Webstock 2010 - Stack Overflow: Building Social Software for the Anti-Social


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a 30+ minute deck on building social software for the anti-social, namely programmers -- using Stack Overflow (http://stackoverflow.com) as an example

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  • Very good points - nice to know I'm not the only person who thinks other people are unreliable, predictable, etc. (LOL)
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  • Great presentation! I feel like one of those antisocial people who has somehow (against all odds) been pulled into the social media space. Really appreciate the insights.
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  • Good programmers write. Great programmers steal.Joel and I wanted a mashup of all the social website concepts that we knew worked at places where programmers hang out.We did a LOT of research into sites that worked.
  • Let’s start with a static phpBB style discussion forum. A chronological list of messages.
  • Voting – digg/reddit. AJAX style. So the best stuff goes to the top. You don’t have to read 40 messages to find that one nugget of useful technical information buried in there.
  • Bring in editing. So a year later, after this API has been deprecated, or if there’s a better way to do this, users can change their posts.Note that editing brings in discussion about the editing as well. This is important.
  • Blogs –owner authorship. From delicious, the concept of tagging.
  • Finally, bringing it all together. A Web 3.0 forum.
  • Loving not necessarily each other, because people can be hard to love – but loving the thing we are creating together for the future.
  • Webstock 2010 - Stack Overflow: Building Social Software for the Anti-Social

    1. Stack Overflow:Building Social Software for the Anti-Social<br />Jeff Atwoodcodinghorror.comstackoverflow.com<br />
    2. So I went to New Zealand Consulate and asked if it was true. And they said: &quot;Indeed. New Zealanders can visit Australia without a Visa&quot;. And I said:&quot;Well, I wanna be a New Zealander. My father is a New Zealander. Can I get a New Zealand passport?&quot; And they said: &quot;Certainly, Sir. Go down to the basement, get some pictures taken, bring them up&quot;. And I did, and they did, and they made me a passport.<br />Joel Spolsky<br />
    3. Step 1:<br />Know your audience<br />
    4. Q:How do you tell an introverted computer programmer from an extroverted computer programmer?<br />
    5. A:<br />An extroverted computer programmer looks at your shoes when he talks to you.<br />
    6. “In the early years of programming, a program was regarded as the private property of the programmer. One would no more think of reading a colleague&apos;s program unbidden than of picking up a love letter and reading it.”<br />
    7. “This is essentially what a program was, a love letter from the programmer to the hardware, full of the intimate details known only to partners in an affair.”<br />
    8. This series of books is affectionately dedicatedto the Type 650 computer once installed atCase Institute of Technology,in remembrance of many pleasant evenings.Donald Knuthdedication toThe Art of Computer Programming1968<br />
    9. One of the great pioneers of computer and online gaming, Dani Berry died in 1998. Some of her aphorisms are still frequently quoted by game developers, including<br />”No one ever said on their deathbed, ‘Gee, I wish I had spent more time alone with my computer.’”<br />
    10. Step 2: Know your topic<br />
    11. Programming is now a social activity<br />Like it or not.<br />
    12. Social software for the anti-social <br />(programmers)<br />
    13. Step 3:<br />Understand people’s motivations<br />
    14. Modern programming may be a social activity, but programmers are still introverted and anti-social.*<br />What motivates us to work with confusing, complicated, erratic people instead of simple computers?<br />*and that’s how we like it!<br />
    15. A shared passion:<br />We love programming.<br />
    16. A common enemy:<br />We hate Bad Code.<br />
    17. I don’t have to agree with you<br />I don’t have to be “friends” with you<br />I don’t even have to like you<br />… but we have a shared passion, a shared enemy, and we can learn from each other.<br />
    18. The currency of Stack Overflow is information.<br />Programmers map social relationships on top of that.<br />Do you really need software to tell you who your friends are?<br />
    19. Work<br />vs.<br />work<br />
    20. Work is when your boss tells you to do something, you do it, and you get paid.<br />work is motivated by inherent interest and generally unpaid. <br />
    21. Usability testing techniques developed over the past 25 years for Work no longer apply for work.<br />We shouldn&apos;t be asking, “Can you complete the task?” but rather “Are you motivated to do it in the first place?”<br />
    22. Little-w work:<br />Tiny slices of frictionless effort<br />Amortized across the entire community<br />
    23. “If you take Wikipedia as a kind of unit, all of Wikipedia, the whole project --every page, every edit, every talk page, every line of code, in every language that Wikipedia exists in -- that represents something like the cumulation of 100 million hours of human thought.”<br />
    24. Fast, fast, fast<br />No registration required<br />Simple Markdown formatting<br />Edit anything, anytime (with rep)<br />Every question has an input box at the bottom, inviting you to participate and share what you know<br />
    25. “I&apos;m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby) [...] I&apos;d like to know what features most people would want.”<br />“Humor me. Go there and add a little article. It will take all of five or ten minutes.”<br />“In the past, we could do little things for love, but big things required money. Now, we can do big things for love.”<br />