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Sorry if the above title sounds kind of weird. So please bear with my (hopefully better) description.

Stack Overflow is undoubtedly (one of) the best development resources out there.

I've often found myself asking questions which directly relate to a project I'm working on and the advise I get from SO is very good.

As with other similar projects out there, it would be nice to have a forum or wiki dedicated to this project.

But I wanted to do more than having a forum (why rely on a less qualified audience when there's Stack Overflow?). The idea is, general questions (approved by forum admins - to prevent abuse) get automatically re-posted on Stack Overflow. Any Stack Overflow replies are kept in synch with the forum, and if I'm allowed, also synch replies from my forum with the Stack Overflow topic.

If this where to happen, a single Stack Overflow account would be used as a bot writing on behalf of whoever did the question in my forum.


That's the whole idea basically. Even if I'm not allowed to do this, I'll be using a simpler and more detached approach, by simply leaving links in the main posts so people could navigate around (plus, this ought to enhance google PR).

What do you think? Who should I contact for more details?

Some links:

Reading Jeff's comment, these are my thoughts:

  • We both agree that the links idea is ok
  • We both agree that completely outsourcing a forum is bad
  • But his comment doesn't answer whether outsourcing+syncing of specific questions is ok or not. The kind of specific questions I'm thinking on, sound like "What are PHP settings storage best practices?" rather than "What settings storage should K2F adopt?" (the latter one would be limited to our forum system).

In other words, it's a tight-integration of specific forum topics with Stack Overflow.

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1 Answer 1

The idea is, general questions (approved by forum admins - to prevent abuse) get automatically re-posted on SO.

I understand where you're coming from, but this sounds like a very bad idea. Such an automatic sync would fail to

  • Tag the question properly

  • Format the question so it works on SO's specific page dimensions

  • React to comments and answers in real time

Also, systematic cross-posting don't feel right to me: They're automatically creating duplicates with one having more and/or better, and the other having worse/less answers.

I think posting questions on SO should be done manually on a case-by-case basis.

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1. Forum topics typically have tags, and matching tags with SO is a trivial matter. 2. I have my doubts that is much of a big problem. 3. Since I have full control of my forum software, ensuring SO's are always up to date shouldn't be too hard either (this implies having mirrored topics). Note: I'm just watching my own options - each thing you mentioned, although can be fixed, still depends on some heavy coding - which results into whether I should take this much trouble in the first place. –  Christian Mar 6 '11 at 20:46
    
@Christian mmm, I would't call 1. trivial: You'd have to constantly sync tags, and you'd have to deal with tag synonyms. Re 2. and 3., this is all doable, but I am fairly sure it would lead to questions of slightly diminished quality. If there is a massive use case, sure, but if possible, manually entering questions feels like the much preferable way to me –  Pëkka Mar 6 '11 at 21:01

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