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Welcome to Software Development on Codidact!

Will you help us build our independent community of developers helping developers? We're small and trying to grow. We welcome questions about all aspects of software development, from design to code to QA and more. Got questions? Got answers? Got code you'd like someone to review? Please join us.

Comments on How can we grow this community?

Parent

How can we grow this community?

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Codidact's communities have a lot of great content that is helping people on the Internet. Our communities are small, though, and sustainable communities depend on having lots of active, engaged participants. The folks already here are doing good work; our challenge is to find more people like you so we can help this community grow.

This calls for a two-pronged approach: reaching more people who would be interested if only they knew about us, and making sure that visitors get a good first impression. I'm here to ask for your help with both.

Reaching more people

The pool of people interested in software development is huge. (I don't think I need to belabor that point.) My question to you is: where do we find the right people for this community? How do we make ourselves attractive to them, among all the other sites vying for their attention? You're the experts on this topic, not us. Where would it be most fruitful to promote Codidact? How should we appeal to them to draw them in?

Please don't give general answers like "CS departments" or "GitHub". We need your expert input to decide where, specifically, we should be looking. We are now able to pay for some advertising -- where should we direct it, and what message would best reach that audience? Can you help us sell your community?

Finally, some types of promotion are best done peer to peer. You are the experts in your topic; messages from you on subreddits or professional forums or the like will be much more credible than messages from Codidact staff. For these types of settings, we need your help to get the word out. If you know of a suitable place and can volunteer to spread the word there, please leave an answer about it so we all know about it (and know not to also post there).

Making a good first impression

Pretend for a moment that you don't know anything about Codidact. Visit this community in incognito mode. What's your reaction? If it's negative, what can we do about it? Some known deterrents from across the network:

  • Latest activity is not recent. This tells people the community isn't active. Anecdotally, we have lots of people ready to answer good questions, and on some communities, not enough good questions for them to answer. Can you help with that?

  • Latest questions are unanswered. This tells people it might not be worth asking here. Why are our unanswered questions unanswered? Are they poor questions in some regard? Unclear, too basic, too esoteric, just not interesting? Can they be fixed? Should they be hidden?[1]

  • Latest questions have poor scores. This tells people that either there's lots of low-quality material here or the voters are overly picky. If it's a quality problem, same questions as the previous bullet. If good content is getting downvoted, or not getting upvoted, can you help us understand why?

These are issues we've seen or heard about from across the network, but each community is different. What do you see here? What might be turning people away, and what could we do about it?

Are there things about the platform itself, as opposed to content, that discourage people we're trying to attract? If there's something we can customize to better serve this community, please let us know. If there are other changes in presentation or behavior that you think would encourage visitors to stick around, what are they?

Conversely, what is this community doing well? What draws newcomers in? I don't just mean the reverse of those bullets. What do we need to keep doing, and what might be worth highlighting when promoting this community?


  1. Should the question list not show some questions to anonymous visitors? What should the criteria be? ↩︎

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Why should this post be closed?
+23
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Increase exposure One way of increasing our exposure is to use Codidact as a source when answering on other forums. A …

2y ago

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By having decent source code formatting that isn't completely inferior to other sites like Stack Overflow. We might want …

2y ago

+13
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In light of another fiesta on a "competitor site", I poked my head in here again. Here's my twocents. When a ship sta …

1y ago

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Search engine optimization? I thought this goes without saying, but apparently we aren't doing too well there for so …

9mo ago

+16
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Just my two cents: 1. I found this community because of someone's username on Stack Overflow. That's probably a good …

2y ago

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As a (for now at least) casual user, I can report that a bad first impression is that there are way too many "500 server …

2y ago

+9
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I just submitted a proposal to DuckDuckGo here for a new "bang" for their search syntax. If approved: `!coddsw search …

11mo ago

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Never Too Late Due to, shall we say, recent AI-related hallucinations, pretty much everything that was possible PR-wi …

11mo ago

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After a few years of casually using stack-exchange sites and wandering around on coda-dict, I feel there are mainly thre …

