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Author Topic: [Public Beta now open!] Want Bitcoin to have a real user/merchant support site?  (Read 8311 times)
Chris Acheson
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July 17, 2011, 01:18:17 AM
 #1

EDIT (9/7): Public beta is now open!  Thanks to everyone who helped out!

EDIT (8/30): The site has launched, and is now in the "private beta" phase, which lasts one week.  It will be open to the public on September 6th.  You can see the site right now by going to http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/

EDIT (8/20): "This proposal has reached 100% commitment. We are preparing for its launch and expect to create it soon."  Thanks everyone!  Once the Stack Exchange staff set up the site, there will be a one-week private beta with those that are currently signed up, after which it will be open to the public.

If you want Bitcoin to have a better user support site than these forums, please join the Bitcoin Stack Exchange.

For those who aren't familiar with it, Stack Exchange is a network of question & answer sites, the most well-known of which is stackoverflow.com.  The sites feature a reddit-style reputation system, with high-rep users being granted moderation abilities.  Acceptable and unacceptable topics are also defined in advance for each site.  The Bitcoin SE will be strictly for technical and conceptual questions, not for politics or philosophy.  This should nip trolling and general nonsense in the bud, leaving us with a clean and professional site.

At the time of this writing, we need 71 more people to launch the site, 48 of which need to be established Stack Exchange users.  We've been growing steadily, and should launch around the end of August at this rate.  I'd like to see it happen sooner, so please join up!

EDIT:

We've been getting a lot of people signing up, which is good.  Unfortunately, we're lagging behind on established, high-reputation Stack Exchange users.  In the 4 days since this thread was started, we've gained 21 users, but only 4 of them have 200+ reputation on another Stack Exchange site (3 if you don't count me getting my rep score above 200 during that time).  We need 100 users with 200+ reputation; we're currently at 56.

For those of you who've already signed up, or are just signing up now, please consider participating in one of the existing Stack Exchange sites and building up your reputation.  Getting a score of 200 isn't too difficult, it just takes patience.

Some tips:

Each upvote on a question that you ask is worth 5 points.  Upvotes on your answers are worth 10 points.  Getting your answer accepted as "the answer" by the person who asked the question is worth 15 points.  Answers tend to get upvoted more often than questions, so it's easier to gain reputation from answering questions than from asking them.  Make sure to upvote the questions that you post answers for; it helps those questions get more attention, which means more upvotes for your answer.

Stack Overflow is the most popular of the SE sites, so the pacing tends to be a bit frantic.  Questions will tend to get answered while you're still typing your answer.  If this is a problem for you, consider going with one of the other SE sites instead (I went with Super User).  However, keep in mind that you don't need to be first to answer, you just need to contribute useful information that hasn't been presented yet.

Each tag on an SE site has its own RSS feed.  For example Super User has a bitcoin tag, and here's its RSS feed, found at the bottom of the page.  Watching specific tags that you're interested in is a good way to find questions to answer.

Make sure your account on Area51 (the new site staging area, where the Bitcoin proposal is located) is linked with your other SE accounts, so that your reputation score gets counted.
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July 17, 2011, 01:21:31 AM
 #2

Hi Chris,
Is it worth joining if we don't have expertise on the technical side just to add numbers?  Or is this really only useful if one has that expertise?

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Chris Acheson
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July 17, 2011, 01:30:12 AM
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Hi Chris,
Is it worth joining if we don't have expertise on the technical side just to add numbers?  Or is this really only useful if one has that expertise?

I think it's worth it, but take a look at the example questions on the site to get a better idea.  They're not all nitty-gritty technical.  As long as you understand the concept, you can answer the questions of those who don't.  You can also contribute by asking questions, if there are aspects of bitcoin that you'd like to understand better.
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July 17, 2011, 01:43:50 AM
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OK, I joined.  Now what?  It's not clear what the next step is.  I see a list of questions, but they do not seem Bitcoin specific.

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July 17, 2011, 02:24:04 AM
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OK, I joined.  Now what?  It's not clear what the next step is.  I see a list of questions, but they do not seem Bitcoin specific.

We're still in the commitment stage, so there's nothing to do at the moment other than try to get more people to join.  Stack Exchange requires a certain number of users to commit to using the site before they're launch it.  We're a little more than halfway there.
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July 17, 2011, 05:21:18 AM
 #6

I am trying to set something similar up at bitcoinproducts4sale.com   I will list your site under services/products, might help get a couple clicks.

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July 19, 2011, 08:38:43 PM
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OK, I joined.  Now what?  It's not clear what the next step is.  I see a list of questions, but they do not seem Bitcoin specific.

