One of the key premises of my book is that Excel has many passionate online user communities. And on that subject, I say:
If you don’t utilize them, you are missing out. If you tap into them, your work isn’t just based on what you know, but on what the collective we know. Which is pretty much everything, between collective us.
One of the things I cover in the book is how to get great results out of a help forum. Ah, but which one?
In the past, I’ve spent some time hanging out at Ken Puls’ ExcelGuru forum – although not too much for the last couple of years. More recently, I’ve been hanging out on the Chandoo forum, although not for the last 6 months due to spending more and more time on the book.
I guess why I started hanging out on the Chandoo forum more and more was that the volumes of questions were good but not overwhelming, meaning you could not only keep an eye on all the questions, but all the answers. Which really fostered a great little community among the regular respondants, I thought.
Of course, I always end up on the Mr Excel forum when Googling – and when I still had my VLOOKUP training wheels on, I learnt some incredible things there from the likes of Fazza and Aladin Akyurek (who has taken part in 68k posts, would you believe). But I’ve never spent much time monitoring content there, largely because of the overwhelming volume of it.
Increasingly I find Google directing me to Stack Overflow. For some reason I don’t really ‘get’ SO. I find it kind of scary looking, from a newbie’s perspective. Anyone feel the same? (Obviously not Dick – he’s been hanging out there for 6 years 6 months, and was last seen there 10 hours ago. Not that I’m stalking.)
Anyways, what forum would you recommend, Hive Mind, and why? I haven’t finished this part of the book yet, and would appreciate your inspiration and wisdom, if you have some to contribute.