I find that it is hard to get answers on this site because there is little or no incentive. With the "Stack" platform, people would actually earn points and authority by answering questions correctly... It would work way better and the activity on this site would go way up I bet...
I've thought the same before (and even suggested it to the admins!), but I no longer feel this way.
The points system works well in some places, and not so well in others. For instance, we strive to provide the best answers/solutions, not just an answer/solution. The difference here could be between a query giving you the correct results, or a query giving you the correct results ten times faster
Also, we tend to have large discussions on topics, particularly database concepts and design, where this kind of set up just will not work.
Lastly, I have found on other forums I contribute to, that a points system can be an incentive for the wrong reasons for some people. For instance I can think of a prime example of a contributor whose SQL skills I would not rate (I would find it hard to justify hiring them as anything higher than a trainee/junior) yet his rating is far higher than my own.
Here at dbForums we pride ourselves on quality; and if all that is keeping contributors here is a competition for points, then perhaps those are not the kind of contributors that will reduce the overall quaility of our content.
I've had a nose at your threads. There are a fair few in "minority" forums. I suspect your comment is more because of those than the ones in SQL Server. Unfortunately, there just aren't that many active users for some products. I would be in favour of something to incentivise activity in these forums (although I don't know in what form) but not in all forums on the site.
I've noticed that on StackOverflow most of the questions are of the "how do I do x on y".
This site gets a fair number of those, too, but there are a lot of design questions that really need a lot of wrangling.
I find that it is hard to get answers on this site because there is little or no incentive.
First, let's be honest. If you take the time to ask a well thought out question, you usually wind up answering your own question. Database theory and practice is similar to math in that the way to answer a question is usually to frame the question correctly.
Most of the time if a question pops into your head, it's pretty stupid to just type it into a box and expect a person to answer it. But that's what a lot of people do.
10% of the time, the question is almost complete gibberish, or it looks like the person stopped halfway through.
70% of the time, I find the answer in the first page of Google results. Or the answer is clearly in the documentation. And we usually do point the person in the right direction. lmgtfy.com is a great resource.
Of the remaining 20% of questions, maybe half of them are fairly vanilla design questions or queries. The other half tend to be really obscure stuff. There are a lot of years of experience here, but we just don't know everything.
So what will a point system do? For gibberish, nothing. For obscure stuff we really don't know, again, nothing. Or worse: people might make up a fake answer just for points.
I predict you'd get a lot of "karma-whoring" on the easy google-it / documentation questions and passing over the interesting questions because they're a lot of work for the same points.