[Solved] Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

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[Solved] Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby RGB » Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:05 pm

Today I asked on the AOO mailing lists about adding a link to the forums on the incubator page. I got this answer from Rob Weir:
I can update the podling status file to include info on the phpBB forums.

Would it be possible for you, or some other forum volunteer, to draft
a blog post on the forums, something that explains for an observer
what they are and how to get involved? Many more people read the
blog than read our podling status file.


My English level is between "Spaghetti English" and a well cooked "paella" so, can any native English speaker help me with this?
Thanks!
Last edited by RGB on Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby orcmid » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:04 pm

RGB wrote:Today I asked on the AOO mailing lists about adding a link to the forums on the incubator page. I got this answer from Rob Weir:
I can update the podling status file to include info on the phpBB forums.

Would it be possible for you, or some other forum volunteer, to draft
a blog post on the forums, something that explains for an observer
what they are and how to get involved? Many more people read the
blog than read our podling status file.


My English level is between "Spaghetti English" and a well cooked "paella" so, can any native English speaker help me with this?
Thanks!


I'm one of the blog editors/authors already. I was thinking about this too. Why don't we work on something together, here, and then I'll put something into the blog post queue?
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby Hagar Delest » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:12 pm

Well, that's rather simple. A forum is a place to get help. To get involved, just register and participate...
What's so complicated with that? Everyone knows what a forum is.

What's the plan with the blog entry exactly? Is it to delay the creation of the link to the forum (waiting for the blog entry first)?
What's behind his mind? Feed the blog with small talks about the forum?

I'm feeling more and more like Terry. I truly think that there is a hidden agenda to kill the forum and/or the Volunteers team.
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby orcmid » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:20 pm

Hagar Delest wrote:Well, that's rather simple. A forum is a place to get help. To get involved, just register and participate...
What's so complicated with that? Everyone knows what a forum is.

What's the plan with the blog entry exactly? Is it to delay the creation of the link to the forum (waiting for the blog entry first)?
What's behind his mind? Feed the blog with small talks about the forum?

I'm feeling more and more like Terry. I truly think that there is a hidden agenda to kill the forum and/or the Volunteers team.


Good point. The link should go up regardless. That is easy to do.

But Rob's point is also important. The Incubator Status page has very low readership and is not well-maintained. It is important to have it there, with a link, as an accomplishment of incubation, but it is not a good way to let people know there is this resource now available and being preserved.

The blog receives an amazing amount of traffic considering the limited posting that happens on it. The post there is more visible evidence of movement. It is not about folks who already know about it, but it might find more visitors for you. Rob has been encouraging blog posts wherever he can, though finding takers to write them has not been successful so far. (There are a few more committers who have raised their hands to write a couple just recently.)

I'm going to put up a reply on ooo-dev that RGB.ES and I and others here are drafting something and we'll have it in the queue by Monday.
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby orcmid » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:44 pm

orcmid wrote:The blog receives an amazing amount of traffic considering the limited posting that happens on it. The post there is more visible evidence of movement. It is not about folks who already know about it, but it might find more visitors for you. Rob has been encouraging blog posts wherever he can, though finding takers to write them has not been successful so far. (There are a few more committers who have raised their hands to write a couple just recently.)

I'm going to put up a reply on ooo-dev that RGB.ES and I and others here are drafting something and we'll have it in the queue by Monday.


OK, I did that in reply to RGB's latest message on that thread. I should have said "I and RGB and other forum mavens ... " since I'm not in the forum-maven category. Too minor to fix.

I'm taking a break right now (early Saturday afternoon here). I'll be back in a few hours to give this more consideration and leave it overnight for your morning consideration. I'll blend in anything from RGB that may be put up before I try my hand.

[Another way to practice this would be on the OOOUSER Wiki. I'm happy working up an "announcement" about migration of the forums in either place, then putting it on the blog. Your call.]

@Hagar. Please dial-back your threat detector. I think it is going into feedback.
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby floris v » Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:52 am

As there are so many mailing list users about and lots of them apparently think that forum people like to have mailing list people for breakfast, roasted over a slow fire with hot Chili sauce (hell, I had Roman Catholic neighbours when I lived in the south of my country, and people there thought that the Protestants, more to the north, had totally forsaken God) it's just as well if we can explain that we're friendly, that forums are easier than mailing lists, that you can upload files and graphics there and much more, that we have smilies and avatars and all those useless things that make life bearable, you know. ;)
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby mriosv » Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:42 am

Hagar Delest wrote:I'm feeling more and more like Terry. I truly think that there is a hidden agenda to kill the forum and/or the Volunteers team.
+1

Apache Way, meritocracy, I guess part of this is gain the respect from others.
Instead of a sibylline attitude, I give you if you give me. IMHO if he wants help from forums for (his) the blog, he can come here, and after ask forgiveness, ask for collaboration.
Forgive me if I am misunderstanding the cuestion.
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby vasa1 » Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:02 am

orcmid wrote:...
The blog receives an amazing amount of traffic...


