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I think the big mistake isn't that you want to develop a site for newbies. I think it's that you want it to work like PerlMonks except that it's for newbies. Make it more distinct in how it works instead of just in audience and in appearance.

Having a tweaked PM but for newbies I'm afraid will lead to a ghetto in the middle. If one is the site for the inexperienced and one is for the experienced, then where do people go who the beginners site doesn't serve well but the more advanced site refers back to the beginner's site?

I'm also afraid that telling people "you're on the wrong site" will just turn them off altogether.

I think your site should be unlike PM in many ways. It should take a different approach to organizing material. Perhaps the tutorials should play a bigger role in the site organization. It'd be nice if some single-topic course material for the web had a home, for example. Articles on how to think about context from the very beginning could be helpful. Caveats about what dark corners of the language can be avoided while still getting useful software written would help lots of people I think.

My problem isn't with another site. I think if your site complements PM then that's great. I just don't think it should be such a similar site as you're talking about with only part of the audience. Threads of nodes would still be a good idea, but I'm not sure you should have the same sorts of sections. The distinction of type of discussion here might be better on a site for new users broken into subject areas. Perhaps take the topics for the individual lessons in your beginning Perl classes and make a section of the site for learning and discussing each topic further.

I think dividing people into the sites is a mistake, in short. Make the site work how new users expect and gear it to how new users are more likely to pick up knowledge. Make that site a knowledge site that can grow upward. Let PM be the wisdom site that can grow downward towards the newbies it may intimidate. You'll then get the people you want by topic rather than telling them which site is suitable for their experience level.


In reply to Re^5: PerlMonks for newbies? by mr_mischief
in thread PerlMonks for newbies? by cosmicperl

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