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Re: question/answer website for user support: shapado.debian.net

Hi, Camaleón:

On Sunday 03 October 2010 20:10:28 Camaleón wrote:
> On Sun, 03 Oct 2010 19:53:55 +0200, Jesús M. Navarro wrote:
> >>   http://shapado.debian.net/
> >>
> >> which is a multi-language question/answer website where participants
> >> can ask questions, answer questions, and rank answers given by others.
> >> I'm not a regular participant of this list, but the website might be a
> >> nice complement for those who prefer (either temporarily or on a
> >> regular basis) a web-based medium.
> >
> > Thus disgregating limited "work force" between two competing
> > environments. Remember web forums (and spam) was what killed NNTP as a
> > general usage tool (and I don't think it has been for the better).
> Newcomers seem to be more confortable with forums (mostly young users) so
> why not provide as many options as we can (mailing lists, forums,
> nntp...).
> I see them not as "competing" but as a "complement" of each other.

The problem here is that knowledge is an intensive resource, not extensive.

Think about gas stations.  You want a lot of them, widely placed, so you have 
one near you when you needed.

But knowledge is different.  If you have a problem you need *a* solution (and, 
sometimes, *the* solution, since there's only one).  It's of no help having 
multiple points where you can get an answer, but getting the answer is.

Say you have two knowledge centers and you are looking for an answer.  You go 
for one first but there will be only half of the knowledge sources there.  
You are reducing in half your chances to get a solution.  Maybe you don't get 
your solution there so, what do you do?  You go for the second source to try 

See the difference?  In order to get an answer I have to look after all the 
places where I can get it.  In order to fill my tank I only need one gas 
station, the one more convenient at the moment.

In the end, you have to subscribe to *both* knowledge centers in order to get 
proper coverage.  This has already happened: ten or fifteen years ago, I 
could go to an easily indexable single source (NNTP) and get my answers.  Now 
I have to trim a lot of resources (web forums) with always the chance to 
overlook "the good one" (i.e. a new web forum that has became the cool place 
now and I am still not aware of).  I can't think of this situation to be any 
better than current one.

Of course, having multiple interfaces to the same datasources (properly 
coupled NNTP, mail lists, web forums, whatever) is of advantage to everybody 
and I don't have anything to say against it, but that's not what is being 
offered here.


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