This may add to your burden, but please could you include links, perhaps in a sig? A lot of this Apache talk assumes people know which url is relevant.
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby RoryOF » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:23 am

It is important to stress that the Forum welcomes queries concerned with all derivatives of OpenOffice. Inclusive language rather than exclusive. If orcmid or RGB wish to run a draft by me off list, I'm agreeable. I recollect the old saying that "a camel is a horse designed by a committee", so I'm happy to leave the initial drafting to them.
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby RGB » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:51 am

Items to include (IMO):
1- Because you can't have too much of a good thing, I think that a brief introduction about what forums are will not harm
2- The board is 4 years old and have a huge knowledge database
3- That there are already several NL board available and working
4- We accept every variant of OOo code used by volunteers
Plus, of course, the fact that the board is now on Apache servers.
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby floris v » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:22 am

+1.
Don't forget
5. We have a special forum with frequently viewed tutorials.
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby RGB » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:51 am

Here it is a simple and short "skeleton" I put together (editors needed! Additions welcomed!):

    Since more than four years, the community of users of OOo have a site where users with questions can meet users with answers: the OpenOffice.org Community forums [link to the landing page, were all NL boards are shown]. With tens of thousands registered users, the forums are a vibrant multilingual community that offers an invaluable aid to users, either new and experienced, on ten different languages.

    The forums, thanks to its simple web interface offer an important service to exchange information and follow problems, with simple yet powerful tools to search, attach documents (files that shown a specific problem, for example), cross reference of content, a special section devoted to tutorials, etc..

    Since some days and as part of the OOo project migration to Apache incubator, this important service has been transferred to the Apache foundation servers. For those who already are forum users nothing has changed: the url, log-in process... everything is the same. For those who are not forum users yet, know that the service is available: any question about OOo and derivatives will be welcomed.

BTW, the forums are now listed on the incubator page ;)
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby RGB » Sun Nov 13, 2011 3:18 pm

A second version, thanks to RoryOF for the corrections!

    For over four years, the OOo community has run a site where users with questions can meet users with answers: the OpenOffice.org Community forums [link to the landing page, where all NL boards are shown]. With tens of thousands of registered users and an active team of volunteers, the forums are a vibrant multilingual community offering an invaluable aid to users, new and experienced, in ten different languages.

    The simple web interface of the forums offers an important service to exchange information and follow problems, with simple yet powerful tools to search, attach documents such as files that show a specific problem, cross reference content to similar threads, and a special section devoted to tutorials.

    As part of the OOo project migration to Apache incubator, this important service has been transferred to the Apache foundation servers. For those who already are forum users nothing has changed: the url, log-in process... everything is the same. For those who are not forum users yet, know that the service is available: any question about OOo and derivatives will be welcomed.

    If you have a problem using OpenOffice or any of its derivatives, please consider accessing our forum to search for an existing answer. If you do not find help that way, we welcome your question; there is a brief registration process to prevent spam; this asks for your Operating System details and your OpenOffice version; this information is essential in arriving speedily at a solution.

------------------------

PD:
orcmid wrote:@Hagar. Please dial-back your threat detector. I think it is going into feedback.

I opened this thread on "Forum governance" because this affect forum visibility to others so it is an important "management" task, but Feedback sub-forum is OK also ;)
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby acknak » Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:31 pm

Hey, that looks great--nice work!
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby FJCC » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:16 pm

Would it make sense to translate the post into as many of the NL Forum languages as possible? I know true translation is difficult, but I think we would be looking for merely similar statements.
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby orcmid » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:03 pm

floris v wrote:As there are so many mailing list users about and lots of them apparently think that forum people like to have mailing list people for breakfast, roasted over a slow fire with hot Chili sauce (hell, I had Roman Catholic neighbours when I lived in the south of my country, and people there thought that the Protestants, more to the north, had totally forsaken God) it's just as well if we can explain that we're friendly, that forums are easier than mailing lists, that you can upload files and graphics there and much more, that we have smilies and avatars and all those useless things that make life bearable, you know. ;)

We're confusing too many things. The recommendation for a blog post is a simple matter. This is about reporting, on the Podling blog, that the migration has occured and what that accomplishment means. The blog is ready by many people who may have no idea that there are forums or lists or whatever but may have an interest in how migration is happening. That makes a general post useful. It is also an opportunity to let folks who don't know there are forums have an idea about where they are and a little about what they do.

