Stack Overflow's new Collectives help software companies communicate with devs using their products

1 month ago 14
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The new branded spaces can include long-form content, organizationally recognized best answers and other communication features to ensure third-party users are getting the best help possible.

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Image: Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow has announced a new feature called Collectives, which "help developers and technologists collaborate and share knowledge in sub-communities dedicated to the products and services they use most." Launching along with the announcement are two Collectives: Google Cloud and programming language Go.

Collectives are branded spaces where organizations can include their own content and documentation as well as having standard Stack Overflow question-and-answer elements tailored to the organization's needs and expectations. 

SEE: The best programming languages to learn--and the worst (TechRepublic Premium)

"By deeply connecting developers with the products they use, Collectives aims to make building and operating technology easier. Creating new avenues to share knowledge is the only way to build stronger, more collaborative communities," said Prashanth Chandrasekar, CEO at Stack Overflow. 

Collectives is designed to "empower the community that already exists around [an organization's] technologies," and as such an individual Collectives page contains a variety of elements:

  • A company-branded Collectives homepage with curated Q and A, custom tags, and other content,
  • Recommended answers that the company can endorse as the best solutions for their products,
  • Space to publish long-form articles including how-to guides, announcements, and other documentation, 
  • Custom user roles and badges including page admins, company employees, and recognized contributors, 
  • "Actions for you." where administrators and recognized contributors are given suggestions for where they can make the most impact in the Collectives space,
  • APIs, dashboards, and reporting features for Collectives owners to get metrics on the use of their Collectives, engagement, question answer rates and more,
  • A leaderboard where companies can recognize and reward top contributors.

Stack Overflow mentioned its revamped Stack Overflow for Teams offering alongside Collectives, and connecting the two makes sense. In terms of features, a lot of what's included in Stack Overflow for Teams makes an appearance in Collectives as well, making the new Collectives a lot like a public-facing Teams page where organizations can communicate the same content to outside users of their products.

Democratization of knowledge is one of the key reasons for Collectives, said Chandrasekar, and the sentiment was echoed by Go's product and strategy lead at Google, Steven Francia. "As more developers adopt Go to build their ideas and contribute to its iterations, it feels only fitting to take the same open source approach to technical knowledge sharing with Stack Overflow," Francia said.

SEE: C++ programming language: How it became the foundation for everything, and what's next (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The two above-mentioned communities are launching with the announcement of Stack Overflow Collectives, and interested organizations can get started creating their own Collectives now. 

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