Meeting of the Mods: We promised you information about the conference held a couple of weeks ago in San Luis Obispo, which included about half the Moderators, a couple of Page Editors and the ownership and staff of Experts Exchange.|
The primary function of the conference was to allow Austin Miller (at right) and Randy Redberg to explain their vision of what Experts Exchange should evolve into over the next few months. They unveiled their mission statement: "Become the world's greatest knowledge site by having the most relevant and useful content, while providing the best user experience for finding solutions and items of interest which are easily navigated, discovered and consumed."
To that end, EE is taking several major steps, all designed to provide members with the solutions to their problems. First, the topic areas are being reorganized and expanded, so that users will have an easier time finding the correct topic area for their questions. Second, the search system is being redesigned and improved, so that those members who don't ask questions can still find the information they need. Third, the user interface is being redesigned to make navigation more intuitive and simple.
Other issues with the overall site included a discussion of "training" new members in how to ask questions and participate in the collaborative process that is at the heart of Experts Exchange. That evolved into a discussion of the possible creation of a "Question Wizard"; of expanded help pages and tips; and of increased Moderator involvement in helping new users.
Also on the agenda was an extended discussion of a more prominent role for the Page Editors, who will have more responsibility over the content of topic areas, and will be providing many new features to help members get answers to their questions. The PEs will have a lot of flexibility in what extra features will be included, with ideas ranging from FAQs and white papers to quizzes and debates. The Page Editors will have the possibility of involving other Experts on the site as well, as Expert Contributors in their TAs.
The group was also treated to a tour of Level(3) Communications, the ISP for Experts Exchange.
Photos clockwise from top: Austin Miller describes the Experts Exchange mission statement; the Moderators, Admins and Page Editors gathered around the pool during much of their unscheduled time for discussions and brainstorming sessions; the group arrives at the conference, held at the San Luis Obispo Country Club; Brian Gardner (at left), EE's senior engineer, describes the servers to the group.
Photos courtesy of CetusMOD, modulo and ee_ai_construct.