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VChief
May 25th, 2018, 01:25 PM
10 years ago, this place was jumping. Tons of posts and community activity. LoCos and LUG's were the hotness. The community was active both online and offline.

So, what happened? When I go all over the internet or try to find active groups offline, I find hardly anything. LoCo's are defunct. LUG's don't seem to even exist anymore. LoCos I helped set up haven't had anything happening to them in 5 or 6 years (I moved away so hadn't kept up). I know I took a little bit of a break from online stuff for a while, but I still noticed a steady decline and am now curious of how people who stayed more involved view this and maybe what people know.

I miss it. I liked the community aspect even if I didn't always agree with the community. It's disappointing that the idea of meeting up with a bunch of Linux users and tech enthusiasts is now gone. What happened, Linux? We used to be built on the community. Now, the community seems to just stay quiet.

Or, did they all move on to a different medium and I just need to find that? I want to be active in the community again, but not sure how. Please tell me the community still exists and Linux hasn't gone the road of being big impersonal companies and no community.

TheFu
May 25th, 2018, 03:01 PM
Linux is mainstream. LUGs are less active because it is 1000x easier to get a Linux system up and working than it was. No more hand-holding necessary for many people. Youtube.

I'm a LUG organizer in a fairly large metro area. We have 1200 members. We have 2 physical meetings weekly (Sundays and Tuesdays) in different outside areas of town and 1 monthly "central" meeting. These meetings usually have 5-10 attendees. Everyone complains about traffic, so they don't/won't come. We've had Saturday morning Beginning Linux sessions at a local University which were well attended for 3 weeks, then attendance drops to 3-5 people.

There are other groups that are linux centric, but not about Linux itself in the area which have more members. The OpenStack meetup is huge. Same for F/LOSS-DBMS and DevOps groups. Historically, these would be part of a Linux group, just as a BOF internal group. People feel the specialization is good - so do I. I've attended and spoke at different LUGs around the world. Usually, they have a slant. None that I've found are about desktop Linux, but that could be my personal bias, since I care very little about desktops.

There are also Data Security meetups, which are related to Linux/Unix, and very well attended here. These usually follow the DefCon model ... DC{insert areacode}. I've attended DC events around the world. In London, it was standing room only with 3 speakers and about 150 attendees. My local area has 2 DC groups (equally inconvenient to my location).

Using google to find your local LUG shouldn't be that hard. "Linux + Town" or "Linux + University" usually work, but it just depends on the local people. If you want a LUG, START ONE!!! Either get a meetup page ($16/month) or setup a website($4/month) and announce your intentions. Visit other similar meetings and ask their organizers if you could announce your group to them.

BTW "Linux" isn't a company.

PaulW2U
May 25th, 2018, 03:03 PM
10 years ago, this place was jumping. Tons of posts and community activity. LoCos and LUG's were the hotness. The community was active both online and offline.
I joined these forums eight years ago last week and I recall the same. There was much more activity in the development forums, i.e. those testing the next Ubuntu release, which is how I became as involved as I have been over the years.

Please tell me the community still exists and Linux hasn't gone the road of being big impersonal companies and no community.
Some long term users, some of whom were also Canonical employees, have moved on. May be their replacements have different views on how they want to participate? Also of note is that there have been very few applications for Ubuntu Membership (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Membership) of late and some of the Ubuntu flavour development teams seem to be existing on fewer active members than previously. We've also lost our weekly Ubuntu On-Air (http://ubuntuonair.com/) broadcasts which did a lot in answering questions raised by the community.

Although not a support site, the Ubuntu Community Hub (https://community.ubuntu.com/) seems to be a venue for the exchange of ideas, calls for discussion, and updates for a small number of projects that involve both Canonical employees and the Ubuntu community. The Hub seems to have been accepted in a way that these forums never have been.

The Ubuntu community has changed but it's still there.

VChief
May 25th, 2018, 04:04 PM
Linux is mainstream. LUGs are less active because it is 1000x easier to get a Linux system up and working than it was. No more hand-holding necessary for many people. Youtube.

I'm a LUG organizer in a fairly large metro area. We have 1200 members. We have 2 physical meetings weekly (Sundays and Tuesdays) in different outside areas of town and 1 monthly "central" meeting. These meetings usually have 5-10 attendees. Everyone complains about traffic, so they don't/won't come. We've had Saturday morning Beginning Linux sessions at a local University which were well attended for 3 weeks, then attendance drops to 3-5 people.

There are other groups that are linux centric, but not about Linux itself in the area which have more members. The OpenStack meetup is huge. Same for F/LOSS-DBMS and DevOps groups. Historically, these would be part of a Linux group, just as a BOF internal group. People feel the specialization is good - so do I. I've attended and spoke at different LUGs around the world. Usually, they have a slant. None that I've found are about desktop Linux, but that could be my personal bias, since I care very little about desktops.

There are also Data Security meetups, which are related to Linux/Unix, and very well attended here. These usually follow the DefCon model ... DC{insert areacode}. I've attended DC events around the world. In London, it was standing room only with 3 speakers and about 150 attendees. My local area has 2 DC groups (equally inconvenient to my location).


So, you're seeing that it has more or less become more specific vs. a general "Linux group". That makes sense.



Using google to find your local LUG shouldn't be that hard. "Linux + Town" or "Linux + University" usually work, but it just depends on the local people. If you want a LUG, START ONE!!! Either get a meetup page ($16/month) or setup a website($4/month) and announce your intentions. Visit other similar meetings and ask their organizers if you could announce your group to them.


I've thought about it but the question I had is...do people still want it. No sense in spending money for something nobody wants.


BTW "Linux" isn't a company.


I never said it was. I've been using Linux since the mid 90's. Been around the block a time or two. I didn't say that Linux itself is literally a company (seriously, what is it with everyone taking everything literally...and that's not a literal statement). What I was asking was if it went "the way of" companies. In other words, nobody really thinks of Windows or Mac as a community in the same sense that Linux was seen as. It was seen as a product of a company. Linux was seen as a product of a community. I'm asking if the view is now that it's a product of companies (i.e. Canonical, Red Hat, IBM, etc.).


