I've become concerned about the surveys, polls, and first-year academic questions defining the first days of this site.
After going through several dozen Stack Exchange betas so far, if there's one thing I've learned, is that nothing hurts a young Stack Exchange more than appearing to be a place for those who only have a superficial level of knowledge in the subject.
What do I mean by that?
The purpose of this seven-day private beta is to stock up the site with a bunch of on-topic, expert questions and answers about project management, so that when the site opens to the public, it's already pre-populated with a bunch of the kind of content that will attract other project managers.
That means actual, real, objective questions with real answers that a working project manager might encounter as a part of their actual, real, job.
It's tempting to start with easy questions, like "What are you biggest mistakes" or "What skills do you need" or "What are the best tools, or books, or blogs?"
Those are not good questions for the private beta, because ultimately, they don't reflect the actual content that we want this site to contain, and are not representative of it. Once the site gets going and accumulates some quality content, come back and ask those canonical, basic questions. But hold off on them for now; they are only hurting the long-term prospects for the site. Please read: Asking the First Questions.
Now, I am not a professional-level project manager, but I'm pretty sure the kind of questions that are going to make this site really valuable are going to look a lot more like actual questions a practicing, professional project manager would ask.
If you're a project manager and stumble into this site, if you see the an actual, intriguing question faced by professional project managers, you might think, "wow, yeah, this is a site for people like ME."
If you see a question about what blogs to read you'll think "Oh boy, not a serious project management Q&A site."
This post borrowed generously from the desk of Joel Spolsky.