Stack Exchange

From Open Source Ecology
Jump to: navigation, search


This is an upvoting Q&A site. See Wikipedia - - License is proprietary - [1]

The key point of OSE relevance is that OSE would benefit from upvoting in terms of aggregating wisdom of crowds for collaborative development. Any endless threads of low quality forum threads can be improved by simply adding upvoting - where the most valuable content begins to move up in prominence by being placed at the top of the page. This is an indispensible tool for any platform that would like to tap the wisdom of contributors.

For example, we could use Upvoting to distill technical answers to specific questions. If our community is solid, then upvoting can be used to distill information quickly.

OSE Use Cases

  1. Customer support for technical issues on products
  2. Technical development site for any projects or machine development - where questions can be asked and the most relevant knowledge flows to the top.
  3. Independent embed in wiki and blog - allows this functionality to be portable - whether we are adding value to blog post comments or content of a wiki page
  4. Service to collaborators - OSE collaborators can get access for embedding upvoting in their own platforms for allied open source product development efforts.
  5. Use as a survey, where people respond to a survey question and upvote or learn from others' answers. Thus, this could be a tool for upgrading human consciousness.


  • Stack overflow - but setting up a community is questionable. OSE was rejected in 2013. See Area 51 of Stack Exchange
  • Stack Overflow Enterprise costs $200/user. [2]. Ballpark cost is $20k for 100 users. Not scalable to OSE purposes.
  • Stack Exchange - umbrella organization.

Suitability of Stack Exchange for OSE

Filtering through the OSE Vision, the description Area 51 of Stack Exchange, and the discussion of Area 51 issues indicates that Stack Exchange is not a good fit for OSE. First - its current startup procedures for new sites make the creation of an OSE site unlikely. OSE was already rejected in 2013. Further, Stack Exchange itself is not open source, which makes it not transparent or inclusive when filtered through the OSE Vision. The $20k per year for a 100 person team is further exclusive to public-interest projects - and plainly not scalable to 1000s of users based on cost alone. Thus, an alternative must be found.

Open Source Upvotable Q&A Sites

  • List of open source alternatives to Stack Exchange - [3]
  • Askbot seems to have basic functionality. Ex - [4]. I like the feature of sharing discussion on social media - FB, Twitter, Linked In.
  • Biostar - [5] - reputation increased by number of upvotes of their content.
  • LampCMS - Appears to be dead - [6]. dubbed the Open Source Stack Overflow - [7]. Also - [8]. Uses Mongo DB - is that an issue if we use MariaDB?
  • OSQA is dead - [9]
  • Discourse - appears not to endorse up/downvoting - [10]


There appears to be hubbub on the net that up/down-voting is not good because it biases discussions?

  • Legit content is downvoted? [11]

OSE Position

Crowd input is a critical feature. Reddit is ranked #12 on Alexa. [12]. Stack Overflow is ranked 49 on Alexa - [13]. Of the top 50 sites worldwide, that makes for 2 upvote sites and no forum sites. It appears that the usefulness of a crowd-distillation feature (up/downvote) speaks for itself.

Upvotes and downvotes are useful, pending cultural adjustment. It should be stated that an upvote or downvote is only an opinion, and it provides additional info. Upvotes and downvotes can also be manipulated. So the bottom line is: up/downvotes may or may not be accurate. But their provide some insight. Upvotes show what people like. Downvotes may trigger people. As long as one's self-esteem is healthy - one can benefit from both upvotes and downvotes. From the standpoint of a Growth Mindset - core to the OSE Philosophy - both downvotes and upvotes are useful.

OSE Links


  • Effects of up/down-voting - [14]