Conquering the CHAOS of Online Community at Stack Exchange

When Stack Overflow was created in 2008 as a forum for questions about computer programming, there was no need to worry about understanding the community. Co-founders Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood had long and storied histories working in the software industry. But as the Stack Overflow blossomed into Stack Exchange, a group of more than 70 Read More


  1. Anonymous says:

    Love this

    1. Ben Popper says:

      embrace the CHAOS

    2. Ben Popper says:

      embrace the chaos

  2. Guest says:

    “But over time whatever small biases these folks bring with them are amplified in the minds of new users” 

    “An Anthropology major, a former staffer for Wizard magazine and comic convention veteran” 

    “Online communities require both software and people. Sometimes the software part is the easier part”

    No kidding.

  3. The best the on line communities are run by benign neglect.  When ever possible allow the community to govern itself.  Occasionally a bit of lean on someone who’s acting up or even a ban is usually all that’s needed to let the community continue.  Moderators should mostly be well hidden behind a pane that says “Break Glass in Case of Troll”.    Otherwise they should ever log in with a moderator account.  

    1. Anonymous says:

      “Benign neglect.” Nice phrase, though I don’t really agree with you. Look at the moderators on Reddit. They’re very involved.

  4. I wrote something about heuristics for online community facilitators in 1999 that might still be useful:

    1. Anonymous says: