The issue of trying to attract experts is one that Stack Exchange regularly addresses.

We have a question about it here How do we get veterinarians to participate on our site?.

What can we do to raise the quality of our answers to attract experts?


I don't think the quality of our answers are at issue, most of them are quite thorough, well researched, reasonably well referenced and rather interesting. What we've got is an issue of identifying and retaining evangelists with a large reach and following.

The first thing to do is, well, tell your vet the site exists, and explain that it's different - it's a high quality, high signal to noise platform where we get right down to the business of answering questions. Let them know that we're putting together a great knowledge base, and they can submit improvements to correct any factual inaccuracies that they spot without needing to sign up or share any information with us.

The addictive qualities of the platform should kick in after that, well, we hope so anyway!

The other thing you can do is seek out people that are big time into pets with large followings on services like Twitter. Follow them, if they ask a question, go and ask it for them on the site. Once it's answered, just send them the link. Jeff Atwood did this with great success.

Evangelists that can drive high quality contributors here are the second best friends this site can have right now in the early public beta. The first, of course, everyone here that's helped the site get this far.

  • it's a high quality, high signal to noise platform - That is the key
    – user9
    Oct 29 '13 at 15:43
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    I think the problem with attracting vets is that the site isn't geared toward questions they'd ask, so they have no reason to visit organically. I suspect that most Stack Overflow contributors find the site when Googling some programming problem they're facing, get a solution (usually without even needing to ask the question), and then stick around to both answer others' questions and to find solutions to problems they're facing. The "finding solutions to my own problems" aspect is missing for veterinary experts, in my opinion (and there's also not much that can be done about that.)
    – Wooble
    Oct 30 '13 at 11:25
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    I've just followed Jeff Atwood's lead. Due to Tom O'Connor's contribution to pets.stackexchange.com/questions/1041/… , I've reached out to the PetMD vet via twitter with a link to the article he was seeking and posted a link to pets.se as well.
    – JoshDM
    Oct 30 '13 at 15:24
  • @Wooble I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that some vets would find the site out of the desire to answer some questions, folks really do love sharing what they know and our very gamified platform tends to draw even the mighty :) Once a few arrive, however, we might see more vet -> vet questions, and that would really be an awesome thing. This site is definitely for vets, but I think the core audience is going to be broadly pet owners.
    – Tim Post
    Nov 1 '13 at 16:13

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