[linux-audio-user] web forums [was: Re: [linux-audio-dev] [OT?] Fun with numbers]

Joern Nettingsmeier nettings at folkwang-hochschule.de
Sat Jan 17 09:41:21 EST 2004

Robert Jonsson wrote:
> Hi,
> torsdagen den 15 januari 2004 15.46 skrev Dave Phillips:
>>    I thought about posting a response to the linuxaudio.org controversy
>>but I've opted for posting some numbers instead.
>>    It was pointed out that LAD can claim more than 700 members now.
>>Very cool, I love it. I'm not sure exactly what those numbers mean, but
>>I do know that only about 1/10 of that figure actually post regularly to
>>the list. So out of the 700 only ~70 are consistent contributors. Again,
>>I don't know what the numbers signify. I guess it's [your meaning here].
>>    On January 7 Linux Journal On-line posted my second monthly column
>>(this one about Planet CCRMA and AGNULA). I checked for the number of
>>reads this morning: +10000. That's right, more than ten thousand in
>>little over one week. I point this out not to shine my own light, but to
>>indicate again that far more people are interested in Linux audio
>>development than the mail lists' membership numbers suggest.
> Indeed, very interesting numbers, not that I would have guessed differently. 
> Audio+Linux will be (and already is to some extent) a significant area of 
> interest for many people.
> Reading those numbers I instinctively thought: 
> What should we do to reach all these interested people? The article definitely 
> did that so we are partially already happy.
> It would be nice though if a dialogue could also be established as opposed to 
> the monologue nature of an article.
> I wonder if there may be a technological barrier here. I'm oldsch00l, 
> mailinglists ain't exacly rocket science to me... I would imagine though that 
> not everybody uses mailing-lists as instinctively as we do, especially not 
> the younger, web-grown, crowd.
> To expand a little, rather recently I took a liking to Anime (japanese 
> cartoons), lots of places about it on the net. It strikes me that _all_ these 
> places have web-forums, and they are all full of talking people... I can see 
> the benefits, easy browsing, easy posting, anonymity (as long as you just 
> read anyway) and so on.

i'm opposed to web forums, for a number of reasons:

* generally more trolling on forums [*]
* less thinking before posting
* far worse s/n than mailing lists because of the lack of a
   subscription barrier
* mailing list archives are a valuable resource, forum archives
   are a an inaccessible mess
* i don't want people around who will not even try to work out
   how to subscribe to a mailing list. it's a matter of respect.
   i offer my help for free, i'm not there to work for people too
   stupid or too lazy to join a list.
* mailing lists encourage community participation more than
   forums imho. it's not just "drop by, ask a question, move on",
   but people have to *decide* to join. thus, even relative newbies
   who came here only for asking questions offer their help when
   there are problems in their area of expertise, and because of
   this the list is a very rich and broad source of information to me.

just my humble 2 cents...


[*] regardless how focused or technically-minded the underlying 
community is. there is an absolutely excellent german computer magazine 
(c't), whose web forum is populated almost exclusively by mentally 
challenged morons talking nonsense. out of 100 posts, you might with 
luck find one that is actually worth reading.

"I never use EQ, never, never, never. I previously used to use mic
positioning but I've even given up on that too."
	- Jezar on http://www.audiomelody.com

Jörn Nettingsmeier
Kurfürstenstr 49, 45138 Essen, Germany
http://spunk.dnsalias.org (my server)
http://www.linuxaudiodev.org (Linux Audio Developers)

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