I joined these forums eight years ago last week and I recall the same. There was much more activity in the development forums, i.e. those testing the next Ubuntu release, which is how I became as involved as I have been over the years.


I noticed that Launchpad announcements for Ubuntu are all but gone. There was an announcement for 18.04 but the last announcement was for 14.10. To me, that's sad and unnerving. Canonical already makes me nervous as sometimes it seems that theire concern for the community is near nonexistent. Linux was built on community. I have no issue with corporate interests, but that shouldn't be the foundation.



Some long term users, some of whom were also Canonical employees, have moved on. May be their replacements have different views on how they want to participate? Also of note is that there have been very few applications for Ubuntu Membership (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Membership) of late and some of the Ubuntu flavour development teams seem to be existing on fewer active members than previously. We've also lost our weekly Ubuntu On-Air (http://ubuntuonair.com/) broadcasts which did a lot in answering questions raised by the community.


Very disappointing and, really sad. I noticed the Ubuntu Membership applications. I've been thinking of years about going for a membership by jumping into Kubuntu (I love KDE...what can I say) work. Not a big fan of Canonical, but overall I like the projects. Maybe I'll finally jump in and help somewhere and get that memberships. Been looking for a Linux project to get involved in for a while. Didn't want to initially go for a "big one" but at the same time seeing one of the biggest communities dwindle is concerning.



Although not a support site, the Ubuntu Community Hub (https://community.ubuntu.com/) seems to be a venue for the exchange of ideas, calls for discussion, and updates for a small number of projects that involve both Canonical employees and the Ubuntu community. The Hub seems to have been accepted in a way that these forums never have been.

The Ubuntu community has changed but it's still there.

Cool. I'll check it out. I don't have the most addictive personality or I'd try to revive some local stuff myself (like the LoCo here which is active enough that someone approved me joining on launchpad but otherwise seems dead).

TheFu
May 25th, 2018, 04:43 PM
I've thought about it but the question I had is...do people still want it. No sense in spending money for something nobody wants.
That's the problem with all advertising. Until you do it, you'll never know. If you are helpful and provide information the local users want, they will come.



I never said it was. I've been using Linux since the mid 90's. Been around the block a time or two. I didn't say that Linux itself is literally a company (seriously, what is it with everyone taking everything literally...and that's not a literal statement). What I was asking was if it went "the way of" companies. In other words, nobody really thinks of Windows or Mac as a community in the same sense that Linux was seen as. It was seen as a product of a company. Linux was seen as a product of a community. I'm asking if the view is now that it's a product of companies (i.e. Canonical, Red Hat, IBM, etc.).
Sorry you took it that way. I should have added a <sarcasm> tag. But many uninformed people DO THINK that Linux is a company and that they can demand features from it even if they aren't paying a dime. Most people in the world don't know anything about how Linux is build or how a distro happens. They believe that 'good will' is what the Linux "company" is seeking, since they don't charge and that the "linux company" is making a profit somehow. We've all come across people like that.

There was something about Ubuntu Membership that turned me off. Same for getting a Launchpad account or being a CoLo contact. Entering into voluntary contracts that don't feel right me isn't something I'll do. Just because something isn't right for me, doesn't mean it isn't great for everyone else. That is a common theme in my world. ;)

VChief
May 25th, 2018, 05:39 PM
That's the problem with all advertising. Until you do it, you'll never know. If you are helpful and provide information the local users want, they will come.


Fair enough



Sorry you took it that way. I should have added a <sarcasm> tag. But many uninformed people DO THINK that Linux is a company and that they can demand features from it even if they aren't paying a dime. Most people in the world don't know anything about how Linux is build or how a distro happens. They believe that 'good will' is what the Linux "company" is seeking, since they don't charge and that the "linux company" is making a profit somehow. We've all come across people like that.


Well, that was also the reason I was afraid you thought that I thought that. ;)



There was something about Ubuntu Membership that turned me off. Same for getting a Launchpad account or being a CoLo contact. Entering into voluntary contracts that don't feel right me isn't something I'll do. Just because something isn't right for me, doesn't mean it isn't great for everyone else. That is a common theme in my world. ;)

I don't recall anything in the contracts/ToS that bugged me and I signed the CoC back in 2007 apparently. But,hey, that's the point: you should only sign if you agree. Out of curiosity, what didn't you like about it? If not, that's fine. I will admit that a relationship with Ubuntu has always been a little iffy with me just because of the Canonical angle and some of the corporate stuff they pulled. I love the community foundation of Linux so I will admit that's always made me uneasy.

QIII
May 25th, 2018, 05:53 PM
My guess is that the proliferation of support venues and social media have simply caused dispersion. There are many more places to go now and no one place has such a large population of users any more.

Frogs Hair
May 25th, 2018, 06:29 PM
Users have become better at finding solutions for technical problems that don't require joining a user community. Some questions comes to mind , do I want a solution to a problem , do I want to be part of an on-line community or both. Ubuntu bug #1 has now been closed and this too has an impact on the community.


There is a social element to this bug report as well, of course. It served for many as a sort of declaration of intent.


https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/1/comments/1834

VChief
May 25th, 2018, 06:52 PM
Users have become better at finding solutions for technical problems that don't require joining a user community. Some questions comes to mind , do I want a solution to a problem , do I want to be part of an on-line community or both. Ubuntu bug #1 has now been closed and this too has an impact on the community.


https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/1/comments/1834

I suppose you're right on that. It's just disappointing because the community was something that I always liked about Linux and FOSS. I mean, I didn't *always* like the community and the way it acted, but I did like that it existed. And it seems to be a dying breed.

I also want to see Linux stay "owned" by the community, not "owned" by companies.

uRock
May 25th, 2018, 06:58 PM
I remember the days when the forums were bustling with users. I agree with what TheFu is saying. I've seen a lot of groups on Facebook for Linux. I even joined 40-50 of them and quickly left because people weren't willing to do any research and the trolls made it impossible to have a decent conversation.

