For me, the worst part of AskUbuntu compared to StackOverflow is the influx of bad questions.
One example to hand (not necessarily the best example) is https://askubuntu.com/questions/97637/ubuntu-11-10-freezes-on-boot-just-installed.
What I think is bad about this question (at least at the moment I'm writing) is:
- The title sounds like something that might apply to anyone but there's no good reason to think another machine that freezes will be doing so for the same reason.
- There are answers (which should be, at most, comments) where other people report similar problems, probably from different causes
- The question is incomplete and it's likely to either stay that way or turn into a long comment thread to eventually work it out
- Questions like this are unlikely to get votes or acceptance
The result is that it does not produce a wiki of reusable answers in the way that StackOverflow aspires to do.
I wonder if AskUbuntu should actually send people who are having machine specific problems to either file a bug, or a Launchpad answer (though that ui is not great), or to some other site that is user-friendly but better suited to an ongoing user-specific question (getsatisfaction.com?)
I wonder, too, what we should do with these questions. Sometimes they are answered in a way that helps that individual user, but they are generally not adding value to the site. I am inclined to start downvoting them, but this seems unfair to the questioner, who doesn't know they're doing something bad.
To summarize the comment discussion so far: we can improve AU by just pointing the user to bug filing advice and promptly closing the question.