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Getting something done...

Posted by Neumann [send private reply] at August 29, 2002, 09:21:00 PM

I'm willing to hear suggestion of all of you about how we could bring TPU alive. I'm not that sure Learning Groups are such a good things because people associate them with school and that's not something very interresting to most people.

Self-brainstorming (random ideas):
Group projects
More forums
More advertisment to bring people here
Content (less links, more stuff)
Follow a movement (ex: GNU project)

Posted by mop [send private reply] at August 29, 2002, 11:10:15 PM

Well, I think a big problem is just finding this place.

It took me a day of sifting through google catagories to accidently find it.

Maybe if we pulled a huge publicity stunt like egging microsoft..

Posted by buzgub [send private reply] at August 29, 2002, 11:38:21 PM

I think I found it through a paid-for google ad, so such things are at least moderately useful.

Posted by mop [send private reply] at August 30, 2002, 12:19:00 AM

yes but would that require, whatsit called? mah-ney?

Posted by RedX [send private reply] at August 30, 2002, 06:46:33 AM

Perhaps M$ could sponsor? Then again that would require to place a warning at the front page "by entering this site you agree that your soul become property of Bill Gates AKA Bill Thed Evil)

Perhaps if we would bring together a complete collection of tutorials on starting with programming and make a lot of noise about it. That way the site would attract and hold the attention of many starters. If we could keep them long enough they become <spooky voice> one of us </spooky voice>

Or we could tell them that senior members who are considered worthy are told the secret on programming quake 15-like games in 5 minutes.

Posted by Patd [send private reply] at August 30, 2002, 09:03:14 AM

I'd have to agree with the locating issue. I found tpu like an hour ago and for the life of me I can't even remember how. just a huge fluke it was.

Posted by mop [send private reply] at August 30, 2002, 09:08:23 AM

At least it keeps out the riffraff of the internet.

Yes this place would be nice with more active topics, but once theres more people, theres more flamers and spammers per person.

Its good now, if people want to find it, they do, and the number of us who truly use this place will grow.

Why tamper with a great thing?

Posted by Psion [send private reply] at August 30, 2002, 09:15:34 AM

We could change "Learning Groups" to "Interest Groups," but I think they should definitely have some information sitting on the web to help people get started learning the topic in such a way that there will be resources available to help them along the way. The whole thing with "exercises" pops up because we get A LOT of posts on the web boards here with people saying "tell me what to program now to increase my abilities in ___!!". The complicated structure of following a tutorial's layout might be a bad idea. Perhaps just a list of programs to attempt in order of difficulty with summaries of skills needed to write them would be superior. When it comes to the TPU web site, I'm always for simpler things where possible!

Group projects:
I think past experience has shown that offering a huge infrastructure to help organize these only makes it easier for people with no intention of doing anything to go through the motions of starting a "project." We should just provide communication channels for people to find others who want to work with them, and a place to post links to project pages they create. We _could_ decide to offer web hosting with tpu.org subdomains to people who can prove they actually have some work done on a project, however. =)

More forums:
I think we have just plenty right now. It would just make it harder to read things with more.

More advertising:
TPU actually has great visibility on Google, without having to pay anything. First result for "teen programmers," and 8th result (that's still on the first page of results) for "programmers." That said, there's room for plenty more very beneficial advertising, but first we need more "sticky" things to keep new visitors here.

TPU has never been about content, but it _has_ been wildly successful in the past with a focus on communication.

Follow a movement:
I don't quite follow this idea. The example you gave sounds like a bad idea, though, whatever "follow" may mean. =)

Posted by regretfuldaydreamer [send private reply] at August 30, 2002, 10:50:01 AM

Hmmm, I say if we start making a big fuss about the word hacker, start a campaign to get the word hacker properly used again, and then when alll of us in our different countries write to our newspapers, tell themto go to here as an example of a community of hackers working together for good instead of bad, it might just work.

Posted by mop [send private reply] at August 30, 2002, 11:54:38 AM

Or find something to protest.
I want to die under tank, not alone infront of my computer!

on second though, protesting for publicity doesn't sound that morally good. However, I've always wanted to stick it to the whole RIAA, DMCA, MPAA thing.

Posted by Psion [send private reply] at August 30, 2002, 11:56:37 AM

rd, I think that's completely unrelated to the long-standing goals of TPU and would just give people a chance to waste their time doing something that helps nobody.

Posted by unknown_lamer [send private reply] at August 30, 2002, 05:41:01 PM

Let's replace devlocus with a wiki and let all hell break loose!

Maybe changing the default color scheme to something that doesn't look like ass would help (ok, it looks fine on my Debian box, but on OS X with proper gamma, the color of links makes me want to puke). I think the old blue color scheme was great...(sorry about this completely unrelated to the subject rant)

I think renaming Learning Groups to Interest Groups would be better, since that is what they really should be anyway.

Providing the ability for members of tpu to coordinate projects would be nifty. Not in the way savannah and soureforge do it though...think about something like the Help Wanted feature of sourceforge for teenaged programmers (until you go on to work on "real" projects) and a mailing list or message board set up for the project. Or maybe just scrap this whole idea, it really isn't that great...

I think a better idea would be to install something like wiki and let people post their random bits of wisdom on how to do things like install signal handlers so that TPU could have a knowledge base of sorts (e.g. linuxgazette has a database of every question that has been answered in the "answer gang" section). The faq section could be used for the most frequently asked questions, and the general knowledge source could be used for everything else and just "hey, I figured out how to do this!" type of things that might be useful to other people.

