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Re^5: PerlMonks for newbies? (variety)

by tye (Sage)
on Feb 07, 2009 at 05:15 UTC ( [id://742085]=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^4: PerlMonks for newbies?
in thread PerlMonks for newbies?

If you can get the "critical mass" of contribution, yes, I think you'll be able to sustain a somewhat steady-state influx, replacing your ultra-newbies and replacing your not-as-newbies who can answer simple Perl questions (and an overlap of people who both ask and answer questions).

Heck, I'd love to see several of the obsessive PerlMonks posters be pickier about what they initially reply to. I suspect many junior monks feel like they can almost never answer a question (as I've seen several of them express). That prevents them from getting a whole nother level of satisfaction from PerlMonks. Sure, there are advantages to simple questions quickly getting answers from someone who usually gets the answer at least mostly correct. But I see real advantages to having a wider variety of answers. A "less correct" answer often leads to some interesting and enlightening discussion (especially when it doesn't lead to a more senior Perler "putting 'm in their place" for daring to answer less correctly). And a "less correct" answer is often at a more appropriate level to be appreciated and thus helpful to the original asker.

I tend not to answer nodes that I believe others can answer about as well or better than I, unless the node has gone unanswered for an unusual length of time. So I'm more likely to answer a node that I believe I may have an unusual insight into. I love it when a very basic question gets answered by somebody with roughly the same experience level as the person asking but who happens to know something about that specific subject.

I suspect a lot of junior monks see PerlMonks very similar to how I see stackoverflow.com. At any point in time, it is extremely unlikely that I have anything worth contributing to stackoverflow.com (in part because the stated purpose of the site discourages diversions into tangential subjects). So, sure, skimming through stackoverflow can yield me some gems of knowledge, but it sure isn't much fun. I'm sure it will become more useful to me as a place to find via googling for some specific answer (which is a big part of its goal), but it sure isn't any place I'm going to be "hanging out" at or even "reading".

But, as a senior Monk pointed out on some other site, you can't stop know-it-alls from jumping in over and over. So it might be worthwhile to have a place that offers a culture of telling the know-it-alls to go to PerlMonks if they want to "go all PerlMonks" on people.

Of course, building a web site and then getting it to critical mass without having the growth end up killing the site can be quite a challenge. All of those growing pains at PerlMonks predate my tenure so I'll offer no advice on that. But good luck!

- tye        

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Re^6: PerlMonks for newbies? (variety)
by cosmicperl (Chaplain) on Feb 07, 2009 at 15:45 UTC
    Thank you very much :)
    I suspect many junior monks feel like they can almost never answer a question (as I've seen several of them express).
    This is true, it's how I feel and I've seen others express this as well. Helping people at the bottom would create a greater sense of worth for those in the middle.

    I'm glad other people can understand my views and aims with this. I was starting to think I'm going mad :S


    Lyle
      You're not going mad. Andy Lester wrote a post titled Perl must decentralize, diversify and colonize and among his suggestions (" How you can help?") was
      Start an alternative to perlmonks.org. Perlmonks is a fine site, but it's long in the tooth, daunting to newbies, and frustrating to search. Surely there's a different way to have an online Perl forum that is better in many cases.

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