Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (502 mails)

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[opensuse-project] Re: Come and help!
  • From: Jim Henderson <hendersj@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2011 17:55:25 +0000 (UTC)
  • Message-id: <ioa0qd$m4s$>
On Fri, 15 Apr 2011 19:28:59 +0200, Per Jessen wrote:

Then they clearly *don't* want help.

If I want help, but I flatly refuse to use the communication means by
which help is available, I don't really need it.

They do, but they want *convenient* help. If there's a lower barrier to
entry to get help somewhere else, then that's where they'll go.

So, hypothetically, say we shut down the openSUSE forums and force
everyone to use the mailing lists. (Not that that's even on the table or
up for discussion)

If the users come to the mailing lists, you'll have hundreds of messages
like those that Kim recently suggested - people who want general
information or just to chat about how great openSUSE is.

More likely, though, they'll say "gee, openSUSE uses this archaic method
of communicating to get help - mailing lists. Fedora/Ubuntu use forums,
which is what I'm comfortable with, and they welcome me to use what I'm
happy to use. Let's see, which distro do I use?"

Given the choice, users have voted with their feet. They prefer forums.
To deny that when there are other options is to push users away from

I don't think we want to do that.

Now, if you choose to continue to provide support via mailing lists,
that's great. You're not the only source for support, and users will
gravitate towards the option that (a) provides them what they're looking
for, and (b) does so in a way they are comfortable with. People favor
convenience. For most users - those who have a couple of questions and
then move on to something else - mailing lists simply are not convenient.

In a business setting (and yes, I realize that for most this isn't a
business), satisfying the user's needs drives revenue. Not satisfying
the user's needs - or trying to do so in a way that the user clearly has
indicated they do not prefer - does not drive revenue.

In our model, one of the goals (unless someone is willing to stand up and
say that we want *fewer* users) is to increase adoption. To achieve
that, we have to make it easy for people to get the help they want in the
way they want. If we don't provide, they'll leave because there are
plenty of others who *do*.

We don't have a monopoly here.

Jim Henderson
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