Every question in Stack Overflow is like the Wikipedia article for some extremely narrow, specific programming question. How do I enlarge a fizzbar without overwriting the userâ€™s snibbit? This question should only appear once in the site. Duplicates should be cleaned up quickly and redirected to the original question.
Some people propose answers. Others vote on those answers. If you see the right answer, vote it up. If an answer is obviously wrong (or inferior in some way), you vote it down. Very quickly, the best answers bubble to the top. The person who asked the question in the first place also has the ability to designate one answer as the â€œacceptedâ€ answer, but this isnâ€™t required. The accepted answer floats above all the other answers.
The site looks like a mashup between Digg, Yahoo! Answers, Wikipedia and developer forums, not only in appearance, but also in its purpose. Stack Overflow was conceptualized with the aim of helping programmers quickly find valid and reasonable answers to the most pressing development concerns.
Joel cited the concern of finding the best answers without having to wade through pages and pages of information that are either no longer valid (because of how software and development platforms evolve through time), incorrect, or simply not the best way of doing things.