Author Topic: A forum lead by a community  (Read 6308 times)

Offline Joshua Dickerson

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A forum lead by a community
« on: April 10, 2007, 10:53:52 AM »
My first blog post here, hopefully I can make it a good one. When I think of a blog, I think of text written straight from your brain without thinking about too much other than what is flowing from your brain to your fingers. So, excuse me for punctuation and spelling because I don't really care ;). I have always thought to speak with "I", "think", "my" because I don't speak for anyone without their consent and even if I do, I am never going to completely speak for them. Thus, what I write is my views and what I think.

Getting to my thoughts (summary at the end):

When I think of what SMF should be, I think it should be a forum lead by a community. This isn't just true for SMF, but for all products. In business you would replace forum with product and community with market, but I like to think of us as a community and not a market first. I do think of markets though, I enjoy business and marketing. Oddly enough, I don't like The Apprentice.

Right now I can imagine what you are thinking - where is this idiot going with this - because I am thinking the same thing hahah.

There is a circle of interaction going on here. Did the populace start out by saying that they want a forum and this is how they want it or did the SMF team start out by putting out a product and asking how you liked it? It's one of the philosophical questions like "which came first - the rooster or the egg". That circle of interaction depends on some fundamental elements. Those being: you - the administrator of a forum; your users - the largest section with what appears to me to be the smallest voice; the SMF team - me and the rest of us. I guess you can make that a triangle, but it gets a lot deeper than that. I don't really want to go all the way in to that though.

I know what I want in a forum. I might be a lot different than what you want in a forum. I am more concerned with how the code looks, how it scales, how usable it is, how accessible it is, how it looks and other technical stuff more so than the feature set. That is pretty much what I look at as a team member. What I want as an end user is pretty basic - I don't need all of the bells and whistles. I just like it to be easy and for things to be instinctual. I collapse most of the extras.

I might have some idea of how someone else thinks by stepping out of my own shoes. Then again, how do I really know? I am one that yearns for feedback. In the Army, I always ask those that I am in charge of and those that are in charge of me to tell me how I am doing. Really, I ask Privates and my Sergeants how I am doing. Same thing when I cook, drive, code, valet, etc.

I like to hear when I am doing something good, but I really like to know when I am not doing something good. I can't do everything right, and sometimes I am just going to do things my way, but I can still take constructive criticism. Without know when I am doing something wrong, I can't better myself.

Like I said, I like criticism to be constructive. I like to see solutions to problems, not just the problem. If you have a problem, please offer a solution. That is, if you know or think you know how to solve something. If you have something to contribute feel free to let me/us know. For instance, a HTML patch to something broken, some documentation for the doc site, a customization, a fix to a bug in the core, a method for making some action (ie support) work better, etc.

I would like to know what your users think. I would like to know what you think. I would like to know what the team thinks. I think we can all benefit from knowing the good, the bad, and the ugly.
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