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These forums: addition of non-cpanel forum?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by webignition, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. webignition

    webignition Well-Known Member

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    It's not uncommon to encounter threads concerning topics that are not directly relevant to cPanel.

    In fact these turn up quite frequently and are often met with either a "try to going to http://www.example.com/support/ for support with that" or "this is related to cPanel how?" reply.

    Understandably, these forums are supposed to be used for the discussion or cPanel-related issues as this, presumably, is the purpose for which they were originally created.

    However I think that there is a need for a "not directly relevant to cPanel forum" for the following reasons (not in any particular order of importance):

    • Forum users shouldn't post off-topic threads, however they do. Such threads may not be what these forums were designed for, however to a greater or lesser extent this is what these forums are being used for.

      Having a home for such threads could help prevent them from 'littering' the other forums.

    • Many cPanel admins/users undeniably have many shared server-related interests that are not directly related to cPanel - there are many server-related tasks we all have to perform on a daily basis that having nothing to do with cPanel itself and with which we may encounter problems.

      Having gained faith in the responses to cPanel-related issues, forum users will be more inclined to post threads not directly related to cPanel from having developed a certain level of trust for the forum community.

      Since the posting of such threads can't be stopped, as it is in the nature of people to ask questions of people for whom they respect and trust even if it does not lie directly in the given person's field of expertise, this need may as well be accommodated.

    • Replies to threads not directly related to cPanel are often, in my opinion, bordering on impolite or just plain rude. Regardless of the fact that the posters of such threads have broken a forum rule (unwritten or otherwise), they're not going to take too kindly to impolite responses, regardless again of the fact that the responses may be, to an extent, justified.

      In the same way that if you were to enter a BMW dealership and present a question regarding the latest Porsche model, your impression of BMW would likely be degraded if you met the reply "And what has this got to do with BMW?", the same may well be true for those who meet (relatively) brusque replies to their irrelevant threads, even if it could be argued that, in both cases, the person asking the question was "asking for it".

      A forum for otherwise irrelevant threads could help prevent such potential antagonism.

    Admittedly there are plenty of other forums that exist for the very purpose of dealing with all the non-cPanel issues people may have and I would be the first to admit that such other forums are the correct place for non-cPanel issues. Nevertheless, the web is a user-driven medium and thus the needs of the users need to be carefully considered.

    However, a non-Cpanel forum could potentially turn these forums away from being cPanel specific, which I would see as being a bad thing. I see a non-Cpanel forum here being useful only if a sticky thread is included detailing the rules, namely:

    1. that other more relevant forums exist elsewhere and the user should consider using such resources in preference to these forums
    2. that users can post non-cPanel threads but should not expect any reply as the forums are mainly geared towards cPanel-related issues
    3. that users can post non-Cpanel threads but should not be surprised if they are pointed towards the correct support channel and should not respond with messages such as "I was looking for an answer not a URL!"

    I don't know if this really is a good idea, particularly concerning the extra burden it may place on forum moderators, however I do see there being a need for such a forum and, correctly created and managed, I believe it would benefit the community that this forum generates.

    Any opinions on the matter would be greatly appreciated - after all, I may be the only person who thinks this!
     
  2. chirpy

    chirpy Well-Known Member

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    I do agree with what you say. I also see too many threads from:

    1. End-users sent here by their web hosts directly or indirectly when there's no help to be given here for their issues.

    2. People tend to ignore which forum they post into. Myself and David have both tried to categorise posts correctly, but it's akin to swimming upstream and is rendered impossible

    3. Some tend to see (and I believe abuse) these forums as a replacement for either paying for, or learning about server admin. Question about things on or off-topic is in no way a problem for me. We all have to learn and start somewhere. However, if you look at some posters high count and actually see how much they are not putting back into the forums by helping others you do find some notable examples that simply ask and never help. These annoy me the most and deter people from helping since those asking are only taking and not giving. This is a community effort.

    4. 3 really annoys me so I thought I'd point back to it again

    5. Many people leave their manners, politeness and common sense at the door. If it's not cPanel related, then there's a whole internet out there full of resources. I would simply point people at Google. Perhaps ( a made up) 95% of all off-topic questions can be answered in the first page of results in Google.

    6. 3 is still annoying me ;)

    7. To address your questions, if I haven't :), I think people with indepth questions about things like MySQL should be forwarded to mysql.com, questions about apache can be directed to apache.org. Questions about performance and security and the bash prompt can go to tldp.org. Anything that involves cPanel configuration and oddities can and should be discussed here.

    Everyone needs to bear in mind that people come to these forums in their own free time offering free advice. If you don't get your question answered, you're simply going to have to show more initiative because you can bet that in nearly all cases it has been answered before either here on elsewhere on the web.

    If you have an urgent or serious problem affecting your service, then feel free to search the forums or ask here. However, this is not the place to expect answers. Anyone who has a cPanel license has an official route for support. If that route doesn't include the type of help you need (i.e. is server admin related), or is too slow, then you need to cough up and pay for someone to help you rather expecting a free handout. If you don't want to pay for a professionals time, then presumably the problem is neither serious nor urgent.

    IMHO :p
     
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