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Posted by gian [send private reply] at March 03, 2003, 02:27:18 AM Having been looking around the YPN site a little more as of late and remembering the way TPU was at one stage of its life, I'm wondering if it isn't a good idea to bring back thing like the "Philosophy" and other more specific sorts of boards. I feel that as an organization we have trouble maintaining members and that those who have no questions to ask have no reason to stay.
Whilst these sorts of forums undoubtably invite entirely irrelivant discussion, I feel that it does fit into the scope of our goals, which remember is to allow for socialization and communication.
I think we've established that there are problems with #tpu and I think this might be a way to help build more of a community atmosphere rather than a teen-centric "Experts Exchange" type site.
Whilst initially activity in these forums might be minimal, I think that even their very existence may help bring a slightly more relaxed, informal image to TPU, which I think would be a really good thing.
At present the "General" message board seems to be restricted to computer-related but not programming-related items.
Posted by Psion [send private reply] at March 03, 2003, 08:59:03 AM I'm against any plan that involves web message fora as a main feature of TPU. I'm planning to do a major revamp of TPU this summer, and it may (and I hope it does) scare off any people who would just want to hang around on message boards.
Posted by CViper [send private reply] at March 03, 2003, 10:09:44 AM What's wrong with message boards? IMHO it's a convenient way of communicating - for instance, people can answere stuff even if they aren't online at the same time.
I don't mind irc-chat, but idle'ing at one/two channels already takes too much time :/
Posted by regretfuldaydreamer [send private reply] at March 03, 2003, 10:58:52 AM I hate message boards that have 50 different areas. I think one "off-topic" board would be good. This place isn't extremly active, therefore I think an off-topic board may encourage more people to stay. I remember it was about a month or two after I discovered TPU before I started using the IRC channel.
Posted by ItinitI [send private reply] at March 03, 2003, 11:39:27 AM Yeah, Gian has my vote.
Ugh, yeah, if you kill the BBS then you will kill TPU. You most likely have something in mind to replace the BBS, but if not...what is left of TPU without BBS?
But, like rdd said...BBS' with many areas and few members are quite absurd. Howbeit, I think 1/2 new forums could potentialy be suitable.
Posted by gian [send private reply] at March 03, 2003, 02:06:17 PM Psion, what on earth did you have in mind instead?
Posted by DavidS [send private reply] at March 03, 2003, 03:01:06 PM If you want to chat, use the chatroom. If you have a specific and well thought out question use an IG Mailing List.
Messageboards are tremendously inefficient and a waste of bandwidth at somebody else's expense.
Sure, a relaxed, hip, coffee-shop atmosphere at tpu.org will draw a lot of members, but what benefit is that to TPU?
That just means more bandwidth being given to idle-chatter that could just as easily be spent on an IRC server, AIM\ICQ, or E-mail.
What would kick ass is have people come into TPU and say "Hey, you guys like this kinda stuff, look at this cool thing I'm working on! But i'm stuck on X Y and Z, any ideas?" like you would have in most enthusiast clubs.
I think a way to stimulate this kind of behavior might be a sort of quarterly exhibition. Once a quarter let members upload the binaries and source of what they have been working on, maybe with a few screenshots and then devote some webspace to let them explain how it works and what they like and don't like about it.
Then use a messageboards in such a way as to discuss things about a certain exhibition but not give the impression it is to be used as a general chat area.
Posted by ItinitI [send private reply] at March 03, 2003, 03:06:57 PM Who are you? I never sawed you here before?
Posted by regretfuldaydreamer [send private reply] at March 03, 2003, 05:12:20 PM He is optikal and a Tpu server contributor (hint-hint: I would like an @tpu.org email address if at all possible).
DavidS's idea is good idea (About the quaterly exhibit - though have rules that all pages must follow a standard format - so people won't waste time on making their presentation fancy (I hate fancy web design with little content.)
However, I still think we need a general chat area, where people won't be frowned upon if they talk about off topic things (unless they talk too much in general, and don't make enough useful contributions to the "I need help" section - which I should probably contribute more too). This message board will never replace IRC, obviously.
Posted by Psion [send private reply] at March 03, 2003, 05:30:40 PM A few things:
General is used for off-topic things already.
As I've said many times before, there were no web forums during TPU's most successful period. I would not say that TPU is successful now, so there's no reason to try to maintain the status quo.
I've already discussed this elsewhere, but I want to do a few things with TPU. I want to have a document for young people new to programming, discussing any conceivable thing they would want to know when starting out, restricted to the (age <= 18) group. (Examples would be preparing for higher education and careers, starting high school programming clubs, etc., along with mundane advice on choosing languages and tutorials.) I think it could be nice to try the "learning group" idea again in a different form, based around weekly IRC meetings/Q&A sessions for those groups.