I see that I should have read farther on this thread, so I will do that before I say more.
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby orcmid » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:11 pm

RGB wrote:PD:
orcmid wrote:@Hagar. Please dial-back your threat detector. I think it is going into feedback.

I opened this thread on "Forum governance" because this affect forum visibility to others so it is an important "management" task, but Feedback sub-forum is OK also ;)


Hmm. By feedback I meant what happens in a room where person's microphone is hearing the person's own words through the loud-speakers and reamplifying that, round and round until what is heard is nothing but an automatic feedback squeal. The metaphor I was thinking of is when our own thoughts are heard louder than what the message says, and the response is to those thoughts, not the simple input.

 Edit: Duhh ... I always come right here and I didn't realize, when I mentioned feedback, that this is a sub-forum of "Site Feedback." (slaps head.) 
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby orcmid » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:43 pm

RGB wrote:A second version, thanks to RoryOF for the corrections!

    For over four years, the OOo community has run a site where users with questions can meet users with answers: the OpenOffice.org Community forums [link to the landing page, where all NL boards are shown]. With tens of thousands of registered users and an active team of volunteers, the forums are a vibrant multilingual community offering an invaluable aid to users, new and experienced, in ten different languages.

    ...


Oh Oh. I made a lengthier reply and it failed somewhere, so I lost it after I pressed Submit. I will try again. (We need to start looking for defects that may be migration-related and post bugs reports and/or list issues on the OOOUSER wiki.)

I think this content can be used, but I would re-order it. It is also too much like a commercial. My suggestions (sketch):

a. The first part is a little about the OO.o migration (for context) and how migration of the Forums has occured, with the OpenOffice.org Community Forums now operating under Apache Hosting.

b. Then I would provide more about the forums and what they provide without so much editorializing (vibrant, invaluable, etc.). This can be done in a more fact-based manner. Statistics are also valuable - number of languages, typical visits per day, number of posts in the archives, number of posters, and the support by a group of volunteers (administrators, moderators, volunteers, and all of the users who offer answers and information to the questions that are raised. Also, the coverage of the forums (what the community is).

c. Then I would mention how the forums are found and also that the migration is a work still-in-progress, but the big step of movement onto Apache infrastructure has occured for the Community Forums, keeping them intact and available.

How does that sound?

 Edit: PS: I have reviewed the full thread this time and I see other useful suggestions about items to be sure to include in the text. 
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A surplus of helpers?

Postby orcmid » Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:03 am

Here's the AOO Podling blog: http://blogs.apache.org/OOo/

I see that Rob Weir has also offered to accept any rough notes and edit them. My preference is to continue the activity here, since it has more involvement of Forum operators and there have been great idea. I will make a draft blog post this evening and bring it back here for review and tweaking. The best way to review might be to add edits directly to a draft. If there is not consensus by end of day Monday, I'll announce a delay on ooo-dev so no one decides they need to step in and rescue us.

The way that the Podling blog works is that the post goes into a submission queue. The practice is to post-date the post by at least 3 days. This allows for editorial review and tweaking of the post in a staging area on the project side. Rob and others can stick their oar in at that point.

-------

When I made the first-ever podling blog post, I had no idea that it was not so spontaneous so I posted immediately. I have not posted since. There is a way to have a personal blog aggregated on an Apache Planet blog site, but I haven't set up my category system to make that work. I am muse-driven, not project-PR-oriented, and the entire process turns me off. It is why I prefer forums and mailing lists and blog comments. I am making an exception from my personal blogging approach because this is a valuable announcement to make.
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Yet another Draft Blog Post

Postby orcmid » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:49 am

I have used a blog editor to create a complete blog post. I have used the ideas of all the preceding material and created a narrative.

I have three concerns:

1. Ensuring that your thoughts and concerns are reflected in a way that pleases you.

2. Simplifying the narrative so that it is readable by non-native-English readers and potentially easy to translate.

3. Having this be an inclusive narrative.

It would be helpful if markup were accomplished on this draft if at all possible. Use of color, strike-outs, and Edit notes would help. I am not clear that everyone here can do that to this post. I will of course read all posts following this one for corrections, suggestions, and -- best of all -- simplifications.

The following was created in a blog-post editor, so there is native HTML. I am going to see what simple copy and past accomplishes. The draft is only on my local machine for now.

