Friday, April 30, 2010

A proposal for new community focused on web performance

I've been really impressed with the StackExchange platform (, made by the same people that run, and I feel that it could be an extremely effective platform to host a web performance focused community. They built the platform from scratch in order to improve on the innate flaws with regular threaded discussion boards (e.g. Yahoo forums, Google Groups, phpBB, vBulletin, etc.). More importantly, the platform walks the line between incentivizing quick answers (for immediate feedback), and keeping answers from getting obsolete over time.

My hope is that this site becomes an evolving source of definitive answers on web performance best practices, tips, tool tricks, book recommendations, data exchange, etc.

The process to make this a reality is:
1. Submit a proposal for peer review
2. If there is enough support (votes), it moves on to the next stage.
3. People that would like to participate in the community (and help manage it) sign up
4. The details of the community get ironed out (moderators, name, tags, etc.)
5. It goes public

I've gone ahead and submitted the initial proposal (step 1):

I'm just here to get the initial ball rolling, but from here on out it's going to be all about the greater community. This next stage, where everyone votes on the proposals, is going to make or break the concept. It's already received a good amount of votes, but it's going to take a lot more support to push it forward. If you think this has legs, and can see the value, vote it up!


  1. Here's my concern with this... Discussion and information is already fragmented across Stack Overflow and Server Fault. As a server admin guy I tend to use Server Fault but then I keep finding relevant discussions about server stuff on Stack Overflow. If we spawn off a newer one, then the problem will just get worse - a couple questions will appear in the new one, but good discussions will also be embedded in the other two.

    Perhaps just strongly promoting use of a specific tag within the existing communities for ease of reference?

  2. Definitely a valid concern, and the last thing I want to do is create more fragmentation. However, I think it will be easier to rally everyone to a central focused forum than to convince people to use a certain tag or to use a broadly focused site like SO/SF. Today when I have questions about web performance, there's really no place to go where I know performance experts will be able to help, and I know there are plenty of them out there.

    This discussion is really important though, and the approach StackExchange is taking is a good one, since it's based on grassroots support, which will be critical in the success of these communities.

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