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What I'm seeing so far is that the API is for a site-wide collection of questions.

Can someone use the API to decorate a website's products or articles with questions and answers (on a per-item basis) to bring the same meaningful, structured conversation to each product?

The main difference being, that a question regarding one product wouldn't apply to other products.

For example:

On a mattress retailer website, they list various products for sale such as two mattresses, and one pillow. The site sells a total of three products (for discussion purposes). There are a total of three product details web pages on the site, and a main product listings page with three links.

On each of the three product pages, there is a "Questions and Answers about this product" section. There, on the pillow page for instance, you can see that someone has previously asked a question: "Are they feather pillows?", and it has various comments and answers. You see this and up-vote the question because you were wondering the same thing.

Next, you navigate back to the products list and go to one of the mattress product pages. Under that page, there is a "Questions and Answers about this product" section, that has no questions asked yet, but instead a form to fill out to ask a new question. The question about the pillow is not visible here, because that question was not about this product.

Can the API support/implement this functionality in the website?

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The question is not clear. Provide a concrete example. ... You want to use the API, and Stack Exchange, as per-item tech support on your retail page? –  Brock Adams Oct 31 '13 at 22:19
    
Yes, for people wondering about things that the product page doesn't mention - such as: How long is the cord? Is the product easy to clean? Other shoppers may answer, or perhaps the owner of the store. Added an example to the question. –  umbyersw Nov 4 '13 at 15:49
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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The short answer is "No".


This question has 3 parts:

  1. Can the API list questions and answers about a product?
    Yes, if they are tagged and/or use keywords (like product numbers) that the API can search on.

  2. Can the API be use to ask new questions?
    No. Officially, the API currently (version 2.1) does not support posting new questions or answers. This may change in the future, as alpha-stage API products appear to have write capability.

  3. Are there any Stack Exchange sites that allow this?

    1. I can't see any of the current Stack Exchange sites being very friendly to this kind of question. I imagine they'd get flagged and closed a lot.
      (They used to be considered "too localized", for example. And new users tend to ask a lot of highly closable questions, until they figure out the customs of SE sites.)

    2. You could try and get an appropriate site started through Area 51, but this does not seem to be supported. The Area 51 FAQ states:

      Can I use Stack Exchange to support my product?

      Stack Exchange does not offer a private label service for owning a Q&A site. You are free to create an expert Q&A site in your area of expertise. There is a lot of visibility and credibility to becoming a central figure in an expert community, but Stack Exchange is a product for the Internet community at large, not for corporations or individuals.

    3. The Stack Exchange platform is no longer for sale or lease for this kind of thing, so you can't roll your own version that way.

    4. There are a variety of clone platforms though. So you could create a support site that way and (re)write the API to allow posting questions and answers.

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