Social Question

Mimishu1995's avatar

Is anyone here familiar with the website StackExchange?

Asked by Mimishu1995 (20033points) May 21st, 2021

That website sometimes shows up in my search result when I google things. The answers there can be really decent. Recently I have some very very specific questions that I just can’t find an answer for using Google. I’m considering signing up on StackExchange, but I’m not sure if my experience there will be good. So does anyone here have any experience with the website?

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6 Answers

Zaku's avatar

Yes, I’ve used it quite a lot.

Each topic-based section is slightly different, with different specific rules and a different community.

It is a good place to get very specific on-topic answers to specific questions, in the topics available. Particularly detailed answers to specific computer programming questions.

It’s especially good for finding specific answers by searching, through Google or its own search functions, for already-answered questions.

The downsides can include:

* It’s like the rules of Fluther’s General system multiplied by ten or more. You are expected to have researched your question and show that research, not be a duplicate, be on-topic according to their specific rules, be well-written and formatted. One of the rules about questions is that they need to be “appropriate for their Q&A format”, meaning that they reject almost all open-ended questions, requests for lists or opinions, or discussions (there is an ephemeral chat function which can be used for that, but it’s a secondary feature). Answers also tend to have rules such as requiring evidence or personal experience or other requirements or desires. If you fail to do those things, you may be downvoted, criticized, and your question or answer may be removed.

* The questions and answers and moderators all have point-reward/penalty systems, and some people take those, and their volunteer moderator positions very seriously, including enforcing the rules of each section (such as picky details about what is on-topic for the section or considered a proper answer).

* Speaking out about disagreement with the policies, especially if you mention it in a question or answer outside the Meta sections, may get you warned, censored, suspended or even banned.

* Directly contacting other members is not easy to do without breaking the rules or hoping someone is a user who hangs out in chat.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Zaku Thanks so much. My question is super specific, almost a yes-no question. I’m also aiming for the history section. So you have asked questions there right? I’m a bit scared when I read about the thing with the rules, but if my question is specific, well-written like Fluther standards, I should be OK right?

Zaku's avatar

Yes I have. My impression is the History section tends to be quite knowledgable and (compared to other Stack Exchange sections) pretty nice to people who ask intelligent questions.

Yes you should be ok, if you have also made some effort to look up the answer online and on History.StackExchange and not found a satisfying answer. (I’m not sure, but you may also get more sympathy and tailored answers if you mention your cultural background there.)

gorillapaws's avatar

It’s aiming to be a no-nonsense umbrella of topical Q&A sites. Stackoverflow is a famous one for programmers. I wouldn’t be nervous to ask your question. Just do your best to write a clear question that follows the guidelines.

Mimishu1995's avatar

OK, I just signed up and ask my question. I really hope it won’t get banned :(

SnipSnip's avatar

Yes, I’m a user there.

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