I know what you're thinking. Egads! How did such a thing to come to pass? Or, more likely, Why won't that Ben person just shut up?

Well, it's a story of derring-do and glorious deeds uncountable, or something.

I'll illustrate with a comment:

I specified the specific product in the title of this topic : WSO2 Identity Server and the Tag is WSO2. So I expect answers from people who work for WSO2, and if I ask these questions it's because in their product website they point us to this forum and ask us to put WSO2 Tag for answers :)

and it's true:

WSO2 Products User List

WSO2 participates in community support for the products using the excellent Q&A site stackoverflow.com. We monitor and participate in the discussion there. For users looking for commercial support with guaranteed response times please contact us here: http://wso2.com/contact

This has resulted in questions like these; the top three to four are effectively support queries straight from the website the rest are just, well see for yourself...

From the top users list in the tag there does seem to be some attempt by the company to answer questions, but with 77.4% unanswered in the last week and 53.2% over all time they're not doing very well.

The tag doesn't seem to have a lot of tie-in with the rest of Stack Overflow, of the 1,394 questions tagged the tag with the highest number of related questions that isn't affiliated with the company and isn't a concept is PHP, with 51.

To turn this into a question, is there a standard way to report companies foisting all their support questions onto Stack Overflow and is there anything that Stack Exchange would like to do about it if a company is doing so?


Am I completely wrong?

  • 8
    So, you need support on how to deal with support questions? Meta, man. – Daniel Fischer May 21 '13 at 12:18
  • 6
    So, why won't that Ben person just shut up?? ;) – Andrew Barber May 21 '13 at 12:41
  • 5
    It's a character flaw @Andrew :-). – ben is uǝq backwards May 21 '13 at 12:58
  • 1
    Nope... ben is uǝq rotated... – Basic May 24 '14 at 0:43
  • should this be migrated to MSO? – eis Feb 23 '15 at 7:10

I contacted WSO2 regarding this, and they've altered the blurb on that page to be a bit more specific about the sort of questions that belong on Stack Overflow:

You can discuss programming/development related questions using the excellent Q&A site stackoverflow.com. We monitor and participate in the discussion there. For users looking for commercial support with guaranteed response times please contact us here: http://wso2.com/contact

  • You might need to remind them to update their Support page as well. It still says "To get community support, we encourage our users to ask questions via the excellent Stackoverflow site. Just tag your question with WSO2. We will make a best-effort attempt at answering all the questions." – Dhaust May 27 '13 at 22:38
  • Good catch - I'll let 'em know. – Shog9 May 28 '13 at 15:21
  • 2
    Thank you Mr. Shog. Just gotta clean up the mess that's there currently then :-(. – ben is uǝq backwards May 30 '13 at 8:19

For this particular tag:

Some of those questions you linked to are blatantly off topic, in the realm of 'support for installed software' -- which is not what Stack Overflow is for. Others were closed because they were "please share your experience". Still others were closed because they were literally asking for information about a commercial product -- not really about programming.

The tag seems to be a mess. While there are aspects of WSO2 that can be programming related, I'm seeing a lot of questions that are demonstrably off topic for Stack Overflow.

If anyone has some time, flagging the questions that are bad for Stack Overflow would be helpful. There's only 1500 or so to go through.

In general:

Voting to close, flagging, and bringing up to meta egregious examples is always helpful. This is a situation posting it to Meta is a Good Thing, because there's just no way to clean up all these questions without community involvement.

  • This definitely answers the "is there summat shifty goin' on" but is there a procedure for telling other companies that sending everything to SO won't result in the best customer service. At the end of the day they're not the people who have to clean up the mess, unfortunately. – ben is uǝq backwards May 21 '13 at 19:58
  • @benisuǝqbackwards I know that the SE team has contacted companies in the past; but legitimately, the procedure as far as any normal user is concerned is to bring it up on Meta. I'll direct Shog9 towards this question to see if he wants to take it further than that. – George Stocker May 21 '13 at 20:39
  • They could use a clearer description on their support page; using SO for dev support is awesome; using it for product support isn't so great. I'll try to get in touch. – Shog9 May 22 '13 at 0:05

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