We're still in the commitment stage, so there's nothing to do at the moment other than try to get more people to join.  Stack Exchange requires a certain number of users to commit to using the site before they're launch it.  We're a little more than halfway there.

This has been really frustrating to watch. I agree there are some advantages to using stackexchange and not an open source copycat, but I'm not sure there are enough to have us sitting in an unusable stage for months and months (yes I joined a while ago). A moderated Q&A site would be a huge asset to the community, yet we are stuck based on arbitrary SE rules for new communities.
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July 19, 2011, 08:46:50 PM
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One established StackExchange user committed for ya.

I also took the liberty of copypasting an excerpt from your post onto the facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/bitcoins) which has a bit over 4K users. Hopefully that'll get you some nibbles too.

Jered Kenna (TradeHill)
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July 19, 2011, 08:50:54 PM
 #9

I'm in and I'll see what I can do to get a few people on board.

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July 19, 2011, 09:11:06 PM
 #10

I also did a quick writeup of this effort on my site (http://bitcoinreference.com/)

I don't get a HUGE amount of traffic but it's something and I think it's the right *kind* of traffic, more importantly.

Edit: And tweeted it, why the hell not. Not so many followers but maybe we'll catch a few bites on the hashtag alone Smiley

Chris Acheson
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July 19, 2011, 09:29:10 PM
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This has been really frustrating to watch. I agree there are some advantages to using stackexchange and not an open source copycat, but I'm not sure there are enough to have us sitting in an unusable stage for months and months (yes I joined a while ago). A moderated Q&A site would be a huge asset to the community, yet we are stuck based on arbitrary SE rules for new communities.

Yeah, it is frustrating.  It may have been worth going with an open-source version back at the beginning, but I think at this point we're far enough along that we may as will stick with Stack Exchange.

I'm in and I'll see what I can do to get a few people on board.

Jered
I also did a quick writeup of this effort on my site (http://bitcoinreference.com/)

Thanks guys.  Smiley
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July 19, 2011, 09:29:36 PM
 #12

One established StackExchange user committed for ya.

I also took the liberty of copypasting an excerpt from your post onto the facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/bitcoins) which has a bit over 4K users. Hopefully that'll get you some nibbles too.

Just did the very rare (for me) Like!

I had to unlike virtually all of my other likes due to their constantly spamming me.

Feel like investing in a Miner?:
http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=30044.msg377773#msg377773
A soup to nuts newbee system for a secure, portable USB wallet (free instructions):
NoobHowTo: http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=27088.msg341387#msg341387
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July 19, 2011, 09:54:53 PM
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Also, remember to link your existing Stack Exchange accounts to your Area 51 account, so that we'll get credit for your reputation on the other sites.
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July 19, 2011, 11:42:05 PM
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Okay, count me in!
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July 20, 2011, 05:55:11 PM
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Count me in.  I'm light on reputation over at Stack Overflow but what I have is now included in your count...
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July 20, 2011, 06:52:44 PM
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yeah we def need more established SE users to join up....
Chris Acheson
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July 20, 2011, 09:29:24 PM
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yeah we def need more established SE users to join up....

Any ideas on how we can promote it to them specifically?
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July 20, 2011, 09:31:43 PM
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yeah we def need more established SE users to join up....

Any ideas on how we can promote it to them specifically?

I was going to sign up until the comment about area 51. I deal with enough kooks now as it is.

Feel like investing in a Miner?:
http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=30044.msg377773#msg377773
A soup to nuts newbee system for a secure, portable USB wallet (free instructions):
NoobHowTo: http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=27088.msg341387#msg341387
Chris Acheson
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July 20, 2011, 10:03:23 PM
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I was going to sign up until the comment about area 51. I deal with enough kooks now as it is.

"Area 51" is what Stack Exchange calls their staging area for new sites.  It has nothing to do with aliens or conspiracy theories.  Tongue
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July 20, 2011, 11:56:45 PM
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I was going to sign up until the comment about area 51. I deal with enough kooks now as it is.

"Area 51" is what Stack Exchange calls their staging area for new sites.  It has nothing to do with aliens or conspiracy theories.  Tongue

Well frankly if they want professional merchants to trust or use the site then they should strongly consider renaming it to "staging area for new sites" or something sensible.

Very few merchants have a sense of humor when it comes to handling their money.

Feel like investing in a Miner?:
http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=30044.msg377773#msg377773
A soup to nuts newbee system for a secure, portable USB wallet (free instructions):
NoobHowTo: http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=27088.msg341387#msg341387
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