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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb FedoraForum is getting a bit...

    Greetings all.

    Being a Fedora user since version 1, I must say that recently I have been noticing that the forums are taking some strain. More often than I would like my question go unanswered, or ignored. Now I know that the forums are just as good as the users, and that is I guess the problem, as people do not always have the time to reply to all possible posts. With this drop in service, If I can call it that, it is notable that the forums has been growing exponentially. No really a bad thing.

    I was just wondering, what we can do about his. My reason since day 1 to join the Fedora group has been the excellent support forum we have going here, but as lately, it is not all that impressive anymore.

    Now before I get you all worked up, and pasting hate or anger threads here, please think about it first. What can we possibly do to get the community to get back to it's good old shiny self again. Please only constructive feedback.

    Way back I suggested a kind of ranking system, so we can distinguish between experts, and novice users, but this would only solve one problem. Getting advice from a novice user or expert can be distinguishes. Notably I don't really have allot of posts on my name, as i do not have too much time to work on the forums, but have been with Fedora since the beginning, doesn't that make me a intermediate user?? (Irrelevant really) My post count is rather low for an old timer..

    Could it be possible to get some kinda official forum support group that would work ONLY on the forums, or am I going in the wrong direction..

    An input would be great .

    Have yourself a great day
    Last edited by Adesso; 15th April 2008 at 02:31 PM.
    Whatever you do, will return to you three fold...

    My Work Box
    My Home Box

  2. #2
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    We've already tried the 'ranking' idea and it didn't work. Frankly, there were people objecting to 'his rank is higher than mine and it shouldn't be....' and posting just for the possible rank improvement. We also had some negative ratings that were unjustified. In all, it wasn't a working solution.

    As to no responses to threads, any one who has the time can simply go under the Advanced Search feature and select a date (maybe Yesterday?) and change the 'at least 0 responses' to 'at most 0 responses' and you'll have the results you wanted.

    With 114,000 members and many more posts per day, the people who generally give out advice freely are a bit taxed to keep up with it. Hopefully, with your post, others will see the need and spend just a few minutes to scan and answer the questions that might have been missed.

    Thanks for bringing this up.
    Linux & Beer - That TOTALLY Computes!
    Registered Linux User #362651


    Don't use any of my solutions on working computers or near small children.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob
    As to no responses to threads, any one who has the time can simply go under the Advanced Search feature and select a date (maybe Yesterday?) and change the 'at least 0 responses' to 'at most 0 responses' and you'll have the results you wanted.
    Exactly what I do from time to time. I'm far from the most knowledgeable user here but I like to have a look see at the 0 reply threads and see if I can at least point someone in the right direction. I have my default advanced search set to 'at most 0 replies'. Now I don't know how useful my responses are and I'm sure that sometimes I'm way off base but at least I give it a shot. Guess I've helped more than one confused Linux user. Probably wrecked a few too
    Glenn
    The Bassinator

  4. #4
    Wayne Guest
    Problem is this is a volunteer based forum and there are only so many hours in a day. Most people have full-time jobs, families, studies, a real life and other stuff to do and may not have much time to look through all the posts that they may be able to answer. If someone wants a prompt reply to a question then maybe paid support is the answer...

    Wayne

  5. #5
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    As far as giving help/advice, ditto on what glennzo wrote - I'm sure that I'm way under .500, but oh, well, I try....

    As far as getting help/advice: at least I don't have to first verify that my software is genuine, bona-fide, certified, M*-*ing crap, then be told that I can't get help/support because I made an adjustment or two to the OS (which was needed to render it usable), or added a piece of hardware in one of the provided slots (what did they expect me to do with the extra slots?). If I get no answer, then at least I've gotten exactly what I paid for.

    V

  6. #6
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    Wayne, now there is an idea... paid response.. I like this.

    Problem is however, that this is not really a commercial distribution, so people should not really use it for commercial use, but I do for instance .. and I guess there are many like me that do the same. Fedora is just to good to NOT use it..

    How about trying this paid response call thing, it could work. I am thinking of this silly site called Expert Exchange.. where one earns points by answering treads, and thus enables the person who helped other, to also get help... Their model is a bit flawed however, but the concept is not all that bad. People that however are new, can then buy support points....

    The bad side of this is that we would have to make another flavor of Fedora.. call it "Fedora Enterprise" if you like.
    And only paid members would get support, draining the normal community of the valuable gurus... but putting some money in the support techies pocket .. If I may call us that.. and getting some stuff fixed.. The main reason I think

    It's a really difficult topic, but maybe it could work..

    The point is to try and get a support forum that one can rely on... I am sure that my Company would gladly give out money for proper support... (RedHat Enterprise Desktop/Server comes to mind...pity that it is not always as up to date as one would like)


    It is funny however to see that always the old-timers that seem to help people along, that would be you Wayne, Bob and a couple of other....(Can't list them all) (Sorry Glennzo, first time I see you )

    Besides the fact that most of the die hard FC people will get a place in heaven(if you believe in that), I am sure that some of us would not mind to make some money on the side, doing what we do best... Cutting edge Linux..

    Whatever you do, will return to you three fold...

