Too much emphasis on SE

I’m not so sure about the number of times SE is referenced on this site.

It seems a bit unprofessional, considering the history, and feels like we got butt-hurt—It seems a bit immature to me.

For example, the bar on top of the page says “if you are disappointed with SE Inc., SO, or any other Stack Exchange sites…”.

Can we not just say “we want to learn from the mistakes of other Q&A sites”. In some topics it feels like we’re mainly comparing ourself to SE.

That might also change us from a culture of “What did SE do wrong” to “what did other Q&A sites do wrong”.

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We can sugarcoat it,

and yes maybe it will look prettier in some texts like the “if you are disappointed with SE…” (I agree with that),

but the fact remains that codidact is a butterfly that comes out of a cocoon made by the SE and not by another q&a (or the others are only remotely important). SE itself is a butterfly that is a child of Experts Exchange.

So, yes it could be changed, but I would not say that there is too much emphasis on SE. Or can you say what other q&a websites ““we want to learn from the mistakes of”?


From my point of view Stack Exchange is simply a convenient reference point.

Q&A engines need a lot of features and communities need social norms, And what they are can really matter. So we say “Well, SE handles [problem or issue] with [feature], [powers] and [social understanding] which works pretty well except for [friction point], but I think that we can do better with [variation of power] and [different social understanding].”

My other possible reference points are BBSs, usenet, forums, and various social media platforms (I don’t know any of the other Q&A engines). The first two are antique and the second two are the wrong model if we are talking about Q&A.


I agree to some extent. If it is just about bashing, that’s no good.

But at the same time it would not be completely fair to sugarcoat it either. The failure of SE is the very reason we are here, and it can be a way to attract more people that share the same feelings.

Which is true. It’s a good thing to also learn from others, but the mistakes SE did are those in focus. And I don’t see it as necessarily bad either. After all, if SE did not do very many things right we would not talk about them at all. So in one way, this bashing is actually recognizing and appreciating their important role in all this.

They made an amazing job on making gamification work. They did not make it perfect, but they certainly showed the way. Now it’s up to us to make it even better.


I like that saying and I agree with your post, perhaps I was wrong stating we have too much emphasis on SE. I didn’t realise SE’s existence was due to the failure of Experts Exchange, though it does make sense. There are however other Q&As we can possibly learn from, however basic they are, such as Microsoft’s Q&A and CodeProject’s Q&A. Quora is also a possible reference point.

You are correct stating SE is a convenient reference point, I agree, especially when feature-wise it is probably the best Q&A out there.

Agree, it is good to learn from SE’s mistakes, but I don’t want us to travel the path where we are only learning from their mistakes. We also need to consider what we really like about the platform, or why they came to some decisions.

Yes, it’s true. But what happened to SE is that they were the best and greatest. And suddenly a HUGE number of enthusiasts suddenly turn their back on them. Doing what we can to avoid that is paramount. That goes far beyond making small details a little better.

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Hmmm, when I think about it. Subversion said they were “CVS done right”. Maybe Codidact slogan could be “Stackoverflow done right”?

We should be GIT instead.


I would not recommend any statements from Linus Torvalds as official slogans. :smiley:

Most people are here because they are butt hurt from SE, myself included.
Everyone here knows about SE and right now we’ll only attract users who have something against SE.

I agree in the future if this gains traction we should stop mentioning ‘SE’. But right now I don’t see the point in hiding it, especially on a somewhat internal fourm.


SE is currently the best Q&A site out there, and almost everyone here came from SE. As a group we have extensive experience about what worked well and what didn’t work on SE. A site which compares itself with SE, then implements the good parts while skipping the bad parts, will hopefully end up much better than what’s currently still the best Q&A site.

When SO was created, it compared itself all the time with the predecessor Experts Exchange. And it successfully ended up as an “Expert Exchange killer”. If Codidact ends up a “SE killer” remains to be seen, but if it happens, I doubt many tears will be shed over the private equity investors losing their money.

It doesn’t make much sense to ponder about what crappier sites like Quora, Reddit, Ask etc did wrong - that can be quickly summarized as “private companies with non-existent quality of content concerns, aiming for nothing but maximum site traffic”. And then we can safely dismiss those sites, there’s not much to learn from them.


Also, I would dare to say that one of the problems with SE ironically correlates with this thread fairly well. They became afraid of speaking plain.

Don’t get me wrong. Language matters and if someone posts a question without doing background research first, there’s no reason to comment “Hey you stupid dumf***! Make som f****n research first you lazy piece of sh*t!”. But the latest COC felt more like that you should avoid writing anything that had even the slightest possibility to upset even a single person.

SE is the reason we exist, and we should not be ashamed to admit that.