I'm not a big fan of forums. Probably because I very much prefer mailing lists. Or Usenet.

But since a few weeks, I'm trying something new: I've registered on the GNOME Forums (and on the french-speaking GNOME forums too) and I'm trying to participate there. I was already nearly convinced I should do it when Claus sent me a (fairly long) mail explaining that it would be great to try the forums. It was a bit hard at first, but I'm starting to get used to using forums (I find they work better for me when there are some RSS feeds).

I have some goals in doing this:

  • help people: it's really important to have good support. I fondly remember the days, when I started wanting to contribute to GNOME: I joined #gnome-help for a while since it was a good way to contribute. Our users will always need some support, and so we need people helping in this area.
  • meet some users: I often hear people saying that the developers are not listening for users, or similar stuff. To be honest, a normal user won't open a bug in bugzilla. But he will post a question on a forum. Using the forums is a great way to get feedback from users, be it negative feedback or positive feedback.
  • figure out if we have (or will have) a great non-technical user community. I love the GNOME community, but right now, it's mostly a community of contributors. We love our users. We want more people to use our software. So why don't we try to create a huge user community, where everyone could feel the GNOME love?

And you, do you have an account on the GNOME forums? You really should!