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I remember seeing some old post (or a few) about how Stack Overflow was socially engineered. You know, the "special sauce" that makes it so good.

Can you help me find these?

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We got skies to take down the mountain? – random Apr 23 '11 at 20:33
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Social engineering doesn't seem like the term you want to apply to what you're looking for. Manipulating people into doing things without their explicit consent doesn't seem like A Good Thing. – user149432 Apr 23 '11 at 20:36
    
@Mark - perhaps there's a better term. I'm talking about the entire incentive system built into Stack Overflow to encourage people do good. I think it is social engineering, just not in a bad way (the Force has a light side as well). – ripper234 Apr 24 '11 at 6:18

Start here: Choosing your own adventure

When you're done with CH, start again here.

That's a lot of blog-posts + podcasts to chew through, but it should give you a pretty good idea of why and how SO came into being the way it did. However, if you get through all of that and still need more... There are twenty-two thousand Meta threads for you to read

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... but don't worry, only a thousand or two of those are actually relevant – Pëkka Apr 23 '11 at 20:45
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... and which ones those are is left as an exercise for the reader :) – Benjol Apr 23 '11 at 20:55
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... and just when you think you're done, you pass 10K rep and have a few thousand more. – John Apr 23 '11 at 22:20

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