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#1 crmamx

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:00 PM

A couple of years ago I was on here daily for probably 6 months. It seems like the activity has greatly decreased. Just wondering?


If at first you do not succeed, QUIT, because it becomes too aggravating.

Why is it I don't understand everything I know?

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#2 Philip

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:57 PM

It has decreased some, yes. We're working on ways to increase it, but the main reason we've decreased (in my mind) is because of StackOverflow and their readiness for fast answers.

#3 salathe

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:16 PM

It might be my imagination, but back in the day there was also more conversation on forums. Times have changed and it's almost exclusively Q&A now, where forums have been left in the dust by specialist Q&A-centric sites like StackOverflow and its siblings.
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#4 Philip

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:23 PM

It might be my imagination, but back in the day there was also more conversation on forums. Times have changed and it's almost exclusively Q&A now, where forums have been left in the dust by specialist Q&A-centric sites like StackOverflow and its siblings.

Yup. Everybody just wants their answer and to move on with it.

#5 crmamx

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:57 PM

I also see we seem to have lost several key members that were very active then, like cssfreakie. He was on here daily, is a css genius and a great guy. And a couple of mgt. people that helped me so much aren't as active as they were then.

 

I just don't like the look and layout of Stackoverflow.


If at first you do not succeed, QUIT, because it becomes too aggravating.

Why is it I don't understand everything I know?

http://southalabamarc.com

#6 Christian F.

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:14 PM

It is an unfortunate (and fortunate, in some ways) reality of fora that people move on, either because they've lost interest, don't have time any more, or found some place they think better. Of course, always sad to see the really helpful and resourceful people go, but on the flip side of that is that there are always new members joining. Some of which might be even better resources than the old.

StackOverflow is geared more towards just providing answers, and not building a community. That's where PHPfreaks, and other, similar fora, shine.
Keeping it simple.

#7 crmamx

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:43 PM

It is an unfortunate (and fortunate, in some ways) reality of fora that people move on, either because they've lost interest, don't have time any more, or found some place they think better. Of course, always sad to see the really helpful and resourceful people go, but on the flip side of that is that there are always new members joining. Some of which might be even better resources than the old.

StackOverflow is geared more towards just providing answers, and not building a community. That's where PHPfreaks, and other, similar fora, shine.

 

I didn't realize it but you hit the nail on the head with the word "community." I seldom was the giver of help because I am more or less a novice at this. But even at that I was always treated as part of the "community" Patience was their virtue as long as you tried and were not just after someone to write code for you. There were 3 or 4 old time heavyweights....gurus, mods and admins...that I miss seeing here. But as you say I am sure there are new ones as competent, I just haven't been around enough to get to know them.


Edited by crmamx, 27 February 2013 - 07:45 PM.

If at first you do not succeed, QUIT, because it becomes too aggravating.

Why is it I don't understand everything I know?

http://southalabamarc.com

#8 KevinM1

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 05:02 PM

I didn't realize it but you hit the nail on the head with the word "community." I seldom was the giver of help because I am more or less a novice at this. But even at that I was always treated as part of the "community" Patience was their virtue as long as you tried and were not just after someone to write code for you. There were 3 or 4 old time heavyweights....gurus, mods and admins...that I miss seeing here. But as you say I am sure there are new ones as competent, I just haven't been around enough to get to know them.

 

This is the key, and one of the reasons why we generally like responding to your questions.  From the very first day, your attitude was essentially, "Hey guys.  I'm a complete novice, but I'm excited to learn how to program.  I'd like some help, but I need to learn how to do this myself."  That's exactly the right frame of mind to have when coming here.

 

I view my place here as that of a guide.  I'm not here to solve problem X for anyone.  I'm here to guide you to finding the solution yourself.  No one benefits if I just spew code, even if it solves the problem at hand.



#9 johnsmith153

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:21 AM

To be honest though, what's 'excellent' about PHP Freaks? In the modern world you have to have something special.

 

Quick, modern methods of communication? Forums in this style are old hack.

 

Mobile use? Brilliant if it was 1995.

 

Respectful attitude of experts? No.

 

Nice modern site design? Average.

 

It might be my imagination, but back in the day there was also more conversation on forums. Times have changed and it's almost exclusively Q&A now, where forums have been left in the dust by specialist Q&A-centric sites like StackOverflow and its siblings.

Salathe mentions conversation, but I can't think of one method where conversation can be slower than it is on PHP Freaks. Maybe 'back-in-the-day' there was more conversation, but just like back in the day people waited 10 seconds for a web page to load, they won't converse on a site like this because conversation is too slow on here - hence why you are seeing Q&A-only communication.

 

What does PHP Freaks do that is excellent? Nothing unfortunately. It ranks well in Google when you ask "PHP help", but that's about it.



#10 Christian F.