I have also noticed that many of the people who're drawn to Linux as part of their education and profession are knee deep in Cybersecurity groups and events. Linux has become so easy to install and use that these guys are able to Google any questions they have and find their answers without needing to create an account.

Personally, I slowed down my Linux community activity because I can find the fixes to my problems so easily and most of the problems I see when skimming the forums haven't been seen on my systems. My graphics cards aren't high end, I don't dual boot with Windows, and I generally have no problems getting things done. I have also grown tired of the high number of internet trolls. Back when I was the most active, was when I was in college and had a dream that I would land a real IT job.

Nowadays I spend most of my time starting my own business. My business has nothing to do with IT. The network security engineering and the cyber forensic degrees were very entertaining, but useless. I refuse to take another call center job.

Dragonbite
May 25th, 2018, 07:39 PM
I think there are a number of factors we can guess at, and a number of factors we'll never know.

I mean some ideas can be

Linux has just gotten easier.
If you're a Linux user and you don't want it "easy" then you move to Manjaro or some other distribution.
Windows 10 has made Microsoft a viable alternative (well... maybe, maybe no)
More people using Android, Chromebooks and Macs for ease (or work)
People moving from Linux due to the lack of Mobile integration?
Alternative sources for answering questions and being engaged (Stack Overflow?)
Unity. (not saying I like it or don't like it, but the change-and-back didn't agree with some people)
Mint (or KDE Neon) taking the "easy to set up and use" category?
Canonical making changes and the community being left to feel they have no say or have any voice?
Systems are getting mature and with less movement there are fewer questions?
Ubuntu become less "fun" and more corporate?
Fewer incentives for LUGs? (all Computer User Groups are suffering right now. The DACS I have been involved in is folding into the local Hackerspace from low-membership)
Other places to get information, like Ubuntu Ask?
Social Media?



That being said, I wonder if the forums would get a "shot in the arm" by trying to open their forums up and making it more friendly to be a resource for ALL Ubuntu-based distributions (Neon, Pop!, Mint, for Raspberry Pi, etc. etc. etc.) as well as for makers, developers and education.

Yeah, I remember the hey-day when this WAS my social media!

ajgreeny
May 25th, 2018, 07:48 PM
My guess is that the proliferation of support venues and social media have simply caused disbursion. There are many more places to go now and no one place has such a large population of users any more.
^^^ +1 ^^^
I agree and also think that many Linux distros have become so much easier to install and use that the problems have become fewer and fewer since the early days.

I joined this forum in July 2005 after using Ubuntu 5.04 for a very short period and I agree that at that time the action here was buzzing with many questions about the basics of installing and using, and at that time many users believed that Linux was a straight replacement for Windows and would work in the same way.

I think we have fewer users and potential users these days who believe that, though I may, of course, be wrong!

speedwell68
May 26th, 2018, 07:30 PM
I am a member of a lot of forums. They range in subjects from Shaving, Classic Volkwagens to Vaping and FOSS. They are all slowly dying a death. It is caused by the rise of platforms like Facebook and Reddit. It is how things go. Forums killed Newsgroups, you needed to setup a separate client to access newsgroups which required a certain about of know how and effort. Then you had to trawl through loads of different groups to find what you wanted. The forums came along and it was as easy as opening a browser and registering, but you would have to register at many forums to find what you wanted and a vibe you liked. Then Faceache and Reddit came along. All you have to do is register once and all of your mates will be there too.

Artificial Intelligence
May 27th, 2018, 05:49 PM
I think a lot of users went to OMGUbuntu, they don't have trouble attracting users.

TheFu
May 27th, 2018, 07:25 PM
I think a lot of users went to OMGUbuntu, they don't have trouble attracting users.

OMBU has forums? I've never seen them and I watch that site's RSS feeds. If they have outsourced their feedback or forums to a 3rd party, then I won't join over privacy considerations.

My area LUG was slowly dying. Seems "kids" didn't know how to search the internet for {city}+Linux to find a LUG. There were about 6 nearby LUGs, each servicing different parts of our metro area. Each paying $16/month to meetup to use their infrastructure. Meetup really isn't anything all that special - except kids know to look on meetup. That is their special sauce, nothing more. I started attending the meetup LUG closest to my part of the city and started cross-advertising all the different meetups around the metro area together. After about a year, we decided to merge into ALE (ALE.org) and take the largest meetup account as the main one, letting the others die. We have tried to be clear that we'd support any Linux-groups with our meetup to get the most bang for the effort. We had
* Central
* NW
* SW
* N
* NE
groups related to ALE. Each is usually connected, informally, with a college or University in that part of town. The only LUG that chose not to be a part was the Georgia Tech LUG ... which makes sense. They have little need for outsiders and parking around GA-Tech is a nightmare (I used to work in the area), so it has to be a pretty special event to get anyone to visit who isn't tied to GT already.
The different sub-groups have expanded and contracted. The N and NE groups died mainly because the organizers didn't have time to organize. Traffic is terrible here on weeknights, so I won't even leave my quarter of town for a meeting.

Where were down to about 200 members before meetup, since adding meetup, we are over 1200 members, though the most we get out to any event might be 100. Average meetings are usually 10 or fewer people.

Getting good talks is hard. Most of our membership is under non-public-speaking limitations from their employers. We have guys running thousands of systems for huge internet names you all know. We have former corporate CEOs for huge distros that you've probably tried in our members. Lots of entrepreneurs, lots of small company IT, mid-sized company and large companies are in our membership too.

There are podcasts around Linux which answer users' questions or have "chat rooms".
* Linux Action Show (dead?)
* Ask Noah
* Category5.tv
are a few. There must be 20 others.

There are virtual LUGs too.

And IRC is still going, though most new Linux users haven't seen/heard about IRC or usenet - those work too.

Well - off to a LUG mtg. ;)

Artificial Intelligence
May 27th, 2018, 07:33 PM
OMBU has forums? I've never seen them and I watch that site's RSS feeds.

No, but they have a lot of activities in the comment-box. They easely get 200 replies within hours.

