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Author Topic: Shortcomings of DC and How to Improve  (Read 29013 times)
Gwen7
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« Reply #50 on: February 28, 2011, 09:29:05 AM »

to:lotusrootstarch - i see a subtext in many of your comments. it says you have a problem with the number of non-programming things that get talked about here. also the number of members who have little interest in writing programs. because somehow it *dilutes* the site. is that what you're hinting lies at the root of this problem as you call it? :-)
« Last Edit: February 28, 2011, 09:35:49 AM by Gwen7 » Logged
wraith808
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« Reply #51 on: February 28, 2011, 09:31:04 AM »

Mouser can't do it alone.  And he does encourage people outside of the 'senior member circle' to contribute in whatever ways they can- I know from personal experience.

Not in the right ways, still not... i also know from personal experience... before you joined the site m8. smiley

That's sort of the idea that I'm getting at ... would you say that sort of thing to me if you were posting under your *real* username?  You say not to focus on the username that you're using- but you're *very* deprecating.  And not in a nice way most of the time- smilies only cover up the nature of language to a point.  There's a way to be critical, but still be uplifting... and truthfully, your posts aren't it from what I've seen.  But I haven't seen *anyone* that's been here that long be that way.  If I had, it would have been a pretty sharp contrast to anyone that I've seen in my short time here (that's sarcasm, if you can't tell).  There are ways to bring attention to problems, and then there are other ways...
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vlastimil
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« Reply #52 on: February 28, 2011, 09:34:56 AM »

Re Reviews -
I can see why the reviews section (full- as opposed to mini-) died a death - too much work.

I agree with this. In order to make a really valuable and insightful review, one would need to work with every application for literally years to really know it. I work with various programs, but I would not feel competent to write a review of for example ftp clients or text editors. It is like, I have my favorite one and ignore the others. Even if I installed the others I would be angry, because they work differently than the old one. And then there are new versions and the review article getting outdated...

Here is an idea for the review section: Who knows most about the reviewed software? Who has the biggest motivation for the review to exist? The authors. Instead of a volunteer with limited motivation and information writing the review, what if a mechanism existed that would allow the software authors to do their part? An independent review manager would only need to set the rules and grantee all the facts are straight. Much less work.
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lotusrootstarch
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« Reply #53 on: February 28, 2011, 09:42:02 AM »

to:lotusrootstarch - i see a subtext in many of your comments. it says you have a problem with the number of non-programming things that get talked about here. also the number of members who have little interest in writing programs. because somehow it *dilutes* the site. is that what you're hinting lies at the root of this problem as you call it? :-)

That's bizarre. I really don't think I implied such things in my posts. How boring it is to have an all-programmer forum? tongue
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Josh
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« Reply #54 on: February 28, 2011, 09:43:58 AM »

Lotus: Am I reading that you have TWO accounts here? May I ask why you felt the need to hide behind this secondary account?
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lotusrootstarch
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« Reply #55 on: February 28, 2011, 09:44:36 AM »

There are ways to bring attention to problems, and then there are other ways...

Yet sometimes there just aint other ways you know. Trial and error tells you.
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lotusrootstarch
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« Reply #56 on: February 28, 2011, 09:45:42 AM »

Lotus: Am I reading that you have TWO accounts here? May I ask why you felt the need to hide behind this secondary account?

It's too good to be ruined like this one...
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app103
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« Reply #57 on: February 28, 2011, 09:46:46 AM »

lotusrootstarch, I think you want us to know who you are, and it wouldn't be hard for anyone to figure it out if you are being truthful about being a donating member under your other forum name,  that has participated in the first NANY, and multiple NANYs.

There are only 2 names on that very short list, and I think it would be safe to say you are not wraith808.  Wink
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mouser
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« Reply #58 on: February 28, 2011, 09:53:56 AM »

This is more of a side note than anything, but lotus my experience has been that trying to predict or influence how other sites cover events is nearly universally impossible on the web.

We are living in an age where "viralness" seems to be the catchphrase and predominant phenomena around us.  That is.. we are dealing with an almost-winner-take-all chaotic system where only a few events become highlighted everywhere and most of the rest of what is created gets largely ignored -- and the deciding factors between what gets noticed and talked about vs what gets ignored -- are incredibly unpredictable and largely random.

This can be a very disconcerting feeling -- wondering why one thing is getting so much attention while another is not.

