Barry Rowlingson gave an interesting talk at UseR 2011, “Why R-help must die!” He suggested the Q-and-A type sites Stack Overflow (on programming) and Cross Validated (on statistics), both part of Stack Exchange.

An interesting feature of these sites is that, in addition to voting up and down on the questions and answers, one accrues reputation points. I’ve found this to be surprisingly addictive, and perhaps that’s the goal. Consider the O’Reilly book Gamification by design.

I agree with Barry that these sites are an excellent replacement for R-help, which I stopped paying attention to years ago. The format is easier to read, math and code can be nicely formatted, the questions are tagged, search is easier, and there should be less redundancy.

But currently the R questions at StackOverflow are rather advanced, and so I’ve found the general statistics site, Cross Validated, a bit more fun (that is, I’m more able to answer the questions).


Tags: ,

4 Responses to “Gamified”

  1. rdpeng (@rdpeng) Says:

    Call me old-fashioned, but for some reason I can’t get used to answering questions via the web. I need to do it in the context of email.

    • Karl Broman Says:

      You’re old-fashioned.

    • vzemlys Says:

      Do try Cross Validated, it supports mathjax, so you can use Latex in your answers. And the interface does not differ much from the one you usually get when using email via web interface, such as gmail for example.

  2. Karl Brand (@notsamandjetsam) Says:

    Stack Overflow and Cross Validated are great sites.

    But R-help keeps getting bigger and bigger and..

    It’s also where i at least end up most of the time.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: