A lot of people have been jumping on the commitment band wagon for the recently proposed Q & A site for Tridion on Stack Exchange’s Area 51 site. This is a great step toward the proposal making it to the beta phase. Thanks to all of you who have got involved so far.
For those who don’t know, Stack Exchange is the creator of some generic technical Q & A sites such as Stack Overflow, Super User and Server Fault. They also make their platform available to more focused communities for products like Drupal and Word Press, as well as completely non-technical sites on various topics as far reaching as gardening, literature and poker. These sites are built by the online communities that want them. Before Stack Exchange sanctions the use of their platform, they want to be sure the sites will get used, and are filled with good content backed by an active community of knowledgeable contributors. They do this by allowing anyone to propose a site on their staging area called Area 51, and measuring its progress as it moves through various phases from initial definition, through commitment and beta until the site becomes live.
In March of 2012, Dave Houlker proposed a Q&A site for the SDL Tridion CMS. At the time of writing, 164 individuals have committed to being part of the project. If you are one of them, this article is really for you. We need to get that number above 200 to get to the beta stage, but that is only part of the story. At least 100 of those must have a good reputation (currently only 34 of the 164 committers are considered worthy of the ‘good reputation’ title). Once we make it to the beta stage, we will have more hoops to jump through, but let deal with that when we get there.
Reputation is essentially the Stack Exchange way of deciding how seriously to take a person’s commitment, and they measure it based on how active you have been on other Stack Exchange websites, and how highly your questions and answers are valued by other Stack Exchange users. So in order for Dave’s proposal to get to the next level, we need all the committers to start doing their part.
So what can you do?
- Make sure you have committed to the project, and encourage anyone else you know in the SDL Tridion community to commit too. You can actually gain reputation by referring others, so invite them using the “share this” link on the proposals homepage. This will help us get to the 200 committers requirement.
- Start using some other Stack Exchange sites. Lots of us are actively using Stack Overflow for SDL Tridion related programming questions. Ask questions and tag them with [tridion] or [sdl-tridion], and even better answer some. As your reputation builds, your value to the Area 51 proposal will grow.
- Actively vote on questions and answers (particularly those posted by other committers to our proposal, and especially good ones from people with scores under 200). This will increase their reputation, making their contribution more valuable to the initative. Accepting someone’s answer on Stack Overflow will give them 15 reputation points (but can only occur once), an up-vote on the other hand will give them 10 reputation points, and will keep doing so every time someone votes. Imagine if all 164 committers voted on an answer by a new contributor – their score could jump from 1 to over 1500 overnight.
- Make sure you use the same Stack Exchange profile on all their sites. You can validate that by looking at your profile for a site, then viewing your ‘network profile’, then select ‘accounts’. If your profiles are correctly linked, you should see Area 51, and all your other Stack Exchange sites listed there. You can see an example of my accounts here. This will guarantee that your reputation counts towards the Area 51 proposal.
So I challenge you all
Think of one good question, and post it on a relevant site (Stack Overflow for programming questions, Super User for more functional questions and Server Fault for administration questions). If you can (creating new tags requires a rep. of 300 or higher), tag your question with [tridion], otherwise just use [cms] for now, and once someone has enough reputation we will create the new tags and retag the questions.
When someone answers your question, check their profile and see if they are committed to the Area 51 proposal. If not, add a comment to their answer thanking them, and tell them about Area 51 and give them your ‘share this’ link to the proposal.
If the answer is helpful, vote on it. If the answer is correct, accept it. If you have time, read the questions about Tridion, and when you see good questions and helpful answers, vote on those too (even if they are old or have been accepted). If we all do our part, I am sure we can get at least 66 of the current committers with low reputation scores to the point that their commitment to the proposal really counts for something in no time at all.
Stay in touch
Finally, it is pretty tough to reach people who have committed to this initiative, so I would like to suggest two things
- I will start using the Twitter tag #SDLTridionQandA to announce stuff you might care about. Follow it and use it.
- If you want me to contact you about how things are going and how you might help, drop me an email at SDLTridionQandA@urbancherry.net. I will never share your email, and only use it to notify you of stuff related to the proposal.
I look forward to seeing you all online, and fingers crossed we can get to the beta stage in the near future.