There are times when I'd like to communicate something to the Stack Overflow community but it doesn't fit a question.

Right now, I have the product of many answers (a bunch of code) I'd like to share back but can't.

If each user had a blog or wiki (or something) they could create articles / blogs on and then link the related SO questions to it. You could then add an icon to those questions to show there is also more expansive information available.

By linking to the questions, this means anyone could author articles addressing a question outside of the scope of the more simple Q/A scenario.

Of course, many people have blogs but they must link that in a not so immersive fashion and not everyone has a blog (and also many blogs are inadequate in displaying text from a coding viewpoint (e.g. formatting code). Folding such a mechanism into SO would open up all sorts of creative opportunities and make the site even more sticky for users.

I think it's a winner and I'd use it for sure.

  • I think it sounds like a great idea. Obviously, articles that would be found on SO created by it's users would have the same advantages as the Q&A section - it's nothing but programming. Could be a really good platform for the sharing of knowledge - and fit well with the Careers programme. Jan 13, 2012 at 1:05
  • 1
    stackoverflow.blogoverflow.com is a lot of overflows... Jan 13, 2012 at 1:17

3 Answers 3

  1. Your SO questions and answers are already mini blog entries (in a manner of speaking).
  2. Linking to external blogs is not a recommended practice, unless certain guidelines are followed.
  3. Its easy enough to get a blog that is suitable for code; there are many such resources available.

You would have to explain in more detail what you mean by "immersive" and "sticky" for me to address those points.

  • 1
    For more than a few suggestions on blogging platforms suitable for code: What's the best platform for blogging about coding? - It's indeed easy enough... (and funny that it was your edit that bumped it up on the homepage)
    – yannis
    Jan 13, 2012 at 1:23
  • The USP is that the articles, blogs or whatever you might call it are tightly tied to the question(s) that gave birth to the entry.
    – Richard
    Jan 13, 2012 at 1:38
  • Also, regarding linking, many, many times someone says "Actually, I wrote a blog entry about this." and provides a link. I actually think that's legitimate right now as that functionality isn't available on SO but when people click that link, they're gone. Keeping them in SO is sticky and keeping the whole experience within SO is immersive.
    – Richard
    Jan 13, 2012 at 1:42

You have an interesting idea, but keep in mind that the Stack Exchange engine already meets you halfway there: you can answer your own questions.

If you have a nugget of knowledge that you'd like to share,

  1. Think of a question that it answers.
  2. Ask that question on Stack Overflow.
  3. Post an answer with the code (and explanation) that you'd like to share.

The only real limitation is that answers cannot be longer than 30,000 characters. This may force you to make your contributions shorter, but in the long run that is probably better for legibility and fits with the Q&A model anyway.

  • What I now have is, as a result of answers to 5 or 6 questions on SO, a full Visual Studio project with maybe 150 files - I can hardly paste that into an answer but I could write an article detailing the design and offer a link to the solution to download, then link that to the questions for all to discover.
    – Richard
    Jan 13, 2012 at 1:33
  • @Richard Ah, I see. Well, you could probably use a GitHub Gist for the project and link to it from your questions. I think what you're trying to do is antithetical to the Stack Exchange model: instead of splitting a problem into parts—as you did with your original questions—you're trying to put the individual questions back together. Jan 13, 2012 at 1:44

All Some of the sites have associated blogs, and users are sometime recruited to write posts for them.

These are not, however, freely available. There is some kind of gate keeping going on there.

  • Well, not all. SO in particular doesn't have one in the way he means; blog.stackoverflow.com is written by employees Jan 13, 2012 at 1:12
  • Well, that's what happens when you overload .stackoverflow.com for both Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange. But frankly I don't think this would meet Richard's desires even is Stack Overflow had their own, as most of the blogs are very low activity. Jan 13, 2012 at 1:16
  • Programmers also doesn't have a blog (but there's a meta discussion that may lead in one). Anyways, the point is that not all sites have associated blogs...
    – yannis
    Jan 13, 2012 at 1:20

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