    My Work Box
    My Home Box

  7. #7
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    I think the "problem" - hard to gripe about free support - is that the "service load" is non-uniformly burdened on a small group of "elites" who tend to answer - or at least attempt to answer - most of the questions. There are a lot of people who come on, ask their question, and then go for weeks or months without posting - coming back when they have a problem. Even though many of these people could help with answering questions - at least the simple ones like "how do I play mp3s" - they don't, and this hurts the community model.

    Now, I'm not saying I'm an "elite user" in any way, but I realized that it was only fair to at least try helping out with some problems considering all the aid I've got from this forum in the past. That's what community service is based on, after all.

    The forum seems less of a "users helping users" sort of give-and-take community but more like "a small set of users helping the 'HALP MEEEEEE! users." Unfortunately, it seems to be a phenomenon that large forums are more subject to. And of course I wouldn't advocate going to peoples' homes and compelling them at knifepoint to answer questions more often.
    - Tom
    "What is freedom? To have the will to be responsible for one's self." - Stirner

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adesso
    How about trying this paid response call thing, it could work. I am thinking of this silly site called Expert Exchange.. where one earns points by answering treads, and thus enables the person who helped other, to also get help... Their model is a bit flawed however, but the concept is not all that bad. People that however are new, can then buy support points....
    But does that work, truly? Every time I get kicked over to that site by a search or link, I immediately think, "screw that; I'm not paying for something I can find for free." I think a lot of people are like me. I hit the back button and keep looking, revising the search string as needed.

    If I wanted paid support, I'd buy Redhat, not a Experts-Exchange model of Fedora. I think most people would say the same there, too.
    - Tom
    "What is freedom? To have the will to be responsible for one's self." - Stirner

  9. #9
    Wayne Guest
    Another problem that I see is when some users get to a certain level, they move on to other distros that are more 'technical' and they become the newbie there That puts a strain on the knowledgeable users left over

    As for myself, I've been busy with 'life' recently and don't have time to answer questions and feel I'm falling behind with my own Linux learning. It's got to the point that I just point newbies to the links in my sig Then there are my CM duties here, helping to keep the forum going with Bob, etc...

    Right, back to my beer

    Wayne

  10. #10
    Wayne Guest
    My implied meaning in my post was that people who need support 'right now' should be using a distro like Red Hat and paying for support... Regular users like ourselves will either have to be patient and wait till someone answers and/or do our best to sort the problem out on our own with our good friend Google

    Edit: In fact, newbies would be well served to look at the first link in my sig before posting

    Wayne
    Last edited by Wayne; 15th April 2008 at 02:42 PM.

  11. #11
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    I am a relative novice and can not answer a lot of the more technical questions but it would be nice if there was a way to find all unanswered posts. Someone mentioned before that you can use Advanced Search but that requires use of a keyword. I suppose it would be possible to use a generic common word as a search term but it would be better if a search option for Unanswered Posts was incorporated in to the Quick Links.

    Or am I missing something obvious?
    Fedora 9 (Sulphur) - Gnome
    HP DV6910US Laptop
    Linux Registered User # 449097

  12. #12
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    I guess I view it as you get nothing for free. There are a number of ways to "pay" for a distro. As I cannot dedicate enough time consistently to do much else (maintain a package, etc) I try and help out here and in other forums when I can. Five minutes here and five minutes there can really make a big difference. Is my advice always the best? No, but even if I am wrong, it keeps the thread fresh and allows more people to see it. I see way too many people here who post questions only and do not contribute back. Even relative newbies could help by taking care of the easy questions like "How do I play mp3s?"or "How do i change my desktop background?". If more people would take care of the "minor" issues that would leave more time for the more experienced users to go after the trickier posts. In the long run this would also help the individual who is trying to help as well (You learn more by trying to teach someone else than you would believe).

  13. #13
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    I share lazlow's philosophy.

    Newish forummers should get involved in posting help, even if it's "wrong" the discussion that ensues often helps everyone involved learn a bit. And you won't get bitten too much here (now and again, but ignore it), it's a pretty friendly place. (I learned Fedora doing this way)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjvanwyk
    But does that work, truly? Every time I get kicked over to that site by a search or link, I immediately think, "screw that; I'm not paying for something I can find for free." I think a lot of people are like me. I hit the back button and keep looking, revising the search string as needed.
    Totally off-topic but if you click the "Cached page" link in google you can see all the answers.

    More on topic, I don't think there is any great solution to this. I suppose some threads do go unanswered but I think Fedora still has, by far, the most knowledgeable and helpful distro specific forum. I think some people are a bit hesitant to help out of fear of giving a not so great answer. There are a lot of threads where I feel like I can "sort of" answer the question, but then I always have an internal debate on whether giving an incomplete, but possibly helpful answer, is worth it. It's sort of intimidating when you've got the big guns who seem to know just about everything, and you yourself are a bit inexperienced and don't want to earn the title of "stupid newb."

    @Perpetual - no keyword is needed! Search -> Advanced Search -> Change "At least" to "At most" and you're off.
    So dawn goes down to day,
    Nothing gold can stay.

  15. #15
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    Bslagowski,

    I was insulted a few times in the early days (and not so early days ) for dumb replies (mostly warranted), you just need to be tough. Once you get involved in helping others you'll start learning yourself at lightspeed. However, you do need to do a bit of research, ie not just post random "guesses" to a solution.


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