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:29 AM

*Shrugs* You don't have to be here, if you don't like it.
It's not as if you're paying anything, after all.
Keeping it simple.

#11 salathe

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:43 AM

<offtopic>

Respectful attitude of experts? No.

IMO, the experts here are very respectful. Perhaps we have a different interpretation of who exactly are the experts. :shrug:
</offtopic>
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#12 KevinM1

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 09:25 AM

To be honest though, what's 'excellent' about PHP Freaks? In the modern world you have to have something special.

 

Quick, modern methods of communication? Forums in this style are old hack.

 

Mobile use? Brilliant if it was 1995.

 

Respectful attitude of experts? No.

 

Nice modern site design? Average.

 

Salathe mentions conversation, but I can't think of one method where conversation can be slower than it is on PHP Freaks. Maybe 'back-in-the-day' there was more conversation, but just like back in the day people waited 10 seconds for a web page to load, they won't converse on a site like this because conversation is too slow on here - hence why you are seeing Q&A-only communication.

 

What does PHP Freaks do that is excellent? Nothing unfortunately. It ranks well in Google when you ask "PHP help", but that's about it

 

So, what do you suggest we do to improve?



#13 johnsmith153

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 09:55 AM

*Shrugs* You don't have to be here, if you don't like it.
It's not as if you're paying anything, after all.

It was feedback. And what if I click on an advert or start using that service?

 

Surely feedback should be listened to so that more people come to the site and click on more adverts. That's business, and that's online marketing.

 

PHP Freaks should look after its customers. Businesses need to listen to their customers. A comment like this is not listening to one of the site's customers. And I am aware that you are also a customer of the site, but with that 'Guru' badge you have it also makes you a representative of the company. If I had a company representative respond to a customer like this, I would not be impressed.

 

Customers can be annoying, but you can't turn them away.

 

 

So, what do you suggest we do to improve?

The four things I mentioned.



#14 crmamx

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:14 AM

So, what do you suggest we do to improve?

 

At the top of the list for me would be timely responses. Back in the day  I would post a topic early in the evening and there would be 3 or 4 exchanges within a couple of hours. The last week or so I have posted 4 or so with almost no activity. I don't know if it is me, the topic, how I worded it or what the problem was. So I went to another site to see if I could get some help. I tend to think it was the loss of very good people that were here almost every night....like cssfreakie.


If at first you do not succeed, QUIT, because it becomes too aggravating.

Why is it I don't understand everything I know?

http://southalabamarc.com

#15 Jessica

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:17 AM

One of the actual admins can correct me if I'm wrong but:
PHP Freaks isn't a business. The goal is not to make money, and we don't have customers. This isn't a "company" that needs to be represented by PR monkeys.

The purpose of PHP Freaks is to spread knowledge - and it's free to the users. The purpose of this forum is to help people solve their problems, and more importantly help them learn how to solve them.

We donate our time. No one here makes a cent. You are not a customer. You are asking us to do something for you for free. Most of the people who come here and do that, do it without thinking about what those of us who do help have to do. There are plenty of help vampires, people who want it done for them, people who aren't willing to try on their own. They are more disrespectful to us than Christian asking why you'd complain about a free service is.

You didn't suggest 4 things to improve. You criticized two things without offering anything useful, you criticized all of the staff based on one comment by one of the nicest people here, and then criticized our design, again, without anything useful. Your feedback is basically whining.

I have to agree with Christian - why are you here? It's an HONEST question. If you think the site is so bad, why are you here? If you can answer it, you might see what is GOOD about PHP Freaks, and start to understand why the rest of us are here.
My goal in replying to posts is to help you become a better programmer, including learning how to debug your own code and research problems. For that reason, rather than posting the solution, I reply with tips and hints on how to find the solution yourself. See below for useful links when you get stuck.

How to Get Good Help: How to Ask Questions | Don't be a help vampire
Debugging Your Code: Debugging your SQL | What does a php function do? | What does a term mean? | Don't see any errors?
Things You Should Do: Normalize Your Data | use print_r() or var_dump()
Lulz: "Functions should not have side effects." - trq

Please take a look at my new PHP/Web Dev blog: The Web Mason - Thanks!!

#16 Philip

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:24 AM

To be honest though, what's 'excellent' about PHP Freaks? In the modern world you have to have something special.

 

Quick, modern methods of communication? Forums in this style are old hack.

I disagree. As mentioned earlier in this topic, we're about conversation and not "here's your answer see you again soon for the next one."

 

Mobile use? Brilliant if it was 1995.

Yes because nobody uses a smart phone these days.

 

Respectful attitude of experts? No.

As Jessica said, we're all volunteers. If you have a problem with one of us, please feel free to PM me. My door is always open.

 

Nice modern site design? Average.

And this is something we're working on, albeit slowly.