Sami_Mattila
May 28th, 2018, 02:10 PM
Truth is this forum is kind of clumsy to use and confusing compared to sites like https://askubuntu.com/.
They don't have confusing categories but use a much more modern hash tag system that is just way more easier to navigate.
Maybe if the OP's would modernize this forum we would get a resurgence but I doubt that will happen unless Canonical Ltd actually takes charge.
Just my opinion. No need to flame over dying embers.

Sam

uRock
May 28th, 2018, 06:12 PM
Truth is this forum is kind of clumsy to use and confusing compared to sites like https://askubuntu.com/......

I never would've thought this. After having a few threads closed there as duplicates, that weren't truly duplicates, I stopped using that site. A lot of Google searches lead me there for answers and I am thankful for that, but will never log in there again.

Dragonbite
May 31st, 2018, 02:48 PM
Compared to social media, Forums are clunky and non-intuitive and that is no fault of the forums themselves per se.


This makes me think of the computer club I have been part of for a number of years, and watched membership dwindle from its heyday. That "heyday", mind you, was when droves of people would come to the meetings to learn how to get on the Internet (dial-up modems!), how to stay safe, using antivirus software, what's new in (boxed) software, etc.

But the world has changed, and there are so many other ways to get that same information. Internet is practically ubiquitous and you can learn everything from YouTube Videos! (seriously, I wouldn't be surprised if there's one on how to make your own nuclear power plant in your back yard...:-k hmmm) as well as other sources. The more popular subjects for club meetings were less computer-focused and more on using technology (drones, online marketing, state of connectivity, etc.).

The user group is currently in the process of being absorbed in the successful local Hackerspace. The hackerspace provides something different (space and tools to build things) as well as meetups (AI, 3D printing, etc.), workshops and lessons.

Could the Ubuntu forums come back? I don't think in its current form. That being said, the purpose of the forums needs to be reviewed.

Questions and Answers - needs to be easy to search, ask, answer, reference (even years later) and update so it keeps up with the current version. Needs to provide quick, concise and detailed answers like some of the blog posts I often find my answers, that lays out each step-by-step and reason for the steps.
Social - need to make it easy for people to gather online, read, write and resond. As the social media venues have different style and focus (Instagram and pictures for example) it would need to know where the audience goes to know how to display themselves.
Influence - whatever communication platform is used or created, having the chance to bring up ideas and suggestions that may actually be heard would go a long way to making it feel mroe than just a gripe-fest. If developers (or proxies) were to provide insight on how things are working, or use it to feed innovation, then that would engage the community and bring them back into the fold.
Fun - in the early days (mid-2000s) Ubuntu had something that Red Hat and others didn't ... the fun to laugh! I mean, who thought of the fun animal names? And to think people had a chance to help choose the animal or pronound was fun. In the wash of blues, the orange color stood out (I still liked the lighter brown/tan but the orange stands out too)



But to do so, would take dedicated staff and Canonical is focused on Enterprise (and making $$$ because they need to).

I dunno.

Oh, and just for fun ...

https://ubuntuforums.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=238732&d=1332517199

QIII
May 31st, 2018, 04:38 PM
You don't think the current UF staff is dedicated?

The UF is a volunteer, peer end-user support venue. Change that and you don't have the UF.

monkeybrain20122
May 31st, 2018, 05:31 PM
Truth is this forum is kind of clumsy to use and confusing compared to sites like https://askubuntu.com/.
They don't have confusing categories but use a much more modern hash tag system that is just way more easier to navigate.
Maybe if the OP's would modernize this forum we would get a resurgence but I doubt that will happen unless Canonical Ltd actually takes charge.
Just my opinion. No need to flame over dying embers.

Sam

I am always having problems to even login there.

monkeybrain20122
May 31st, 2018, 05:42 PM
No, but they have a lot of activities in the comment-box. They easely get 200 replies within hours.

BUt the comments on OMG are mostly opinions or rantings rather than technical helps. You may stumble on technical help sometimes but only by accident (same with social media), there is no structure to their comment section and mostly are just rants.

deadflowr
May 31st, 2018, 05:47 PM
I could care less about popularity if I can help one user from going bald, I'm happy.

monkeybrain20122
May 31st, 2018, 05:53 PM
For problems related to software (other than Ubuntu specific ones) I tend to go to github or launchpad to ask the developer or packager. It seems that I am getting faster responses and better results that way.

lisati
May 31st, 2018, 07:19 PM
Compared to social media, Forums are clunky and non-intuitive and that is no fault of the forums themselves per se.


I think I might be getting older and more at risk of becoming a boring old so-and-so, but I prefer the feel of forums. For starters, here at the UF, the pages (usually) seem to load more snappily than some other websites - I have no idea why some websites seem to have a need to keep my browser's wheels spinning for several seconds after the main text of their page(s) has loaded.

cruzer001
May 31st, 2018, 07:26 PM
I have no idea why some websites seem to have a need to keep my browser's wheels spinning for several seconds after the main text of their page(s) has loaded.
I always thought it was noscript and/or adblock stopping their completion.

Irihapeti
May 31st, 2018, 11:18 PM
Why is it so fashionable to pick on forums as being old-fashioned?

Developers prefer mailing lists and irc. You can't get much more old-fashioned than that, and no one seems to mind much.

uRock
May 31st, 2018, 11:32 PM
Why is it so fashionable to pick on forums as being old-fashioned?

Developers prefer mailing lists and irc. You can't get much more old-fashioned than that, and no one seems to mind much.

I think the people who prefer social media only do it because they're thinking of themselves. I prefer using the forums, because they come up in Google searches and possibly save other people a lot of time.

I like jumping on IRC when I need a quick fix or want to be entertained by watching a troll getting the boot, which seems to happen every time I visit.

lisati
May 31st, 2018, 11:33 PM
Why is it so fashionable to pick on forums as being old-fashioned?

Developers prefer mailing lists and irc. You can't get much more old-fashioned than that, and no one seems to mind much.
I could go back further, and mention party lines and going through the operator for ALL phone calls, but suspect that it would be plain inconvenient. Yes, I remember both from my younger days living in the Howick (Auckland, New Zealand) area, and at times it doesn't seem that long ago.

