RR Forums

Sivakatirswami katir at hindu.org
Mon Sep 4 15:25:51 EDT 2006

hmmm, seems this is a sensitive area.

Well, I certainly never meant to imply that the list should go away!
For Heaven's Sake -- No! As an on-going integrated knowledge base it is
possibly *the* most important user resource that Revolution has going for it
and vies with the documentation itself as a mission critical for new people.
once a newbie realizes he can access tools to search the lists, it's
a big time gateway to not re-inventing the wheel and feeling
confident that "Yes, i can do it, just look at these resources!"
Vs saying "Oh gosh, this is so far over my head... forget it..."

Also, to be more accurate, the forums at Expert's Exchange are separate
by virtue of being separate disciplines. The discussion about
Apache web admin has nothing to do with the discussion about CSS.
But within the field of CSS we don't have different forums: like
one forum for CSS Design and one forum for CSS Rules and another forum for
Positioning with CSS-- that would be nuts.

For Revolution, one would be hard put to define
any separate "disciplines" that really warranted forums.
Especially at this stage...

Also as one who is an "amateur programmer" despite years of xtalk
I don't consider myself an expert, and I'm not sure that the distinction
between "newbie" and "expert" is a useful one in any framework in terms
of using that distinction to "chop up" the discourse through some 
that puts hard walls between them.

At Expert's Exchange  the entire model is just the other way round:
newbies and non-expert's are
in direct relationship with experts in the same "field" of discourse.
To lose this will be a disservice to new people, who are lurkers
for the most part, but will spot key things in the discourse of
professionals that spur them on, give them ideas, hope
solutions etc...  even if they never post themselves.
Right now the list is the only place this "silent" interaction can occur 
such "unfettered" dynamism.

If you cut off newbies from the discourse of expert's, the result
will be that they find it hard to grow and possibly even leave the product.
It would be a major strategic error for any company.

Richard Gaskin wrote:
> 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 
> self-regulating.
>> 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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Om shanti
(In  Peace)


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