Building a NetSuite developer community

None of Us is as Dumb as All of Us — Jeff Atwood, developer of StackExchange

Update: the proposal has been removed since it was not growing fast enough. Also, it’s probably best just to use StackOverflow.com at least for NetSuite programming related issues.

I have recently started a search for NetSuite Developers and Power Users to help setup a community forum. I’m quite a fan of StackOverflow.com and in general of community support when it comes to solving programming problems. NetSuite doesn’t have this today. Who ever has Googled a NetSuite issue can understand where I’m coming from.

StackOverflow.com uses the StackExchange platform which can be used to setup other Q&A sites, which is done through their staging site called Area 51. This is where I propose to start a NetSuite Community Support forum, both for developers of SuiteScript and power users of NetSuite. You can follow it here.

I know you’ll have some questions…

Doesn’t NetSuite have a User Group forum?

Yes, but it has more questions than answers. Why? Because it has less than 2000 members. Less than 20% of those users have ever posted something. Only 3 users in the whole forum have ever posted 100 posts or more and those 3 users together have posted less than 25 posts this year.

What are the benefits of community support?

  • Grows the credibility of NetSuite and its users
  • Allows experienced users to help out others
  • Helps new users get up and running with their implementation or integration

Shouldn’t NetSuite be providing assistance?

Sure, and this wouldn’t replace NetSuite support when you have issues with NetSuite. A community forum is for questions and problems where the entire community can benefit from knowing the answer. It’s where other people can give their opinion on how they would solve your problem, or speak from experience if they actually did.

Will this forum divert traffic away from NetSuite?

Quite the contrary. Building a good community will open up a new range of potential clients that can get on board with NetSuite.

Why will this new forum be more successful?

Because of the way StackExchange works. Knowledgeable NetSuite users improve their reputation by answering questions. It doesn’t rely on a few people to moderate it, it’s community moderated: those with who get involved earn reputation points which give them the right to moderate the forum and improve the quality, increasing its usefulness, which will in turn draw more people to it. By having a forum with more activity, more questions will get asked, more problems will get solved and more people will enjoy success with NetSuite.

Will this be an overnight success?

No, it requires good people to get involved and commit and it will take time to build a good community. Read all about how Stack Exchange works here.

How can I get involved?

  1. Go to: http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/22863/netsuite-community-support
  2. Click “Follow”