Communities

Harness the power of topic-focused communities.

Joel Bradley avatar
Written by Joel Bradley
Updated over a week ago

Applies to: Business

Enterprise users can access their documentation here. Find your plan.


Overview

The Stack Overflow Communities feature offers an exciting way for users to engage and collaborate across shared interests, projects, or expertise. Communities are self-organizing groups where members can:

  • Share and learn together

  • Grow their knowledge and expertise

  • Solve problems

  • Build connections and break down knowledge silos

At their heart, Communities are organized around one or more content tags. Communities automatically include questions, answers, Articles, and Collections that contain at least one of the defined tags. Content that contains additional tags not defined by the Community is still included. You can create up to eight Communities.

Access and Manage Communities

To access the Communities area, click Communities in the left-hand menu. The Communities home page shows existing Communities with their name, description, number of members, and associated tags.

To join any Community, click the corresponding Join button. If you've already joined a Community, you'll see "Joined". To leave a Community, click Joined (this button becomes Leave when you hover over it with your mouse).

Click on any Community title to enter that Community. The Community overview page appears, listing member statistics, Community insights, recent activity, trending posts, and other details about the Community.

In addition to the default Overview tab, you can focus your view by clicking Questions, Articles, Collections, or Members at the top of the page.

The "Community insights" box shows median time to answer, answer ratio, and interaction rate for the prior week.

This area gives you a glance into the current health and engagement of the community, as well as trends as a percentage of change compared to the previous week.

The "COMMUNITY ACTIVITY" area shows details about recent activity in the Community, either your own activity or that of other members.

To see only your own activity, click Your activity. To see the activity of all members of the Community, click All activity.

The "Unanswered questions" area shows Community questions that are in need of answers.

The "Trending posts" area shows the Community's most-viewed questions, answers, and articles, sorted by number of views.

Add Content to a Community

Any member can add content from inside a Community by clicking Add to Community, then selecting Question, Article, or Collection.

The process for adding content from inside a Community is the same as from elsewhere on the site, with one exception: Stack Overflow will automatically populate new questions and Articles with the Community's tags. Before submitting, you can add or delete these tags. If you remove all of the Community's tags, however, your new content won't appear in the Community.

You can achieve similar results by adding content (for example: asking a question) from within the main site. Be sure to include at least one of the Community's tags, and your new content will appear in the Community.

Community Alerts, Updates, and For You

Your "For You" area will notify you when you've joined a community or have been added to a Community by someone else. Additionally, all users will see Community activity in the weekly digest email, which will highlight new Communities created in the past month and largest Communities (by member count).

Integrations

You can monitor Community activity (questions, answers, Articles) in both Slack and Microsoft Teams, receiving alerts when someone adds a new question, answer, or Article in your Community.

Slack
To create a Slack notification for a Community, click your avatar (profile image) then Account settings. Click Slack integrations under the "APPS & INTEGRATIONS" heading. Click Create Slack notification. In the "Get notifications in Slack" dialog, you must select All tags. If you select Specific tags instead, Stack Overflow will gray out (disable) the Community selector.

Use the Community pull-down menu to select which Community to receive notifications from.

Microsoft Teams
To create Microsoft Teams notifications for Communities, go to your Stack Overflow Microsoft Teams integration. Click Notifications, then use the "What activity…" checkboxes to select the type of activity you want to receive notifications for. In the "Filter this activity by" area, click Community.

With the Community filter selected, you'll see a pull-down menu that lists all Communities you're a member of. Select the Community you want to receive notifications for.

Click Create notification to accept your selections and create the Community notification.

Learn more about setting up Slack and Microsoft Teams integrations.

Add a Community

Users granted rights to create new Communities will see an Add community button at the top of the Communities home page. Click this button to create a new Community.

In the "Create new community" box, enter a Community name and Community purpose (description) for the new Community. In the Tags area, select at least one tag (up to a maximum of 30 tags) to define your Community's content focus. Your new Community will automatically include any questions, answers, or Articles that contain any one of these tags. When users create new content from inside the Community, Stack Overflow will automatically pre-populate these tags.

NOTE: In order to avoid duplicates, you can't create a Community with the same name or exact set of tags as an existing Community.

In the Members area, Stack Overflow will suggest subject matter experts and top contributors for your selected tag(s). Click Add on each suggestion to accept. Your user name will appear automatically in the Members list as well. Click the X button by your name to remove yourself if you don't want to be a member of the new Community.

You can also manually locate and add members to your new Community, including individual users, groups, and departments. Adding members to a Community at creation is optional—anyone can join the community later, and community creators, admins, and moderators can also add or remove members. There's no limit to the number of members a Community can have.

NOTE: Adding members to a new Community on creation—especially those with subject matter expertise—can help jump-start engagement.

Edit or Delete a Community

From within a Community, the Community creator, admins, or moderators will see a Manage button in the upper-right corner (other users will not see this button). Click Manage, then Edit or Delete Community.

Editing a Community allows you to change the name, description, tags, and member roster. Deleting a Community removes it completely from your Stack Overflow site.

NOTE: Exercise caution when changing your Community's tags, as adding or removing tags can dramatically change the content of your Community.


Need help? Submit an issue or question through our support portal.

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