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For those who don't know me, I'm Grace Note, a Community Manager at Stack Exchange.

The Community Team has been looking at the Salesforce Private Beta over the course of the week, and we saw various good things. Question quality is pretty strong, people are voting, overall there's a measure of engagement in the users.

However, Salesforce doesn't yet have the volume of content we like to see when we move a site into public beta. The more great content a site has when it enters public beta, the easier it is to tackle content quality problems that may be introduced by an influx of new users. There's a large number of answers on the site, so there's definitely a lot of people willing to contribute. Let's see what we can do to get a lot more questions asked - everyone should see what they can add to our starting content base if they can.

Moreover, Meta is a bit low on the activity end. Meta is where you, the community, take charge of your own site - you determine policy, you work out disputes, you generally engage with your fellow members of the community to discuss what can and will make your site shine. An active, engaged meta community is essential to the success of a site. One of the better starting points is The 7 Essential Meta Questions of Every Beta, which outlines 7 basic but important topics that are vital to discuss throughout the site's lifetime, and which is important to get rolling early. Start from there, and then discussions should start rolling in here much more comfortably for the community.

This is by no means a warning or anything - a site will stay in Private Beta for a minimum of 7 days. Extensions happen pretty often, and we're aware that for a large part of the userbase, this is a learning experience as the first time running a Stack Exchange site. But a learning experience is more enriched by having someone to teach, and someone to guide. So, think of this as part of that guidance towards helping make the Salesforce site not only succeed, but excel.

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    Didn't even know there was a meta for this until today. Maybe I should have read the manual! :) – jkraybill Aug 9 '12 at 7:22
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I think you're definitely right about the meta discussions, they're not always immediately visible to the wider user base though the Community Bulletin does help. With regards to asking questions, I think a lot of the people on board and active so far are experts with regards to the platform, meaning that they potentially have fewer questions to ask!

The other trend I've noticed so far is that there's not a lot of accepting of answers, though I know that some of the users who have been active are new to, and still learning about, the StackExchange model.

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    I agree about the lack of questions being due to the amount of knowledge most contributors seem to have. – Daniel Blackhall Aug 8 '12 at 7:57
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    My concern is asking something that's too low-level; I personally don't want to see questions that are answered by having some basic training. – Mike Chale Aug 8 '12 at 10:59
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    No need to be concerned by that, if it's something that's not available on the first page of Google then chances are people won't down vote you for it. On StackOverflow the only questions rejected off the bat are those that show no research effort whatsoever. – Matt Lacey Aug 8 '12 at 11:41
  • I think many people don't realize that it is encouraged to ask and answer your own questions if they are otherwise good questions (not a duplicate, etc.) – Greg Grinberg Aug 8 '12 at 13:08
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    Great points. Regarding experts having fewer questions to ask: feel free to post real questions or problems that you have encountered in the past but have already solved - if you believe that they are problems that other people are searching for answers to. These can be problems you faced yourself, or questions other people have asked you; if you'd like, you can even answer your own question at the same time you post it. Self-answer is allowed and encouraged. – Laura Aug 8 '12 at 15:11
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Is it inappropriate to re-post some really good questions from stack overflow?

  • @GraceNote I was wondering about that as well. Many of the salesforce tagged questions on SO would be a great fit for this site. Is it reasonable to migrate those questions over or is that frowned upon? – Greg Grinberg Aug 8 '12 at 12:46
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    Reposting would be a bit... iffy, to be honest. We also like to avoid migration (especially mass migration) into young beta sites because it would be nicer to see what content is organically produced right here on the site by its own community (and not by whoever asked on Stack Overflow outside it) You might consider seeing what gaps weren't covered by Stack Overflow, though, or things which aren't fully answered on Stack Overflow would also be good game. – Grace Note Aug 8 '12 at 13:57
  • I thought it would be, but you make some good suggestions about filling the gaps – Daniel Blackhall Aug 8 '12 at 22:53

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