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Based on the 7 Essential Meta Questions we should address what the elevator pitch is for the Salesforce StackExchange site.

I'm thinking it's something along the lines of how I've been promoting the proposal on my blog and face to face...

The Salesforce StackExchange is a community moderated Q&A site which actively promotes and maintains good quality information, whilst simultaneously keeping noise, duplicate information and poor quality information to a minimum.

It is a forum where all those who work with Salesforce / Force.com can participate in one place, providing a broad range of expert knowledge across all related subjects with power users, developers and administrators all pitching in unlike the separation present elsewhere.

  • Adding on to the question, what will differentiate this site from the existing Salesforce Answers (success.salesforce.com/answers) site? They already have MVPs with over 15,000 questions answered (SteveMo, success.salesforce.com/profile?u=0053000000235ByAAI), so what draw does this site offer to those MVPs? Why would somebody choose this site over Answers? – Mike Chale Aug 8 '12 at 16:33
  • Mostly because of the noise. I'd wager than a large count of those 15,000 are the same question over and over, plus there's no reason the MVPs wouldn't participate here. Questions and answers are more easily maintained here too, so I guess we need to work that into the pitch. – Matt Lacey Aug 8 '12 at 23:23
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    MVPs will use this site because of the gamification aspect, oh look I got another medal etc. Also, because the good answers quickly get filtered up to the top as users recognise and flag good content. – David Gillen Aug 9 '12 at 14:09
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    I like to use Stack Exchanges sites because of the searchability, response time, gamification, and community moderation. It's the greatest platform for learning, in my experience. – Matt K Aug 9 '12 at 16:15
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    One problem with Answers is that every comment on a question counts as an "answer". I like this site more than Answers because of the voting mechanism and the ability to differentiate between comments and answers. Another thing I like about this site is that it has both developer and admin questions which have been segregated in all the official Salesforce tools. I see a lot of talk about MVPs in these comments. I'm an MVP and have been part of the beta since day 1. I hope this site brings out more people to the spotlight so they can be recognized through the MVP program as well. – Daniel Hoechst Aug 9 '12 at 17:50
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An elevator pitch is designed to be repeatable on an elevator, so here's mine:

You know how Salesforce users and developers have a hard time finding the right answers to their questions among the many mediocre answers Google turns up? This site makes sure the correct and best answers filter to the top, eliminates duplicates, and rewards the best contributors. Just this week I got a difficult question answered within minutes and helped three beginners learn something new.

  • This resonates with me. Yes, I am frustrated getting an authoritative answer about an issue I have with the platform. – Daniel Blackhall Aug 12 '12 at 4:38
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Although this point has already been mentioned, I'll second it. Although, instead of saying gamification, which is accurate but doesn't really convey why the technique is so effective here, I would say it all comes down to this:

Reputation

If you don't have reputation management built directly into the fabric of a forum, the forum inevitably produces increasing amounts of white noise until finally it becomes a bloated source of primarily irrelevant content that slows you down from finding what you're looking for.

Reputation is not just for the individual star responders who know every hack in the book, but on a completely granular level where every element has its own reputation from the moment it's born. Each asked question faces the scrutiny of the community, to the betterment of the quality of the community, and thus discourages the lazy and unresearched questions from being asked in the first place.

Yes, MVPs have been answering questions for years over at Answers, but they've also been sifting through piles of carelessly asked and increasingly redundant questions causing the overall value of the knowledge store to suffer tremendously. Frankly, if salesforce Answers had a built-in reputation engine like the Stack Exchange from the beginning, being a self-cleaning oven as a result, it would still be my go-to place for finding and providing quality information.

So... my long-winded 2-cents for the elevator pitch is that the differentiating concept of a reputation-based, self-cleaning oven forum be included in the message somehow.

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Another point that I like about this site, is that if I have a problem with something other than apex or visualforce I can ask it, for example workflow or profiles. This is not an improvement over the official Salesforce forums but over stack overflow, where configuration questions were a bit iffy. I don't quite know the best way to phrase such a sentiment, but it's a point that sets salesforce.stackexchange apart.

  • I think the improvement over the official forums is that you can have both experienced administrators and developers answering questions. – Matt Lacey Aug 12 '12 at 11:54
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The pitch I use is "it's like developer.force.com or success.salesforce.com... but with good questions and correct answers."

Honestly the thing we should be worried about is getting as popular as the official forums, they've become unusable thanks to so many extreme newbie questions and answers.

  • Maybe we could keep it in an eternal beta and only invite people with some amount of experience :P – Samuel De Rycke Aug 9 '12 at 9:15
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    Sdry - no need on here, the community moderation works a treat! – Matt Lacey Aug 9 '12 at 13:15
  • This is the real issue... I've been meaning to ask a question about this. – paul Aug 9 '12 at 16:20
  • Everyone was a newbie at some point of time and i believe the whole idea of the site is to help everyone newbie or experts. Good questions and answers would always get upvoted and bad answers downvoted. External Beta - NO NO – Prady Aug 10 '12 at 7:54

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