PaulW2U
May 31st, 2018, 11:37 PM
Compared to social media, Forums are clunky and non-intuitive and that is no fault of the forums themselves per se.

Why is it so fashionable to pick on forums as being old-fashioned?
I've seen evidence to suggest that some users won't come here due the type of software that these forums, and of course many others, use.

I visit several thriving and expanding software related forums that now use Discourse (https://www.discourse.org/) which gives their users a much more modern and cleaner look and feel. It's an interesting format which I am still trying to get used to.

Both the Ubuntu Community Hub (https://community.ubuntu.com/) and Ubuntu MATE Community (https://ubuntu-mate.community/) use Discourse.

Erik1984
June 1st, 2018, 08:52 PM
I am a member of a lot of forums. They range in subjects from Shaving, Classic Volkwagens to Vaping and FOSS. They are all slowly dying a death. It is caused by the rise of platforms like Facebook and Reddit. It is how things go. Forums killed Newsgroups, you needed to setup a separate client to access newsgroups which required a certain about of know how and effort. Then you had to trawl through loads of different groups to find what you wanted. The forums came along and it was as easy as opening a browser and registering, but you would have to register at many forums to find what you wanted and a vibe you liked. Then Faceache and Reddit came along. All you have to do is register once and all of your mates will be there too.

I agree with this (and many other things said in the other posts) in the sense that I observe the same. I don't follow that many forums but what they have in common is mainly long time users posting and only a few new users at all. This forum still has plenty of new users but most of them don't come for the community as it seems.

Good to see many of the old names posting in this thread!

pteryges
June 3rd, 2018, 08:56 AM
Newer online spaces have taken over--reddit, Discord, and Slack among others--just as forums took over from Usenet groups and BBS.

mohicann
June 3rd, 2018, 04:43 PM
When I need an information, I can almost always find it on google. For those who are looking for social networking, there are still a lot of tools available on Internet (facebook groups, etc). These forums are very likely to have reached their goal in being very exhaustive as I dare someone not to find the information they was looking for on them.

DougieFresh4U
June 3rd, 2018, 08:36 PM
Great thread!
12 years ago this forum would really be 'hopping'.
I would love stopping in nightly and The Cafe would have
new threads/post all nite. Help was needed a lot more back then
but now that the majority of questions have been asked/answered
that a lot of people can just google for what they could have gotten here at the forum.
Remember most people were learning back in the day and help was so easy to get
whereas now some people have been run off and berated for not 'asking 'google'
or doing your 'research'.
Also not to make 'trouble' but the forum here has gotten a little stricter and less fun.
My thoughts.

bodhin2
June 4th, 2018, 10:43 PM
i am hoping movng back to ubuntu will be a good thing and the knowledgeable support by good people is still here.

oneleded
July 3rd, 2018, 06:16 AM
I never would've thought this. After having a few threads closed there as duplicates, that weren't truly duplicates, I stopped using that site. A lot of Google searches lead me there for answers and I am thankful for that, but will never log in there again.
out of curiosity, what makes a post a duplicate? i added some to a thread i had marked as solved, more threads than once, but seemed to be related to the original problem. it was suggested not to duplicate posts.. i think i was multiplying a post. only been here a couple of years or so... roundabout.

bodhin2
July 3rd, 2018, 02:50 PM
i too had a mod say start a new thread when i was having a discussion and question about the relevant topic at hand. he also said the same thing to another person same thread. I thought it was proper to expand on or investigate the topic of he thread. made me feel like crawling under a rock. Many mods have been great help and extremely fair about directing a thread or commenting on people's participation. not sure where all that is coming from. but then again i am new here. haven't been around since ubuntu started. and yes that was a zoo in many ways. if i knew the answer i would not ask this stuff. if i was not so confused than i also would not ask. :-)

wildmanne39
July 3rd, 2018, 03:32 PM
Hello bodhin2, if the thread in question is the one I asked you to start your own thread in, I will explain, we only allow one person and one topic per thread in the support sub-forums, we call it hijacking someone else's, thread the reason for that even though the symptoms may seem the same most of the time the cause is totally different and it takes away from the OP getting the help he needs and you yourself, you both deserve to get individual help, also when searchers are looking for solutions using there favorite search engine when they come across a thread marked solved we want them to actually find the answer to the thread relevant to there search.

We do not allow discussions in the support sub-forums they should take place in the cafe or Ubuntu, Linux and OS Chat. We also have a policy on keeping a thread on topic so please remember the title of this thread. You do not have to feel bad because I asked you to start a new thread that is how we learn, we were all new here at one time, I do recommend that you read the posting guidelines in my signature and also the CoC here:

https://ubuntuforums.org/misc.php?do=showrules

I was being helpful and doing my duty when I posted in the other thread as I am now, enjoy the forum and know we are all in this together. If you would like to communicate more with me please do so in a pm and instead of taking a thread off topic, yes I know it was already taken off topic and no need to feel bad about it as I said this is all a learning process.

Thanks

bodhin2
July 3rd, 2018, 03:42 PM
we are good. i just see both sides. thanks.

1fallen
July 3rd, 2018, 03:52 PM
I was being helpful and doing my duty when I posted in the other thread as I am now, enjoy the forum and know we are all in this together. If you would like to communicate more with me please do so in a pm and instead of taking a thread off topic, yes I know it was already taken off topic and no need to feel bad about it as I said this is all a learning process.

Thanks
+1 ^^^^^^^
I can't think of a nicer personality as far as a online presence>>bear in mind the staff use just matter of fact statements and are not meant to be taken personally. (If personal, it is "usually" handled via a PM)
They just try their best at keeping order here in our very friendly Forum.
The example wildmanne39 refers to>>>say in another forum would/could have been a lot more harsh.
Sorry I'm now off topic also. :)

thenailedone
July 3rd, 2018, 08:40 PM
I like trains.

treb0r
July 11th, 2018, 03:32 PM
I like trains too!

