What's the best forums / Q&A format out there?
I personally know yahoo answers, reddit, stackexchange, and I love Quora and Discourse. I know there are many, many copies of StackOverflow, while I see not many more of the rest. If you had to choose (I know we don't), what would be your tool of choice?
I love reddit minimalistic format, but too many people also hate exactly that about it. And indeed it can become too overwhelming.
Being around far longer than most of the other new formats, it also brought this "fundd" idea to "flatter" posts before, with "gold", and it seems to be going really well.
I just think there should be a way to de-centralize it and even customize it with more robust servers. With that reddit could easily be the best and most well known choice!
StackOverflow merit is how it manages to engage communities and people, but at same time it makes it too harsh on newbies and I don't think the whole "duplicate" question issue is a solvable one. Plus its gamification is a bit broken.
But StackExchange was a good expansion on it and it did create few more committed communities, which are quite unbeatable on the internet today if you want specific answers. It is practical, and it works.
Nothing like this came around yet.
Quora might be the best one. It has the best of both worlds (reddit's comment chains to allow for discussions and stackoverflow organization to focus on Q&A, with some community engagement), but it's too big and messy. It's not so good to find previous questions and awesome answers. Questions get repeated way too much.
Despite that, it makes what yahoo answers and aardvark couldn't, and it is a single place where you can simply ask any question and get it answered most of the times, even if not by an expert. At least the question will also be there and you can promote it yourself. And it won't expire, like it does in reddit, nor get closed "for being a duplicate" as it happens on StackExchange.