I have a lot of concerns about Discourse that I've shared elsewhere.
My biggest concern here - I am open to everyones input on the team here, but I do not have
any intention to switch the design-team list to Discourse which might make it difficult
for new design recruits (who tend to participate in both as badges are a great design task
to get started with) to follow along in two different places and I am concerned it would
fracture our team.
The Badges team is ticket driven. Discussions happen in Pagure. Newbies are oriented via
the Design team new member process and are often pointed to the Badges Pagure queue to
find an initial task to work on. Your observations about activity on the badge list,
Justin, evidence this.
To move Badges to Discourse without dividing the teams would necessarily mean forcing
design-team@ to Discourse.
I personally am *not* ok with that.
I understand we have a mindshare ticket about helping recruit new designers and I'm
assuming this is the context in which this well-meaning suggestion is being raised.
Shuffling the chairs around on the communications infrastructure deck isn't going to
solve those problems, though. They are people problems and as such require people, not
technology. It's not a technology scale issue, it's a people scale issue.
terezahl just recently started as a design intern working on Fedora design team tickets. I
have an upcoming UX design position I just got approval for this summer that I will be
recruiting for soon. Bringing people to the team by *literally* bringing people to the
team is how we push through our issues IMHO. We cannot exceed our capacity for mentorship
via technology, the same way you can't throw laptops at a classroom and expect to
somehow push 50 students to 1 teacher through with as meaningful and impactful an
experience as 30 to 1 with no laptops.
Our team has been hit a few ways recently in terms of folks being able to have the time to
show up. I can think of 5 distinct situations. Not a single one is due to mailing lists,
IRC, etc. Nor do I think, having mentored a college or high school aged intern pretty much
every summer for as long as I can remember, is there anything inherently wrong with MLs or
IRC that means we are cutting ourselves off "from the next generation." Today
young adults are growing up with a plethora of platforms and negotiate communication
across and between them natively.
I like to quote Marshall McLuhan a lot esp wrt these specific types of issues. "The
medium is the message."
MLs, Discourse, whatever forums, are cool (require interactive engagement) media,
asynchronous, primarily text-based, in our case of an international niche audience. A
shift from one to another would not be a revolutionary shift, just more of the same in a
different package with the inconvenience of migration and docs updating and archices
conversion and hassle for little gain on top. (A revolutionary shift would be moving to a
medium closer to the synchronous end of the spectrum, or something more primarily visual,
or a hotter medium - less interaction, more curation maybe like Fedora Magazine.) So I
don't see some kind of fantastic positive shift in communication happening.
Note we're talking about communication mediums, *not* apps. We primarily deal, in
Fedora, in the currency of features and tech and platforms etc etc. Communication channels
are different environments. Don't conflate Discourse or Mailman the apps with
Discourse or Mailman the communication media. I am not interested in the app-level issues,
that shifts far too often to be worth trying to plan around.
Switching from ML to Discourse, the only difference that matters from a communication
medium standpoint is that Discourse is primarily a polling based media (as are Twitter,
FB, instagram, most timeline based social media) and MLs are a push based medium (the
comms come to you where you are generally.) MLs approach poll w Hyperkitty for those who
prefer that; Discourse approaches push for those who prefer that. But natively Discourse
is poll and MLs are push.
For a volunteer based organization, poll doesn't cut it. Volunteers can have large
gaps in time between attempts / the perfect alignment of energy and time and intention to
participate. Push is more suited to volunteer engagement bc there are more opptys to
remind you engage that don't rely on internal intention alone.
This team is primarily a volunteer-based team, unlike other teams. This is why my concern
about Discourse for Fedora generally applies doubly so here.
I am happy to talk to anyone who will listen about my concerns but am increasingly worried
they won't matter.
On October 11, 2018 11:06:40 PM EDT, "Justin W. Flory" <jflory7(a)gmail.com>
Tonight, Marie and I had an in-person Badges sprint today and one of
things we discussed was migrating the badges(a)lists.fp.o mailing list to
a new Discourse category on discussion.fedoraproject.org
CommOps and a few other sub-projects have switched, and others like the
Fedora Council are weighing the possibility too. We hope it might make
discussions around Fedora Badges more visible and hopefully encourage
more people to participate (it wasn't until Marie posted to this list
that I realized it existed, or that I was subscribed to it).
What do you all say? Is anyone interested in trying this out?
Justin W. Flory
Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.