Apologies of this has come up recently / been done to death, I've only just discovered Meta Stack Overflow.
I signed up for Stack Overflow just after its launch nearly a year ago, and the quality of answers was so high it was a genuinely fantastic resource.
However, my recent experiences have been anything but positive. It appears to me now:
- Users are only interested in spraying quick answers in the hope of gaining some reputation points
- Users have no real interest in following up and engaging in dialogue or answer improvement
- Any question that is 'deep' or difficult or cannot be answered with a quick, fired-off, answer, either doesn't attract any response at all or attracts facile / low grade / sarcastic answers
- A lot of the high quality users have lost interest
- People seem more interested in having a rep than actually answering, helping, guiding, teaching and sharing knowledge
I am finding myself returning to some of the older specialist forums after being frustrated here, and actually getting better answers and discussions than I can here.
Has anyone else experienced this? Is anything in the works to try and tackle it?
Edit: Why the down vote? Is anything even slightly critical of Stack Overflow deserving of instant opprobrium?
- I am in no way criticising Jon Skeet and the other 'power' users who have given a huge amount of their time and knowledge, they are fantastic guys but they can't be expected to answer everything
- I know it's a question and answer site. Providing a response and following up with edits in response to questions or requests for clarification about an answer is what made Stack Overflow so good originally and should be a fundamental part of what happens here.
- I don't have a problem with quick answers - if they're useful then all the better if they're also quick, who needs an answer six months later?
- I don't expect people to code solutions for me - I'm a self-starter, self-finisher and happy to figure things out from suggestions from experienced guys. I don't need or want to be force fed.
An example question, asked today, clearly explained and not too deep, technical, or obscure. All I was looking for was a response from someone technically competent and with a bit of experience solving the problem I had posted about. Instead I got one facile answer, one completely sarcastic answer and one that made a vaguely interesting point about associative databases but still fairly useless given the question. You be the judge..