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View Full Version : How to handle "Going back to Windows" threads



panickedthumb
August 19th, 2006, 03:06 AM
From the discussion started here:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=233728

Which way would you prefer we handle these threads? I know polls are very unscientific and unreliable, but it could give some useful input.

As aysiu always reminds us, I know it would be better if you could choose more than one but that skews the percentages even farther.

EDIT: the poll options can be only 100 characters, so I had to trim them down. Here are the in-depth explanations:

Proposal 1 - Create a megathread called "Goodbye, Ubuntu!" for all those goodbye threads. If actually useful suggestions come up (which they rarely do), extract those posts and put them in the "Suggestions for Edgy" thread or "Suggestions for Edgy+1."

Proposal 2 - Create a subforum called "Farewells," which can have both "goodbye, I'm going back to Windows" threads and "I'm just leaving these forums because..." threads. Dump all the goodbye threads in there, whether they're amicable goodbyes or not.

Proposal 3 - Automatically dump all goodbye threads in the Ubuntu Cafe. If they're particularly inflammatory, dump them in the backyard. If they're utterly offensive, they get closed. I think this is what happens now more or less.

Proposal 4 - Just close them right away. If someone's really saying goodbye for real, why should there be a discussion about it? And if it's not for real, she should start a separate support or suggestions thread elsewhere.

Proposal 5 - Move these threads to the jail or delete them.

Proposal 6 - Change Testimonials into Feedback or User Experiences and have the good stories and the bad right next to each other.

Stew2
August 19th, 2006, 03:23 AM
I personally say option 4 or option 5. The "going back to windows" threads are usually not productive and end up being split between people saying "please dont go" and other people saying "dont let the door hit you in the a** on your way out." The original posters usually aren't looking for support or help, they just want to vent (in most cases, not all). And I definitely dont think they should be posted in the testimonials section. I honestly dont think that negative posts have a place in the testimonials section. Just my 2 cents.

Regards,
Stew2

aysiu
August 19th, 2006, 05:03 AM
I favor the megathread for several reasons:

1. Less clutter
2. Makes these "going back to Windows" people realize they're not special
3. Allows an easier way for people to filter them out (just ignore that one thread with that one subject heading)

omns
August 19th, 2006, 08:56 AM
.

Klaidas
August 19th, 2006, 09:03 AM
I say we (I mean they, moderators and admins) close them with a message like "You are free to choose your operating system. If you didn't like Ubuntu, well, ok, goodbye. Just for the record, you could of course use a dual boot to have both OSes, but, whatever."

slimdog360
August 19th, 2006, 09:54 AM
I went the sub forum idea, people no matter who should have the right to be heard

magnoliablossom
August 19th, 2006, 10:04 AM
I agree slimdog...give them their own subform...any posts in we'll know they're about...you can simply choose to ignore it or if you're feeling a little b***hy go in there and give 'em hell. :P

kriding
August 19th, 2006, 10:20 AM
I say create 2 megathreads

The first one are for genuine goodbyes, ie they tried but couldn't get it, or it wasn't for them, or they want to try another distr, or have some other genuine reason for leaving.

The other one for the 'linux sucks', 'dapper is c**p', the general I can't use it so it must be rubbish type threads, where they have no real input or feedback, and the author is just looking for attention (and lets be honest, most of those people say goodbye, but stay around to slate the hell outta linux..some goodbye eh!)..this one people can ignore if they want, and as previously stated it will show the authors that they are not special and the rest of the community has an OS to help mature and grow, and have little time for them.

I suppose you could take some of the genuine goodbyes that give specific hardware/software requirements as a reason for leaving, and place it in the Edgy thread, so that they may be addressed for the next release

OffHand
August 19th, 2006, 02:00 PM
Proposal 2 - Create a subforum called "Farewells," which can have both "goodbye, I'm going back to Windows" threads and "I'm just leaving these forums because..." threads. Dump all the goodbye threads in there, whether they're amicable goodbyes or not.

This one please. Could be very enjoyable for me :D

Kilz
August 19th, 2006, 11:29 PM
If the post is combined into a megathread, will the orignal poster know where to look if they come back?

aysiu
August 20th, 2006, 03:10 AM
If the post is combined into a megathread, will the orignal poster know where to look if they come back?
If they don't, I'll consider that an added bonus.

But it shouldn't be so hard to do--in the forum's default behavior, any thread you post in is part of your subscriptions and will show up in your User CP.

nu2this
August 20th, 2006, 10:10 AM
I like the Farewell thread idea for those who are leaving, because some who
leave do come back. I'm a case in point,though I left no farewell I did come back to Ubuntu after trying out some other distros.
While constructive criticism is rare a farewell thread might be just the ticket for those that have them & those that may find a way to improve Ubuntu.
Also,I found the default seacrh for my threads to be quite helpful in getting me restarted once I came back.

coffeecat
August 20th, 2006, 10:15 AM
As kriding pointed out there are, broadly speaking, two categories of 'goodbye' posts:

Category 1 - the 'Linux suxx' brigade, a motley collection of immature personalities, trolls and members of the pebkac species.

