Friday, July 13, 2012

Google Groups Q&A

Back in 2009, Version 1.0 of the web-based SQL Anywhere question-and-answer forum was created using the Stack Exchange service as it existed then.

That was then, this is now: If I had to do it again, knowing what Stack Exchange has become, I might use the new Google Groups Q&A instead:

That won't happen, of course,

...because that was then, and this is now, and Version 2.0 of the SQL Anywhere forum exists, and it's just fine, no need to switch platforms.


If I, or you, wanted to create a whole new Q&A website today, here's why the new-and-improved Google Groups might be the way to go:
  • It gives you all the basic goodies you want when building a modern Q&A website,

  • for free,

  • plus it gives you a Google-style interface, with Google search built right in,

  • plus your website automatically runs on the Google cloud, you don't even have to ask:

Plus... no tyrants!

Unlike Google Groups, which is open to everyone, the current Stack Exchange service is built upon two Big Lies (a Big Lie is a falsehood so bold, so ridiculous, so easily disproved, that folks think it must be true because nobody would tell such a whopper, would they?):

Big Lie Number One: "A good Q&A site needs a lot of people to support it."
The truth: What a good Q&A site needs is at least one person to support it. More are better, but most successful online communities depend on a very small number of extremely active users.
Big Lie Number Two: "Stack Exchange is a product for the Internet community at large, not for corporations or individuals."
The truth: The internet community consists entirely of corporations and individuals... what else is there?

Robots? Aliens?


From these lies springs the rule that you can't have a Stack Exchange Q&A site if you don't agree with the tyrant "We":

"We'll let you know whenever the site reaches the next milestone. A site moves to the "Commitment" phase when its definition is complete and it has a show of support from enough potential users. If a proposal doesn't have followers, the site will not get created."
By the tyrant We's standards, the original would not have existed in the first place, nor would exist today, simply because because they didn't (and don't) have enough traffic to qualify.

Not to mention that the former was created and operated by an individual, and the latter by a corporation made up entirely of individuals, as opposed to...


The "community"?

Will Google Groups Q&A crush Stack Exchange?

It's hard to say, Google hasn't been successful [cough] [Google+] at every single thing it tries.

But maybe it doesn't matter... Stack Exchange seems to be morphing into yet another job hunting website:

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