I'm trying to learn to be less bothered and more sanguine by this kind of randomness in the world, though it's not easy.  In the end the site exists to serve the needs of its participating and supporting members and it's hard to get too worked up about things that are out of our control, like what other sites decide to write up our events and how.

When you say:

Quote
I just have a inner feeling that this fundraiser is not well-timed to highlight anything and will likely make future one much less effective.

Look the economy is in tatters, it hasn't been a "good" time to have a fundraiser in two years.  But that's not the point.  Nor is the amount we raise the point.  This site isn't a coporation that has to make increasing profits or we'll go out of business.  We don't have shareholders making us do things we don't like in order to maximize profits.  We survive on the money we raise and the time and contributions of those who participate, and we adjust as needed as those factors ebb and flow.

We're having a fundraiser so we *PROUDLY* ask for the support and contributions of those who appreciate the site.  In fact we should probably get used to having these fundraisers at the same time every year, and view them as an opportunity to reach people and ask for them to be part of this experiment and improve it.
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lotusrootstarch
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« Reply #59 on: February 28, 2011, 09:55:27 AM »

lol app i know u *love* to dig stuff when crap like this happens on the forum. But memberlist doesn't light up your path. Keep working... or forget about it, does it really matter? Wink
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wraith808
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« Reply #60 on: February 28, 2011, 09:57:50 AM »

There are only 2 names on that very short list, and I think it would be safe to say you are not wraith808.  Wink

There are more, I would assume... anything supporting or above would apply, I'd think (charter members may not have donated, but I'd assume that most have).
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mouser
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« Reply #61 on: February 28, 2011, 09:59:04 AM »

Regarding "outing" people who wish to be anonymous -- I don't believe in it unless they are hurting someone, and lotus isn't.  So i suggest no one start trying to prove who someone is or isn't.

Lotus, I think it would be easier to talk with you and take your criticisms seriously if you didn't have multiple accounts and keep telling us about how you are really a long time member but don't want to say who you really are.  But if that's what you want to do, i don't think it's our job to try to figure out what other usernames you may have gone by here.  Though I don't see the point of it and I think it's in poor taste for you to keep talking about the fact that you are known here under a different name.
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mouser
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« Reply #62 on: February 28, 2011, 10:03:50 AM »

I think it's time for me at least to leave this thread alone for a while so that i can concentrate on some of the work that needs to be done for the fundraiser.  This particular discussion hasn't exactly been a welcome diversion or come at a particularly good time.. but i would like to return to the discussion of how to improve the site after things calm down a bit and i can focus more productively on what can be done to improve the site.
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lotusrootstarch
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« Reply #63 on: February 28, 2011, 10:08:30 AM »

Godspeed.
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Target
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« Reply #64 on: February 28, 2011, 05:28:34 PM »

I hope I'm wrong, but this is starting to sound a bit personal - if Lotusrootstarch has a personal issue with someone here then this isn't the forum.

Lotus, I think it would be easier to talk with you and take your criticisms seriously if you didn't have multiple accounts and keep telling us about how you are really a long time member but don't want to say who you really are.

Mouser makes a good point here - it's unfortunate but potentially contentious posts like we've been seeing from Lotus can erode trust within the community simply because individuals can no longer trust that the individuals we're speaking with are who they say they are. 

Perhaps we should take a different tack here -

  • What is your 'vision' of what DC could or should be?
  • Just how do you define success?
  • How would that apply to DC?
  • How do you anticipate this level of success would benefit the member community?

Note the separation between the first and second points - these are very distinct questions and need to be addressed as such

Personally I don't see anything wrong with the existing setup, but I'm ignorant of your viewpoint so help me change my mind
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barney
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« Reply #65 on: February 28, 2011, 05:34:50 PM »

@lotusrootstarch
I've only been involved with DC for two (2), maybe three (3) years, so I could be off on this, but I really don't see your complaint(s).  I've been involved with the Internet before there was a Web, spent many years on Compuserve and other, local, bulletin boards ... 'nother words, "I've been around."

As I understand, DC started off as a support area for mouser's output.  But it has grown significantly, and attracted some of the most helpful folk I've run across on the Web.  I don't think much about how attractive a Web site is, I care about how effective it is.

I've never looked at the [full-blown] revue aspect, but I've found the mini-reviews to be of inestimable value.  Those reviews have introduced me to software I'd likely never have found on my own, but some of that software fulfilled a need I had then or shortly thereafter.  Both a time savings and an introduction to newer and better ways of doing my job were accomplished thereby.  I'd say that was a site enhancement.

