November 17, 2012 at 11:08 am #438
Hey folks. This has been a crazy couple of days, but very exciting. I know Brian has the "Welcome to the StudioPress Community Forums" thread and that was really popular. I wanted to write my own welcome post and introduce a concept that I hope kicks these forums off into a whole new sense of community.
So, welcome to the new community forums. We are using the word "community" a lot because we want these forums to become just that. Not just a place to come get coding advice, but a place were we can build a strong community. Last year I was able to go to South By Southwest. It was a lot of fun hanging out with the Copyblogger team. I wasn't a full time employee then but Brian and the other heads of Copyblogger welcomed me in like family. The best part, though, was the Genesis Connect meet up.
It was pretty cold and more than a bit rainy, so we all ended up crammed into a hotel lobby. I met a lot of Genesis users and developers. I had answered many of their forum threads in the previous couple of years. One person in particular had progressed from a very basic "how to I even setup this theme" user to the type of person asking questions like "I've written this big complex page template and can't quite get it to work, what is missing?" It was really cool to see the progression.
During this meeting I really got a glimpse at what kind of community was already in place. I was surrounded by people from all different levels of experience, but we shared so much in common. I felt more comfortable with people who I only know by screen names and a gravatar than some of the people I go to church with every week. It's weird but true.
So please accept my challenge to make this new forum a real community. Please take time to share what you are working on and any new cool things you have done. Try to help out each other too. You might think you can't answer, but trust me, I started off at the beginning too. One nice thing about the old forums going away, no one will see some of the mistakes I made starting out. It's true. I really blew some things up and ended up scrambling. I had to learn by asking and then I learned more by answering.
More than that, though, lets share other experiences, not just development and design. Once I post this thread I'm going to start a new thread titles "Fitness and Development" where I'm going to talk a bit about fitness and why that is important to me right now. There are many topics like this that I think are important to building this into a close community.
Then, when we get a chance to meet at a, WordPress Meetup, WordCamp, or other event, we will already feel that sense of belonging.November 18, 2012 at 4:25 am #518
I am a big fan of StudioPress and all the staff who regularly provide informative blog posts, feedback and support. I would also like to add that I'm eagerly waiting to purchase your proposed ebook as I enjoy reading your blog and am learning so much. I commend Brian and Studiopress for constantly striving to improve genesis and the Studiopress experience.
My concern however is that I feel that Studiopress could be doing a lot more to generate the "sense of community" that you describe. I find it difficult to comprehend why the new forums no longer have theme specific categories, allowing people to more easily post and support each other with theme specific questions.
To achieve the "sense of community" that you describe Studiopress really should be doing more to encourage member participation in the forums over people just coming to lurk without comenting or contributing. I feel that features could be put in place by Studiopress to encourage community members to participate in discussions and helping others. For example why don't the new forums display how many posts an individual has made underneath their screen name, or have different titles for users based on participation. The Articuate eLearning community is a good example of a company that have put structures in place to encourage participation amongst users of their product who all ultimately want to achieve the same goal. For studiopress users that is to build better websites.
I always wondered why with the old forums the feature to be able to nominate people as friends wasn't well highlighted. And now from what I can see this feature is completely gone from the new forums.
As I mentioned at the start I am a big StudioPress fan and would like to see the company and these forums succeed. This is why I am taking the time out to write this post and express my concerns.
November 18, 2012 at 7:15 am #522
The theme specific forums end up adding uneeded bloat. I recomend using the tags feature to tag which theme you are using. This keeps things simple but allows for a simple means of searching. For more info see this thread which directly addresses this.
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