Discussion and Feedback: "Forum Holiday"

#1

I know I need to take a break now and again (when I feel myself getting more easily annoyed, which is happening a bit this last week), and I was thinking about the health and well-being of various other people on the forum too.

The trouble is, if the forum is active then people will always be drawn back here to help out.

I was wondering if there was a good way to enforce some "time off" for the regulars who wouldn't take time off voluntarily, and that led me to:

A Forum Holiday

The basic idea is to "close" the forum (or rather, make it read-only) for a few days every so often (maybe one weekend every month).

This way it's still accessible but people can't post anything new. Then people have to do something else instead - and give the "usual suspects" a bit of a break.

I suspect the best time would be prior to a new stable update set - certainly closing it just after one would probably be a bad idea... :laughing:

So, to the

Main questions for discussion

  • What do you think?
  • Will it work?
  • Will it annoy too many people?
  • Will it make you take a break?
  • Is it crazy enough that it just might work?

And a basic poll,

Should the Manjaro forum enforce a regular "holiday"?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

1 Like
Firefox update didn't solve disabled add-ons!
#2

This is an interesting concept.

My general concern is it would mean people would have no means to get support for some number of days. Since this is not something commonly done, this might increase frustration with Manjaro.

That being said, anyone who spends time here should be able to see how much of your time is spent supporting Manjaro and these forums. It is clearly important that you are able to take a break.

Is it possible to add some additional active moderators to help spread some of that load out? I know there are a lot of moderators here but most of them are Manjaro staff members whose primary duties lie elsewhere.

I realize that these forums are moderated in a fairly specific way that creates the community and culture that exists on the forum. However, it seems like it would be possible to locate a couple of people with appropriate disposition and temperament to help manage the forum consistent with how it is run now.

Everyone else can take a break when they want to but these forums don't run without you.

15 Likes
#3

One of the "issues" with Discourse is that "Staff" members are assumed to be "Staff" for the forum rather than "Manjaro team". This presents a difficulty when team members decide to moderate, and essentially blocks non-team members because of any behind-the-scenes discussions. Not ideal.

Nominations are welcome. :wink: [Edit: via PM please, I don't want to "upset" people if I "disagree"...]

But can they?

One of the strengths of Discourse is the rapid iteration of threads and information - but it's also one of its major weaknesses. Just like Reddit or Twitter, the temptation is to try to stay "always connected".

On the other hand I could be "projecting" onto others...

True. But... I want to make sure it stays running.

#4

@jonathon:

This.

Everyone has their limits. When your limits are constantly pushed, it becomes an unhealthy situation, one that could possibly result in your sudden disappearance, maybe to the point of never hearing from you again.

There are 19 other moderators. Take the time off; take your SO on a getaway. I'm 100% sure we'll still be here :smile:

Not in any particular order, here's mine:

@gohlip, @petsam, @bogdancovaciu, @dalto and @cscs

2 Likes
#5

Hi jonathon

There is existing support groups for computer addiction ... :laughing:

I was on 24 hrs emergency support for the last 20 years i worked. My trick when i couldn't stand clients anymore ... 3 days in the woods no cell no paget no people fishing camping by myself.

When someone fell involve, it is hard to walk away, But i realise that if you do walk away, you get back a much better helper.

Keep up the good work !

#6

@jonathon, it's my opinion that you need a break. As would/has every other Manjaro Team member who handles as much work as you do.

I don't think the forum should close for any amount of time. Out of sight, out of mind.

regards

10 Likes
#7

I think @c00ter has pointed out the false dichotomy here.

I know it is hard to set aside time and effort to train others and to delegate work to them, but in the long run this seems worthwhile.

The quality of support may drop when a deputy steps in to cover, especially in the beginning, but again, it seems necessary in the long run.

#8

This.

Forum should always be available for a global user base that genuinely need help.

The issue is the small size of the Manajro team and their workload.

The answer is more proxy team members able to take the forum management / moderation reigns periodically, not closing the forum, especially on weekends when most users have their free time.

Making the forum read only for a weekend per month would cause far more outcry and backlash than reduced moderation on these weekends.

9 Likes
#9

Well, as already pointed out, people that need help with their install, or have some technical difficulties, should always be able to reach out here and ask for help. When i have other things to do, i will do those things. If i have time, i will be around, and if i can help someone then i'll do it with no concern of getting tired.

Cheers!

8 Likes
#10

I think it isn't necessary, unless you feel the forum will be chaotic while you take a break.

I think it will annoy many people. Every regular is free take a break when they feel so. Again, I don't think it's necessary.

Yes, probably.

I already take a break when I have to. In fact, I come here to relax more than anything. However, I do end up spending much more time here than I should, but closing the forum on a weekend won't change that.

No, I don't think it will work, but I don't dislike the concept. Why don't you temporarily block regulars who have more than x answers in a given time instead?

^this.

4 Likes
#11

Forum staff burn-out is a real issue. If you already have 19 staff members then message them that you need some time away and take the well earned break. Adding and training more people won't help unless some of those 19 are dormant. If they are and there are only 2 or 3 actually doing something, then replace the dead wood by all means but either way take a break before it's too late. Mental health is as important as physical health.

Closing the forum for a couple of days would be a counter-productive move since when it opens again you'd be bombarded with messages and complaints about not being able to post.

6 Likes
#12

I don't think the issue is that they are dead wood, the issue is that there is no difference between forum staff and Manjaro staff. The others are people who are doing other things like building, updating and packaging software for the various versions of Manjaro. I don't think it makes sense to try to force those people to manage the forum, their time is better spent elsewhere.

5 Likes
#13

I'm not saying anyone should be forced to do anything here. There's not much point having the forum staff title and not actually being involved in the day to day running of the forum though is there? maybe the titles and levels of control need addressing if possible. Either way, please do not take offence as none is intended.

We had the same situation on Fedora forum where package maintainers had 'Community Manager' status which gave limited forum admin rights. Some actually asked to be downgraded to user level as they were getting sent post reports and being contacted by users about forum account issues they didn't know how to resolve.

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#14

I'm re-jigging the forum user structure to make this possible.

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#15

Which part?

#16

Mainly this bit:

There weren't actually 19 active moderators so I've re-aligned roles to fit the forum. It also means I can Shanghai press gang promote volunteer recruit unsuspecting forum members.

11 Likes
#17

...you know you just warned them, right?

2 Likes
#18

@jonathon
Re these IMO wise words:

Think of it as an interesting socio-physics experiment to explore the limits of Goat Entropy.

2 Likes
#19

The forum should be always up (or maybe have Sundays off), but if no replacement is found, then an holiday should be done, it might be good, to write a guide, on how to moderate, as not everyone has people skills.

1 Like
#20

I prefer Monday , manic monday :wink:

Shoot first then ask.
Guide done :smiley: :wink:

1 Like