Comments on: Mail list status update
REBOL Technologies

Comments on: Mail list status update

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
23-Nov-2009 18:28 GMT

Article #0442
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If you use the REBOL email list, please be sure to read: [REBOL] ML update from Tim Johnson. It is in regard to moving the list to a new home, and new software too.

I've tried to minimize the requirements of a new mail list... because it's better for admins to use the software they know. However, there is the issue of the effect of the new list on the REBOL.org list archive, so I've asked if the list could keep the same message number sequencing.

However, that's as far as I've gone with it. If you have any interest in this topic, please let your ideas be known... via the list itself or post a comment here.

BTW, if you're new to the REBOL community, I should note that the email list is not our primary communications channel. Most community discussions occur on AltME or in R3 Chat.

11 Comments

Comments:

Nick
28-Nov-2009 5:53:25
After 10 years, new users still don't have an obvious place to go online to communicate. Like it or not, people expect a web forum of some sort for help getting started. Without it, you're likely losing the overwhelming majority of all potentially interested new Rebolers. That is a major, gaping hole in the marketing plan. The mail list NEEDS a web based front end. Not only to read, but also to post questions (similar to Yahoo groups), for those who aren't willing to sign up for AltME, R3 chat, etc. It's so simple, but so essential. Isn't this a huge white elephant in the room?
Kaj
28-Nov-2009 7:21:55
No, it's old and gray. ;-)
Nick
28-Nov-2009 8:17:11
Here's a quickie CGI script that could help get that started:

http://re-bol.com/rebol_mail_list--set_account_info.zip

-pekr-
28-Nov-2009 17:14:45
Nick - web forum might be needed, and might come, but please stop acting like it would be a mantra. I am on more than 30 online forums, and some of them provide much less support, than one would expect. On altme or ML, I can get answers in minutes.

Besides that - REBOL had a forum - reboltalk.com - there was not much of a movement. Do you really expect, that somehow magically, REBOL having an official forum, would make it much more popular?

Sometimes I think that ppl are just too lazy to join the right and optimal communication channels. Ppl requesting forums might be just following status quo, or being just too lazy :-) Besides that - are you trying to pretend, that for a web forum, you don't need to sign-up? What are you talking about here? :-) I never saw a forum you could post to, unless you subscribe to it :-) You can follow ML discussion without signing-up too ...

But - once again - I believe forum will come - but let's leave ML option for those, who are used to it, and prefer it ...

Nick
28-Nov-2009 23:45:42
Hi Pekr, I don't think of a web forum as a magic bullet, but the fact most people _expect_ a web forum as a primary support option shouldn't be ignored. I've always been baffled by the whole "darknet" choice among our community. We all know that new Rebolers have historically complained about it regularly, and I believe it's probably hurt REBOL marketing efforts significantly. Reboltalk was a good site, but the existing community didn't use it for their own needs. Together with some spam problems, that made it appear quiet and perhaps not the best place to go for answers. Not having a clear web based forum option is _atypical_. For several years, I avoided AltME because I initially had a few glitches signing up. As recently as this past week I saw a few names on the mailing list asking about AltME - people who have been around for years who haven't made that little leap to join. AltME is a great program, and the community is fantastic, but I can imagine many others being put off by it because they also are not _familiar_ with it. I have no doubt that this has happened to hundreds of people, maybe more. I think that's bound to be the case, even if AltME is _just_ as easy to sign up for as a web forum, because it's an _atypical_ option. The human invitation/signup process adds yet another reason for people to put off doing it. R3 chat is also an _atypical_ option. I understand that some prefer to keep communication among a small group for certain activities. It's great that that option exists. I love the feel of AltME, and I like to keep up as much as possible with every other REBOL communication channel. But that doesn't change the fact that there's no _normal_, typical, expected public forum for new users. Growth is hampered when people don't see an active, thriving community online. Rebol.org has done a lot to make that activity visible, but it's still just an archive, and that's very different from a live forum, from a new user's point of view. The mailing list exists, and users will get responses if they ask questions there, but only a percentage of new users will choose to communicate that way. It's great that people can read it online, but again, that gives new users the sense that they're just watching. It would be such a simple thing to make a primary _web_ interface available for the new users who want and expect it - one designated by RT on the front page of rebol.com . That would be a clear answer for those who have been confused about how and where to begin taking part, or who don't _want_ to take part in our _atypical_ process. It feels closed to outsiders, and we need those outsiders to become involved so that we eventually have a next generation of REBOL gurus :) It only makes sense to me that we should try to remove every possible obstacle, especially when it comes to such an important and easily remedied subject that touches technical advancement, public opinion, marketing efforts, etc...
Nick
28-Nov-2009 23:54:55
PS - I never suggested a process without a sign up. People do expect that - they just expect a typical web based process with an email confirmation. The script example I put up above has a sign up procedure :)
-pekr-
29-Nov-2009 1:54:57
Nick, wait one week for my try at REBOL related "marketing" (I am no marketter profesionally) materials, which I will post to DocBase wiki. Web forum is surely one of my suggestions :-)
Carl Read
29-Nov-2009 2:26:09
Pekr, from the outside looking in, it appears that those running the AltMe REBOL 3 world are the lazy ones. Just look at the instructions...

http://www.rebol.org/aga-join.r

First you have to download a client, and then "You need to get the attention of a REBOL3 world Admin (moderator) who can create the membership for you. There is no way you can do that from the Altme client itself, so you need to use older methods."

There is no way you can do that from the Altme client itself ???

The obvious reaction to that is that the people behind it haven't got a clue. I mean, if REBOL's so good and AltMe's written in REBOL, how come it wasn't possible to make it possible to join from the client?

Well?

Simple things should be simple.

Or, alternatively, the customer's always right. If they leave without spending a dime, it's the seller who's got it all wrong.

-pekr-
29-Nov-2009 8:33:08
Are we seeing syndroms of "web is the only right way" mantra here? :-)

I, or anyone else in the community can't do anything about how Altme is done, so we just tried to fix surrounding area and improved info on how to join. But - you try to pretend, like joining Altme is somehow complicated matter, while it is not imo true.

It is also not typical for many rich client apps, to allow account creation from client SW. But surely AltME could be improved, nothing against that ...

But - in my eyes, stating that Alme authors should get a clue is a bit inadequate, imo ...

You also completly ignored part of my message stating, that official forum might come. I am belonging to that part of the community, proposing it :-) I think that being close to R3 beta having forum or not is just a matter of priorities. We can get to the forum question again, when redoing REBOL websites ...

All I can say in the end is the following thing - I use various comm channels - MLs, web forums, irc, icq, News, OCS (MS), Skype, FaceBook, RSS, and I don't judge if one is better than the other one - they are all just different ...

Nick
29-Nov-2009 10:36:13
Hehe - not that web is the 'only right' way, but definitely an 'overwhelmingly popular' way ;) And when it comes to marketing, promotion, and connecting with new potential users, that issue carries significant weight. It sounds like we share a lot of the same perspective :) No argument here - just a well intended nudge to keep an eye on this topic as marketing and promotion plans progress :)
Luca
1-Dec-2009 10:36:15
An "open" forum without subscription should be like this very "comment-box" we're on now, because the majority of users are just lazy, me included. :-)

I see it as a waste of time to: click the Register button, fill in the form, wait for the activation e-mail (if it ever gets to the inbox), then finally logging-in to the forum.

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