It’s been nearly 18 months since we launched Atlassian Answers – our community-curated Q&A site that aims to get users helping users with product questions. Ten-thousand users later, the site exploded faster out of the gate than Usain Bolt at the 2012 Olympics.

The Rise of Answers

Within the first 90 days of the launch of Atlassian Answers, our content numbers would be the envy of any community manager: 1485 questions, 2269 answers, and 1398 comments. Insert happy emoticon here, ie, it was a great start. Today we have 10,300 users, over 19,000 questions have been asked and we’re tracking at an 85% answer rate. There are now 50+ users over 5,000 Karma points (gamification reward points in Answers).

From the get-go, we focused not only on growth, but also on user experience. Before the launch and within the first 90 days, we delivered many small, iterative changes to OSQA, the open source app that powers Atlassian Answers – from redesigning the user profile pages, to developing authentication via my.atlassian.com, to creating an entirely new list of badges. In October, when Atlassian rolled out a new company-wide brand, we took the opportunity again to update Answers with a new logo.

We’re not done yet, there’s much more in store for Atlassian Answers. In the next few months, you’ll see some additional UI/UX work, we’re going to be replacing the search engine underneath to help users find information faster, and we’re going to expand the rewards for high Karma earners. Answers does such great work as a support tool for our customers, that the Atlassian Answers team has grown, too – we now have three full-time engineers working on Answers as developer community champions.

A farewell to kings

Answers was launched as a successor and replacement to Atlassian Forums, a system that was brought online nearly 9 years ago. Despite Answers ascendancy, we kept Forums running for more than a year – there was still good content on Forums, no reason to take it out to pasture just yet. But, that time has come. WIth mouldering content, a growing spam issue, and outdated systems architecture, the time was nigh. Forums will be relegated to the IT history books shortly.

On its deathbed, Atlassian Forums whispered, “remember the LISTSERVs,” before one last HTML exception took it down.