W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webplatform@w3.org > December 2014

Re: We need a more UI-friendly group

From: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 14 Dec 2014 03:02:53 -0500
Message-ID: <548D442D.5070208@w3.org>
To: abhimanyu0003 <abhimanyu@japanaddicts.org>, noloader@gmail.com
CC: WebPlatform Public List <public-webplatform@w3.org>
Hi, Abhimanyu–

I agree with you that we need a better way to organize, coordinate, and 
communicate. Email and IRC are fine for many of us, but I also know many 
(especially younger) people who prefer online social networks and 
forum-like interfaces.

I think using Facebook, specifically, would likely to be a divisive 
approach, rather than a uniting one (as you've seen in many reactions 
here). Moreover, it doesn't have the kinds of tools needed for real 
online collaboration for working. You mention that we could have broader 
reach on Facebook, but the quality of contributions is just as important 
as the number of contributors, and you haven't made a strong case that 
the quality would be improved.

I don't think it would be wise for us to invest energy and attention to 
something that is likely not to work well for our needs. So, I suggest 
we follow Amelia's advice to turn the conversation from Facebook to 
gathering ideas about use cases and requirements that would enable the 
kind of modern user experience that you'd like to see.

What specific features of Facebook do you think would help us? You 
mentioned a few, but I think creating a comprehensive list would help a 
lot. Here are some of the things you mentioned:

* online interface
* persistent conversation threads/articles that "bubble up" to the top 
when new comments are added
* notifications of new posts
* notifications of personal mentions
* real-time discussion
* file-sharing
* tracking member contributions

When we first launched the site, we had a sort of forum interface, but 
we shelved it to concentrate on the documentation. But we do need 
something along those lines. There are a number of tools that could help 
us do so, without using Facebook.

Amelia mentioned The Bug Genie, which is good as an issue tracker, but 
doesn't meet your other requirements, especially the social aspects.

Renoir recently found a tool called Phabricator [1], which may meet some 
more of your requirements; we're thinking of testing that out in the new 

I appreciate your suggestions and enthusiasm. The most important way 
that contributors can help the project right now is by contributing 
content. If you have a topic that you're an expert in, and find our 
documentation lacking, please feel free to dig in and help improve the 
docs for that topic!

[1] http://phabricator.org/

Project Lead, WebPlatform.org

On 12/13/14 10:21 PM, abhimanyu0003 wrote:
> I am not saying "Let's wrap up our business here and do our stuff on
> Facebook" so that a hypothetical "modern" teenager will find it more
> familiar.
> In terms of neutrality and the spirit of open, nothing beats IRC and
> emails, especially when you're not using Google and whatever but your
> custom email with a not-for-profit email client.
> There's no way I'm against communicating on these platforms or in favour
> of picking a proprietary platform which is heavily regulated, biased,
> makes a helltonne of money each second, and might infringe privacy. And
> cannot be indexed.
> What I'm saying is this: instead of a casual group that I can make out
> of interest for discussing WPD-related work, we collectively make a
> casual (and of course, unofficial) Facebook group and test for a month
> or so.
> That's my proposal. A lot of you might not be having a Facebook account.
> And no matter how easy to set up, Facebook is, well, a fancy and
> solely-for-profit internet service. Not even a service but an excuse to
> ignore the real world. But I've seen work accelerate like hell when an
> informal group, like a Facebook group, yes which is highly regulated,
> not open, and just too fancy, is used instead of other formal and more
> efficient services because of its increase in activation energy and
> reaction points (chemistry concepts).
>   It will be solely informal. But if I create such a group, you can be
> sure that it'll die in a day. If we all collectively show (not fake)
> enthusiasm and crete a group for beta testing, then you'll see for
> yourself what I mean. Given that we get that many members.
> I don't want to end up again in how is Facebook>emails or how
> emails>Facebook. Emails are our best bet because we aim on communication
> and not how much PHP our communication has. Plus, emails are proven
> tools of stable discussion. No one knows when Facebook will shut down,
> crash, start charging money, spam our monitors with ads and whatever.
> I just want you all to try wholeheartedly just once.
> I also understand that most of us are not ready for a heads-on collision
> with a highly complicated and chaotic "social" entity with so much
> sophistication and entropy. But only if we stop being lazy, Facebook can
> seem lightweight, smooth, and we can be totally insulated from outside
> world too.
> [P.S. Talking of fancy communities, I think Google+ Communities, without
> any hangout crap, are much, much better than Facebook groups. Plus,
> everybody who has a GMail account already has a Google+ account. Google
> also seems less aggressive in forcing business down its users throats
> than Facebook. But my good experience is limited to a Facebook group.]
> ---
> </Abhimanyu>
> ---- On Sat, 13 Dec 2014 11:21:17 -0800 *Jeffrey
> Walton<noloader@gmail.com>* wrote ----
>      >> Well, all things you've mentioned can be counter-argued or
>     criticised. So,
>      >> kindly read along.
>      >>
>      >> Facebook archives will also be permanently available.
>      >> ...
>     Additionally, some folks don't participate in the social networking
>     experiments. I would not want to join <favorite network here> to hunt
>     down topics or comment on occasion.
>     The social networking experiments don't have the best track record of
>     honoring users privacy (if there is such a thing when you join). The
>     best defense is to not join in the first place. Cf.,
>     http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-08/01/facebook-class-action-lawsuit
>     (and others).
Received on Sunday, 14 December 2014 08:03:02 UTC

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