I hope I have chosen the right stack exchange site to ask this question, please let me know if im wrong. I could ask on the OSQA site, but I think I will get better answers here.

I have fallen in love with the SE alternative approach to forums.
As a result, I have setup a Q&A site based on OSQA to try and mimic SE.

  • We are a software vendor with a client base of around 200 people.
  • We have a dozen developers and dozen support analysts.
  • We intend to use OSQA to allow clients to ask Qs, and support/dev to answer the Qs.
  • We also expect that our clients will participate in helping each other, and hence OSQA similar reputation system to SE is good bait to encourage this helping.

So. I have it all setup and ready to go. My biggest fear is that I think without proper training/guidance, the thing could turn into a big mess.
i.e. People not understanding how SE sites work, and treating it like any other forum.
I was thinking about implementing phpBB instead, but I think (+ research) with some good guidance, our users will get better benefit from a Q&A site.

To achieve this:

  • I will beef the default OSQA FAQ up with some more emphasis on 'how to ask Qs'
  • I will put together a blog post/screencast on how to ask a typical question, change settings, explain when to vote up/down, flag, etc.

Can anyone point me to some great resources on how to prepare for this?
- Perhaps some good articles on Coding Horror?
- Ideas to emphasise the ethos of SE sites and how they are better than forum sites (in most scenarios)

I feel a bit cheeky for asking for help on what could be called a competitors platform (?), (I know Jeff has discussed this) but the principles of the platforms are what im after, and in my video/blog post I will be crediting SE and encouraging people to check them out

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As an aside: training users to use paragraphs. ;-) –  Arjan Apr 29 '11 at 7:24
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

There is a wealth of resources on this site alone that could help you define good criteria for asking the right questions on your Q&A site. In addition, the Stack Overflow Blog has tons of posts derived from the learning experience of Stack Exchange over the years, such as Good Subjective, Bad Subjective.

You can also view the FAQ of any one of the sites on the Stack Exchange network for some information on the goals of the Stack Exchange network. I believe the FAQ clearly explains the goals of the Q&A platform.

Most importantly, the documentation will only get you so far. Despite all of the experience learned by the Stack Exchange team, and despite all of the well-written published material on what makes good Q&A sites, I'm still surprised when I see people challenging the status quo in an attempt to degrade this network into a discussion forum. In short, all of the documentation in the world won't help you if you don't have the right people seeding your site with great questions and answers.

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