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Re: Linux Forums

On 2006-01-25  0151, Michael Banck wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 24, 2006 at 08:02:19AM -0800, Paul Johnson wrote:
> > I don't see how opening a web forum only the newbies are likely to use
> > benefits the newbies or is fair to the experienced users who volunteer
> > to help them.
> People learn quickly.  Those who discovered GNU/Linux a year ago and
> only got exposed to web forums before might be totally capable of
> helping others already, and are more likely to do so on their familiar
> media.

I might pitch in, here. Almost two years ago, I have been in the
community for almost two years, and in my experience, web forums are
useless. Generally, of course.

As a new GNU/Linux user, you have some rather recurring questions:
- I have this crazy Windows habit -- how is that done in GNU/Linux?
- I lack a replacement for this Windows program
And, the less trivial:
- I can't get this to compile

The way I see it, the first two bullets should be covered in some
central document. Does Debian have a migrating-from-Windows guide?

The last bullet is the interesting one, as some community interaction is
required. Rather often, I look back and think, that I would have been so
much better off mailing a mailing list with my troubles. I searched the
web, crawled forums, and my all-in-all trivial question could more
easily be answered at d-u. My problem was, that I was afraid of mailing
lists (that is, how the experienced community would react).
Once that fear was overcome, I had no trouble using mailing lists. In
fact, the superior degree of seriousness is very appreciated.

So, IMHO, Debian needs to integrate new users more into the mailing
lists -- at least, rather than forking the community.

Also, some quick-start links from the download pages would be smart.
Most of us use some 10m - 2h on downloading a disc, while sitting more
or less idle in whatever working operating system. We could encourage
people to jump across a few lightly-read guides?

Anyway. Merely my rather unstructured thoughts on this.
Anders Breindahl / skrewz

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