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From Ted Dunning <>
Subject Re: Stackoverflow
Date Fri, 13 May 2011 01:04:55 GMT
There is another factor that comes into play.  QA sites like SO also blend
in wiki and trust mechanisms.  Thus, highly rated users can and do rewrite
questions to be more answerable/understandable.  They can also rewrite
answers if necessary.

Without automated karma, the moderation function has to be granted manually
which is a process that doesn't scale as easily and is subject to attack by
cabals.  That way lies wikipedia's dictatorship of the editor proletariat
and associated drop in user participation.  That is fine for a largely
static knowledge base, but SO addresses much more dynamic topics in a way
that engages the readership much more strongly.  Moreover, the feedback
cycle essentially guarantees that the moderators reflect the interests of
the voting public.

On Thu, May 12, 2011 at 5:47 PM, David Blevins <>wrote:

> Another thought.  Sometimes I wonder how hard it would be to just allow
> tagging and voting on top of a plain mailing list emails.  A simple DB with
> the messageId as the key for tags and vote count then a slightly fancier
> archive view than we have now.   And hey, markdown happens to look nice as
> plain email.  I've actually been indenting code snippets for years.
> I admit I like getting SO points and badges but they do not factor in at
> all when looking for the right answer.

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