After a brief discussion with @MonicaCellio (In the comment) - It has come to my attention that perhaps I chose the wrong words to describe my original idea (In the edit history). When I wrote "social features" I was actually suggesting an alternative way to for users to share their knowledge using a new type of post and articles and not just by questions and answers.

The basics of my idea was to allow users to write articles on topics relevant to the community on the SE websites just as any answer posted is expected to be too. Allowing users to write their own content (I.E posts/articles/etc..) will be granted as a privilege for advanced users so that not anyone could write stupid things, users that will write content must be established and well-familiar with the rules of SE.

I know anyone can start a blog, but it's require frequent maintenance and content updates, while writing on SE ensure that it addressed to a large, well-established community, with a similar fields of interest.

Posts writing will follow the same guidelines as asking and answering questions does, but it will provide an alternative for users that are mostly answering specific questions, as a new method to contribute to the community.

By writing, one may also reveal more about their personality, wit, way of thinking, ETC. That's when the "social" takes place - You'll also have "authors" and not just "users" you can remember by their catchy name, but people that you can remember by the field of interest they are writing content about.

They key points will be:

  • Users will be able write rich content with advanced WYSIWYG HTML editor, content that doesn't require a question to answer, but that is still relevant to the SE website it is writing on.
  • Users will be able to Upvote/Downvote other users posts.
  • Posts will be listed on their author profile, so it will not just show the activity, but additional layer of user generated content.
  • Popular posts with high reputation could be associated to tags making the information of tags richer with user generated content
  • Users will be able to include links in answers not only to other questions, but also to posts.
  • User will be able to comment on post to allow the author to correct and improve it. It will improve the interaction and offline discussions (Which are prohibited when it come to long discussions on questions and answers).
  • I believe that users will be happy to share their own tutorials, tips and tricks - Because they are already doing so when answering questions, but before the can start, they'll have to earn enough reputation to ensure that only high profile users will be able to write high profile content, and not just any rubbish.
  • It will provide another type of method for voting and getting earning reputation
  • Users will be able to include content in their CVs on SO Jobs.
  • Opportunity to earn some new badges.

So it's a Mega feature request and it require some detailed design work, but I do think that it will invite a new type of activity for users on SO (and the rests of the sites of-course).