Category 2 - people who've made a genuine attempt to get Linux/Ubuntu working, but some unresolvable (for them) issue is driving them back to Windows. Their post could be a last cry for help. I sympathise with people in this category because the IPv6 issue very nearly made me give up on Linux myself. I didn't join a forum until after I solved this so I never made such a post, but I can understand the frustration people in this category may feel.

Let me tell you a story, as briefly as I can. Some months ago I came across a post in another forum. The OP was trying out Linux on his laptop and said something to the effect of, "What can I do to get wireless working? If I can't get it to work I'll have to go back to Windows."

None of the posted suggestions worked, so I suggested that he put aside trying to get wireless to work and that he use a wired connection. I acknowledged it was inconvenient but that this would give him a chance to get to know Linux better and then he could return to the wireless problem later when he had more proficiency. He followed my advice, the bug bit him properly and now he contributes his own experience and ideas to others on that forum.

So my vote is for Option 2, a farewell subforum. Category 1 posters will see how common their puerile ranting is and will, hopefully, be ignored or courteously sent on their way. :wink: Category 2 posters stand a chance of their particular problems being solved without their posts being submerged in a megathread - or in two megathreads. I disagree with the idea of two megathreads because that puts an extra burden on the forum staff. If all such posts are moved into one subforum the flavour of a particular post can often be deduced from the tone (and spelling!) of the title and the first line when you hover the mouse pointer over it.

If a subforum is chosen I, for one, will visit it regularly in the hope of finding category 2 posters and trying to help them.

raffytaffy
August 20th, 2006, 10:29 AM
i say if youre gonna leave to windows....u should donate 5 dollars to the forum:) for all the help its gotten you...after all..since youre goin to windows...you should get used to shelling out cash right? might as well start with a good cause

bonzodog
August 20th, 2006, 01:38 PM
I say go for option 6 - Change the testimonials sections into 'user experiences'. This would cover people who want to tell us about good experiences AND bad.

der_joachim
August 20th, 2006, 01:38 PM
I have a slight preference for the 'user feedback'/ 'goodbye' forum. Dumping such threads in Cafe would just clutter an otherwise excellent subforum. The megathread option should work, but many quitters do not bother using that option. They probably gather that a new thread will give them more attention. Closing/jailing them will just be too harsh.

Just my EUR0.02

Kilz
August 20th, 2006, 02:22 PM
If they don't, I'll consider that an added bonus.

But it shouldn't be so hard to do--in the forum's default behavior, any thread you post in is part of your subscriptions and will show up in your User CP.

Yes, but we are talking about people who had a hard time. They may not have enough intelligence to figure that out. We may see they replacing the merged thread.

matthew
August 20th, 2006, 02:25 PM
I say go for option 6 - Change the testimonials sections into 'user experiences'. This would cover people who want to tell us about good experiences AND bad.Hmm. Since you bring that up I had the realization that "testimonials" don't necessarily have to be positive. By definition they are simply a retelling of one's experience. Maybe we should put them all in that forum?

Gijith
August 20th, 2006, 03:08 PM
Hi

As someone who was just about to make a 'back to windows' thread - before I noticed these two discussions in here - I feel very strongly that a separate forum is needed (or, at least, rename Testimonials). I think that it could be extremely valuable to have a forum where feedback can be presented by users who made an educated decision that ubuntu, in its current state, couldn't be their OS.

I know the majority of people on these boards, including some in this thread, feel that ubuntu's main job is to grow. And, obviously, the biggest opportunity for growth will be with end users, such as myself. I understand that the main devs aren't active on here, but considering all that goes on in the forums, it seems that it would be a real shame to not have some kind of communication between the greater community and those making key decisions. If it is Canonical's goal to see ubuntu expand, then it must must do some very basic things: research what people want, research why they migrate to ubuntu, research what they like and what they don't and research what causes people to give up or leave. I'm sure that some of this goes on, but man, sometimes the development discussions I see in mailing lists or wikis don't look like it. I wish I had a dime for every time I read someone stating "we won't do this because end users don't want it." Sorry, but was that an educated statement, or just the opinion of someone who's been programing for 10+ years and doesn't have the first clue what Linux newbies go through?

I think there needs to be an organized way to collect this information. A (non-technical) feedback system could be built into ubuntu, or proper surveys could be made (I'd gladly help with this). But, for now, these forums would be the best tool. Yes, I agree with many of you who worry about threads being nonproductive, off topic, or ill concieved, but there are ways to deal with all that. We have rules and mods. Maybe change Testimonials into Feedback, then split it up. One subforum for gauging the response from new users, one for general concerns/feature requests/feedback, one for people who want to dedicate their love and commitment to ubuntu and, yes, one for people who can't work with ubuntu and want to say why. Make it clear in the rules that these subforums are not for questions (we already have lots of places for that), not for insults towards ubuntu (not constructive), not for complaining that feature X, Y, or Z couldn't be figured out (there's space for that too). They would be set up for people who have figured out everything they need to figure out, have a good sense of what ubuntu offers, and want to comment... I think all these different types of threads could be very valuable to development if they were presented at meetings.

