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Important Forum Announcement - Page 2
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Thread: Important Forum Announcement

  1. #11
    Administrator Advisor peter's Avatar
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    Whenever possible I have asked for the opinion of the members on future steps to take, and I have listened and taken your advice. This case is different. Residing in our comfort zone won't alter the level of involvement of the membership. That will only come with change, and a clear understanding as to why it could be good for everyone.

    Linux continues to grow, and as it does, users, developers and systems administrators will find themselves increasingly having to integrate and interact with other operating systems and their users.

    There is recognition of the fact that the adoption rates of open source software will be higher if it runs on all platforms. This is clearly evident from the success of Apache, Firefox, and though not completely open source, Java.

    I feel that for the forums to be both different and relevant, they will have to recognize these trends. An open source forum that welcomes curious proprietary users could provide a healthy environment for discussion.

    It is not a question of "open source" versus "proprietary". It is a question of a different type of openness, one that tolerates, one that that welcomes proprietary users and exposes them to an ever improving and growing open source movement. It is a question of openness in recognizing the worthy features in proprietary solutions, and incorporating equal or better ones in open source. With this in mind, OpenFree's focus can remain on Linux.

    There are many forums out there that have started with enthusiasm, and slowly faded as they failed to adapt. In the early days the LJR membership was relatively new to Linux. There was lots of curiosity and the members had the time to investigate their passions. The forum was vibrant. The curiosity still thrives, but as we get older, the time that can be dedicated to our favorite pastimes becomes reduced due to the distractions of work, family and the development of other interests. The more senior members pass by daily to see how they can help the newbies and also each other. This provides a sense of fulfillment which I am sure you all cherish. The problem is that if the membership stays static, then the number of new challenges for the members diminishes and overall activity trails off.

    A growing membership provides rejuvenation. Answers to posts from newer members like omidkamangar have been instructive, challenging and rewarding. We need more like that.

    You mentioned the revenue. I'll be frank. The forums earn about $2.00 a day from advertising and I spend an equal amount on Google Adwords to help attract more visitors and expand the membership. Server hosting costs are additional. It is not, and probably will never be, a revenue stream of any worth.

    So why do I bother? The reason is simple, I like conversing with the membership, and I like playing with Linux. It's a labor of love and that helps to keep me aware of what's going on in the community.
    Last edited by peter; 12-17-2006 at 07:21 AM.

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  2. #12
    Though I admire your effort and I can see where you are going with the forums, I can't say I am too pleased.

    As I mentioned earlierI don't mind providing the ocasional Windows support. However, Just this morning I saw more Windows support requests than linux. Thoguh I don't mind helping there, I would have joined a Windows forum if I wanted to deal with Windows support.

    I understand the need to integrate linux with mainstream systems in order for it to grow. However, I don't think that providing Windows support here will accomplish that. We will just become another generic computer support forum.

    It frustrates me that we (senior LJR members) did not had any say when the LinuxJunior-OpenFree merger happened. I sucked it up and decided to give it a chance. Now it is apparent we also have no say on this forum either. Though I was not around, I believe that was the reason LJR opened as an alternative to LinuxNewbie.

    I am not saying I am leaving the forum. However, I am thinking of spending more of the time I used to spend here on other Linux-specific forums.
    My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive.

  3. #13
    Senior Member RickDev's Avatar
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    I may or may not be stepping in on something good but I would like to say something. I can see the hesitants about merging the forum that is a linux based forum with, of all software, a Microsoft product. I am from the evil side and was a member of the forum that is being merged and have agreed to come over and do my best with modding that side of the forum. I don't know everything on Windows but am damn good at researching and helping those that I can. so I will do my best to handle the Windows support. At the same time, I hope to learn a thing or two about the linux stuff from reading posts here and aasking my own questions. I would like to say that maybe the merge will not be as bad as it appears, or it may be, who knows until it is tried. If windows users that come to the forum start causing more trouble than good I will be the first to come back to this topic and apologize. JUst because I happen to use and provide support to M$ products does not make me the bad guy. Just the guy who happened to make a living supporting the product
    RickDev
    "Nobody knows what I do until I stop doing it."


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  4. #14
    Hi Rick,

    It is not a matter of Microsoft being evil or not. I work with Microsoft products every day. Currently, I don't even have a computer running linux at home (just some vm's).
    To me, it is amatter of not having a say on what happens to the community I have invested a lot of time on.
    My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive.

  5. #15
    Senior Member RickDev's Avatar
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    Understandable. I hope that the merge does not drive any of the users away, because I for one will be asking questions in the Linux forums in the next year. I would hate to see those that have put in their time to help others ad build the community to leave due to the merger.

    I was excited to hear about it due to the downward slope msforums was going down. I had mod/admin powers but could not really make the changes the site needed and could not really put out the money to make the purchase myself. I run a site that I was going to merge it with, but other things arose. So to hear the site was being merged with another well established site was good news.

    I hope things will run smooth or the best for the community will happen that will have the support of the whole member based that has helped build the community.
    RickDev
    "Nobody knows what I do until I stop doing it."


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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by trickster View Post
    I would have joined a Windows forum if I wanted to deal with Windows support.
    I think this is true. I'd have joined a Windows forum if I were wanted to support Windows problems. I can say with much confidence that I"m VERY good at Windows problems and computers in general. But I CHOOSE to spend my free precious time supporting Linux (and OSS in general) for the community and users who have shown me the bright side of computing.

