Tips to make Free Software mailing lists more effective


I am part of a few Free Software communities online. I actively participate in a few, participate slightly in a few and watch and listen in a few more. These are random thoughts that came to my mind on improving the Quality of Service (QOS) of these user groups with respect to a member seeking service from the group, and am sharing this with everybody. This is a work in progress and by no means complete. Do suggest your tips if you have any.

1) When community members send personal mails for support - copy content and reply via the group. This will ensure that the other people with similar requirements will also benefit from the effort.

2) When people send messages with inappropriate subject lines, please copy content and start new thread with meaningful subject lines. This will ensure that effort is not wasted by the community members reading unnecessary threads.

3) When community members cannot find solutions to problems themselves or directly from the web or from the community, make it a point to make the user (who needs the support) sign up at the corresponding distro's support forums and post the question there so that somebody there can look at the problem and provide support. Even if a solution does not come forthwith the community will have helped the greater cause that way.

4) Community members should be highly tolerant of new comers to the community :). Even senior members make mistakes. A kind instruction as a personal mail will help the person correct his/her mistakes. A direct rebuke through the community is only going to hurt ego's and possible lead to losing members.

I've written up that very recipe for my upcoming book Drupal Multimedia, to be published this summer (I'm actually writing the last chapter this weekend). As far as the jQuery Media port to Drupal 6, that should be a fairly easy one, so I'll plan to do it by Tuesday. If you want to wait till then, that's cool, and I'll let you know when it's ready. If you can't wait for it, you'll be safe using Drupal 5 for the example, as this module won't change for this iteration.

I could not make head or tail of the context you are talking about here? Did you mean to say that you used this recipe in your book? If so that is perfectly fine with me :-). Regarding the jQuery Media port - what was the context?

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