Where have all the users gone?

https://news.softpedia.com/news/infographic-ubuntu-linux-is-used-by-millions-worldwide-521914.shtml

Haha. It would seem that they are all far too busy using Ubuntu to bother with forums!

rosswmcgee
July 14th, 2018, 04:42 PM
Moved to Manjaro?

oldos2er
July 14th, 2018, 04:58 PM
Where have all the users gone, long time passing?
Where have all the users gone, long time ago?
Where have all the users gone, they've gone to other distros, every one.
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

--Apologies to Pete Seeger.

1clue
September 12th, 2018, 05:26 PM
I am a member of a lot of forums. They range in subjects from Shaving, Classic Volkwagens to Vaping and FOSS. They are all slowly dying a death. It is caused by the rise of platforms like Facebook and Reddit. It is how things go. Forums killed Newsgroups, you needed to setup a separate client to access newsgroups which required a certain about of know how and effort. Then you had to trawl through loads of different groups to find what you wanted. The forums came along and it was as easy as opening a browser and registering, but you would have to register at many forums to find what you wanted and a vibe you liked. Then Faceache and Reddit came along. All you have to do is register once and all of your mates will be there too.

+1.

The problem with social media like Facebook is that Facebook is not a forum. It's not easy to search, and it doesn't have nearly as many relevant features as good forum software has. Same goes for other 'generic' social media.

Compound that with people who don't want to use Google, and who get angry because you posted your answer as a link to one of those hits rather than type it in specifically altered for their use case, and that compounds the problem by making future google hits less helpful.

And then you have youtube, where sometimes the video is a live stream of somebody trying something for the first time, so you get documentation of all their mistakes. Or they're trying to sell something. Or they added a bunch of totally unrelated keywords to their description in hopes of getting more viewers.


Like most of the other posters on this thread who hail back to the 90s, I remember the LUGs, and I remember before I found one installing Linux from a magazine article and a bunch of floppies that came with it. Or downloading the floppy images through a 1200 baud modem from a BBS, and it took days because they only had 4 modems and you had to share.

The user base for Linux has changed, and so has the quality of the documentation and the quality of the software itself. Back in the 90s the focus was getting hardware to work before that hardware was irrelevant. Then companies making quality components started supporting their hardware with Linux drivers, or at least cooperating with somebody who wanted to do it. But everything was done with a news group or a mailing list, and things were cumbersome.

When forums came around they were much easier to work with, and several iterations of forum software made things so much better. But forum software and the organizations who administer it require that users post to the correct section and follow certain behavioral guidelines. Facebook just wants you to join the group, and the admins have much less control over the users. And the users have no idea why organization might be important, and no interest in finding out if their question was asked before.

I'd like to think this death-of-the-forums and migration to social media is due to a lack of education, but I'm reminded of all the things my parents' generation said were signs that my generation was going south. I'm not sure what will come of community support, but I hope it gets here soon.

1clue
September 12th, 2018, 05:31 PM
Where have all the users gone, long time passing?
Where have all the users gone, long time ago?
Where have all the users gone, they've gone to other distros, every one.
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

--Apologies to Pete Seeger.

That song came up the moment I first read the title in the forum list.

hoppipolla
September 28th, 2018, 09:30 PM
Maybe when I stopped posting years ago people decided to leave too :o

Seriously though I'm not really sure. It is definitely quieter than it used to be when I was a regular member back in the day.

Is Linux as popular as it used to be? And is Ubuntu? I know that I mostly use Windows 7 these days but that's because it's a stable option that I'm used to and it doesn't mess me around too much. I don't dislike Linux, I just like to do some gaming and I don't tend to experiment with the OS as much as I used to. I still keep live CDs of Mint and Ubuntu and maybe others knocking around though and I definitely would miss them if they weren't available!

So... I guess I don't really have an answer. But it's cool to make a post again after so long and that's my reason for being somewhat MIA in recent years!

VMC
September 29th, 2018, 04:08 PM
If you look at the https://ubuntuforums.org/images/ubuntu-VB4/misc/users_online.pngCurrently Active UsersYou'll see many time well over 20,000. It fluctuates throughout the day. Most are guests, but no other forum besides Windows users have that many.

linuxyogi
October 4th, 2018, 01:57 PM
I think less posting here (The Cafe) is coz of Facebook. I am part of the Linux group on Facebook but I hardly post there but I agree that its really disappointing that people dont post here (The Cafe) anymore.

ryleyrushh
October 9th, 2018, 09:43 AM
I think "Era of forums" has finished. Everybody can find quick answers in Google and a lot of communities in the social media. I will miss this warm times.

1clue
October 9th, 2018, 05:57 PM
I think "Era of forums" has finished. Everybody can find quick answers in Google and a lot of communities in the social media. I will miss this warm times.

I find that distressing.

I have a membership in a Raspberry Pi group on Facebook. It's not searchable, it's not browseable, and anything over a couple days old is buried forever.

Not only that, people get angry because you suggest search terms or even paste a link to a project doing exactly what they want to do. They seem to want you to read the material you found, build the project according to their specific needs, test it, and then tell them, step by step, how to get it done. Or better yet, send them the finished product. For free.

oneleded
October 10th, 2018, 03:37 AM
my train of thought run off the tracks, many decades ago.. yet i find hope here. this forum is dedicated to free expression, with the web, an things involved. social sites try to influence/thought. i hope linux an so many derivatives, will take us forward, including ubuntu. this place has yet to wake up., in the minds, of those that dont know.

ryleyrushh
October 10th, 2018, 09:50 AM
I feel the same. I love forums first of all because these people become for you like a family. You always stay in touch and support each other. heh. sad.

jamesfbays
October 15th, 2018, 05:23 PM
I was never a member, but I kinda miss the Linsux forums...

VChief
December 28th, 2018, 03:30 PM
It was a lot of fun.

worcester
December 30th, 2018, 10:07 PM
I think "Era of forums" has finished. Everybody can find quick answers in Google and a lot of communities in the social media. I will miss this warm times.

