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Why "Ask Joel" and not "Ask the Community"?

I like the idea of this forum, to bring together like-minded programmers with an entrepreneurial bent, but my enthusiasm is cooled by your approach: "Ask me, Joel, for I know everything."

I do enjoy reading your opinions (even though I don't always agree with what you say) and you're certainly entitled to express your views with confidence, but isn't that a little too much in a forum like this?

This forum would be better if it's about an information exchange of peers. Otherwise, the only forum regulars you'll get are the Joel groupies.

Senor Queso
Wednesday, April 7, 2004

There's a different forum for "ask the community," called "the Joel on Software forum."

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Why not "Ask    "?

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Don't be so hard on Joel.  When he first launched this forum he explained it as a replacement for the huge amount of questions people email him. Not to mention we all get the benefit of his response.

Not everyone personally knows someone with the experience Joel has. (Former Program Manager at MS, Founder of an ISV, etc....) So it's nice to have a place where you can ask someone like that questions.

And like he said, you can always go to the regular forum.


michael sica (
Wednesday, April 7, 2004

"Ask Joel" brings some original content to the site. And if you go beyond the forum title, what you ask is what you get here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Considering the bulk of this site is writings by Joel, about software, you're probably here because you care what Joel has to say about software.

Hey, now that I think of it, isn't Joel on Software a bit much?  I think would be a better name for your site Joel.

Thursday, April 8, 2004

It's called Ask Joel and not Ask the Community because Joel is smarter than the community.

Thursday, April 8, 2004

> Former Program Manager at MS

Presumably you mean ProgramME. Or did he just look after the one executable?

Friday, April 9, 2004

"""you're probably here because you care what Joel has to say about software"""

I'm mainly here for the trolling.

Friday, April 9, 2004

Because we're here for Joel, he's the star; that doesn't imply that the community doesn't have some smart spectators too (I know at least about Eric Sink and Rick Chapman).

Cristian Cheran
Friday, April 9, 2004

There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask, "Why ask Joel?"... I dream of things that never were, and ask "Why not ask Joel?"

And remember, it's not plagiarism if you don't know who I stole the quote from.

Cognitive Dissonance
Friday, April 9, 2004

I don't think the OP understands.  Joel on software is essentially reality tv.  The protagonist is a thoughtful guy running a software company.  It's thin entertainmentwise since there's only one main character, but the web doesn't currently have anything better of this kind for money-oriented programming.

A lot of people don't like this analogy, but that's because they underestimate what can be done on the canvas of tv and overestimate the interestingness of the computer industry.

There are a number of things I admire, and many of them have burgeoning forums where people ask things of the creators or otherwise entertain themselves.  And like the other things which entertain me, I don't know anyone in real life who's interested in reading more than one of the articles here, much less ask questions.  But interested people do exist, and Joel seems to care about satisfying their curiosity to a fairly unusual extent.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Saturday, April 10, 2004

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