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Hi,

I'd like to see the feature that users can create and maintain personal wiki-pages: This kind of feature has already been requested in various forms:

There are many users from whom I'd really like just to "learn things" without just browsing through their answers.

This would be some sort of extended "about me" where you can add and organize multiple wiki pages about topics you're interested in (and hopefully good at :)). You could just write about topics you have worked on, describe some clever solutions without the need of formulating it as a question and answering it yourself.

I'd add the possibility to vote for wiki pages, favorise them and add comments (as for questions) and to mark single pages as "community wiki". There could also be an area to see the newest wiki contributions.

Maybe this feature could only be enabled for users starting with a certain reputation (>500, >1000 ?), but this wouldn't even be necessary (if SO can handle the additional data amount :))

EDIT

Regarding the concern that this feature would be beyond the "question/answer" character of SO: Since the wiki would be linked to a specific user, the main page of StackOverflow remains more or less untouched. You have to know how SO works in order to select one user (you have to know, which one your'e interested in) to start reading his pages. Of course, with external links to wiki pages this is not entirely true, but the main character would be preserverd, imo.

Also since custom formatting or styles would not be possible, the pages would be more focused on the (technical) content. That's a difference to a custom blog (which has a more personal character) and is also appealing to me.

Another possibility would be to add this feature to the Careers 2.0 site (since I'm there, that would be ok for me :) ...). But I'd prefer to have it within the scope of the "normal" StackExchange sites...

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For a starting point, there is the "selfanswer" tag. –  MartinStettner Mar 29 '11 at 17:07

2 Answers 2

An interesting idea, but it does kind of explode the scope way beyond question/answer (though arguably chat has already done that).

How would you limit this scope explosion? Do you see people having one global "wiki", or would they have to maintain one per site?

And how many pages would their wiki take up?

I can't help feeling that if people have enough 'useful' stuff to say, then they've got enough content to start a 'real' blog. (In that sense, what you're proposing boils down to Stack Exchange providing free hosting...)

Maybe a similar but more focused idea would be to allow people to have a "answers I'm most proud of" section in their profile - similar to what you can now do in Careers 2.0.

Just thinking out loud

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I would think of one global wiki per user, they can organize it themselves by site (i.e. have one StackOverflow and one ServerFault section if they feel so). For starting a "real" blog, you need to write regularly in order to get some attention, in SO you can build upon an existing community: So you could just write one or two articles and many people would have the chance to find and read them. (btw, it would also differ from free hosting in that it wouldn't allow custom styles, so I think this would in some way prevent people to use the feature just for presenting themselves) –  MartinStettner Mar 16 '11 at 8:21
    
I agree that this would be beyond the scope of a strict "question/answer" site. But I must confess that I would like to see SO expanding in that direction, it would be even more useful (for me, at least) –  MartinStettner Mar 16 '11 at 8:23

What you have sounds like a fine idea, but i think you would find it is unworkable in the long term.

I think a large part of what you propose has already been addressed by other sites out there. For articles you have The Code Project. For blogs you have Blogger. These are just a couple of examples, you will find many more like them.

You also mention rating the article/blog pages. While this initially sounds like a good idea, many of the articles out there are already rated by the comments and feedback on them - giving a page a numerical rating like SO would is not going to add a lot of value to what already exists.

I would also be concerned at the attraction it would be to content aggregators. How would you feel to put many hours into a good article or blog post, only to have one of the aggregators out there pick it up and gain revenue through it while you never see a cent from it? Sure you may get some upvotes, but the nice fuzzy feeling you get from that doesn't put food on your table. While you could argue that there is nothing to stop aggregators doing that now with individual's blogs, and that they also already do it with the questions & answers we post on SO, it will simply fuel the fire to start including longer articles and blog posts. Personally i'm happy with it if someone aggregates my answer that took two minutes to write, but i would be super pissed if they aggregated (and gained revenue) from a blog post or article that took me several hours or days to formulate and write. Not to mention that the current SO licence model permits this aggregation.

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Of course you're right. But personally I gain enough money as a software developer so I don't need to write articles to get food on my table. I'm using SO a lot in my daily work so I'd be happy to give something back (although I'm not sure how much time I'd have..) to the community in a more structured way than 'just' answering questions. I'd be content by gaining reputation :). –  MartinStettner Mar 16 '11 at 8:46
    
Sure there are a lot of other sites with which I could do the same thing, but I think SO could do it better :). CodeProject is fine but a bit more limited in scope. Blogger is also fine, but has a much broader scope. SO could make use of a very elaborate tagging and reputation system. If you search information on SO, a tag search returing answers and pages would be very useful. Also a wiki has IMO advantages above blogs in terms of structuring content (some topics are just too big to fit in a single article). –  MartinStettner Mar 16 '11 at 8:50

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