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I am considering the idea of directing user questions about my open source app to Android Enthusiasts.

In the past, some questions have been already asked about the app, but one was also closed as too localized.

Right now we are using a Google Group for support questions, with about 10 volunteers answering questions. About 2 threads/10 posts per day.

There are often questions that have already been asked. Repost detection is much better on SE than on Groups, so I am considering the idea of directing user questions to here.

Is it a good idea?
For instance, Trello is known to send its users to WebApps and StackOverflow.
Are there metrics about when it makes sense to redirect user questions to Android Enthusiasts?

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This question has been asked multiple times at Meta Stack Overflow for a variety of projects/tools/libraries. (Here's probably the definitive question and answer: Is it okay to use Stack Overflow as the support forum for a product or project? )

Part of the problem is that there's a good chunk of "support" that falls outside of the realm of what Android Stack Exchange is about. Feature requests, for instance. Bug reports is another. Those questions, should they get asked here, will be ruthlessly downvoted, closed, and deleted. That's not the sort of experience you want your users to have.

That said, I think it's a good idea for you to let your users know that you actively monitor the tag for your app(s) here. Just don't try to make this the "official support forum" for it.

  • Agreed with this. "How can I do X with app Y?" is fine, "Can X be added to app Y?" or "Why doesn't X work in app Y?" are bad. – Matthew Read Jan 26 '13 at 17:37
  • I think even Google AppEngine uses SO as their support site. It's not so bad, really. – geffchang Jan 28 '13 at 9:38
  • I think this answer sums it up pretty well: meta.stackexchange.com/a/3974/133427 give your users different contact points depending what they want to talk to you about, so that only questions that will be regarded as on topic end up here. – GAThrawn Jan 28 '13 at 10:54
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Is it a good idea?

Yes and no. StackExchange is application-neutral, so unlike support in your own forum, people may and will recommend to use another app instead of yours even if the question title contained your application specifically. Therefore, questions that refers to a specific application may be generalized so it may be answerable with other applications.

Are there metrics about when it makes sense to redirect user questions to Android Enthusiasts?

Although the "too localized" criteria is sometimes applied quite inconsistently, it still applies that if a question is written in a way such that only the Original Poster can benefit from the question, then it is going to be closed. Questions in StackExchange have to satisfy the criteria of applicability to a more general audience.

Also, we generally frown against questions that requires specific expertise in a specific application because we do not have the necessary expertise to answer the application. Redirecting user supports to this site would only work if you also redirect application-specific experts to this site.

Finally, the QA format of StackExchange is not suitable for extended discussion. If a troubleshooting requires extended back and forth discussion, then this is not the right place to do so. If a question needs extended discussion, you are certainly welcome to do it on Google Groups and then write a self-answered question that summarizes the discussion (after tidying up the unrelated discussions).

If these seems acceptable to you, I don't see any reason why you should not redirect users here for support questions.

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I'd like to hear other opinions too but my stance is that it's ok. Especially since you are an (active) member of the site and sure going to watch the ankidroid tag.

I'd like to make it clear that it's was 100% correct to ask first. Android Enthusiasts should not become a support/discussion forum for the various Android Apps out there if they Apps have a dedicated forum or help site.

The question that remains is: Does AE.SX become a second place for Ankidroid support or are you going to close/archive the Google Group?

  • Oh and it would also be nice to hear a opinion from the SX staff. – Flow Jan 26 '13 at 14:50
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    Whether or not the app has a support site isn't relevant to our scope. – Matthew Read Jan 26 '13 at 17:36
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    @Flow: The Google Group will not close, because it hosts domain topic discussion, release news, and strategy/development discussions, and other threads which are not QA. – Nicolas Raoul Jan 27 '13 at 3:05

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