RR Forums

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Mon Sep 4 10:19:16 EDT 2006

Sivakatirswami wrote:

> Scale: I don't know how many of you are members of Expert's Exchange, 
> (EE) but with 3 Million + members, the idea of getting a mailing digests 
> from EE with daily posts by all members is clearly insane. A forum is
> the only option.

Perhaps, but even if the current growth rate was estimated 
unrealistically high, it would be a loooooong time before the RunRev 
audience reached millions of email list subscribers.

Long before then, the audience who enjoys email discussion forums would 
have organically broken into smaller SIGs; we see some of this even now 
in the Rev world (see the Links page at RevJournal.com).

As we've seen with the Rev crowd, most communities are organically 

> Same with Apple or  Adobe. I once joined  an Apache mailing list and was 
> so overwhelmed with posts on the list that I had to ask my question,
> got  an answer and unsubscribe asap!
> Wished it was a forum....now I don't use that list at all, I ask apache 
> questions at EE... for this very reason.

It's also worth noting that while Apple maintains a web forum for their 
casual consumer audience, they also maintain discussion lists for their 
developers.  Developer needs are more intensive than consumer's.

With Rev's entry-level product now priced way below industry averages at 
$49, it would appear in price and design to address a more casual 
consumer audience, implying of course a shift away from conversing with 
the pro-dev audience which had focused their message while the company 
had made only pro tools.  How a small company will be able to handle 
this broadly disparate messaging schism will be interesting to see as it 
plays out, but the current organic result of a list for serious users 
and a web forum for more casual users seems consistent with your 
observation of highly successful companies like Apple.

> We're not there yet with Rev (scale wise) but maybe soon... so the 
> framework is in place.

We can hope, as a good many of us "old-timers" have been working hard to 
help make happen for many years.  As it does, however, there would seem 
no reason why any forum couldn't be available in both email and web 
form.  Anything less seems a little odd, a touch behind the times for a 
technology vendor.

The current forum is apparently still being set up.  For example, unlike 
most product forums out there, it's not possible to even read the posts 
at the Rev forum until after you've submitted your personal data and 
wait to have it human-verified.  The readers there have overwhelmingly 
favored adhering to traditional convention by at least allowing read 
access for guests, so it seems reasonable that'll be set up as the 
system gets fleshed out.  Adding an email interface would seem almost as 
simple to set up as the system moves toward completion.

But even when the email interface is added, it would be incomplete 
without also including the knowledge base that this community has 
created here over the years.  Perhaps the most empowering part of the 
Rev community is being able to drop into a search of this list's 
archives and know that I can find almost any answer to any topic, 
algorithms for every need, valuable code snippets, tips and tricks for 
working with the IDE, etc.

If that ever went away the community would lose its most valuable asset. 
  But rest easy:  there are more than half a dozen maintained, and 
there's no reason why the addition of any new forum should have any 
affect on the knowledge base anyway, so other than earthquake or other 
catastrophe the backups will never be needed.

> Usage needs: I uses a great tool called "MPEG2 Works 4" for drag and 
> drop processing of  muxed video and export to QT. But I really don't 
> what to be on a mailing  list  of  video nerds: my needs and interest 
> are very narrow. Serbian's forum for MPEG2 Works 4 is perfect, I need 
> help, ask a question, set "watch this to one" get an answer, I'm notified 
> by email that my question is answered... with a clickable  link back to 
> the forum, to my thread.

True, for the more casual users who would seem to reflect the company's 
shift toward consumer products, a dip-in-as-needed forum would be helpful.

But if you make your living with Rev it's really helpful to have all 
posts come into your awareness, even if just in the convenient digest 
mode.  Software pros are busy people; using push rather than 
hunt-and-pull keeps a broader range of relevant info flowing past the 
eyeballs who need to see it.

The nice thing is that there's no reason the forums should need to be 
any sort of either-or proposition.  Each is good for its own reasons, 
and they make a great "also" for one another.

  Richard Gaskin
  Managing Editor, revJournal
  Rev tips, tutorials and more: http://www.revJournal.com

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