----------

OpenOffice.org Migration: The Community Forums

The OpenOffice.org Community Forums have been successfully migrated to operation under the Apache OpenOffice.org podling. Forum operation, location, and resources are intact. For users and the community that has grown the Forums into a valuable resource, it seems nothing changed. It wasn’t so simple. Here’s what it took and what was gained.


Moving complex web properties

The OpenOffice.org web site is a complex structure of services, web pages, and downloadable content. The openoffice.org Internet domain lease is moving as part of the grant from Oracle Corporation to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). Migration of the various properties that constitute the web site onto Apache servers is complicated.

Some services housed under the OpenOffice.org web locations are rather independent. The apparent integration with the overall OpenOffice.org web location is accomplished mainly by splicing the service in with a special Internet sub-domain. That is the case with http://user.services.openoffice.org/ and its ten native-language Community Forums, including http://user.services.openoffice.org/en/forum/ for the English-language Community Forum. There is also commonality of appearance and other features that blend with the OpenOffice.org site.

Community Forums on the move

Cut-over of the Community Forums completed on Friday morning, October 28. There were few disruptions during propagation of the new hosting-site location for access via existing web addresses. A staging server holding the necessary software was tested using dumps of the data from the Oracle-hosted Forum services. Staging preparations started in July. The last dump of the “live Forums” happened on October 27. The Forums data was revived on the Apache staging system and cut over as the new “live Forums,” just like the old Forums. The transplant succeeded.

Adjustments will continue along with remaining migrations of OpenOffice.org web properties and integration into the Apache OpenOffice.org podling operation. Throughout remodeling, the Forums will be alive and well.

Community Forums legacy

The OpenOffice.org Community Forums were launched on November 17, 2007. By September 20, 2011, the English-language Forums have accumulated 200,000 posts, contributed by 45,000 Forum registrants, on 40.000 topics (threads). At any point in time there appear to be 10-20 times as many unregistered users browsing the Forum as registered users present. The most users present at one time was over 350 on October 17, 2011. The thrust is to provide a setting where users with questions can find users with answers or guidance to where they are already asked and either answered or under discussion.

The Spanish and French forums are next in size and activity, with most other forums of intermediate size. The entire Forum base is preserved on-line. Forum content is indexed by the major web search services.

Always open, browsing welcome

Visiting one of the Forum entry pages and exploring a topic of interest reveals charateristic features of Forum operation:

  • It is easy to see what the variety of topics and amount of activity has been in each subject area.
  • Threads are organized and presented with recent, active topics located quickly, along with other viewing options and the ability to search for any topic and content.
  • Images and code samples can be included in posts and all can be quoted, cross-referenced, and reached via web locations.
  • The Forums provide links to extended topics on the Community Wiki, another migrated service.
  • There are tutorials on all components of the OpenOffice.org suite.
  • Special topics include the programmability features of OpenOffice.org, including writing macros and using/creating extensions.
  • The Forums embrace all of the descendants of the original StarOffice/OpenOffice.org that are now siblings in the OpenOffice.org galaxy. Tips and solutions in the use of one release will be useful to users of a product cousin having the same feature.

Stay and contribute

The entire content of the Forums is created and curated by individual users and volunteers. The volunteer structure has been supplemented by arrangements for accountability and oversight required of properties under ASF custodianship. There is no impact on day-to-day operations, which were the same before and after the cut-over.

The user-centered operation is accompanied by a structure for inviting frequent contributors of questions and answers to serve as volunteers who review Forum activity and moderators who intervene where appropriate to provide special assistance or curate threads and subscriptions.

Supporting global community

The OpenOffice.org Community Forums are one way that the Web connects users in communities devoted to maximizing the value of their use of OpenOffice.org-related products. Across the Internet, there are additional communities with similar concerns as well as different specialties... These can employ mailing lists, Internet news groups, and other web-based forums.

The web and search engines bring the different resources of these communities into the reach of each other and users everywhere. The OpenOffice.org Community Forums are continuing as a substantial resource of that extended community.
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby floris v » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:01 pm

Awesome! :bravo:

Being Dutch, I can't help commenting: I'd put the description of the forums (from Community Forums legacy through Always open, browsing welcome) at the beginning, so that people don't have to wonder why those forums were even moved to the Apache servers.
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby Hagar Delest » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:29 pm

Well done, indeed.

Just 2 remarks:
orcmid wrote:The OpenOffice.org Community Forums were launched on November 17, 2007.

I think that the day 1 should be Nov. 28, 2007. See 47 days.

orcmid wrote:The most users present at one time was over 350 on October 17, 2011.