Interesting thought. Don't think forums are finished though. When you search for Ubuntu questions and answers for many things you land on this forum.

Being an active member of a community is another thing entirely though. Can be quite a time commitment and those that control/moderate the community play a huge role in its success.

Tadaen_Sylvermane
December 31st, 2018, 10:25 PM
I'm still poking around. Though I'm not a long time or high activity user. My activity has gone down as I usually find myself getting into arguments or fights, no one wins that way. I have come to finally realize that everyone is a badass behind a screen and keyboard (sarcasm), even me. Not something to be proud of. As such I only post if I genuinely have something that I am certain of being helpful or logical. I rarely post with problems anymore, only because I've solved nearly every problem I've had with my server and laptop, both Ubuntu. Everything is sorted just right, and if I haven't got anything nice to say, I shut it.

worcester
January 3rd, 2019, 10:41 PM
I'm still poking around. Though I'm not a long time or high activity user. My activity has gone down as I usually find myself getting into arguments or fights, no one wins that way. I have come to finally realize that everyone is a badass behind a screen and keyboard (sarcasm), even me. Not something to be proud of. As such I only post if I genuinely have something that I am certain of being helpful or logical. I rarely post with problems anymore, only because I've solved nearly every problem I've had with my server and laptop, both Ubuntu. Everything is sorted just right, and if I haven't got anything nice to say, I shut it.

As momma always said to me. Got nothing nice to say. Don't say anything!

freemedia2018
January 11th, 2019, 04:13 PM
I also want to see Linux stay "owned" by the community, not "owned" by companies.

Microsoft and IBM are going to push for more control over the operating system-- they wont achieve perfect control but they will have the influence that matters to them. This is not a victory, in my opinion. Also people have options, but I think they underestimate the amount of corporate influence.

Canonical (Ubuntu) is also a corporation. I don't put them in the same category as Microsoft and IBM, though they are likely to do things with Microsoft and IBM that I personally think are unhelpful in this regard.

samalex
January 18th, 2019, 02:32 AM
Your post is about 8 months old, but I was actually going to ask the same thing. I used to frequent this forum daily for lots of active chat, but it and most of the other areas on UF's are kinda dead. I also was very active in our local LUG's, I've helped to start two, one in 2000 and another in 2005, but both fizzed out after a few years. I've wanted to start another one, but alas I think Linux has become mainstream enough that LUG's are kinda unneeded. Being a former BBSer I miss the comradery of a local techie hangout or even an online one if I could find a community with folks that could get to know one another. Most forums anymore are a revolving door of anonymous folks. I've looked at SDF.ORG, The Well, and some other old-school forums, but most have dried up. And I don't care for mainstream social media like Facebook. I'd love to hear other options of places to hangout not only for some techie chat but just general chatter.

saamaan
January 20th, 2019, 02:05 PM
I was never a member

Dragonbite
January 21st, 2019, 07:59 PM
The Ubuntu Forums used to be my social media. But now with Ubuntu and Linux becoming more mainstream, and the various social medias available not only on your computer but on your phone, it feels like the usual people here have become scattered.

I would love it if maybe the Ubuntu Forums could morph beyond the walls of regular forums and into an acutal social media of some sort. Don't think it would work inside of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat because there is too little control to squash trolls.

Closest things available now is System76 which is active in Twitter and others.

1clue
January 21st, 2019, 09:33 PM
That raises a good point.

I use social media on my phone, but have you tried to use Ubuntu forums on your phone? It's pretty cumbersome. Moreover, the site as presented to mobile devices is dummied down, and I wind up choosing the "desktop" version of the side because of it.

I personally don't think Ubuntu forums should be lumped together with social media. There is a social aspect to a forum, but its focus is support and probably second place would be collaboration of like minds on projects or news of import to the forum members.

But in the migration from monitors with big screens to phones and tablets, the forum software designed for big screens does not necessarily make itself easy to use on tablets or phones. The problem is compounded by the fact that not all phones have the same resolution or dot pitch, and two phones of the same model have users who choose different font sizes.

What might bring more users back (or slow the loss of existing users) would be careful attention to making the site useful for various sizes of mobile devices. Not making a dumber version of the site, but to enhance usability of the site for smaller screens.

QIII
January 21st, 2019, 10:13 PM
When viewing in desktop mode, what do you find to be cumbersome?

1clue
January 21st, 2019, 10:31 PM
My phone is a Samsung sgs9. It has a higher resolution than my desktop, but of course the dot pitch is much smaller.

In desktop mode the page is rendered the same as if it were on my 24" monitors.



This makes the links and buttons tiny and hard to read, or click.
It makes the text on the screen hard to read.
The page width is huge, so reading content you need to scroll right and left to see what was typed.
Edit/post mode, the text box is bigger than the screen (zoomed) and you can't see everything you typed even on the current line.
Often but not always, the session is lost while you're responding to a post. This is not a timeout, you can quick reply and post and it still lost the session. Other times it works.


That's what I could think of off the top of my head.

Another thing, when using it in mobile mode, the login didn't work; it had the same login process from before the forum hack awhile back, and that page was defunct. I don't know if this has been fixed as I haven't tried to login that way for quite some time.

1clue
January 21st, 2019, 10:33 PM
Surely website developers have smart phones?

QIII
January 21st, 2019, 10:48 PM
The first four are limitations of the device. Of course things will be smaller on a smaller, denser screen. Zooming in will reduce the visible portion.

Losing your connection/session is a function of cellular service and how it works.

As far as designing the interface for phones -- that is purposely "simplified and dumbed down" as are many mobile sites to reduce data transfer.

These are all expected at the current state of the art.

1clue
January 21st, 2019, 11:21 PM
Not exactly.

There should be a way to set the page width. I should be able to read the entire page at a width I choose, and a font size I choose, or the same with a column in the page -- which can happen, only the width of the text areas makes it pretty much useless. Or at least choose a minimum widget size, minimum font size and whatever else is necessary. I don't have definite ideas on that or a definite solution, but there is some new "best practices" that need to happen somehow.

The text areas should flow as necessary.

