Revive in order to properly support users and podmins

I have been debating reviving the old discussion forums, with a view to them providing support for both users and podmins alike.

Currently there is no one central place people can go for support - and this includes users and podmins. New users either depend on their contacts or they seemingly go without and podmins are often referred to IRC but 9 times out of 10 there is no one available on IRC at the precise moment they log on and they end up leaving without having received any support.

A discussion forum could be the first port of call for support for both user types as forums can alleviate these issues.

Ryan (KOH) who currently owns the old domain name has previously declined offers from people not related to D* to buy the domain name from him. He will however kindly donate the name to us free of charge.

In terms of hosting, I will happily host the new forums (the old forum DB is now gone) and provide the maintenance and management of them. I’ll probably need a few moderators to help out if it gets real busy.

As you are no doubt aware, a discussion forum is only as good as the members’ contributions and with that in mind we would need podmins to contribute and assist each other - along with seasoned D* users willing to help new users with their (sometimes really easy) questions.

In order to succeed, the forum would also need some promotion in the form of a mention and/or post reshare by DHQ, plus relative links from the foundation web site. It should also have a prominent link in the right menu of D* under the “need help” section.

The forum should not have third party banner adverts (unless D* wish to use it for fund raising, but that’s a whole other subject). I’m undecided as towards the use of Google Analytics on such a forum so again, that’s probably one for a separate conversation.

Your thoughts?

Note: This discussion was imported from Loomio. Click here to view the original discussion.

Hi, your proposal seems very good, very necessary, unfortunately when you read what I write you see my English level is very bad, that’s why difficult to collaborate moderator, but yes I can do it in Spanish or Galician. (In Spanish we have a forum, wiki and more:

Now that I know I learned English in the jungle and Tarzan was my teacher, just tell me what I can do.

PS, about the use of Google Analytic, please no!

Yes yes yes yes! Since I started using Diaspora I’ve been frustrated that this site was abandoned as it seemed like a great idea to have forum for end user discussion outside of D itself. When I asked about this in the google group way back the only response I got was an unhelpful one that I should ask the site owner (I had no idea who that was). So yes would be great to see this resurrected.

@juansantiago Contributions / forum members in languages other than English would also be a great help!

@robinstentoutreach I’ve used the googlegroups once or twice myself in the past (recently too) with such little success :frowning: Again, it seems there’s no one central place a user (or podmin) can go for a wider support audience.

Have you thought about using wordpress for run forum?

Oh god, please don’t use WordPress…

IMHO IcyPhoenix is good-as or maybe even better than vB…

A revived forum site would be great. A wiki would be charming also.

We started using Discourse in Mozilla, I’m very happy with it, very usable and readable!, from the guys at StackOverflow.

You can try it here:

I second the idea.

Regarding Google Analytics: Why don’t we use PIWIK analytics? I’ll happily provide the hosting for that. I use this for analyizing the traffic on my server anyway and this data won’t go to google :wink:

As Forum Software i’d suggest something like SMF (SimpleMachinesForum

The original forum was great, although use died off towards the end. I’d be happy to see a revived forum if you’re happy to maintain it, Rich.

Do you actually need an analytics tool at all? You could just allow users to communicate without being analysed…

@ram518 , there is already a Diaspora wiki on the main project site:

No, I don’t believe analytics would be required. I was thinking from the point of view of aiding and raising awareness re search engine result rankings but there are other ways to do this.

As all my web and database servers are Microsoft Windows based (as too is my +15yrs of hosting experience) I intend to use the open source YAF forum suite -

I’ll let this discussion ride out a few more days, then I’ll create a proper proposal.

I’m against introducing yet another official communication channel, IRC, Loomio, mailing lists and Diaspora itself suffice here. So I’m against a

However no one can really control what the community does, so if you want to do another diasporaforum.tld, nobody stops you :wink:

I suppose it couldn’t hurt to “own” the domain as a project asset and refer to it as “unofficial, but endorsed by the project”?

Any reason it would need to be ‘unofficial’?

There’s already quite often confusion about the appropriate place for contacting the project. Adding yet another official communication channel would only make that situation worse.

In case you do, I strongly suggest to try Discourse, instead of outdated platforms as phpBB or SMF, it’s way cleaner and with more modern features. Also it’s more “support oriented” than “discussion”, since those guys have the StackOverflow know-how.

IMHO, forums work if they are not abandoned and there’s a strong community behind. They are more user-friendly than IRC or the mailing list for common and non tech-savvy users. But it’s pointless if it doesn’t grow.

To make it grow, the best is to have just one. But there has been cases as the spanish language PHP forum, which was ran by the community, and as the years passed, it became promoted as the official spanish PHP forum and it went into

Maybe you can just start one and see what happens.

Hey @jonnehass

There’s already quite often confusion about the appropriate place for contacting the project

Yeah, that was kinda my original point:

Currently there is no one central place people can go for support

The whole thing needs streamlining, nobody knows where to go and to be blunt, wherever they do actually go they often leave without having obtained the support they were looking for.

A discussion forum could solve this. I say ‘could’, as I don’t actually know.

Hence this Loomio discussion :slight_smile:

So far we achieved pretty good separation, Loomio for project development (all sorts, not just code), Github for code collaboration and bug/wanted feature tracking, IRC for shortlived adhoc communication of all sorts, diaspora for user support (could probably be improved) and mailing lists for persistent / long lived communication, like user and dev support.

A forum would contend the persistent communication part of diaspora and mainly the mailing lists. So that people feel the need for a forum means that our mailing lists are not working. Therefore I think we first should evaluate whether we can improve their usability and be more clear about the intended usage. If that’s not possible a step we need to consider would be dropping them and replacing them with an official forum and a pure announcements mailing list.

There is a specific reason use forums and not mailing lists to support , with a forum for an answer can solve many questions, a forum created a public database of knowledge that is not created by a mailing list .

PS what are the Diaspora* mailing lists? :slight_smile:

Mailing list archives are searchable the same way as a forum.