I think it would be a wonderful idea if SO had a 'featured article' section. People with high reputation (say 5,000+) could post a detailed article about a given topic. For doing this they will automatically get 100 rep + more based on how many people upvote the article.

From my experience, some questions asked about very specific topic would really benefit from a 'how to'. For example recently I have asked questions about how to do integration testing of DAOs of a J2EE app that is build on spring + ibatis. Lot of answers were provided (some clear some not) but most included that the design should be changed so injections can be provided.

I know there are many sites that provide articles but none have the support that SO does and very few have 'hands on' no_buzzword articles. Using this we could further harness the knowledge and help other developers.

...i dont know how SO would make money from this but maybe Joel can conjure up something :)?

  • 6
    I too have wonderful ideas ... but no-one else seems to share my sense of wonder. Funny, that.
    – pavium
    Commented Nov 9, 2009 at 23:36
  • you should start living in imagination-land too Commented Nov 9, 2009 at 23:44

8 Answers 8


SO is in an awesome team with howtogeek and perhaps will team up with another site that focuses more no that area.

But I would say no, it's neither the focus nor the design of the site.


I think this is an excellent idea. And then rename the site codeproject.com.

Seriously, this would be an A without the Q. And @TheTXI would post 50,000-word treatises on how awesome ponies are. Really.

Jon Skeet, of course, would not need to post an article, because he is the article.

  • -1 for tiresome fanboy-ism.
    – Noldorin
    Commented Nov 10, 2009 at 17:23
  • 1
    @[Noldorin]: sarcasm - ever heard of it? Commented Nov 11, 2009 at 4:47

How about a ( hmm..blog-like ?) page associated with each account over a certain rep?

I often find myself troubleshooting a problem for 4 hours, only then to find the (unobvious) answer. My first reaction is to quickly post this problem/answer to SO.

Ok, like a mini-blog then. But searchable within SO.

This would also make a great resume/CV to show for careers.stackoverflow.com ...


I think this is too specific and doesn't really fit into SO idea... we're just a Q&A site. Period. If we start creating a lot of different sections and rules, we would be too far from the purpose of being simple.

However, nothing stops you from getting all these information, and try to create yourself a repository of articles - since SO content is CC licensed - and create a blog or something. For example, look at this post, it has a lot of useful information, it's almost a how to guide. What about trying to create a big pdf with some research and release it yourself? It doesn't even need to be a high reputation user.... :)

...in fact, these "featured articles" you're referring to I believe it is the favorites tab in my account. The questions and answers that are like a how to and are useful to me, I favorite them.


I find myself agreeing with both sides. Both have a point.

Yes indeed Q & A style content is and always should be what StackOverflow does.

However, I bemoan the lack of means to group questions together. Yes there is tagging, but that's analagous to very loose coupling.

For example, I asked a question on SO , and didn't get any answers that were good enough. Then I decided to split that into two subquestions, which got answers in a matter of a couple days, becasue they were more specific.

My point is hat SO did not give me a way to add relationships between my various questions, other than obviously hyperlinking them to each other manually.

My suggestion Anyone familiar with Mantis/ Bugzilla, etc will know how useful the relation-graphs and dependency-graphs are. Why not implement something like that in SO? Let the asker of the question not just tag the question, but also set its realtionship to other questions.

How does this sit with the rest of us?

  • 1
    not a bad idea, but off-topic from this question; suggest you post this as another question Commented Nov 10, 2009 at 2:42
  • not bad at all. I find the lack of categorization,organization and separation of the questions "disturbing". I look for a "browse by category" link every morning on SO.
    – Radu094
    Commented Nov 10, 2009 at 8:42

I'm still not sure you've oferred a true reason. What you seem to be suggesting is that high-rep users should be able to effectively post "answers without questions". This I don't really see as having much purpose, and only goes against the character and structure of SO.

There are a host of other websites out there with a variety of high-quality programming articles (CodeProject and MSDN Magazine for example) - why should SO be turned into one of them? I'm sure Jeff can elaborate on the founding principles of SO, but essentially it was designed to some cross between a forum and wiki. I guess the fundamental question is: why diverge into a market that's already so well established by other websites, especially when StackOverflow fulfills its current goals so well?


It's not a terrible idea, but it's not a great idea. The whole point of the site seems to be focused on a great experience answering and asking questions.

However, I think there's nothing stopping people from posting a long article and then ending with a question. Or is there? Are there examples of super-long articles that end in, or contain questions, that have passed muster?

It looks like a question could be the length of 20 pages from a novel.


You can already do that. Post a question, then answer it yourself. The community votes your question and answer according to its usefulness.

The only downside is that often people will accuse one of rep-whoring, and downvote with demands that it be made community wiki, so this type of behavior, while encouraged by the various FAQs on self answering questions, is treated with hostility in reality.

But the system is already set up as-is, and can be used for exactly the same purpose you indicate, but within the Q&A framework explicit in the site design.

  • I hate wiki-police with the passion of a thousand suns. Probably red dwarfs, though, because I'm just not as passionate as I used to be.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Nov 10, 2009 at 5:02
  • Exactelly.. because asking a question that you already know the answer to is considered rude. Now it might serve a purpose in SO, but people will still see it as rep-whoring
    – Radu094
    Commented Nov 10, 2009 at 8:21

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