I love ubuntu to pieces and want nothing more than to see it succeed. But I made a decision a few months ago that, in the interest of time, productivity and sanity, I had to switch back to Windows. It was a rough thing to do. And, at the very least, it'd be great to have a place on here where I could talk, rationally and constructively, about why I felt I had to switch back for the time being.

That's my 2 cents. Can't wait to try again with Edgy.

Peace :)

panickedthumb
August 20th, 2006, 03:55 PM
Hmm. Since you bring that up I had the realization that "testimonials" don't necessarily have to be positive. By definition they are simply a retelling of one's experience. Maybe we should put them all in that forum?
I had always thought that the testimonials forum WAS for both good and bad, and some bad ones get in there already. That's why I support option 6 personally.

aysiu
August 20th, 2006, 04:36 PM
There seems to be a common misconception that testimonials can be both positive and negative. I believe people are confusing testimonial with testimony.
tes·ti·mo·ni·al Pronunciation Key (tst-mn-l)
n.

1. A statement in support of a particular truth, fact, or claim.
2. A written affirmation of another's character or worth; a personal recommendation.
3. Something given in appreciation of a person's service or achievement; a tribute.
tes·ti·mo·ny Pronunciation Key (tst-mn)
n. pl. tes·ti·mo·nies

1.
1. A declaration by a witness under oath, as that given before a court or deliberative body.
2. All such declarations, spoken or written, offered in a legal case or deliberative hearing.
2. Evidence in support of a fact or assertion; proof.
3. A public declaration regarding a religious experience.
4.
1. The stone tablets inscribed with the Law of Moses.
2. The ark containing these tablets.

matthew
August 20th, 2006, 04:48 PM
There seems to be a common misconception that testimonials can be both positive and negative. I believe people are confusing testimonial with testimony.Doh!

aysiu
August 20th, 2006, 04:50 PM
Well, we could always retitle it to be Ubuntu experiences instead of Testimonials.

coffeecat
August 20th, 2006, 05:08 PM
And, at the very least, it'd be great to have a place on here where I could talk, rationally and constructively, about why I felt I had to switch back for the time being.

Are you going to let us in on the secret? :wink:

Gijith, it was a real pleasure reading your post. You make several valid and important points and I would value the opportunity of debating with you rationally, constructively and, above all, respectfully. I am someone for whom Linux meets 99% of their computing needs and who looks forward to ditching Windows entirely. Nevertheless, I am interested in your reasons. If nothing else I would like to hear more from someone who can put together grammatically correct and properly punctuated sentences - a regrettably unusual occurrence. :( Present company excepted. :)

I will watch the forums just in case you do decide to start such a thread somewhere. I believe your post amply demonstrates the need for such a place. Good wishes for the future and I have noted your use of the phrase '...switch back for the time being' and what this might imply.

Iandefor
August 21st, 2006, 01:18 AM
Since the posters of these kinds of threads in question don't seem to care where they go, I would advocate just creating some kind of farewell forum and lumping any and all goodbye threads into the farewell forum immediately and with extreme prejudice.

This, of course, occurred to me after I voted and I voted for something else :mrgreen:.

MetalMusicAddict
August 22nd, 2006, 12:58 AM
Much better thread than I tried. :)

I'm going with #2. Ones that offer no constructive critisizm should be removed. Otherwise I feel they offer nothing but a space for someone to b!tch. That takes up space and bandwith.

AllenGG
August 22nd, 2006, 03:19 AM
Are you going to let us in on the secret? :wink:

Gijith, it was a real pleasure reading your post. You make several valid and important points and I would value the opportunity of debating with you rationally, constructively and, above all, respectfully. I am someone for whom Linux meets 99% of their computing needs and who looks forward to ditching Windows entirely. Nevertheless, I am interested in your reasons. If nothing else I would like to hear more from someone who can put together grammatically correct and properly punctuated sentences - a regrettably unusual occurrence. :( Present company excepted. :)
'...switch back for the time being' and what this might imply.
Both of these posters mean well, and thanks go to both for submitting a point of view.
In reality Linux is not for everyone at this time, although Ubuntu with 'Automatix' has done more to fill the need than any other 'distro'.
For me, Ubuntu is a Godsend, but like many here have endured some difficulties, for example setting up a wireless adapter.
Perhaps a system of mentoring may be in order, what we're seeing is people that are voicing an opinion, "going back to Windows", they are not attacking Ubuntu, generally. I believe we should listen to their pleas, remembering that there are many more who say nothing.
Personally I've taken a stand that if friends want some help with their Windows O/S I will only switch them to Ubuntu. This stops the constant problems with that O/S and converts a few to Ubuntu !8)

chaosgeisterchen
September 20th, 2006, 08:34 PM
Go for the new subforum.

One problem could be the mass of farewell-threads.. users are only trived away from ubuntu when reading so many negative threads at one place.

Those threads have to be timebombs - deleted after a certain time - 14 days on from the last reply seems very suitable to me.