I think it's a bug, see: Online Users.
It has been discussed slightly in another post about the outages IIRC. There has been a period with problems about too many connections to the database, Terry had made a script but we noticed that just after such outage, the online number jumped in an abnormal way. Perhaps some of the connection request are queued and then counted when the service revives.
The highest number of users I've seen (see my screenshot) is 232.
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby RGB » Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:14 pm

floris v wrote:Awesome! :bravo:

+1
As floris said, maybe it sounds a bit strange to talk about the move of a service before saying anything about the service, but maybe this inversion will help to grab the reader's attention.
Good work!
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby acknak » Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:49 pm

+1

It was good the first round, but even better now.

The inversion seems consistent with blog articles precipitating around some news event: "The forum from the OOo site is now part of ASF." Then, if someone wants to know more, they can keep reading.
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby orcmid » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:11 pm

OK, I will correct the statement about the kick-off date (and use "went live"). I can remove the statement about peak visitors on one day.

As RGB and acknak noticed, the inversion is consistent with the context where the blog post will appear. Also, the summary (shown as a quotation here) at the very top might help, and it has a link to the forums in the first sentence. I wanted to put this in the context of other migration activities that will be covered in other posts. The wiki and bugzilla are migrated. (And anything about posting bugs here could use an update or be handled on an OpenOffice.org-bis sub-forum.) And the big breakage is, of course, loss of the @openoffice.org lists and e-mails.

I will look at shortening the migration discussion so the information about the forum is closer to the top.

Also, I need to figure out who to sign the post as (beside me as the submitting editor, which is shown automatically). I was thinking of listing the Forum handles of those who have contributed to this thread.

I am away from the computer for a few hours. I will check in again to see what other ideas and suggestions you have.
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby Hagar Delest » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:18 pm

orcmid wrote:Also, I need to figure out who to sign the post as (beside me as the submitting editor, which is shown automatically). I was thinking of listing the Forum handles of those who have contributed to this thread.

Since the decision to move has been approved by the Volunteers team, why not just mention the team as a whole?
Or your proposal with "on behalf of the Volunteers team" perhaps.
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby RGB » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:30 pm

Hagar Delest wrote:Or your proposal with "on behalf of the Volunteers team" perhaps.

+1
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby MrProgrammer » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:45 pm

orcmid wrote:By September 20, 2011, the English-language Forums have accumulated 200,000 posts, contributed by 45,000 Forum registrants, on 40.000 topics (threads).
I presume we will want to say "40,000" to maintain consistency with the digit grouping characters used in "200,000 posts" and "45,000 Forum registrants".

Hagar Delest wrote:Or your proposal with "on behalf of the Volunteers team" perhaps.
+1
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby orcmid » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:20 pm

MrProgrammer wrote:
orcmid wrote:By September 20, 2011, the English-language Forums have accumulated 200,000 posts, contributed by 45,000 Forum registrants, on 40.000 topics (threads).
I presume we will want to say "40,000" to maintain consistency with the digit grouping characters used in "200,000 posts" and "45,000 Forum registrants".

Hagar Delest wrote:Or your proposal with "on behalf of the Volunteers team" perhaps.
+1


Great. I fixed the "40.000" typo and will use the composite "on behalf of." I like that a lot. (Confessing that you folk are great fun to play with on a group effort. I realize how much I missed hanging out here. I have put a short-cut to the Forums in a prominent place on my desktop so you'll be seeing more of me.)

I realize it is late in Europe but I can take more suggestions until around 24:00Z. I am going to look for simplifications of the front part and my English so that translation and ESL (English as a Second Language) is facilitated. I am also looking for an image that I can link from some license-free archive. "forum" is a promising notion, of course.
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Re: Drafting an Apache blog entry about the forums

Postby orcmid » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:18 am

orcmid wrote:I realize it is late in Europe but I can take more suggestions until around 24:00Z. I am going to look for simplifications of the front part and my English so that translation and ESL (English as a Second Language) is facilitated. I am also looking for an image that I can link from some license-free archive. "forum" is a promising notion, of course.


FACT CHECKING PLEASE

I have been simplifying the sentences and text. I have the following replacement paragraphs that I want reviewed to be accurate enough:

Stay and contribute

The forums were originated by a group of independent volunteers. The entire content of the Forums is created and curated by individual users and volunteers. With migration, the volunteer structure is supplemented by arrangements for accountability and oversight appropriate for properties in ASF custodianship. Day-to-day operations and volunteer activities are unchanged.

User peer support grows by inviting frequent contributors of questions and answers to serve as volunteers. Volunteers review Forum activity and point out where moderation is required. More-experienced volunteer Moderators intervene where appropriate to provide special assistance or curate threads and subscriptions.


Now I'l go look for one or more images.
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