I think a thing missing from Stack Overflow’s worldview is that, as you move along in you career, your questions either:
Start being super super super specific to your situation (“On WhateverBSD 4.2, using Erlang HPE compiled with Clang 3.0, I’m getting E_OBSCUREST_OF_ERRORS…what can I mount to /proc to work around this?”) and so you may well receive no answer whatsoever before you grind through it.
Are high-level opinion questions, which are totally valid (“Which of these two approaches is currently the industry standard? Have you ever been bitten by this?”) but appear to be silly subjective slapfights to mods.
There probably could stand to be a place (C2 wiki, maybe?) for at least questions of the second type.
I think Programmers Stack Exchange, which claims to focus on “conceptual questions about software development”, was created specifically to handle questions of the second type.
Slant was created to be stack overflow for opinions. I’ve followed them for a couple years, but I don’t find myself regularly using them. I think they accomplish their purpose reasonably well, but I don’t often find myself seeking out opinions on the Internet.
I see parallels with Wikipedia - and indeed with the Iron Law of Oligarchies, and with the idea that most organizations would do better to promote at random, and with http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000070.html
It’s easier to gain rep by carefully farming rep than by actually being constructive (i.e. asking/answering questions). So the people who become moderators / privileged users are those who care about moderation - not the best contributors. And then this becomes self-reinforcing - moderators think moderation is important, so they award more rep for moderator-like actions than for the real value. The moderator system becomes a self-perpetuating bureaucracy, imposing Byzantine rules to justify its own existence, like the game Mao.
I wish I knew what to suggest. Is every site doomed to go through a cycle of growth and decline like this?
yeah, i think the totally disingeniousness regarding the points is the biggest problem on stackoverflow
it they simply removed the points, and only ordered questions, then it would get a lot better. but they won’t do that. i stopped participating many years ago now