11mo ago

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S.E.O. - Stack Overflow has fantastic SEO, and this is a self-feeding cycle. Currently codidact isn't adding json-ld o …

7mo ago

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I realize this might not be feasible, because course all of that hinges on the possibility to get some acceptable data o …

1y ago

+8
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Not having a single sign on option greatly increased the friction in adopting the site for me. This was further compo …

2y ago

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Emphasize and expand content that competitors fail at or deliberately exclude. This section of What type of questions …

4mo ago

+4
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A note on first impressions: I really like that popup windows like when you click "react" are closed by clicking "re …

1y ago

+9
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This may be a minor thing to some but it's a huge annoyance / barrier to me - we need to change our scoring system to be …

2y ago

+0
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This is long, I apologize, but I hope someone finds my treatise valuable.[^diehards] StackExchange, while a great imp …

30d ago

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Give software.codidact.com its own domain Stack Overflow is by far the largest community on Stack Exchange and likely …

11mo ago

3 comment threads

Duplicate? (2 comments)
Super new casual-to-be user (2 comments)
I found a great Stack Overflow Clone (build before few days ago) in which he/she implemented nearly e... (6 comments)
Post
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Emphasize and expand content that competitors fail at or deliberately exclude.

This section of What type of questions can I ask here? is already a big deal, but it could be bigger:

Best practices, as long as clear "best" criteria are provided. Examples: fastest execution, least memory use, widest tool support for a target, IDE for a certain language and operating system

Software development is an art, not a science. Attempting to reduce it to black-and-white technical facts is futile and actively harms understanding. Stack Overflow's aggressive exclusion of "opinion-based" questions severely hinders the transmission of knowledge. A medium for transmitting the deep insights of long experience is something the world desperately needs, because formal education has always failed at it, and long-term professional relationships that create a business case for employers investing in their employees are a thing of the past.

Novices often frame a question as "What is better, X or Y?" This is a teachable moment. We can factually discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different solutions, the history of their popularity, and the real-world reasons you would choose one over the other. On SO, such a question would be closed immediately.

Edit: SO is now promoting their new Discussions site, a place for opinion-based and otherwise fuzzy questions, which is what this site should have been. It already has more traffic than this site. This makes me sad, because while I want such a site to exist, I don't want those jerks controlling it.

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3 comment threads

Agreed (3 comments)
The Q/A format is not fit for discussion (6 comments)
Art (6 comments)
Agreed
matthewsnyder‭ wrote 8 months ago · edited 8 months ago

I agree with both points in this. In particular, SO sometimes permits a very narrow range of discussion about "best" if you lock the criteria down very tightly. But to provide comprehensive evaluation criteria, you have to be pretty expert to begin with. When you get a total noob asking things like "what's better, Python or C" or "is SQL or noSQL better", it's not just about which one wins, but also about all the dimensions of comparison that the newbie isn't aware of. Learning those dimensions actually gives the newbie a lot of understanding, so in the end it can be a very productive experience. Of course, some people get upset because (presumably) they feel a question like that is just too painfully stupid.

Kevin Krumwiede‭ wrote 8 months ago

It comes down to whether this site is interested in creating those productive experiences for its users. SO is explicitly interested in something different and exclusionary.

MER‭ wrote about 1 month ago

Definitely also agree. There is a really interesting blog post from... 12-15 years ago related to the Stackexchange sites from Jeff Atwood (one of the founders). Where he explicitly said stop worrying about duplicates. Statistically speaking, the number of QUESTIONS, regardless of quality, increases the chance that someone on the internet will find an ANSWER to their question. This extreme over focus on 'de duplication' is hostile and a major waste of effort. I know there are many from SO/SE who, if they read this, will automatically be offended... I mean no offense and am sheerly speaking of technical merit of a system not of your dedication.

MORE DETAILS: When saying that a differently worded but similar (maybe even the same) question is a duplicate, what you are saying is 'You didn't ask that question right' ... and you are saying that to the entire internet when the page is indexed by a search engine. Focus on QUALITY of ANSWERS, not quality of questions.