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Whilst sites under the Stack Exchange banner are focussed on specific topics, there are a wide variety of such sites. As such Stack Exchange could be described as being open to questions on any subject matter, but has the advantage that within its sub-sites, questions are targeted to the specific users/audiences of those sites. See More
Questions and answers are voted on, but can also be edited by any high-reputation users, which result in improved quality over time. This makes the questions and aswers a quality source of information over time. The posts are also not archived and locked just because they are old, which means that a question that is still relevant will continue to live on. For a question/answers that is still relevant for others after a long time, this will be useful as updated information can provide further value to the post. See More
High level users in a particular topic can improve quality of the content by editing. The edit can also be rolled back by the one that originally posted the edited post. Generally this improves the quality of the entire questions/answers pool and makes this an excellent source of information. It's like Wikipedia driven by questions. See More
Users are scored based on their contributions, with the context of those contributions also being scored (i.e. answering a question tagged as being about XML increases that user's XML score). This results in allowing the questioner to gauge a rough idea of the answerer's relative knowledge within a domain when considering their answers vs contradictory answers from other users. See More