Stack Exchange is a set of Q&A sites. I have found it an amazing resource. It's like a forum except that
- Questions are easier to find, tag
- Answers can be voted up and down; best ones rise to top
- Questions can be voted up and down; deters RTM type questions; rewards well researched questionners; saves community time answering dumb questions
- When you start a question an instant search shows similar questions - reduces duplicate questions
- Answers can be commented on and edited - means back-and-forth chit chat is separate from the important information: the answer. Makes it much easier to see the best outcome(s) from a question, instead of having to wade through pages of text to find out whether a particular post is useful
- An genius points and badges based system helps increase contributions, and maintains a quality. So for example, you can't vote an answer up/down until you have earned a reputation for knowing what you're talking about, which you might do by asking good questions, or having an answer of yours voted up. Ditto comments.
They run sites for different topics, ranging from Drupal, Database Admins, programming through to English Usage!
They will start a new site if a community shows that the desire exists. I think it could be a really good resource for the CiviCRM community, so I have proposed one.http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/40645/civicrm
If you think it's a good idea, please help it get launched: visit that link, "follow" the proposal you may need to set up account - 2 mins, and well worth it!), add example questions on it, vote up example questions that you think are useful examples, tweet about it etc. It's a long road to showing enough support to Make It Happen.
As I said, I have found these sites an invaluable source of support and reference. I do not in any way mean to dis' or undervalue the excellent work put into this forum by the CiviCRM devs, and I suggest this in a spirit of wanting to help the community do this stuff more effectively and efficiently.