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I regard Stack Overflow and its siblings at Stack Exchange are successful in their promotion. Stack Overflow in particular now has so many well reputed regulars.

What promotion strategy was used in Stack Overflow's early days?

(I know Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky must have been a part of it)

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See here and here and here and here. As you can see, the Stackoverflow blog played an important role. – Robert Harvey Sep 28 '10 at 3:06
possible duplicate of How did Stack Overflow succeed when it was starting out? – waiwai933 Sep 28 '10 at 3:13
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Developer blogs. Joel and Jeff's were two big ones. They wanted a lot of people in as soon as the site was launched; they perceived that to be crucial to the success of the site. Apparently they were right.

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True, Without people there is no SO. – Toon Krijthe Sep 28 '10 at 5:51
+1 Audience is key. It's not the technology (look at the slow/non growth of SE1.0 - and arguably SE2.0 - sites) – Benjol Sep 28 '10 at 5:59

Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood already had blogs that were read by lots of the top programmers. Joel Spolsky was also well known for his books, so when people saw he was doing something new they were interested.

Therefore Stackoverflow got critical mass quickly and become the place to ask programming questions.

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