Social website ‘great to haves’ @superuser

Posted on: July 27, 2009

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Just read a profile on ReadWriteStart of the new superuser website, which can be reached in beta at the moment.

It was refreshing to pick be able to pick out a few ‘Great to Haves’ in the design of the new q&a site – here’s why they are important:

  • Unanswered questions have their very own tab on the homepage: Every community manager struggles with what to do in these cases. If a question is up for a while unanswered the member who posted it could become disillusioned with the community. As time goes on unanswered threads get lost beneath newer, more popular ones. Jumping in and answering the question yourself is not ideal, it can look forced and artificial. This feature, allowing people who come to the website to see what is yet to be answered means there is a much better chance that they will be responded to. I know prefer answering unanswered Linkedin questions – it makes me more confident my contribution will be of real use and not lost beneath a sea of other responses.
  • Most of the uses for this site don’t require registration, and most of the Q&A processes can be conducted anonymously: Allowing some participation without signing up is a good way of getting repeat visitors and actually giving people a chance to play with the site before making the leap and signing up (as per the third stage in the Community User Flow). It can be tempting to force people to register but giving them a taste of how good it is to interact with your community, and then making clear the additional benefits of registering, is a good way of driving membership.
  • The site’s interesting system of “reputation” points requires a simple account creation, which can be done using OpenID. Points are awarded and subtracted based on other users’ judgement of how correct or useful an answer is: Here this serves both as an incentive to register, and as encoruagement for good behaviour. Status is an important element of communities of practice, thus facilitating kudos in this way works well.

Read the full RWS review: Geeks-Only Q&A From Super User


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