Do you think questions about blogs and other assorted "what should we read" content are appropriate during the site beta? Do they attract experts to the site?

Now that the site is no longer in private beta, this really needs to change focus. Ergo I edited it. ~ Drachenstern

4 Answers 4


I don't see problem on private beta more than later. We could discuss if these questions should be on-topic or not but I can't see difference if they are posted this week or next week. Bad questions are another beast. If these questions are bad, close them, but can't see the point of close now and reopen or repost at next Wednesday.

Anyway if just great questions could be posted now, probably half of already posted should be deleted.

If users agree with you, go and close/delete my question, actually I can do it. I'm not defending it specifically. I want the best for the site even when I disagree.


I agree with @bigown and will add that, for me, part of participating in this private beta is to learn how the private beta's work. I am also not defending my question except to say I really do want an answer from experts and if experts answer that question it may be something that offers info to other experts (and atracts them to the site). I consider my self a programming expert and info like "what blogs are respected among other programmers" is interesting to me so I'd think it would be for DBA's as well.

So if there is a reason that some questions are OK for public beta but not for private then explain how we tell and I'll comply.


The objections users are raising about the early questions on a site are based on this cautionary tale:

No Artificial Intelligence in Area 51, which is based on Asking the First Questions, both pretty quick reads.

They say, in effect:

It has long been established that no question is too entry-level nor too basic. Everyone is welcome. But, in these earliest days, we are DESIGNING a site for experts. To attract experts, you need a site where people are asking very interesting and challenging questions, not the basic questions found on every other Q&A site. Remember, the pro sites WILL attract the enthusiasts, but not the other way around!

The earliest questions on a site will set the tone and topic of the site for a long time.

When experts come to this site, they'll say "Wow! This is the site for me" … or they wont.

I just dropped by to see how this new site was doing (note: I am not a DBA but I play one when I visit here). As I write this, the front page (the "billboard" for this site) includes two book recommendation threads, a listing of bloggers and podcasts, a "how did you become a DBA" poll, and a few entry-level questions.

Don't get me wrong; These questions will be asked eventually. It's inevitable. But the earliest, private beta is much more about driving the design of the site then getting these questions out there so early in its lifecycle.

That's where all the angst is coming from; Users who care very much about getting this site off to a really strong start. I think they are kindly asking that you focus on keeping the content particularly strong, especially so early in the beta.

It's not a personal attack or an outright rejection of this material.

  • How does a non-expert know what will attract an expert? Sounds like Dunning-Kruger Effect to me.
    – jcolebrand Mod
    Commented Jan 5, 2011 at 6:32

I agree with @bigown & @BitOff - This will become one of the most viewed and voted question for sure. If you see Highest Voted questions in SO, first two are about books!
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@Brain asked whether these kind of "must read"/"aspiring" books attract experts? (private beta) Well, it may or may not attract experts! but it will attract newbies for sure...

I believe most experts are looking for challenging questions, and we need more peoples (newbies or experts) at this public beta phase to ask more questions...

These two questions Must-read Books for DBA & books for aspiring DBA recieved few flags and lots of visits... I've merged these two into "Must-read Books for DBA"

@bigown - I think you can edit the question to look like an actual question...

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