  • 3
    Related feature proposal. Also, Documentation should be coming to SO in the not-too-distant future (as noted in an answer). May 1 '16 at 3:29
  • @MonicaCellio If someone already offer this, and got +95 (!) votes, how come I get downvotes on practically the same idea (Which I searched before asking). Maybe it's the fact that I only got 251 rep. while they have 274K rep. Some people in this community sucks
    – Alon Eitan
    May 1 '16 at 7:45
  • @AlonEitan that answer got 25 downvotes in 1-year period though, so not everyone agrees with it. May 1 '16 at 10:48
  • 1
    -1 because I disagree with this Alon. I may also suck by some standards.
    – M.A.R.
    May 1 '16 at 11:23
  • @PhMgBr You don't suck, I appreciate your response. The thing that annoying me is that people won't provide a reason. Especially when apparently a similar feature is already in beta - So it couldn't be such a terrible idea after all.
    – Alon Eitan
    May 1 '16 at 11:35
  • While I didn't vote here myself, I believe there are two major differences between this question and the linked answer by Shog, which might explain the difference in voting. First, the answer is about 30k privilege to begin with. You don't mention any reputation limit, meaning in theory any 1 rep new user will be able to flood the site with "tutorials". Second, Shog isn't just a "274K rep user" - he is SE employee, kind of "the face of SE". So people tend to read what he writes much more carefully, and I suspect people here might downvote after initial reading of the question. (Just my guess.) May 1 '16 at 12:31
  • Thanks @ShadowWizard I removed the unnecessary "introduction" - I wrote it because I thought my idea was original. Wish I could work on SE, I'd be drunk with success and popularity! :(
    – Alon Eitan
    May 1 '16 at 12:45
  • 1
    Cheers, I don't think the introduction was the cause of downvotes, but agree it wasn't really required. SE is often recruiting, especially for its ever growing Careers team, see this. :-) May 1 '16 at 12:49
  • 1
    @AlonEitan I haven't voted either way on your question, but one perhaps-key difference is that you lead with "let's make it social", while the other (and the Documentation project) is aimed more at "let's share knowledge that doesn't fit the Q&A format so well". Further, you don't really make a case for how this benefits the community; it's all about social, gaining rep, and other stuff that helps the user posting it. So I'm not surprised you're getting downvotes. (The other did too, by the way.) Jumping to conclusions about bias won't help you win friend, beware. May 1 '16 at 16:43
  • @MonicaCellio I don't see how "let's make it social" conflict with "let's share knowledge that doesn't fit the Q&A format so well" we both suggested the same key features that ultimately achieve the same goal - Allow users (authors) to share content (On relevant topics) other than answers. This will allow me to check out your user profile (For example) and read content written by you for the general community rather than answer for specific question. When you write posts, it may also reveals about your personality/wit/attitude/etc (So i'm not suggesting "Let's make SE a new FB").
    – Alon Eitan
    May 1 '16 at 17:25
  • @AlonEitan I'm just saying that by casting your goal as "let's make it social" you're pretty much asking for downvotes from the many people who say "SE is not a social network". If you're not trying to be Facebook-on-SE, you probably don't want to describe it that way. May 1 '16 at 17:31
  • @MonicaCellio You've got a point there! So you're saying that people may oppose my idea just because it was delivered as a "social" in the context of "FB social"? I had no intentions to do that - My social concept was an alternative to remember you not only by your name, but also by following your articles.
    – Alon Eitan
    May 1 '16 at 17:51
  • @AlonEitan yes. I think if you instead cast this as a new type of post that, like questions and answers, supports tagging, voting, commenting, linking from the profile, and so on, and you explain what kind of content would fit here that doesn't fit in the Q&A format, you'd attract more positive attention. But I also see that you've accepted an answer, so maybe you've already got what you came for? May 1 '16 at 17:54
  • @MonicaCellio Thank you very much for your valuable input. I have edited my question and highlighted some key-points that were not clear in the original suggestion. I did my best explaining myself as i'm not a native English speaker
    – Alon Eitan
    May 1 '16 at 18:45
  • I'm afraid now it became a mess. Please don't leave non relevant parts inside the question. Instead, have it represent what you actually want. If it's different than the original request, please roll back and start a new question, since you got an answer here that will be rendered pointless. May 1 '16 at 18:49

I think the new Documentation feature on Stack Overflow is mostly what you are asking. It is not really a tutorial base, but a richer documentation that the official sources.

The key benefit of SOD is that it mainly contains examples, which is often the most useful part of tutorials (often I don't read them too much, I try to understand the code mostly). So it is less text, more samples.

Using SE as a source of tutorials seems to be the wrong place. That is more something for your own blog, one of the features that was proposed some time ago as privilege for high reputation users.

  • Oh nice! Do you have a release date? I see that I can no longer participate in the private Beta. Also, I know I can write my own blog, but you need to keep it with new content all the time, while SO is a solid platform that will allow users can't invest the time in maintaining an active blog
    – Alon Eitan
    Apr 30 '16 at 21:34
  • The private beta will end some time when it is ready. It will not take too long else people lose interest in it. Apr 30 '16 at 21:35
  • So you think I should remove my question, as it's likely not gonna happen and perhaps duplicate?
    – Alon Eitan
    Apr 30 '16 at 21:39
  • 2
    First: you can't. It has an upvoted answer. Second: the question is still useful and I am not sure if it has been asked before. It is a perfectly legit proposal, right? Apr 30 '16 at 21:41
  • Well I do hope so. Thank you
    – Alon Eitan
    Apr 30 '16 at 21:43

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