I've not contributed much in the way of help - I don't qualify for that function in light of the folk who are here! - but I have asked for help.  I've never been denied.  Of the questions I've asked here, I've never failed to receive an answer.  Not always immediately helpful, but I did get a response.  And for all except two (2) questions, I've received answers that either directly resolved my issue or pointed me toward an answer I couldn't see earlier.  I'd say that was a site enhancement.

(Oh, on the two (2) questions unresolved here ... the responses led me to consider hardware issues that otherwise would have gone unnoticed.  Those questions were about software, but the issue was hardware, and the answers - directly or indirectly - pointed me in that direction, caused me to check something that otherwise would have gone unchecked, possibly unnoticed until it was fatal, catastrophic failure.)

On software, other than the mini-reviews, I've been introduced to beneficial software that, again, I'd never have found by myself (Curt comes to mind, but there've been several others.).  I'd say that was a site enhancement.

Back when Tek-Tips was a new thing, I was a member.  I contributed fairly heavily, doing my best to answer questions from others.  But I left Tek-Tips and never looked back when some of the others started posting elitist, arrogant answers to honest questions from members not as experienced as themselves.  I have never encountered that elitism or arrogance at DC.  Don't know that that is a site enhancement, but it's been a welcome relief from most of the forae I've attended.

So, by and large, I just cannot see the complaint about the site not being updated.  It's updated daily with some of the most helpful people you're likely to find, it has expanded significantly from its original founding, and it's one of the most helpful friendly sites my experience has encountered.

One last thing ... there's a lot of "the big I" in this post.  That's because I'm describing personal experience and opinion, neither of which should be attributed to other members.
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lotusrootstarch
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« Reply #66 on: February 28, 2011, 06:11:19 PM »

Well Target, if you see nothing wrong with the status quo then there's no point discussing the issues.

This particular discussion hasn't exactly been a welcome diversion or come at a particularly good time.

Don't you feel the resistance to constructive criticism?


I totally understand the worries and the desire for me to not bring these issues during this particular time, and to have this thread "calm down" asap, as such Target I suggest you to spend more time on the fund-raiser and not here. PDFTT as a few here would often say. Wink

As I said, I could be wrong all along... let's be patient and see how the fundraiser goes.
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mouser
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« Reply #67 on: February 28, 2011, 06:38:50 PM »

Actually I'm very happy to have this discussion during the fundraiser, i just need to clear it out from my mind while i'm trying to organize a few things for the start of the fundraiser so i don't get bogged down in it while i'm supposed to be writing the newsletter, etc.
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Target
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« Reply #68 on: February 28, 2011, 06:43:46 PM »

Well Target, if you see nothing wrong with the status quo then there's no point discussing the issues.

This particular discussion hasn't exactly been a welcome diversion or come at a particularly good time.

Don't you feel the resistance to constructive criticism?


I totally understand the worries and the desire for me to not bring these issues during this particular time, and to have this thread "calm down" asap, as such Target I suggest you to spend more time on the fund-raiser and not here. PDFTT as a few here would often say. Wink

As I said, I could be wrong all along... let's be patient and see how the fundraiser goes.

see, I tried a different tack here and clearly asked you to change the way I see things but again you have answered with obfuscation and condescension

Despite numerous requests from numerous people to clearly state your case still refuse to do so - clearly your interests here aren't at all what you claim them to be  

meh, some people just can't be helped...
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lotusrootstarch
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« Reply #69 on: February 28, 2011, 06:49:39 PM »

mate my case is awfully clear throughout the thread, if you cant see my points now then I'm really not sure what I can do about it. To me u guys seems to be nailing on this username/identity issue lol, to me such diversion tactics only add to the confusion and serve no one any good.
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timns
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« Reply #70 on: February 28, 2011, 06:53:58 PM »

Quote from: lotusblossom
Why don't we start by compiling such a list, let's say,by Day 2? Or a tangible action plan to improve the site (excluding software/site maintenance)? Or a list of new major apps (> 2000 downloads) that have been released since the last fundraiser, etc.?

