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By Steve Jones,

StackOverflow has proven to be a very popular programming question and answer site over the last year. So successful that they launched ServerFault for administrative questions, and recently opened up StackExchange, allowing anyone to create a site for themselves. We've watched the way they built their system, and have been debating adopting or even improving some of their features here at SQLServerCentral. We still might, but it's time and resources, and for now we've launched

ASK SSC

Using the StackExchange framework, we created ask.sqlservercentral.com, as another service here at SQLServerCentral. Why? Well, that's a good question, and I'm not 100% sure of it myself, but I have a few thoughts.

First, the idea behind the StackOverflow site is that the best answers to common questions bubble up to the top of a thread, and with not only the original poster, but also the community voting, there becomes this somewhat central knowledge base about certain questions. Jeff Atwood, the main programmer, wrote about it when it was launched. We hope that you'll head over to Ask SQLServerCentral for those quick questions, things like "is changing the compatibility an online operation?" or "what is determinism?". Those questions that have good answers are what we'd like to see there.

Second, what about our traditional forums? Are we abandoning them? We aren't, and that's important to me. I think one of the great things about SQLServerCentral is we have a large, diverse community. We have people that comment on articles, debate alternatives, and respond to these editorials. We learn about each other, build bonds, and grow as a community from our forums.

People respond differently to both formats, so I'd urge you to try them both out. If you have a question that is deterministic, with a set answer, I'd try it at Ask SQLServerCentral. If it's more open ended and open for debate, I'd stick with the SQLServerCentral forums.

How do reconcile these? We're working on that. In fact, I think that we might find a way to help you merge both items together at some point.  For now, we're looking to add OpenID support to the main site, and somehow link your Ask reputation to your SSC points. We are definitely open to suggestions and ideas, and comments about how you like the new feature.

Steve Jones


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