In my company (as probably in many) we are struggling to share the knowledge. This goes from product-specific knowledge (which would not fit on Stack Overflow) to more broad knowledge like the one related to libraries or Eclipse bugs (to name a few possibilities).

Once somebody finds a solution to a problem, usually they share it. But it may happen that they forget, or that they way they share it (an email, link on the wiki) is not good enough as users may no check it once the stumble upon the same problem. Probably most of them will just type the error on Google or Stack overflow.

Knowing most developers just go to Stack Overflow to check for the issues, it would be worth to leverage this adding a system that facilitated the spread of knowledge in the company. I think it would be handy a system that would allow us to:

  • Create a list of questions (a private list as public lists are the same as tags) to which a given set of users can contribute adding existing or new questions, where we could search for issues in that list. Tags won't work as questions have a limit on the number of tags and it would pollute the questions with one tag per list, although the idea would be similar (private tags?). That way users have a place to check first of all.
  • Notify members of the lists of new items (an RSS feed would work)
  • Prioritize results on that list when searching

My questions are:

  • Do you have any suggestion on how to implement this given the currently available options on Stack Overflow?
  • If it's not feasible, there is any way we can code a solution and contribute it back to Stack Overflow? (I suspect no as I've not seen the source anywhere, but I may have not looked at the proper place)
  • If neither of both would work, how can we suggest this feature for future releases of Stack Overflow? This message is enough?

EDIT: My main point is that tags can be somehow limiting if you have a cross-tag interest. Maybe you can filter all queries with all the tags involved, but doing so will give back results that you may not want (due to quality or not being completely related) and it may be that your interest can't be expressed properly by grouping tags.

Also, you may want to keep a set of questions that fit a specific theme relevant to you grouped and easily available. That could be done with the favorite flag. But you may want other people to see that list and contribute to it questions that fit the theme. That you can't.

For example, let's say me and my group are interested on issue that include: Struts 2, Spring Framework 2.5, Hibernate 3.0, CSS, jQuery, HTML5 and Tomcat. We may find handy to have a list to store relevant questions (project gives error XYZ, why? check there) as it becomes part of a tool you use daily (Stack Overflow). Also, filtering by tags all these concerns would return an empty list, but we want to keep the relation somehow.

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    I'd change "company" to "group" – Tim Post Jan 28 '11 at 15:47
  • @Tim_Post Yup, this would also allow open-source groups to use StackOverflow. – Riduidel Jan 28 '11 at 16:05
  • @Tim_Post Done as requested :) – Pere Villega Jan 28 '11 at 16:17
  • This is in the meanwhile implemented as Stack Overflow for teams – Luuklag Jan 10 at 9:25

You are welcome to add any questions and answers to the site that meet the site guidelines. You can use a tag to denote questions which are specific to your programming question, and others with the same interest can follow those tags using RSS or search.

If the questions don't meet the site guidelines (refer to https://stackoverflow.com/faq ) then they will likely be closed.

So long as you are using the site within the guidelines, I don't see why you can't start now.

If you are requesting to be able to post questions which are too localized, not programming related, or don't fall within the site guidelines, I think you may need to clarify your request further.

If you need more "group friendly" features than already provided by tagging, you may need to explain how the current system fails to meet your expectations, and suggest some alternate ideas.

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    Notice he is not talking about making questions privates, but rather sharing questions with a special set of users, in a sense making StackOverflow a more "social" antisocial web platform :-) – Riduidel Jan 28 '11 at 16:06
  • @Riduidel - If the question is available to everyone (ie, public) then it will be closed as inappropriate for stackoverflow. Thus I assume he intended that these "localized" questions would only be available to a subset of stackoverflow users (ie, private). – Pollyanna Jan 28 '11 at 16:18
  • in fact I don't mind if they are public or private, I assume if a question goes to a very specific list would be like having a very specific question in a not so popular tag. Let's say, like a question about Erlang (nothing against Erlang!), which will be less popular than one about Java or CSS (probably). What I find relevant is an extra taxonomic level (to explain it somehow) where some people with a common interest that may not map to a tag can share knowledge. And if that benefits others, the more the merrier. – Pere Villega Jan 28 '11 at 16:51
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    @Pere The key point is that it must fit within the FAQ. I'll modify my answer to better address what you are asking. – Pollyanna Jan 28 '11 at 17:10

I wouldn't mind a user-defined share button, where they could set the syntax in their user profile. Something like:

[ ] GET
[                         ] URI

[ ] POST
[                         ]
[                         ] VARS
[                         ]

Use %q for link to question
Use %a for author's user ID
Use %g for author's gravatar link
Use %s for name of site

This would allow users to conveniently add / share to almost any type of bookmark conveniently. Clicking that button would either send a regular GET request, or submit a hidden form.

I'm sure that there is potential for abuse, though.

For users that define it, just display a generic link / icon to use it next to the ones that exist, and show it even if the question has answers.

I agree that it would be convenient for populating a knowledge base, or just using whatever bookmarking service you want, but I wouldn't hold your breath on seeing it implemented.

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