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I've only recently come to discover and appreciate SO and related sites - they are an order of magnitude better than experts-exchange and the like.

I create and launch lots of hobby sites so I was really interested in knowing SO's story, how did it come about, and how was it so successful? What lessons can I learn to make my own site launches more successful?

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See here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/41288/… –  Lance Roberts May 19 '10 at 23:59
    
See here for more recent news: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/42628/… –  Tyler Carter May 20 '10 at 0:04

2 Answers 2

See here: http://blog.stackoverflow.com

You have the entire history from the first post till the last

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that's.. a lot of reading. And don't forget the podcasts! itc.conversationsnetwork.org/series/stackoverflow.html –  Jeff Atwood May 20 '10 at 0:06
    
+1 to Mr Atwood's response! Now I have some listening material to keep me entertained/asleep on my trip to London! –  glasnt May 20 '10 at 0:12
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Were there some pre-blog.SO discussions on joelonsoftware.com and codinghorror.com also? I vaguely remember Jeff starting to talk about the SO project back in 2008ish. –  Ether May 20 '10 at 0:23
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First reference: codinghorror.com/blog/2008/03/choosing-your-own-adventure.html " I have a little micro-ISV startup opportunity I'll be working on, a web property I'm building out with one of the above people. I'm not ready to announce the details yet, but when I do, you'll read about it here." –  jmfsg May 20 '10 at 1:19
    
More concrete details: codinghorror.com/blog/2008/04/… –  jmfsg May 20 '10 at 1:20
    
@Downvoter: I was bored (on a conference call) so I recalculated your rep as requested. –  Bill the Lizard May 21 '10 at 13:35
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Thanks @bill, now you can vote on this: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/50560/… –  jmfsg May 21 '10 at 13:48

After a botched experiment, Stackoverflow found itself lost, travelling through time. Leaping from one life to the next, Stackoverflow must try to set wrong things right - each time hoping its next leap will be the leap home.

Is that what you meant by back story?

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Oh boy! Yeah exactly like that.... –  user147272 May 20 '10 at 2:22
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Wait a second... I thought Stack Overflow was a crack commando unit sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. –  Bill the Lizard May 21 '10 at 16:53
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@Bill at least it's not an alien that crash landed on earth living with a normal American family while constantly trying to eats its pet cat. –  user27414 May 21 '10 at 17:48

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