[Protein-analysis] Announcing a new Q&A forum for biologists: MajorGroove.org

Matt Harrington via proteins%40net.bio.net (by matt from msg.ucsf.edu)
Thu Mar 4 20:36:15 EST 2010

I set up a new Q&A forum for biologists called http://www.MajorGroove.org.
It uses the same software that's become quite popular with mathematicians
and software developers, at http://mathoverflow.net and
http://stackoverflow.com respectively.  I didn't write the software, I
merely set it up.

Some things you might like about it:

   - The system automatically searches for similar questions before you
   submit a new one.  This avoids duplicates.
   - Questions can be given multiple tags (http://www.majorgroove.org/tags),
   and users can create new tags.  This way, questions can easily span multiple
   techniques or disciplines.
   - You only need to pay attention to tags that interest you.  You can add
   URLs for these tags into an RSS reader such as Google Reader.
   - You don't need an account to ask or answer questions.  No signup
   - Nobody ever sees your email address, so you don't need to worry about
   spammers collecting it.
   - You can post anonymously or with a pseudonym if you like.
   - Questions can be edited by other users for clarity, as in a wiki.
   Typos can easily be corrected by the community.
   - It's easy to see which questions have not been answered.
   - It's easy to search the site.  Posts on MajorGroove readily show up in
   - Quality answers are awarded points by the community.  These posts float
   to the top of the page, so you can get an idea of what the community thinks
   about the solutions proposed.

Perhaps most importantly, it's just very pleasant to use.  Other forum
software is a bit of a hassle.  Again, I wish I could take credit for
writing the software, but I merely set it up.

You don't need an account to ask or answer questions, but if you do want to
create an account, use any OpenID provider.  If you're not familiar with
OpenID, it's a way to log onto participating sites using credentials from an
identity provider such as Google or Yahoo.  If you don't want to use a
Google or Yahoo account, I recommend http://www.myopenid.com.  If you're a
researcher in the US, you'll probably soon become familiar with OpenID
anyhow since it looks like the NIH is adopting it.

Feel free to take a look and let me know of any comments.  I hope everyone
feels this announcement is appropriate.  I checked with a longtime user
before posting.



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