Help my Business Plan Fail, Part Deux:

So about a year and a half ago I asked for some Q23 feedback on my business plan. That’s been going well. But those sites are for programmers and sysadmins, so of limited applicability to Q23 users.

We’re about to launch a third site in the trilogy that’s more oriented towards computer enthusiasts, the very heart of Hardware and technical stuff.
(the password is “ewok.adventure” without the quotes) is at the end of its private beta and will go live first thing Tuesday.

I wanted to invite any Q23 users who are interested (and in particular those who frequent Hardware and technical stuff forum) to check it out. I’ll be happy to personally answer any questions you have here. Oh, and one caveat: we don’t allow pure 100% gaming-only questions there, but any questions about general hardware or software are fair game.

The inevitable criticism and mockery is also welcome, as long as it’s funny.

My impression so far is that SU is the “everything else” section where you can move off-topic questions from SO/SF. Because I frequent SF and I hate browsing sites with low signal-to-noise, I think this is great!

That said, aren’t you worried that by trying to cater for everyone, it will be too broad for anyone to be interested? Or is the hope that you’ll end up with lots of sub-communities, like what myspace and youtube do?

Well, it is “everything else” as long as it’s computer hardware or software related. It’s our hope that is topical enough to keep the community cohesive. We’re aiming for computer enthusiasts, hardcore geeks who love software and hardware of all kinds.

There is of course some cross-pollination with sysadmins and programmers there, but it’s a much broader audience, I think, and deserves its own community.

One (so far) caveat: we quickly realized that allowing pure gaming questions like “what’s the best WoW add-in?”, “how do I run old DOS era games on my PC?” was a bad idea. The site is broad enough without adding gaming stuff as a primary goal, and it’s also a one-way ticket to being blocked at every corporate 'net filtering system in the world.

Would you describe Superuser as “Experts Exchange without the suck?”

There are a lot of sites like this already, and they all suck. This one looks really cool, though, I can’t wait to give it a twirl. Also, I didn’t even know about your other sites.

Aren’t there serious security concerns with OpenID?

Just standard phishing stuff, according to Wikipedia, anyway. That’s not really specific to OpenID.


edit: also, OpenID is only required during the private beta. Once the site goes public you can post 100% anonymously.

Would you describe Superuser as “Experts Exchange without the suck?”

Expert-sex-change makes our life so, so very easy. Don’t ever change, you magnificent bastards!

hey wumpus, had no idea you were behind those sites. i just recommended them to the people at work last week too.

As an early contributor to EE, i’m glad to see more and more free options. Contributors to EE were given free access, which later changed to “only when you answer enough questions per month” and now I never seem to hit the mark at all. It’s also full of evil, despite the fact it does help people sometimes.

Here’s hoping you not only do well, but your sites absolutely trounce on the competition.

I find the font choice and general page design annoying enough to mention.

Compare to the rather more staid-looking QT3 forums, delicious, and reddit, for some random examples. All three of these are far from cool-looking, but are much easier to actually read. I’d consider a more conventional typeface not bolded in teal for the main headings.

Also, the tag cloud is too big and diffuse for me to parse easily. A number of other sites have easier to read tag clouds. I don’t think much of the concept, on any site, but at least it’s easier to grok the leading tags in some other sites’ tag cloud boxes.

well, let’s see…

questions (front page layout)

tag ‘cloud’ (not really a cloud as it’s in chronological “most recently asked” order, grouped by frequency)

color scheme is based on the logo itself…

Ok, the site is now live, so if you have a computer hardware or software problem, have at it!

Just browsing for a few minutes, it looks like you’ve got a good base of users who know what they’re talking about. That’s the #1 requirement for a site like this. Kudos.

Thanks Murph!

You and I have been through a lot together, so I appreciate the endorsement.

Wow, gotta bring that up every chance ya get, don’t ya? ;-)

But man, I’m SO over that. Learned a few valuable lessons in the process, about over-sharing. :-)

PS - I hope the site fails miserably and you lose everything you have.

lol, awesome.

I feel like YOU AND I were married.

You’re the one bringing up an argument we had, what, SEVEN YEARS AGO?

You’re definitely the woman in this relationship.

Your site was featured on Gismodo today, by the way. Coworker mentioned it to me. :-)

I don’t see it on Gizmodo, but there was a nice writeup on download squad – is that what you’re thinking of?

We have some contacts at LifeHacker so there should be writeups there as well.