What problem? I see no problem.
Maybe I should share my recent experience:
I had a problem getting Scratch to talk to my brand new PiFace. Google didn't turn up much - or rather it turned up lots of 'bits' - notably links to forums where different people threw around theories of where the problem might come from (Scratch? Linux? Debian? Raspbian? Hardware?). And mostly in each forum, I had to read through all of the posts to try and work out if their question/problem was the same as mine, and then continue reading until I found what may-or-may-not have been an answer.
This is the NUMBER ONE problem with Q&A on a forum - it gets lost in the discussion.
For example, even in this thread, Liz's answer could
be considered to be definitive (please say it ain't so!), but how would you know
? You'd have to read through all the answers - and even then, you'd have to know the context, know who Liz is, etc...
OK, but how would Stack Exchange help?
On Stack Exchange (and the OS clones), there is a big tick mark next to the 'accepted' answer. And you land straight on it from Google. Problem solved.
Stack Exchange does have some limited scope for 'discussion' - but it is all aimed at getting the question answered. Extraneous gumph is kept to a strict minimum. Users can vote answers up and down, so the 'best' answer generally finds its way to the top of the pile.
Again, this makes it easier for someone who is totally not invested in the community
to get straight to the point and maybe, just maybe, think 'hey, this is cool I'll stay around'.
Yes, but Stack Exchange...
...is a for-profit company which we don't control. They could shut us down any time.
This is true. But the only reason they've shut down any sites so far is for being not-very-successful. Which with 1 million RPs-sold-and-counting seems highly unlikely.
- even when they shut a site down, the data is still made available.
- you could always go with an open source clone, they just don't do it so well...
- the discussion would still happen here, the short-and-to-the-point Q&A would be there.
Even if you're not convinced, I would really encourage you to go and sign up to one of the sites that takes your fancy (https://stackexchange.com/sites?view=grid
) - start with the /about page, and just get a feel for how it all hangs together. If you're interested in the 'governance', each site has a parallel 'meta' site.
Oh, and if you're interested, one of the founders of Stack Exchange is now working on an Open Source forum platform (http://www.discourse.org/