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Every stackexchange account has a unique biography section where users can fill with stories relevant to the site.

Especially in sites such as Signal Processing, which is a big topic and contains dozens of highly-specialized sub-fields, participants' educational and professional backgrounds may be important for the purpose of formulating a site promotion/moderation/growth strategy.

On the other hand, we certainly do not want to filter or judge participants based on their backgrounds.

Thus, two questions:

  • Should we encourage beta users to complete their biography section with signal-processing relevant experiences?
  • How do we use that information / statistics to formulate a strategy for this site?
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    $\begingroup$ This seems like a pretty big waste of time to me. If you need to know where folks' interests lie, ask questions that draw this out. New readers might stay for the company, but they usually come for the answers... $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Aug 19 '11 at 19:12
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This is a very good and valid question, but my answer is "NO"

The reasoning is fairly simple ...

When I look at an answer, I don't stop to go read the bio of the post author. I judge the post on it's merits.

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree that the answer to questions should not depend on information of the asker not found in the question. However, I interpreted @rwong's post as saying that we should use the information on a higher level, e.g. to see what expertise we have and how we should focus our promotion and growth efforts. $\endgroup$ – user42 Aug 19 '11 at 18:06
  • $\begingroup$ I see your point, but encouraging them to fill that out is not going to help us. What we need is for them to participate on meta and help us nail it down in the threads here. $\endgroup$ – jcolebrand Aug 19 '11 at 18:08

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