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Re: Ruminations of an ex-PM monk

by stefan k (Curate)
on Oct 15, 2001 at 16:27 UTC ( #118857=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Ruminations of an ex-PM monk

Fellow Monks,
I could well imagine that this thread may change things in the Monastery. It seems to be the time that some level of nerve is reached that will make some valuable members of this community leave. So I'd like to tell you my 2 cents...

As has been said, it seems to be a natural thing that online communities at some time begin to suffer from lack of politeness, reasonability and content. I think this time is reached when the size of a community reaches a certain critical amount. In the beginning it is usually quite high level, there are the Long Years Perl Coders, which by probably all are saints. It's (almost) only them around because this place isn't well known, it is new and thus only the ones really interested in the content will come in. Of course more and more people look around having heard/read of that community somewhere. And when the people gets larger the original members (and -of course- the creators) are kinda proud, or at least somewhat touched. They proved to be a (more or less active) part in something valuable.

Unfortunately you get some disadvantages with the increase in interest:

  • more people causing more server load
  • more beginners decreasing the signal to noise ratio. (In the beginning the Elder Ones really enjoy getting the Younger (and I count myself to that group) to crabble, walk and maybe even run. But that wears off, if it's the same over and over again)
  • malicious members: Just a matter of probability, so it scales with the overall number of members

Then with the Monastery you get the bonus of a voting system. OK, well, someone did a lot of work to implement a functionality that somewhat reminds me of former times when I did a lot of roleplaying. Even more: it might give the postings/nodes some kind of quality stamp.

But, as with many things, the well thought dynamics behind this mechanism, get out of the path that was paved for them. It develops a live of it's own and reveales some new rules: Uh, oh, Frontpage Postings get more XP; uh, oh, the first answer usually gets more than the others; uh, oh, some community related postings are voted higher than the Real Code I posted. And so on.

I try to look at this with the eyes of a scientist, trying to find the mechanisms behind, trying to explain to myself how this works - and feel content with it. Of course I'd like to see my XEmacs Skeletons or my First (and only) Perl Module be my best nodes, but currently my question about shebangs tops my list (which gave me a happy shudder this morning :-). But then, hey, what's the matter. btw: I'm not linking to the nodes on purpose: that would be xp whoring ;-)

The Monastery ist still a good place to stay!

I still can learn things from real good coders

I will try to be valuable (though maybe small) part to this community. That's how it works: simply keep up with the good things, and try hard to ignore the bad parts (that how life works, isn't it ;-)

Don't take it too hard. You are an important part of this!

Thanks for listening...

Regards... Stefan
you begin bashing the string with a +42 regexp of confusion

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Re: Re: Ruminations of an ex-PM monk
by Masem (Monsignor) on Oct 15, 2001 at 16:44 UTC
    Not to nit, but:

    more beginners decreasing the signal to noise ratio

    This isn't quite correct; beginners have the potental to bring the signal-to-noise down, particularly if they don't use resources already available to them (such as Search, Super Search, the FAQs, and other resources). However, beginners that at least try to scan these resources and ask reasonable questions are the ones that help to maintain high signal-to-noise.

    PM should continue to strive for the addition of more new perl programmers, as that is one aspect of this community that makes it great.

    Dr. Michael K. Neylon - || "You've left the lens cap of your mind on again, Pinky" - The Brain
    It's not what you know, but knowing how to find it if you don't know that's important

      beginners have the potential to bring the signal-to noise down

      I think you've hit the nail on the head here - potential. However, have you noticed how many questions are asked (particuarly homework-related ones) by monks who only joined the Monastary a few seconds before?

      Maybe a way to increase the quality of PM would be to disallow novices from posting? This will mean new members would need to visit the Monastary reguarly for a couple of weeks before asking questions. Hopefully in this time they will have read the FAQs, tried Super Search and learned a bit about what PM is about, instead of joining and immediately posting "I need this URGENT!!!".

      Just my 0.02,


        The problem with the novice can't post thing is that if that were to happen we would just get the posts from the Anonymous Monk instead... The fact of the matter is there will always be people who are too lazy to really look for the info before asking someone to do it for them. Heck on some days i'm one of those that is too lazy..
      I think that it's important to remember that everyone started out as a beginner, and that getting even firm but kind RTFM repsonses is helpful. I've been mostly the recipient of good advice and help, and hope soon to be able to give back in a substantive way.

      I actually like to think of myself as always a beginner. Keeps me humble. :-)

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