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Isn't it about time Microsoft shut this forum down and used StackOverflow? RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • I almost never use the MSDN forums for help, unfortunately though, it looks like Microsoft support engineers are monitoring this forum and I sometimes need a Microsoft person to look at an issue. So I have to post twice, which is a lose/lose.

    Moreover, this forum isn't as good. It's hard to follow and doesn't promote quality answers like SO. The answers are buried and the efforts to surface the answer only cause a horrible disjointed experience. The code editor is bad. Of course its worse, SO is designed and focused on being the best in class forum in the world.

    Isn't it about time Microsoft just used StackOverflow like in the way it uses a non-Microsoft tool UserVoice to track feedback and requested improvements to some of its software?

    Luke


    Tuesday, July 16, 2013 5:28 PM

All replies

  • Luke,

    Microsoft already does some level of integration with StackOverflow - MSDN searching will return SO answers and questions, etc.

    That being said, the forums and StackOverflow, while they do have some overlap in terms of usage, are very different, and have a very different goal.  SO is about getting a specific answer to a very specific question.  Forums, in general, encourage much more discussion, and back and forth.

    If you don't know exactly what to ask for, you'll get shot down (fast) on StackOverflow - your question will likely be closed and deleted before you even realize it.  Here, you'll get asked for clarification, and can have a lot of back and forth discussion.

    Both sites have value - I don't think SO would be a replacement for the forums in general, even if people were encouraged to use it directly.


    Reed Copsey, Jr. - http://reedcopsey.com - If a post answers your question, please click Mark As Answer on that post. If you find a post helpful, please click Vote as Helpful.

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013 7:10 PM
  • Hi Reed,

    I think SO's model, while it can admittedly foster a culture of rudeness, helps improve the question quality. I also believe that being shot down isn't always a bad thing, we do it with our offspring with trainees, its fundamental to human development.

    With regards to reciprocal discourse, I take your point but only when it comes to 'discussion' posts such as this one. For questions, the poster almost always seeks a clear and concise answer, and more importantly, so do all the other people with the same question, punching stuff into Bingle.

    I think the runaway success and disruptive nature of SO is proof enough of its assumptions of technical Q&A forum visitors. I think SO has had a huge impact on human development. I don't say that lightly.

    Similar to Wikipedia, SO has enabled millions of programmers writing millions of apps to achieve things faster than they would have done without it, and I image a fair amount would never have been made at all such is the friction and frustration that writing software presents.

    Supposing that we accept your stance that MSDN forums present a product, differentiated enough that its still viable. How can we get around the duplication problem?

    Could we resolve this with software? Does the SO API allow importing of posts with certain tags, and updating SO with answers made here?

    Or should the problem be tackled with a change in human process and redress how much time MS support representatives spend on SO vs. these forums?

    Luke



    • Edited by LukePuplett Tuesday, July 16, 2013 7:28 PM Typos
    Tuesday, July 16, 2013 7:26 PM

  • Or should the problem be tackled with a change in human process and redress how much time MS support representatives spend on SO vs. these forums?

    Luke



    I think it's more of a human problem -

    Frankly, the issue is more of one of education.  SO is great for people who know exactly what they want - and it does encourage great response in those cases.  If you don't know what you need to ask, which is particularly problematic for new developers, it's a bit harsh.  It's also "not officially microsoft", which  shouldn't matter, but does turn off some people.

    Granted, I love SO - and I'm very active there (ie: top 0.01% of users), but I don't think it's necessarily a replacement for the forums.


    Reed Copsey, Jr. - http://reedcopsey.com - If a post answers your question, please click Mark As Answer on that post. If you find a post helpful, please click Vote as Helpful.

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013 7:52 PM