As it is now, Firefox and probably other mobile browsers allow you to read "just the article" where html5 is being used. But there are limits to the usefulness of that. You can't reply in that mode for example.

This isn't really a complaint about this particular forum, but about forum software in general.

Portaro
January 21st, 2019, 11:21 PM
I still here but with less time to spend on forum. However I dont use phone or social apps to visit a forum or search in internet, for me phones or other type of this tools isnt the best option to do works around iternet I still use the old method - computer Desktop.

The forum of Ubuntu lost participation for the last years and the old users have other interests, perspectives of use or simply make a family or use other Distro projects.

QIII
January 21st, 2019, 11:56 PM
If you were able to "fit to width" on your phone with a particular font size that you are able to see, everything would be squeezed out of a toothpaste tube and pushed down the page in a narrow column.

My websites do that, but on a cell phone that can become a pretty narrow line of toothpaste.

This is all part of the known conditions of using a mobile device. And that is why the mobile version of the UF exists.

Is that keeping people from coming here? I have no idea. I don't think it keeps me from using my cell phone.

1clue
January 22nd, 2019, 12:52 AM
@QIII,

Some of what you're saying are inescapable truths at least at this point. But IMO the mobile version of the forum is not much better, if at all.

Is it keeping people from coming here? It doesn't prevent me from coming here, but I don't do it when I'm on my phone. And compared to when I started here I'm on my phone much much more often than before.

I never really thought of this stuff until @Dragonbite mentioned the social media thing.

Circling back to social media, Facebook is extremely usable on a smart phone. Even the big long posts or ones with lots of photos or video. So the idea of a forum being fully, easily useful on a smart phone is clearly not impossible.

QIII
January 22nd, 2019, 01:28 AM
Well ...

None of use here works for Canonical IT and we certainly have no control over vBulletin. So not much for us to do about any of it.

As to whether it keeps people from using the UF on their phones, we probably have no way to know.

My guess is that at least three things conspire to keep traffic lower here:

1. Social media.

2. A plethora of help sites.

3. A lot of the questions and answers already exist on the UF for those who can search.

1clue
January 22nd, 2019, 01:43 AM
I didn't post my difficulties with the forum on mobile devices as a help request. I only brought it up as a possible reason for lower traffic.

guber2
January 22nd, 2019, 01:46 AM
The decline in desktop and laptop PC sales has reduced the interest in Ubuntu plus the fact it is now harder to set up a dual boot.
Forums used to be riddled with new user questions that the average linux user could answer and we were all learning from one another
and were excited by ubuntu's direction of convergence.
Forums are now mostly more technical questions that need a deeper understanding of Linux.
New users declined and a lot of old users with gained experience drfted to other distros.

QIII
January 22nd, 2019, 02:16 AM
I didn't post my difficulties with the forum on mobile devices as a help request. I only brought it up as a possible reason for lower traffic.

Oh, I realize that.

Just discussing what sorts of "difficulties in use" you might be talking about and those sorts of things would make UF any different from other sites enough to drive decreased use.

I guess what I am saying that using a cell phone to access the UF is no different than the accessing the vast majority of websites, people are aware of how things work on other sites and so that is probably a wash.

A tablet works just fine.

1clue
January 22nd, 2019, 02:45 AM
FWIW other sites I use which are forums have the same issues.

Again, not saying Ubuntu Forum is wrong on anything, just saying that if Facebook can make their site easily usable on a phone then I would think that the same could be done with a real forum. And that frequency of use might increase if they did so.

Pure speculation on my part. And the improvements would likely need to be made in your forum software vendor, not site-specific things this site would need to do.

QIII
January 22nd, 2019, 02:54 AM
Yeah. That's a cash/resource expenditure, though. Bean counters probably don't care about the UF community. We don't drive revenue. :)

1clue
January 22nd, 2019, 04:58 PM
Strikethrough is a very handy feature. If someone needs to edit their post due to a typo or updated information to avoid confusion, strikethrough is just the thing. It admits that you spoke incorrectly and lets you fix the problem. It's especially helpful with contentious discussions.

jfloydb
January 22nd, 2019, 07:21 PM
One reason I do not comment as much as I used to, is that signing in has become so difficult. When the sign-in changed after some sort of breach (years ago now) I had to change my user name and password. I have since forgotten it several times, and have had to come up with new user names and passwords on several occasions. I hardy know who I am anymore! Well, this is my latest user name, and, I guess, I better write my password down someplace...

Edit: Seems I have stumbled upon an old user name. One from 2008. At least I do not look like such a noob...

guber2
January 23rd, 2019, 01:04 AM
@1clue
Strikethrough text.
text
text
Complete Guide to BBCode (http://ubuntuforums.org/misc.php?do=bbcode)
Edit: Strike through that.... didn't realize you were talking about forum on phone. ;)

1clue
January 23rd, 2019, 07:29 PM
@1clue
Strikethrough text.
text
text
Complete Guide to BBCode (http://ubuntuforums.org/misc.php?do=bbcode)
Edit: Strike through that.... didn't realize you were talking about forum on phone. ;)

Thanks

agklimit
February 2nd, 2019, 05:15 AM
My guess is that the proliferation of support venues and social media have simply caused dispersion.

Bingo! I've seen a great decline on many forums (or should it be 'fora')... directly attributable to people jumping over to Facebook/Twitter etc.

oldos2er
March 1st, 2019, 05:38 AM
I do believe this thread has run its course. I would remind all forum members of the Code of Conduct, particularly "The purpose of the Ubuntu Forums is to provide support for Ubuntu. We also want this to be a place where community can develop and we can enjoy one another's company. To achieve this, we strive to maintain an atmosphere that can be enjoyed by all and we ask all members of the community to be respectful at all times. This means please use etiquette and politeness. Treat people with respect. If you do this, the rest of the code of conduct won't need more than a cursory mention" and "This is a moderated forum, but only in the sense that we act to deal with content that violates the forum code of conduct when we become aware of it. The staff of this forum attempt to edit or remove any objectionable or illegal material as quickly as possible."

Closed.