 

 

Salathe mentions conversation, but I can't think of one method where conversation can be slower than it is on PHP Freaks. Maybe 'back-in-the-day' there was more conversation, but just like back in the day people waited 10 seconds for a web page to load, they won't converse on a site like this because conversation is too slow on here - hence why you are seeing Q&A-only communication.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you feed him for many years to come. Same principle here. Why just throw the answer at somebody instead of teaching them what they did wrong? Yes, throwing the answer is faster... but in the long run you become dependent on those sites and can't code for yourself. 



#17 KevinM1

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:44 AM

The four things I mentioned.

 

What things?

 

I see:
 

1. Forums are dumb because they're old school

2. The mobile site is bad for unspecified reasons

3. Badged members aren't respectful enough

4. The site doesn't have a modern design

 

1 and 2 are merely complaints.  3 has merit, I agree.  As does 4.

 

Again, what are your suggestions on addressing these issues?  I mean, we're not going to drop the forums, so that's off the table.  But what do you suggest we do to make the mobile experience better?  What kind of design elements should we incorporate?



#18 johnsmith153

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:01 AM

I do agree with Jessica's part about everybody being volunteers and I'm guessing the adverts are just there to cover the bills. Then you can ignore what feedback you like and do as you wish.

 

I did suggest four things to improve. Jessica seems to think I didn't but KevinM1 (after double checking my post) managed to see them.

 

About the respectful attitude of the experts. KevinM1 says this "has merit", so there must be some truth in it.

 

you criticized all of the staff based on one comment by one of the nicest people here

My criticism of the staff had nothing to do with one comment from anybody. Which comment was that? I think you are getting defensive and seeing things that are not there.

 

I don't really understand Philip's response about conversation. The forum can still promote conversation rather than quick-Q&A answers by having a quicker, more modern method of doing so. You don't need to stick to the same forum style as 20 years ago to maintain 'conversation'. It doesn't make sense. Fair point not wanting people to leech off the site, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't change the methods you use.

 

Jessica asks why am I here. Other than this topic I've made 2 posts this year, so I'm not really here at all. I used to be, my post count shows medium usage.

 

KevinM1 asks about my solutions to the listed problems and I don't have them. I gave feedback that can either be listened to or ignored, but it will need better people than me to work out the solutions. I just responded to a post as to the reduced activity on the site. Of course it would be better to have detailed solutions, but if I had them I would be running my own help forum.

 

I do think some people have gotten a little defensive though. Nobody likes feedback, but there are better ways to respond when someone gives it. I mean at least one person has agreed to some of 3 out of 4 of my points:

 

 

Mobile support? KevinM1 agrees a little bit + Philip agrees

Respectful attitude of experts? KevinM1 says this "has merit"

Nice modern site design? Philip and KevinM1 agree.

 

...so maybe my feedback was genuine and worth giving. Only Jessica seems to have gotten a little too defensive.



#19 Jessica

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:05 AM

::)
My goal in replying to posts is to help you become a better programmer, including learning how to debug your own code and research problems. For that reason, rather than posting the solution, I reply with tips and hints on how to find the solution yourself. See below for useful links when you get stuck.

How to Get Good Help: How to Ask Questions | Don't be a help vampire
Debugging Your Code: Debugging your SQL | What does a php function do? | What does a term mean? | Don't see any errors?
Things You Should Do: Normalize Your Data | use print_r() or var_dump()
Lulz: "Functions should not have side effects." - trq

Please take a look at my new PHP/Web Dev blog: The Web Mason - Thanks!!

#20 Christian F.

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:11 AM

I'm not here for the design, nor to have anyone thread on eggshells around me. I'm here for the expertise available, and to exchange ideas. When everything comes down to it, those two items are what's really important for a forum of this type.

StackOverflow isn't a forum, it's a help channel. That's why they focus on answers (expertise) only. Which is a major part of their "success", in that many (most?) people are only looking for quick answers. They're not interested in sitting down trying to understand the process and solve the problem themselves, they just want it solved: Wham, bam, thank you ma'm.
Then they hit the next problem, and find themselves asking on SO again, and again, and again. Just as Philip described above.
No disrespect to the people who are helping others out on SO, rather on the contrary: To do what they do you have to have a lot of drive, and desire to help. My hat's off for them. However, what I'm interested in is sharing, not giving.

As for those who complain about not getting the answers they want, or getting them fast enough, I would like to remind you that I could be doing lots of other stuff instead. That includes playing games, sleeping, or even working. The same is true for every other person who dedicates their time to help out here. And we all do it for free, not asking for anything other than some effort and (hopefully) some appreciation in return.
I don't think that's a whole lot to ask for, do you?

Note that I specified "complain". Constructive criticism, on the other hand, is always appreciated. Even if you're saying that we suck. As long as you explain why, and (most importantly) what can be done to improve said suckyness, then it's good. You given it some effort, after all. Which is really all we ask for.
See how that works? ;)
Keeping it simple.




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