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Dutch investment firm buys Stack Overflow for $1.8 billion – IT Pro – News

This was to be expected, as it was clear that StackOverflow (SO) was taking steps to make its business more marketable. However, many users have found and felt this to be a significant risk to SO quality.

The original SO setup had one active topic per question where all the answers could be found, and everyone could criticize and improve others’ answers. When people ask a question again, it is quickly closed with reference to the main topic and bad answers are heavily voted on and/or edited. This way SO is what it is: a site where you can quickly find good answers to your questions.

This is somewhat comparable to the Wikipedia model, where one would also expect a high quality of new contributions. Over time, both SO and Wikipedia have all kinds of rules that are hard to understand for new (active) users. Logically, experienced editors don’t want to explain these rules over and over, or else they won’t have access to anything else. After all, there are many users who are new to experienced hands. So they indicate where the rules are written.

As a result, a large number of people who want to contribute are frustrated with how their question(s) are answered. They think they are asking a good question or making a good contribution, but their topic is closed or has been voted on, with a mountain of text attached as motivation. The harsh fact that their contribution does not come close to conforming to the rules is articulated in a relatively difficult manner and requires a steep learning curve without training to get to the right level.

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The result is that many people drop out after that and the group of active users of SO is relatively small, compared to social media platforms where people’s contributions don’t have to meet high quality requirements (Twitter, Facebook, etc). This made SO less attractive to investors and SO was eager to change by attracting more active users.


In addition, the meritocracy and the tough/obvious culture seem to suit men better than women (we also see this in education, where boys nowadays perform worse or drop out altogether, which appears to be strongly associated with a more ‘softer’ culture). ‘Teaching and assessment method, where feedback is given subtly rather than using clear criteria).’ SO, like many other tech companies, is fascinated by the “wake up” philosophy and therefore considers it a huge problem to which few women actively contribute.

However, SO’s attempts to change the way it operates and implement “wake-up” rules caused great resentment among existing editors/modifiers, who did not often feel that they were training new users without pay, which is often a very ungrateful task, especially When, according to them, the quality of SO was at the expense. It also angered them that the goal seemed to be primarily to use their volunteer work to achieve success.

“Wake-up” rules are usually very intolerant of people who do not stand 100% behind extremist ideology and people who are highly respected often fall victim to these rules. This was the case at SO, where Monica Cellio was fired as moderator for questioning proposed rules of conscience. Basically, the rules require that you talk about people with the pronoun they want you to use, while Monica argued that you can also write about people in a gender-neutral way or bypass the pronouns in another way. So she was fired simply for criticizing these proposed rules that have not yet been put in place. By the way, the rules of pronoun were later modified in the way suggested by Monica, but SO refused to rehabilitate it (they made all kinds of promises they didn’t keep anyway).

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Her resignation and the whole way to handle this (like attacking Monica in the media, while she did a lot of free work for SO) proved to be the last straw for many frustrated moderators and editors and many of them quit temporarily. perform their duties. , etc.

[Reactie gewijzigd door Aapje58 op 3 juni 2021 10:01]