I also like DavidS's idea. I've thought about similar ideas before. If we could make it work, I think it would really enliven TPU. The big problem that I see now is people who declare a casual interest in programming, but aren't motivated to learn and create things, yet hang around anyway for general chit-chat. I think "exhibitions" could give people clearer goals while scaring away those who don't really want to code anything serious and providing various educational opportunities in a way that doesn't feel anything like "school."
Also, as I already said elsewhere, I have grand plans for creating a formal nonprofit Internet hosting organization, oriented around a community where the members decide on details and work on projects together. (As opposed to the usual model of separate "customers" being waited on by separate "staff.") Within this I would like to see the natural extension of TPU to all age ranges, a community site for all hobbyist programmers. I don't think I'll have the time to work on this seriously until the summer. When I do, rdd getting an @tpu.org address should hopefully not be the most exciting thing. ;-)
Posted by regretfuldaydreamer [send private reply] at March 03, 2003, 05:51:50 PM 1. /me sarcastically says damn. I guess I'll just have to do without it. Although I think it'd be sorta useful promoting the site, 'cause people then will ask why Im not using hotmail. Anyway, 'tis irrelevant.
About the ehibitions, Smerdyakov brought up a good point, we really don't have anything to work towards here. At the moment I tend to go through monthly cycles, I'll read for a week on 1 language, I'll code for a week on something totally different for another week, and then I'll do sweet FA for a fortnight. I think a place where we can set down our aims for a month/quarter, and then write a report at the end of it (report is the wrong word, it implies school projects, someone please replace it with a better, less scary word) on what exactly we've learnt/done (Not a 50 page report, more like a paragraph or two) and then we ask each other questions.
However, I can tell you now that based on past experience unless something strange happens, this will possibly not be implemented (well, it probably will actually) and almost certainly wont be a sucess.
Before someone wastes any time implementing these ideas, we should agree exactly how we're going to make this work.
Posted by CodeRed [send private reply] at March 03, 2003, 06:57:18 PM "At present the "General" message board seems to be restricted to computer-related but not programming-related items"
What is your point? Programming has it's own board, what are we supposed to talk about in the general board, poetry and knitting? I think everything is fine as it is, three boards are perfect, any more will give the illusion of less activity. Oh, and I hate IRC so don't even mention #tpu
Posted by CodeRed [send private reply] at March 03, 2003, 07:14:09 PM "Messageboards are tremendously inefficient and a waste of bandwidth at somebody else's expense.
Sure, a relaxed, hip, coffee-shop atmosphere at tpu.org will draw a lot of members, but what benefit is that to TPU?
That just means more bandwidth being given to idle-chatter that could just as easily be spent on an IRC server, AIM\ICQ, or E-mail"
If this "organization" was run primarily through IRC AIM ICQ or E-Mail I would have never become a member here (shut up, no wise ass remarks). Also, "idle chitter chatter" (AKA ACTIVITY) is what keeps message boards alive. If there is no activity here, I would only come here when I needed help, which would not even be once a month. And if I only came here once a month, I would not post here as much, reducing the amount of activity. As soon as people stop posting it turns into a cascade effect where people stop coming as often as they used to, further reducing the activity. I have seen many message boards die, and many thrive, for instance the two competitors mods4me and forumoc. ForumOC had a database problem and went down for like 2 months, a FOC member had just created a new board called mods4me and had access to the email address of every member of FOC. He emailed every one of us inviting us to use his board, M4M, until FOC came back. Well it thrived for about 2 months, but as soon as FOC came back it dried up. There were still some loyal members, but the activity there has gone downhill in a chain reaction since then, and now it is practically dead.
Psion: Why don't you think TPU is successful? I consider TPU to be a valuable resource. As soon as I have a programming related problem guess where I go, not my textbook, not google, and not gamedev, I go here, because I have recieved a lot of help here in the past. There are a lot of very intelligent and helpful "regulars" here, and they are all you need in order to make TPU a success, that is of course if your goal is to help people.
Posted by ItinitI [send private reply] at March 03, 2003, 09:42:01 PM Mmm...yeah...I got in cycles also...Mine seem to be 1.OS' [What I'm currently on], 2.Hacking, 3. Programming, 4. Japanese, and then back to OS' again. Hehe, I never can stay on Programming long enough to get any thing learnt done. (^_^) But, maybe this exhibition thing will be Smerdiyakovian motivation.
Oh, and BTW,
`"Oh, and I hate IRC so don't even mention #tpu"'
(^o^) (^_^) Thumbsup!
Posted by gian [send private reply] at March 04, 2003, 02:22:18 AM "I think a way to stimulate this kind of behavior might be a sort of quarterly exhibition. Once a quarter let members upload the binaries and source of what they have been working on, maybe with a few screenshots and then devote some webspace to let them explain how it works and what they like and don't like about it."
