Proposal: Stack Overflow Academy

Where is the boundary between Stack Overflow Academy and Meta Stack Overflow? Isn't the former more or less a subset (and therefore duplicate) of the latter?

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    More importantly what makes you think that people who can't ask proper questions about what they're doing will be able to ask proper questions about asking proper questions on what they're doing?
    – badp
    Jul 9, 2014 at 19:05
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    @badp That’s so… on-point. [+1]
    – e-sushi
    Jul 10, 2014 at 20:38
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    @badp +1 - Let alone actively search for a site where they can ask questions about asking questions beforehand. Those with the dedication to take all that hassle for asking a proper question are exactly the ones who can and will already put in enough effort for figuring out a proper question structure on their own anyway. The average one-shot asker who might need it just won't bother, apart from the very few shiny examples. Aug 4, 2014 at 11:16
  • And you need 5 rep to participate in meta... Aug 7, 2014 at 12:58

1 Answer 1


Meta Stack Overflow could work for this purpose...

...But in practice, it usually does not. The focus of meta is primary focused on the policies and behaviors associated with Stack Overflow; while this includes the nature of the questions asked on the site, it's not particularly obvious that you can ask for help asking a specific question - and truth be told, if even a small number of people did do that, it would become an unwieldy amount of traffic, hurting the other purposes for which meta is dedicated.

We've had numerous requests for a tutoring / mentoring system over the years, and while I'm not entirely convinced this is the best format for such a thing it is the most readily available - so, I figured I'd see if anyone else was interested in creating one.

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    I've noticed that questions asking for help on how to improve questions aren't always well-received on MSO too. It's hit or miss. When it's a miss, it's because (I assume) that it appears that the OP didn't use any of the already available Help and Meta resources to learn how to ask a good question. Plus, MSO users who don't want to hand-hold on the main site don't want to hand-hold on Meta either. It tends to be a hit when the OP is obviously putting in a sincere effort to improve. Jul 9, 2014 at 20:44
  • You'll have to migrate a bunch of MSO and MSE questions or deal with cross-site dups.
    – bjb568
    Jul 14, 2014 at 21:53
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    Dealing with cross-site dups is pretty much my job description anyway.
    – Shog9
    Jul 14, 2014 at 22:15
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    Now I see why nobody wants Shog powers, it comes with Shog's responsibilities.
    – Braiam
    Jul 14, 2014 at 22:18
  • @Braiam Heeeey, that's my line.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jul 18, 2014 at 18:23
  • But, when there are good "How do I ask this question" questions on MSO, those questions will stick around and be helpful to other users. They're in-scope for MSO, and I don't think they need to move out of MSO.
    – Lou
    Jul 28, 2014 at 21:09
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    If MSO doesn't work for this in practice that is a problem with MSO that should be resolved, not a case for a new equally broken network site. The most meaningful tutoring we could give is how to read the text of the help center, and we already have ELL for that.
    – Jason C
    Jul 31, 2014 at 23:59
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    "If the hammer you're using to drive screws is breaking them, hammer harder dammit"
    – Shog9
    Aug 1, 2014 at 0:17
  • @Shog9 Your analogy fails. What you are actually proposing is "If the hammer you're using to drive screws is breaking them, try a different hammer."
    – Jason C
    Aug 1, 2014 at 0:20
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    I've now spent three years answering support emails from some of the most driven vampires, @jason. You're grossly overestimating the amount of effort they're willing to invest in anything that doesn't get them a direct, pastable answer.
    – Shog9
    Aug 1, 2014 at 0:24
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    @Shog9 Now I'm just plain confused. If there aren't a significant number of eager people wanting to learn to ask questions, then this proposal should probably just be closed now. I don't think this proposal will help find those people, unless those people are weirdly checking Area 51 first.
    – Jason C
    Aug 1, 2014 at 1:02
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    @Shog9 Because all those people who don't know how to ask questions yet are totally browsing Area 51.
    – Jason C
    Aug 1, 2014 at 1:04
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    @Shog9 It seems like it would be more productive, and helpful in the long run, to find out why said users are skipping meta. I mean, we just split MSO off into an SO-specific meta and MSE, and the metas exist for this purpose; don't you think the entire network as a whole would be served better by trying to determine why these people aren't heading to MSO, instead of just closing your eyes and throwing an SO-specific SOA into the mix? Virtually every example question for SOA is specifically appropriate for MSO.
    – Jason C
    Aug 1, 2014 at 1:58
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    @e-sushi I would say that passive-aggressively commenting on my actions is far more negative than anything I've stated here. Anyways I responded to you in the other place you made that same comment. Pick a spot. If your attitude is going to be typical of the main user-base on SOA then I think it will have bigger problems than simply vampires and MSO overlap.
    – Jason C
    Aug 1, 2014 at 4:46
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    @Shog9 So just to make sure I understand the point; this site would be for people who are so utterly bad at asking questions (and incapable of searching Google for "how to ask a question") that they need actual mentoring to teach them?
    – Jason C
    Aug 1, 2014 at 15:59

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