[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Linux Forums

On Sun, Jan 22, 2006 at 12:12:02PM +0200, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> I disagree that having more web based discussion forums for Debian is
> necessarily a good idea. The more forums you have, to more dispersed the
> people discussing Debian online are, and the more work it is for people
> to follow all the relevant places where discussion happens. As a result,
> the chance of knowledgeable answers goes down. This helps no-one. It's
> better to have a few well-run forums than a large number of mediocre
> ones.
> Now, I don't use web forums myself, when I can avoid them, and because
> of that I don't know if linuxforums.org is better than, say,
> debianhelp.org. If one is significantly better, then I expect users to
> flock there and the other one to wither off and eventually die.

We can learn a lesson from the Ubuntu project here, which has officially
sanctioned ubuntuforums.org and now faces problems of divided
communities:  None of the main developers or community leaders is active
on the forums, which lead to a parallel society where new users have to
help total newcomers and problems with the forums, their moderation, and
code of conduct issues are frequently communicated to their community
council.  The forums appear to give them more trouble than mailing lists
or IRC.  That some of the sub-forums are bi-directionally gated to their
mailing lists does not help either, as the different style of writing
and quoting annoys the other side and at least at times during the past
forum posts were gated anonymously to the mailing lists, which sometimes
resulted in more offensive than necessary posts by those people.

So I think we should be very careful whether we officially adopt a web
forum as part of our support.  If we did so, we will have to be present
and mediate/moderate trouble.  It is a bit like #debian really, where at
some place most DDs had left the channel to itself, which resulted in a
bad reputation both for the channel and the project.


Michael Banck
Debian Developer

Reply to: