[Bioc-devel] Keep the bioc-help email list running?

Luo Weijun luo_weijun at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 9 00:51:22 CEST 2014

Thanks for all the details/info. I see what you say. 
For the support forum, it is nice to have the email notification.  It would be great if we can reply to these messages via email. It is quicker to reply this way, and we have both email access and web access (like the classic email archive). This could make the transition smoother for many users..

On Wed, 10/8/14, Martin Morgan <mtmorgan at fhcrc.org> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Bioc-devel] Keep the bioc-help email list running?

 Date: Wednesday, October 8, 2014, 3:54 PM

 Hi Weijun --

 Thanks for the comments...

 On 10/08/2014 12:15 PM, Luo Weijun wrote:
 > Dear all, I noticed that the classical bioc-help email
 was shut down
 > completely, instead we have to use the new bioc support
 forum. I feel that we
 > can be a little more cautious on this.

 > First, there should be tens of hundreds of subscribed
 users to the email
 > list. This is a extremely valuable resource, not many
 projects like bioc have
 > that. We could be giving up such a big community base
 accumated these years
 > over night. Whether and how long we can have that many
 users back to the
 > support forum is a question mark.

 You can see recent size and activity in the annual report,
 about 3470
 subscribers, 500 posts per month (about 16 per day) and 180
 unique authors.


 The entire mailing list history is available on the support
 site, including this
[[elided Yahoo spam]]
 Information is much easier to
 discover on the support site compared to the mailing list.

 In terms of 'community' in a more qualitative sense, I've
 enjoyed perusing user 
 profiles, seeing what people (or their pets) look like, and
 where they're 
 located geographically.

 > Second, I find it very conenvenient to ask/answer
 questions or share info
 > through emails. For users like me, the email list is
 stickier than a support
 > forum. You may conduct a survey or compare the recent
 usage statistics if
 > needed.

 Especially for tracking the support site, see the
 'Notifications' field on your
 profile page; mine is configured for the (somewhat
 misleading) 'email for every
 new thread', and actually I receive mail for each new
 thread, comment, or answer
 (though not changes to existing posts, something that is not
 possible with 
 email). One can track individual tags, too, if one
 interested in being informed 
 about particular types of questions. In principle one can
 reply to these 
 messages via email, but in practice for me this serves as a
 'pull' to the site, 
 clicking on the link embedded in the email.

 It's still very early days for the support site. We are
 accumulating statistics,
 and it does not look too bad. For instance in the last 24
 hours there have been
 11 new threads and I have received 25 messages (more active
 than the mailing 
 list!) about posts. Biostars is hugely popular, more than an
 order of magnitude 
 more traffic than our web site currently.

 > Third, many users will chose to ask questions on
 Biostar or Seqanswers rather
 > than on the support forum. There would be no
 competitive advantage in terms
 > of user interface or forum activity.

 The mailing list faced similar 'competition', but with the
 additional obstacle
 of accessing the list in the first place. The quality of
 information and 
 expertise is what will bring people to the site.

 > Fourth, we can have both the support forum and the
 email list running if some
 > people prefer the forum. There shouldn’t be much
 maintenance needed to keep
 > email list as all the infrastructure is there and
 automated already.

 Yes we thought about this but in the end realized that this
 would divide our
 community and double our work as responsible maintainers --
 keeping up with both
 the mailing list and the support site.

 > Just my thoughts here. Anyway, I think this is a issue
 closely related to the
 > growth of bioc project and the whole community. We have
 good reasons to think
[[elided Yahoo spam]]

 Thanks again for your feedback, and of course if the support
 site were a 
 disaster we would re-activate the mailing list (it's in
 suspended animation, not 
 actually destroyed). So far, reactivating the mailing list
 does not seem like a 
 probable outcome.


 > Weijun
 > _______________________________________________ Bioc-devel at r-project.org
 > mailing list https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/bioc-devel

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