We'd like to know if it is possible to have a group account to answer questions specific to some technologies. The group can have many members and anyone of them can answer questions.

At the end we'd like to know how many questions are answered by individuals and their reputation points.

I don't want reputation as a group. Individuals will work for their own reputation.

The only thing I want that somehow the group of people be seen as coming from one technology background (grouped under one hashTag) and people can see them as part of a technology/organization group and a way to add/remove people from the group by an admin.

Individual profiles remain as they are.

  • 1
    @Mat OP changed the question during grace period - before the edit it was exact duplicate. Jun 8 '15 at 6:13
  • @ShadowWizard: ah, ok didn't see that. I'm sure there is a dup though, I think the TOS simply doesn't allow this.
    – Mat
    Jun 8 '15 at 6:15
  • You couldn't possibly know that, edits during grace period are not recorded, I know just because I remember how it looked like initially - OP was talking about product of their own company. Anyway, will try to find the actual dupe. Jun 8 '15 at 6:17
  • I clarified a little more. Its not duplicate of group profiles question. Jun 8 '15 at 6:34
  • No dupe, no. The other is asking if they can do something, this one is proposing a specific set of functionality.
    – James
    Jun 8 '15 at 11:05

You would do much better to have your support / developer folks just create individual accounts, and personalize them to whatever extent they feel comfortable.

I'm Sandra, I work for YoYoDyne and I worked on the [foomatic] - I have some insights that might make life easier for you using it in this manner.

Make their expertise in the area part of the answer.

This tells people that:

  • You actively encourage your employees to create public artifacts out of sharing knowledge
  • You aren't a faceless institution of some kind, real people work for you

I'd recommend going on to let folks know it's also okay to answer questions whenever they feel like they can do so, not just about the product, as long as they get their jobs done. I don't recommend using identical gravatars, or putting the company name in their display name. Just make it clear in the 'about me' section of their profiles:

I'm a developer for YoYoDyne Systems, you'll frequently see me in the [foomatic] tag.

Now, it's fine if they would like to create a separate account (if they already have one) to use for work stuff. Just be sure that they use an email address that was never used in conjunction with their main account, and resist the urge to give themselves extra votes.

We don't support shared accounts, having multiple people using the account at once could conceivably trip up some rate limiting and suspicious request detection that we have in place, I can't guarantee the experience to be anything less than frustrating.

Additionally, in the effort to look more 'professional', you'd actually come off as kinda stuffy and overly-institutional. Let your people be themselves, I think both you and they will find the experience more rewarding.


Such thing is currently not possible, and I don't think it should be possible.

You can follow those steps to use what is currently available:

  • Have the same avatar for all the people in the group (but different names)
  • Have the same About Me for all the people in the group, explaining they work together
  • Most important: make sure there are no cross-votes among the group i.e. people of the group upvote each other.
  • I don't think there is anything wrong with cross-voting, as long as it's based on the merits of the content, and not because it's a team mate. I've just upvoted you, and while we're not friends/co-workers, we've chatted before and I like your tone, so is that wrong? I upvoted this post because I agreed with this post (barring, ironically/paradoxically, the bit about not cross-voting).
    – James
    Jun 8 '15 at 11:17
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    @James when having group who are together in real life, the risks for non-ethical voting "just because I know that person" are quite big, hence better avoid it - in my opinion at least. Jun 8 '15 at 11:40
  • You and others from this site frequent the Tavern, and chat like crazy, and the relationship from that could easily be argued as colleagues or even friends in some cases I've seen. So, where do you draw the line? Do regulars from the Tavern not vote for each other? I know they do, and I also know they downvote each other if disagree. So, as said, as long as they only do it based on merit of the content, and do not go seeking each other's Qs and As out to vote on them, I see no real issue.
    – James
    Jun 8 '15 at 11:44
  • My point is, I don't think "being together in real life" is valid or useful point for drawing a line for where people can or might vote. I think the specific issue is when anyone "seeks out" someone else to vote up or down based on their existence, rather than voting from naturally finding the content.
    – James
    Jun 8 '15 at 12:02

You have a good idea here, and I think in some scenarios, such as yours, this would be beneficial.
However, I doubt it would be used a great deal, as most people tend to want their own personal profile.
And this would be huge functionality to implement, with a lot of dev time, and I just don't think it's worthwhile

I don't want reputation as a group. Individuals will work for their own reputation.

This is essentially what you already have now with separate accounts. There is no "single account with users" but then if you want separate stats I don't see the advantage of having a "group account" with separate users.
Certainly nothing that you cannot manage yourselves with a very small amount of effort.

Why not just get all users from the "group" to make an account of their own, and have their usernames prefixed with the same identifier?

Such as, if your company name was ITPros, have usernames like:

  • ITPros-Sally
  • ITPros-John
  • ITPros-Bob
  • ITPros-Danny

The "ITPros" IDs your group of people, and the username after shows individuals.
Then you can collect stats from all members, probably using a Stack Exchange API to make it easy, and you essentially have the same scenario as what your proposal requests (albeit individual user accounts not one group account with individual users in it).

Though for stats I would use "userID" not username, because usernames are not unique here on Stack :)

  • thanks James. The only purpose I have it somehow collect the status automatically for a group of people in a dashboard instead of going to individual account to check what they have done. I think by prefixing the username with group name can help me here and if API allows me to collect the stats without actually logging in to each account independently for the group, that will solve my whole problem. Any pointer to which API can help me here ? Never user stackexchage aPIs. Jun 10 '15 at 4:44

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