I've been thinking about ways to foster even more communication between community members, enterprise subscribers, and Zenossians here in the forums.
Along those lines I was thinking a slight modification to the discussion topics would help in this manner.
In my experience people post into the forums for the following reasons:
This is what I'm proposing, and I'm looking for feedback and suggestions:
My thought is that with meaningful subject lines like the following:
...the discussions would become more focused and easier to track those of most interest to you.
What do you think?
Director, Zenoss Customer Support
Zenoss, Inc. | 275 West St., Ste. 204 | Annapolis, MD 21401, USA
Office: +1 443-837-2596
I like that idea one thing I like to do is visit the forums and have one place to read about what people are doing. I could read the How Do I? forum to get ideas on what to use Zenoss for.
I love this idea... how about one more category...
4. Show and Tell - How are you using zenoss?
It never ceases to amaze me how many different and creative ways people implement Zenoss.
This is a good/nice idea, but how would the 'geek speak' be differentiated from the other two? Would it be the discretion of the reporter to consider their query an advanced(geek speak) one or simple one (how do i) eg. a user who want to know how to modify his custom code that handles db, perfoms complex event management and adds new schemas etc.
excellent point - something I had not considered enough.
I was envisioning
"how do I"
"Geek Speak" (for advanced users)
but clearly this is a valid point and there's gray area in-between. In most cases I think questions would land in the right category.
These are great Rusty .
I would also suggest that there should be some interface also where Zenoss users can share there session and get helps easily who ever is online in the community.
And on zenoss can a feature be added to directly open a forum ticket with all the logs attached .
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While this won't help people who use Linux as their desktop station, something like join.me might serve this need. They can show their desktop (with say, putty windows and firefox open) to up to 250 users at once, and all can chat or phone conference - and you don't have to give any remote control, but people could say click there etc. And it's free.
For the original question, I'm not sure I like the change suggestion.
1) I'm not sure that a "How do I *?" isn't going to turn into a "Custom coding help" very quickly. Where moderators on other forums move threads to correspond with categories like that it's a pain IMO, where users are expected to close and start new threads in the correct place almost never happens.
2) I prefer seeing all threads in one place and using my e-mail client or the forum software for filtering. See DSLreports for an example where they provide a radio button to select a category for a post, that would then go in the subject for easy search / filtering. This way I won't miss a thread I could help on because I'm not looking at that sub forum.
3) It somewhat serves to fragment the community - I already see what I think is places where a thread is correctly placed in Zenoss Windows and gets almost no responses, but the same question posted more naively in Zenoss Users gets 10 or more responses and an answer.
Information Technology Area Supervisor
LEPP Computer Group
As always, great feedback. Here are my thoughts on this: (again, this is my opinion - Im not trying to argue for one way or the other - but open the dialog)
1. certainly the possibility exists that there would be overlap between usability questions (the topic of the discussion) and custom coding questions. I think most of our users are familiar enough with forum etiquette that a simple reminder and clear statement of purpose of the topic would minimize the incorrect posts.
2. this is an interesting point and breaks down one of two ways: a reader wants just one forum, a reader wants topical forums. there's no way to do both so usually a segment of the audience is not 100% happy in this regard. The happy medium to me would be a minimum number of focused topics. Doesn't our forum system allow you to subscribe to both email and RSS feeds of each topic - so you could still aggregate them in one way or another?
as for the single forum theory - it works very well when *meaningful* subject linkes are used (which is mostly the case in zenoss-users).
3. certainly fragmentation is now what we want. In this case - I think the reason that you see windows questions not getting answered is because there are 2 possible places to post. so the key in having multiple topics is to minimze the gray areas between them and make it very obvious where a post should go.
Thanks everyone for the comments so far - again - this is just dialog at this point to get a feel for what/how people use the forums - no changes are being made at this time.