    I'm sure the same is true for Windows users. They stay in Windows forums because they want to. If they really want Linux support, they will come to Linux forums.

    It frustrates me that we (senior LJR members) did not had any say when the LinuxJunior-OpenFree merger happened. I sucked it up and decided to give it a chance.
    Yeah, same here.

    I was utterly disappointed with the fact that we were thrown around like nobodies even though we tried to help anyway we can (even with hosting). There were many of us who can easily take responsibility from Cloverm either technically or financially. We weren't even consulted in anyway. THAT really ticked me off.

    So to be honest, I didn't really expect much from this either, so I wasn't so shocked with the news (I was better prepared?). Basically it came down to either you want to spend time doing what you LOVE to do or you spend time doing something just because it's there.

    Though I was not around, I believe that was the reason LJR opened as an alternative to LinuxNewbie.
    A little history lesson there.

    Once upon the Internet time, there was this guy named "Sensei" and the gal named "LinuxGirl". They run the site called linuxnewbie.org . It was so successful that the big company called internet.com bought it and hired sensei to admin and run the site independently. One day at the beginning of Tech-bubble-burst, they found themselves not having enough money to cover the expenses and laid off sensei and a few others who runs different sites. Though it wasn't the fact that economic don't make sense and laid people off and sensei got the ax, it was the manner in which they did it to him. A great many fled the site and sprawn off many sites including LinuxOrbit and LJR. A great many also stayed behind what later become justlinux. All of those sites never compare to what linuxnewbie used to be; a great site and a community. The site was lively and with great topics (which LJR lack badly, when was the last time we had a deep thought discussion out of technical crap??) and embrace the fact what we don't live by only looking at computer screen and read only technical manuals. Many senior members also left LJR because it just got boring.

    Everyone involves will have different point of views. This IS MY point of view.

    I am thinking of spending more of the time I used to spend here on other Linux-specific forums.
    I haven't made the decision yet but I'm leaning that way too ....

    Oh well, all the good must come to an end, someday.

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    No IT BS !!

  7. #17
    Administrator Advisor peter's Avatar
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    I have noted your concerns and in future I will be more consultative and request the opinions of the membership. The dilemma I face is determining the percentage of the group that has to agree before any action can be taken.

    I initiated the action with msforums.org because I truly felt that something needed to be done to reinvigorate OpenFree, and I still feel we should give it some time to develop.

    I have conversed with a number of members about ways to revitalize the forums and the feedback has been limited to describing the symptoms of the problems, but not the means of overcoming them. In other words, "what OpenFree needs to be", but not how to achieve it.

    In what ways could the forums be improved so that they could attract more people? How could this be done? Here is what we have done to date:

    1. Updated site layouts
    2. Headers that encourage members to post
    3. A Planet page for blogs
    4. The wiki PET tutorials
    5. Interviews
    6. Link exchange directories
    7. Upgrading to vbulletin
    8. Blog and Digg announcements of new forum features


    There must certainly be more ideas out there. What else can be done to increase membership and invigorate the forums?

    Let me know and let's see what we can do.

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  8. #18
    The way I see it, site upgrades and extra features will not make the site better. Content is what everyone comes looking for. Newsgroups are still pretty popular and they have 0 fancy features.
    Unfortunately, I think they only way to add more life to the place is to dedicate time to content: reviewing abandoned or unanswered posts, creating new articles/tutorials that deal with recent developments and applications, etc.
    However, this requires a commitment from the stakeholders (users.) I personally don't feel like making that time/effort commitment at this point in time.
    My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter View Post

    I initiated the action with msforums.org because I truly felt that something needed to be done to reinvigorate OpenFree, and I still feel we should give it some time to develop.
    guess I should have gotten involved on this one sooner, AKA reading it ;D

    Anyhoo, now that I am getting more time (more than a split between do I eat, or do I run my Forums gamut) I must chime in this. I am fully intedning on doing the repo and podcasts, but BUT BUT I am not going to if its just a bunch of people that are going to go and say they are interested but not do it once I invest my time and money (less an issue actually, I have little time these days). It will cost me at least 3x the length of a podcast to finalize and publish it. It will take ~ 1 hour to do a single package if I go at it alone. If there is going to be zero involvement, I will not do it.

    As for the merger, well I just look up in the top left corner and see "IT Discussion Forums". Linux can be IT, as does Windows, and BSD. If this is what its going to be (IT, rather than opensource), so be it. If the goal is to pander to OSS, then there is a serious deviation occuring.

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  10. #20
    Mentor cga's Avatar
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    I was a LinuxNewbie member in the first wave of folks to move to LJR when it started. As others have said, LJR never recaptured the community that we had in LNO. It was OK, and there where a lot of familiar faces. We had some folks who would drop by from time to time to say hi, but we really lost something special.

    The assimilation of LJR into Openfree was, to say the least a shock. IMHO it diminished and devalued LJR, which was already a shadow. LNO was a unique thing, gone forever now. Openfree is just another big forum with ads. No offense to Peter, but this is just not the community we had at LNO or even LJR.

    So absorbing a Windows forum comes as no surprise. And it yet again waters down the echo of LNO. I will still hang here, some, though like many others that amount of time is much less than it once was.

    R.I.P. LinuxNewbie.org
    TANSTAAFL

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