This is entirely contrary to what I tried to set out in my original message... This would be great, I agree, but at present it seems as though 90% of our active users rarely even code anything anymore, so it seems to me that a relaxed hip coffee shop environment which draws more users will allow us to do these sorts of things.
Personally I don't think that we should try and be too elitist about the sorts of people we allow to TPU. I would like to remind the slightly older, more cynical types here that everyone has to start somewhere. Attracting people with energy and motivation is more important than bringing in the best teen programmers in the world.
As a side note, DavidS has been out of the loop for a _long_ time... I think we've already shown that these sorts of things really amount to nothing in the long run... Remember Contests? Interest groups? Learning projects? None of these ever came to anything because the active user base here is so small. I think that we can count the number of people who are likely to contribute to some sort of exhibition on one hand.
Posted by Qubit [send private reply] at March 04, 2003, 02:49:34 AM I wish I could placate gian.. but I agree with those in here that think we've got plenty of discussion groups. 3 is enough to keep track of as it is.
I haate watery grits.
Posted by CViper [send private reply] at March 04, 2003, 03:18:16 AM "[...] but at present it seems as though 90% of our active users rarely even code anything anymore [...]"
I'm working on a programming project (almost) daily :)
And as CodeRed said, I don't see why the current TPU is a failure; as he said, I think it's a good resource. Killing the forums would probably make me leave aswell, unless there is a good alternative - and currently I do not consider IRC an alternative to forums. And in my experiences IRC results in much more random chatter that any forums.
So, could anyone explain why TPU isn't successful?
Posted by gian [send private reply] at March 04, 2003, 03:23:06 AM "I'm working on a programming project (almost) daily :)"
Congratulations, you must be the 1 of about 2 :-)
I was not exactly being realistic, but I stand by the fact that there are many things we could do to liven this place up a bit.
Posted by Psion [send private reply] at March 04, 2003, 09:00:01 AM Why TPU isn't successful: Because of the small number of people here who have created anything they're proud of, and the small number who have developed their programming skills significantly. I can't say I can give exact reasons, but the main thing is this: When I joined TPU, there were a lot of us working on lots of things, and I know it motivated me to become a programming expert. I don't think we have that environment now, and I think we should try to get it back. I want TPU to be set up so that someone new to programming can show up, read about how to get started, lurk for a while, and then jump into a vibrant community that supports dedicating time to creating software and coming out the better for it.
... and I know there are lots of people in the age range who have visited the TPU web site or IRC channel and left because it doesn't do that. With some more machinery in place, the views and predilections of the people here now would not need to be limitations in what can be done.
So, again, I see that these forums work well for people with Q&A as their higher aspirations, but I preferred the old "TPU as codermaking machine" model. =)
Posted by CViper [send private reply] at March 04, 2003, 12:11:29 PM So we basicly need something cool we can show off with?
Posted by regretfuldaydreamer [send private reply] at March 04, 2003, 02:10:44 PM TPU has certainly motivated me.
Posted by ItinitI [send private reply] at March 04, 2003, 03:07:20 PM Mmm, me too. but I'm still learning and am not good yet. (>_<)
Posted by Psion [send private reply] at March 04, 2003, 03:36:36 PM No, CViper, that's not the point. I also don't know if others' ideas of progress in learning match up with mine.
Posted by regretfuldaydreamer [send private reply] at March 04, 2003, 04:48:37 PM Psion, I think you, Gian and anyone else should each write about a paragraph and put it in clear view somewhere, so that people can judge their own progress.
Posted by gian [send private reply] at March 04, 2003, 06:46:11 PM I believe that I've already stated my opinion no less than twice.
Posted by regretfuldaydreamer [send private reply] at March 04, 2003, 06:55:18 PM I meant on a page where all can see it, perhaps next to the Quick Start Guides.
Posted by mop [send private reply] at March 04, 2003, 08:25:11 PM If there was no forum, then people who just stuck around for the forum and social/non teen programming part wouldn't exist,
There should be an official website to represent TPU with the goals and some accomplishments of the members.
All that the forum mainly serves as is a place for people to google for, find, post their homework, and leave.
Posted by DragonWolf [send private reply] at March 05, 2003, 05:50:10 AM Have to admit I've not asked a programming related question in here (or answered one) for a long long time (Since I stopped programming as a hobbyist programmer).
I would like to see TPU more geared towards asking and answering programming questions, but (as most people seem to be saying) I think its very good having the online community too.
Posted by regretfuldaydreamer [send private reply] at March 05, 2003, 02:15:13 PM Increasing the flow of wuestions may help, only there is few asked about anything other than perl here. We need more newbies.
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