Community Building is an inexact science. There are helpful resources scattered throughout the internet, books and personal experiences. I'm proposing that we allow a few, predefined questions where we ask for community curated resources.

I am envisioning this working like one of these questions. Users have spent time and effort generating a high quality list of books on their specific subject. I think such questions would be useful here as well. It'd help consolidate a lot of knowledge into a single post, it may help our searchability from Google and others, and it allows all of us to share some of our resources for others to look at.

Part of this requires that we not just provide links out to other resources though. We need to explain why this specific link or resource is helpful. Quoting from an answer on Meta.SE about why these types of questions are allowed, if done appropriately:

  • Identify your problem: "I'm looking for a good book to read on X" probably won't fly. Have you seen Amazon? They've built an amazing system for categorizing and rating books on just about every topic you can imagine. If you're looking for a book recommendation here, you'd better start with a clear description of why Amazon failed you.

  • Be specific: describe the type of information you're looking to garner. The C++ question isn't asking for every C++ book ever published. They're looking for the cream of the crop, and most importantly, they're looking for answers that explain why.

  • Be part of a healthy community willing to curate and update the results: Look at the revision history for that C++ question. See how they keep it updated? That's important, and you're not going to do it by yourself.

  • Be willing to fight for it: Again, look at that revision history. Chances are, folks are going to try to shut your question down. Be prepared to defend it, and calmly, clearly rebut charges that it is not constructive. This will be a lot easier if you're also part of that healthy community dedicated to keeping it up-to-date.

Examples of such questions around the network


  • Do you want these types of questions on Community Building?
  • Do you want these questions on the main site or the meta site?

1 Answer 1


Questions like this, if well-scoped and actively curated by the community to avoid the "here's a list of links" problem, can be valuable resources. In fact, we had a question along these lines, Authoritative reference works on best practices in online community building, which was (IMO incorrectly) closed. This question is well-written, asks for explanations and not just pointers, and is scoped to something answerable (audience and type of community).

If this isn't a good example of the kind of question we're talking about here, what is?

  • 1
    I re-found that question while digging for others across the network. According to the criteria I posted, I agree that this would make an excellent fit for what I'm proposing.
    – Andy
    Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 15:40

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