This harks back to another recent thread about making more of the software that is available, and I believe app103 will be working on this as part of the fundraiser. It gets a hearty +1 from me since I would love to see a page where one can see just how much software is available on this site by now. At the moment I think the landing page of DC is still hiding too much of its light under a bushel.  Cool
« Last Edit: February 28, 2011, 06:56:11 PM by timns; Reason: Incompetent poster :) » Logged

lotusrootstarch
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« Reply #71 on: February 28, 2011, 07:10:28 PM »

Quote from: lotusblossom
Why don't we start by compiling such a list, let's say,by Day 2? Or a tangible action plan to improve the site (excluding software/site maintenance)? Or a list of new major apps (> 2000 downloads) that have been released since the last fundraiser, etc.?

This harks back to another recent thread about making more of the software that is available, and I believe app103 will be working on this as part of the fundraiser. It gets a hearty +1 from me since I would love to see a page where one can see just how much software is available on this site by now. At the moment I think the landing page of DC is still hiding too much of its light under a bushel.  Cool

Worth a shot. +1 from me as well.
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wraith808
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« Reply #72 on: February 28, 2011, 08:54:25 PM »

mate my case is awfully clear throughout the thread, if you cant see my points now then I'm really not sure what I can do about it. To me u guys seems to be nailing on this username/identity issue lol, to me such diversion tactics only add to the confusion and serve no one any good.

Actually, to many of us it's clear as mud.  And those people you seem to brush off/ignore, as if we're not worth your time?  Perhaps that's not the case, but it sure feels like it, especially when the only replies to any of my queries has been to say how wrong I am about where you're coming from in regards to your contribution, even though I never really called it into question.
* wraith808 shrugs
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AndyM
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« Reply #73 on: February 28, 2011, 08:58:14 PM »

Don't you feel the resistance to constructive criticism?
Resistance, no.  Response, yes.  Isn't that what you want from "constructive" criticism?

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phitsc
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« Reply #74 on: March 01, 2011, 04:30:43 PM »

I am no long time DC member. I was not there when the site was started. I have no idea, what the initial goal or strategy was with the site nor do I know if there is one other than being a home for mouser's (and a few other's) software and the DC community mainly in the form of the forum. To be honest, that was never an important question for me and it isn't now really.

Nevertheless, I think I can see the point lotusrootstarch is trying to make. Let me be clear: Neither am I not happy with what DC is and does for me today, nor am I an expert concerning web site design or technologies. The following are just observations and ideas.

- On web sites like lifehacker, engadget, daily newspapers etc. the front page constantly changes. On DC's front page, the only thing halfway dynamic seems to be a narrow strip on the left with mostly updates of mouser's software. Why not integrate the blog into the front page? Why not integrate the latest forum activity into the front page? Use the front page to aggregate the most important, most recent additions to the site.

- Concerning software, as lotusrootstarch pointed out, DC seems to be primarily a home for mouser's software. And if this is what mouser wants, I think that is perfectly fine. But: the word 'donationcoder' could imply that it is more. E.g. it could server as a home for software developers wanting to provide their software as donationware, kind of like a open source project hosting web site for donationware. The web site would offer the required infrastructure, the donation system, forums, etc.. The software would attract the visitors.

- Everyone here seems to agree that large reviews are difficult to make and time consuming. They also get out of date quickly. Yet, they still have some value. But, why are these old reviews at the top of the Reviews page? If the mini-reviews have passed the big ones in importance, why not make the mini-reviews page better accessible? Why not integrate the latest mini-reviews into the front page as well?

- Maybe some people could be tempted to write a mini-review if they were 'paid'. Something like: every mini-review is rewarded with 10 donation-credits. Or, add a rating system for the reviews, and pay donation-credits according to how well they get rated by users.

- Maybe some people could be tempted to write a mini-review if it was easier for them to write one. E.g. if there was a template that would show what is required or expected from a mini-review. Maybe compile a list of stuff that users would like to have reviewed and let users cast votes. (Sorry, if such a list already exists Wink )

Obviously, the list of possible changes to the site, or new undertakings for the community could go on and on. The questions that need to be answered first: does mouser actually want such changes (it's his domain after all)? does the community want such changes (it's their site after all)? how important is it really to substantially grow the community? If change is wanted, ideas like the above should be discussed and questions such as the following answered: where does the site want to go? what is technically feasible? how can it be financed? does relying on donations alone make sense? how can the workload on mouser be reduced? etc.. If everyone is ok with the status quo (and I am), just clearly state as much so that lotusrootstarch can stop complaining.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2011, 04:33:23 PM by phitsc » Logged

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