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Re: Thinking strategically

David Lawyer wrote:
> On Thu, Oct 05, 2000 at 12:08:01PM -0600, Kevin Cullis wrote:
> > Hi all,
> >
> > I've been concerned about the way things are going and I would like to
> > add some comments for some feedback as to how things, strategically, can
> > be implemented to help with the LDP direction and to increase the
> > adoption and migration of Linux.  This is in no way a SPAM of LDP,
> > things can only go as far as 24/7 time can provide.
> >
> [snip]
> > -------
> > Issue: HOWTO's and newsgroups diverge the solution process by making it
> > inefficient in finding answers.  Redundancy of answers to problems
> > across the newsgroups and web sites (linux.com, dejanews, linuxcare,
> > etc.) is an inefficient use of Linux users resources.
> >
> > Issue: Because of this inefficiency, people don't want to fool with
> > Linux which reduces the adoption and migration rate of new users.
> >
> > Solution:  Collaboration of either "merging" HOWTOs with newsgroups
> > "style" updates or using (maybe, but I'm not a technologist) an XML type
> > of data sharing between HOWTOs and newsgroups "updates."
> What we need is more authors (and possibly co-authors) so they can
> spend more time with newsgroups.  In some cases the conclusions
> reached from newsgroup discussions need to be incorporated into a
> howto.  Perhaps at the end of a discussion when a solution is found,
> the final summary (if there is one or the last few posts if there
> isn't) should be sent to the HOWTO maintainer.  This almost never
> happens.

While I might agree that we might need more co-authors, but that's only
looking are part of the problem. If a system were designed whereby it
takes less time/energy to do the same thing, why not try a new system? 
While I agree that more people makes the load light, but if you improve
the system so that it takes less work, then more can get done.

> The discussions may contain incorrect info., incomplete descriptions
> of the problem, etc.  Furthermore to find out the outcome of a thread
> one may need to spend a lot of time reading it, while a final
> statement of what all the entire thread said would be much better.
> But who's going to do this?  It's a lot of effort and requires good
> knowledge of the topic.  In some cases someone asks a question in a

Again, if there was a way of making the answers less difficult to
determine and answer, then that's an improvement.  By designing a system
to narrow things down, you'll spend less time figuring things out and
more time fixing things.  Again, most may not want to agree to a new and
"more" complex system, but then again, we've not tried.

> newsgroup but no one posts an answer.  Yet a search engine will find
> this which is of no help except to make you feel better knowing that
> someone else asked the same question you did but also couldn't get an
> answer.
> So discussions contain a lot of "noise" which needs to be filtered out.
> But who is going to do this?  Possibly HOWTO authors if the had the
> time.  Also, if a HOWTO author notices that someone is posting good
> answers to a newsgroup, they might invite that person to become a
> HOWTO author.

Again, true.  But to encourage new blood into the group, we need to show
that there is a benefit to involvement, both to the contributor AND the
community.  Making things easier is just one step in that direction.

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fn:Kevin Cullis