Posted by regretfuldaydreamer [send private reply] at August 30, 2002, 06:03:01 PM

Yeah, I suppose, but I never stop hearing of complaints of the misuse of the word Hacker. There just might be a chance it'd help the hacking community to be better understood, and at the same time giving this site a bit of publicity. I found this site after about a wek of sifting through the google directories, and it has now been removed completely from the directories as far as I can see. And since when did it occur to anyone to search Google for "teen programmers"

Posted by buzgub [send private reply] at August 30, 2002, 08:20:44 PM

We could just create a "random interesting things" section of the FAQ.

Psion's suggestion about changing the style of the learning groups so that it's more a list of steadily more difficult projects sounds good to me. It would allow people (like me) to hop in at an interesting project, and would make setting them up easier - the less rigid order would make it plausible for everyone to just throw ideas into the pot. As far as projects, if anyone who isn't a one-shot-wonder puts up a post suggesting a project that interests me and asking for assistance, I'd probably be inclined to lend a hand.

I'll just say that I agree with Psion, and leave it at that.

Posted by Neumann [send private reply] at August 30, 2002, 09:06:53 PM

Congrats to unknown_lamer on posting a NEW idea instead of discussing what I first posted. I like his idea of installing a wiki. On the other hand, making a more dynamic FAQ system could also do the same job.

Now, let's go back to my ideas:

Group projects:
There is no need to provide a huge infrastucture to support projects. SourceForge and Savannah provides everything anybody would need. But TPU could support a limited number of projects where everybody would be invited to contribute without having him to officially join. Carefully choosen projects could replace exercices in the Learning Groups. That way, LG's 'students' would feel that they contribute to something half usefull instead of making programs that output 'hello world'.

More forums:
I wrote that because I think forums are the most popular feature of that site. Of course, if you really want to read each and every post of this site, adding more forums would take lot of time. But I don't think adding many more forums would make them more active... Let's put that idea aside.

More advertising:
I still believe we need more. I don't know HOW we would do it...<

Content = More work for people who wants to contribute and nobody wants that.

'follow' a movement:
Forget that. I can't express this idea in english and I not sure how we could do that.

For people who may ask why themselves why am I putting aside my ideas have forgot what was the point behind brainstorming. So I'm inviting forums readers to post their ideas even their apparently make no sense. They will be discussed and flamed later, perhaps during a IRC meeting?

PS: This is the first time I post something that long on this forum. Some phrase may make no sense because I often use french phrase construct at some place... Sorry!

Posted by Neumann [send private reply] at August 30, 2002, 09:11:43 PM

BTW, I'm going off line for 1 week or 2. I'll try to follow this thread from work or anywhere else. I know you'll all miss me alot so don't waste bandwidth to post it.

Posted by mop [send private reply] at August 30, 2002, 10:12:11 PM

I'm missing you already

Posted by 142857 [send private reply] at August 31, 2002, 11:52:55 PM

if TPU wants more advertising, have you ever considered ads on the site? as in, ads from outside? you only need a few here and there. i assume that TPU gets lots of hits.

managing the money would be difficult; well, actually, i don't really know enough about the TPU administration (is there a single owner?) to fully describe this part. but use the money from the ads and store it somewhere and use it for paid advertising for this site.

this is just a suggestion--it might be a bad idea to bring more traffic to TPU, or maybe people won't like ads.

Posted by gian [send private reply] at September 01, 2002, 06:00:24 AM

Yes, there can be considered to be a single owner of TPU, but money is not a huge problem, as TPU's finances are provided by a group of volunteers (most of which you will find on #tpu).

Posted by RedX [send private reply] at September 01, 2002, 07:18:00 AM

I don't think sensible ads are a problem for most people. (this means ads that: don't open new pop-ups when you close it, don't put an animation over the page that can't be closed, don't open 5 pop-ups that are set so big you can't click on the X to close it, aren't full-screen pop-ups that jump to the background the milisecond you try to click the X to close it and cause you to close the page U were trying to open.)
But the advertisement goldmine was closed several years ago. If you want to make some money with ads, you'll need a site with lots of traffic and people willing to click the ad.

Posted by buzgub [send private reply] at September 01, 2002, 07:32:00 AM

As far as I know, money is not tight enough at the moment that any ads at all will be considered by the people paying.

Posted by Psion [send private reply] at September 01, 2002, 08:39:18 AM

Any ads will be from other places to here. We're completely volunteer supported, as we always have been and always will be, because the costs of running something like this are phenomenally low today.

And as I've said, those can wait until we have things to inspire new visitors to stay.

Posted by regretfuldaydreamer [send private reply] at September 01, 2002, 08:50:01 AM

I've no problem with banner ads at tthe top of a webpage, and two smaller ones in the nav bar, but once they get beyond that, it starts looking to commercial, and not enough content.

I'm starting to reap he benefits of no pop-up ads - I downloaded crazybrowser - Iyt was small as well only 500kb I think

Posted by mop [send private reply] at September 01, 2002, 10:37:47 AM

No ads.
Besides, what would ours even say?

Teen Programmers UNITE! *crazy animation* Click here you obnoxious script kiddie!

It would have to be directed at.. a larger group of people?

Posted by gian [send private reply] at September 02, 2002, 04:34:01 AM

We really don't have need for banner ads on TPU. As I said before, as did Psion, this site's finances are already taken care of by a group of volunteers, who pay the phenomenally low cost to run it.

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