I have purposely not replied to this until now, as I wanted to see what the discussion would lead to.
I must admit I am somewhat surprised at some of the responses and although I agree with most I also
have my own thoughts on the subject.
Google is the Trilogy Home Page
One of the biggest issues I see coming forward from the community on a regular basis is the lack of quality questions
and answers. However it seems that unless you were part of the original SO beta group, no one has realised the purpose
behind these sites.
The trilogy is meant to be a canonical collection of questions and answers continually updated
with the latest information.
Therefore to drive traffic to the site, the easy "Google It" questions should and must
appear on SU and SF. With the ability of 2K+ users to edit posts, the idea is that these questions, if bad, gets edited
into properly indexable questions with up to date answers. This is what makes the Trilogy stand out from the rest of the
forums and sites out there. If someone types a question in Google relevant to a topic on one of the trilogy sites, that site
should be the first 10 links that come up.
This means that the current user base needs to be guided and taught what the purpose of the site is, and the 2K+ users must
take on the responsibility given to them by having the abilities, as they have a vested interest in the success of these sites.
The development of the Stack Overflow Careers should be more then enough motivation to drive this change in attitude.
Blog, Blog, Blog
Each person that has a blog has a readership. Whether that readership is 1 person or 20, the more the sites are exposed in blog
entries, the more they are indexed by sites like Google as the canonical source of information. Between the blogs and twitter,
awareness needs to be spread irrelevant of the smaller communities it represents. Moms4Mom's recent explosion was caused by
the twitter exposure when people like Scott Hanselman suddenly sends a tweet about it.
Both Joel and Jeff have access to some of
the biggest names in IT, not just development. Get Scott to evangelise this in his podcast, even consider sponsoring his podcasts.
Find the right podcast and become a sponsor. This could also potentially open up a huge traffic boost, and also reach a broader audience.
Most users ignore internet advertising, we know this. However podcasts, RSS feeds and others can't be ignored. I have to admit creating
a twitter account for each of the sites which people can follow is not a bad idea, maybe listing the top questions for the day.
Speaking specifically around the MVPs, involving them is by no means an easy task. They are often held back from involvement due to
other commitments, and the never ending list of NDAs put in place by Microsoft. As a VSTS Ranger I have learned this the hard way.
Not too long ago I was asked to remove answers of SO due to me violating the NDA, and I wasn't even aware at the time I was.
also by no means know the answers to every question, since at the end of the day received an award from Microsoft for an achievement, not
because they know every answer. I am by no means saying they are not good, however they are human, and often not the right people to answer
We need to ensure that we meet the initial goal of the site, which I have already listed. Be the canonical source of information where people
find the answers to their questions. Not only by driving new users, but engaging and keeping the existing user base.