Subject Re: [Firebird-general] improving firebird-support
Author unordained
---------- Original Message -----------
From: Milan Babuskov <milanb@...>
> you can also make a custom version (which could be used for Firebird
> exclusively) via It is still in Beta,
> and new signups are currently "on hold", but it will be open for new
> registrations again.
> However, I don't see much point to it, as this mailing list is much
> better IMHO. Questions do get answers and contrary to the above
> website, you can also have a meaningful conversation, not just dry Q&A
> concept.
> IMO, this and other Firebird mailing lists are what makes "Firebird
> community" a community.
------- End of Original Message -------

By custom, you mostly mean a walled garden, yes? Not so much about custom
features as a specific usergroup, to keep the community feel? I would think
that necessary, yes, though I can't actually pin-point the reason. It's like
there's an "support group" (in the Alcoholics-Anonymous sense) behind the
obvious "support group" (in the technical sense.) I guess you get a long-term
sense of whether or not you'll get flamed for asking a question, before you
ask, because you somewhat know the people involved? That's a broader topic than
I meant to get into, the definition of "community" ...

Questions do get answers, absolutely! Sadly, for me to point out that a lot of
good questions don't get answered would require me to sound like I'm whining
about my own questions. I probably am, but I'm also whining about everyone
else's. I swear. I've been reading on "attention markets" and I don't think a
system of "point rewards" is what I'm looking for, the way experts-exchange
handles it -- it's more "hey, you already want to help anyway, here's how."
Guidance, not reward.

The search functionality offered by yahoo-groups is atrocious. I don't know how
anyone can find anything in the archives without posting a new question and
having the original posters give them a link. That's why I'm looking for a
solution that helps with that, generating condensed information, without the
fluff, for someone looking for it. For those who are looking for the fluff (aka
community), the problem is moderation -- and that's not a knock on Helen at
all. I really appreciate her trying to keep the lists clean. But it does set
strict limits on how much of a "relaxed" conversation you can have. Maybe you
meant "meaningful conversation" differently -- more of a "full discussion of
the problem", as when people ask follow-up questions, look for better solutions
than the one the questioner is trying to fix, etc. -- and I agree, those should
be encouraged. I don't know that what I'm proposing (I'm not really -- they're
broad concepts) would negate that. If the system doesn't try to force people to
initially provide the shortest answer possible, as fast as possible, to get
their points, I think you can retain the community atmosphere. That's why I was
thinking along the lines of a "clean-up" process; after you solve the problem
(thoroughly, slowly, with conversation) come back and give a summary that's
useful to someone reading the digest, or searching the archive, or looking
through an FAQ, or a problem-solving wizard. But after, not during.

Or maybe the email lists are fine. I guess I have to have a full-blown solution
(which requires participants) ready to compare against for it to be fair and
valid (so you can convince people to be participants.)