I was thinking about how badges were based on an Xbox Live concept, which made me think about clan support. In online gaming, a clan (or guild) is a self-organizing team that plays together and adds some social structure.

In the Stack Overflow family, there could be team ranking for score, badges, &c. It could show up on your User page and after your name on posts. It would be interesting to see if the Stack Overflow team could outrank Jon Skeet. Maybe companies that develop and sell software (e.g Joel and his Fog Creek team) would want to be in a clan to help show question askers their answer is more official. This might be a dumb idea for Stack Overflow or Server Fault, but maybe a good idea for Super User or one of the Stack Exchange sites.

I'm not sure I love the idea, but I thought I would ask the question, and let the votes and comments flow.

Edit: Just found this related question: Can I add a link to developers that I have worked with in real life?

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    Downvotes on my question? Is this really a bad question, or should you upvote the best "no" answer? – Kevin Hakanson Jul 22 '09 at 12:22
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    Kevin: People on meta will normally downvote questions (suggestions) that they disagree with. It's their way of showing that they are not at all in favor with what you are asking. – TheTXI Jul 22 '09 at 12:27
  • If you don't want the rep effects of people voting on a controversial suggestion, make it CW. – chaos Jul 22 '09 at 12:33
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    If people disagree with the question, they should post their own answer, describing why they disagree. – Brad Gilbert Jul 22 '09 at 14:01

I don't think that Jeff and company would want to look like it is encouraging team behavior on the sites. You would assume that teams would work together to elevate one another, despite the correctness of their answers. Or downvote competition to make sure their members stay on top.

If you want to consider yourself part of a "group" or something, you can always update your profile however you wish (even including custom badges like I myself do). But I would never expect this to be built into the systems on the sites we currently have.

  • No Easy Pony Rider clan? ;-) – Ladybug Killer Jul 22 '09 at 11:56
  • He is already in the exclusive SO Mafia. That is enough. – GEOCHET Jul 22 '09 at 12:12

I think this would be GREAT!!!

I was going to ask for it and actually REQUEST it even.

I'll tell you why... but first I also want to agree with Kevin & Brad. If people think this shouls NOT be implemented they should answer NO + explaination.

So... the why:

Contrary to TheTXI I believe (and know as a fact) that dev teams individuals post each numerous amount of questions in SO. And that to keep track of it, the team members send the links thorugh email, or Skype or chat or Twitter or whatever...

To have to inform manually to your team about the questions you have it's a pain. I see SO as a place to rise your Questions to both the community and your team members. And although I do have obviously the interest in helping out the community I have a even bigger interest in solving the Questions of my team members. And somedays I just ignore reading the list of the tags I follow. But I always read when my teammates post some question out there and I would answer it if I can.

Another point is: I don't always ask all the questions in Stack cause I prefer asking quickly to my team colleagues. But I don't like to go around interrupting people. We have a task management system and we modified it to ask questions between each other... and if NOBODY has an answer we would go out to StackO.

Would it not be GREAT if we could just post the questions directly in SO ? The Community would profit from the questions and responses that we usually don't ask until nobody knows... and we could have more input than just the internal.

What about companies that have teams in different locations!? Why should teams look for internal solutions for the Q/A flow with an eventual resolution of "post in StackOverflow" when it can be ALL from zero in SO?

And regarding the concern of @TheTXI about teams up-voting team members and down-voting competition members.... COME ON!!! That is already happening out there my friend!

There is already competition among individuals out there, and teams or clans... In my team, we actually paste the correct answers even if we found it on the ofice out of the computer discussing on the whiteboard, while the community did't find anything. And we do it just to get the points to the worthy developer that solved it on the whiteboard, of course, then the rest of the team members that were interested and/or discussing vote up the colleague's answer.

You have to trust the community, it's not as if we are going to buy a yacht with our reputation points! (Can we?)

Most of the times, different answers are posted from people of our own office!

Yes, we actually have kind of an internal competition. ;)

So I believe that TEAMS would be great for the site, for the community and would fulfill a NEED that the developer teams have out there.

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