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How is salesforce.stackexchange.com different from the Salesforce Discussion Boards (boards.developerforce.com) and Salesforce Answers (success.salesforce.com)?

Everyone working on this site is probably aware that this overlaps with those sites in terms of purpose and goals, and that it could potentially step on the toes of those sites. However, Salesforce reps have backed this site as well.

The question is trying to get at how to differentiate between salesforce.stackexchange.com and those other sites. There are clearly problems with those sites, hence the need for this site. What are those problems and how are they addressed here?

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As someone who has tried using those boards before, I hope the difference is that things actually get answered here. My experience with Stack Exchange sites is that questions generally get answered and answered quickly. I've had the opposite experience on those other boards.

Also the ability to edit and moderate questions and answers helps to increase the quality of content. I've seen too many questions that don't make any sense and too many answers that look like a copy paste from somewhere else that don't even really address the question.

I've been really excited for this site as I've really struggled with getting help with SFDC related stuff over the last year or so that I've been working with it.

  • Ryan you are right.. speed is key benefit and I will say other value addition is Quality of answers.. its high on this platform. – Prafulla Patil Aug 31 '12 at 20:29
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I asked the same thing in the elevator pitch thread. I agree with others in that we hope to have a better signal-to-noise rate. I know the official SF boards have some very active MVPs entrenched so it is up to us to show our site having at least as much impact.

In my experience with Stack Exchange sites, I generally find high quality answers quickly and come across fewer poor quality questions; this will probably be what differentiates us from those site.

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Hands down the voting system on SE is so much better than grepping a forum. Forums are rife with disinformation and half formed thoughts. All of the questions and answers here are peer reviewed and those that dont meet a bare minimum are bombed from existence. A lot of times in development its one word or phrase that will allow you to complete a project or will take you in a completely different direction from where you thought you would be. Its better to know that the information you are going to decide to use has been vetted by peers.

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    Biggest one for me...the vetting. Sometimes the accepted answer is flaky at best on the SF developer boards. Here we'd see all of the votes. Sometimes there are multiple "good" answers or "good enough" answers. – Peter Knolle Aug 9 '12 at 23:22
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I also posted this on the elevator pitch thread, but perhaps it's more relevant here.


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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    This is a good answer. There isn't one definite answer to this question, I just picked on because it had been open a while. – paul Aug 16 '12 at 15:17
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    Thanks paul. I just chose to emphasize a specific element that I think is perhaps the most unique differentiator compared to traditional boards, but it's only one of many distinctions. General content organization is critical to success - with or without a reputation engine. – Adam Aug 16 '12 at 18:37
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IMO there are several benefits to this site over the developer boards or answers.

  1. Searching here is MUCH better than searching the developer boards. Many times I get no results for terms that I know are there and can find via searching google rather than the built-in search.
  2. Users can respond directly to each question and answer, asking for further details, adding additional details, etc..
  3. Users can vote on the importance/relevance of both answers and questions. That's not possible on the developer boards and it's only possible to vote on whether an answer was helpful or not on answers.salesforce.com

For me #1 and #2 are both huge.

  • #3 is too: from a psychological POV we want to please each other, so will often click the button for "helpful" even if it isn't a great (or possibly even correct) answer. We're just nice! Here's it's much clearer: vote up good answers, vote down bad answers. Choose the 'right' answer from those submitted (which, for some percentage, is not the most upvoted answer) – RickMeasham Aug 12 '12 at 6:50
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From user perspective I hope to get better usability from StackExchange site. Focused Q&A is so much better than traditional forum. Hope Salesforce will support this site to become default community support destination.

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Another advantage is the chat feature where you could directly interact with one or many users instead of going out to and fro with lots of comments.

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