Mar 11 '13 at 2:27
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Thank you all for your wonderous input! :)))) –  deucalion0 Mar 11 '13 at 8:25
    
@Doorknob - Hmm, I didn't even know about UserVoice , thnx! –  Adel Mar 11 '13 at 22:30
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@nneonneo You mean 6 to 8 weeks later? :P –  Doorknob Mar 12 '13 at 1:02
    
@Doorknob: Jeff quit his job in mid-March, saying he was working on a "micro-ISV startup opportunity". He introduced SO in April, private beta'd in July‌​, and went public beta in mid-September, almost exactly 6 months after he'd initially quit his job. –  nneonneo Mar 12 '13 at 1:12
    
Of course, Jeff is one of the few people who could authoritatively answer when he first spake "Let there be StackOverflow!" –  nneonneo Mar 12 '13 at 1:15
    
@nneonneo It was a joke. :) –  Doorknob Mar 12 '13 at 1:18
    
@Doorknob: 404? –  nneonneo Mar 12 '13 at 1:19
    
@nneonneo Whoops, fixed link –  Doorknob Mar 12 '13 at 2:47
    
@Doorknob: It is immediately evident that I don't trawl meta often enough. Thanks for enlightening me. –  nneonneo Mar 12 '13 at 2:48
    
@nneonneo No problem :) Anyway, maybe we should stop talking about this; it's a bit off topic :P –  Doorknob Mar 12 '13 at 2:55
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

See Podcast #23

Atwood: Maybe. But the cool thing about this is this is not just me, because that would be boring. It is actually me and Clay Shirky. You know, Clay Shirky is one of my heroes.

Spolsky: Oh...

Atwood: Yeah I know, it's awesome. So we get to talk about like building communities online and I get to talk about StackOverflow, you know, and all the lessons we've learned and, get to present with Clay. Obviously he's an expert so. That's one of the people that I have emailed actually, because I thought that would be good, because he is from New-York city as well. So we could A) show him the site and B) talk about the thing we are going to do together in March, because he needs to see the site to have some context. I mean I did meet him and talk to him about this earlier a few months ago, I think I mentioned it on the podcasts. But that was before we had sort of even going to beta, so there's really not a lot to show him. But I would love to show him in person. So we'll see if I'll hear back from him, I do not know.

Clay Shirky writings are available at http://www.shirky.com/

I study the effects of the internet on society...

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Excellent! Thank you very very much!! :) –  deucalion0 Mar 14 '13 at 17:15
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