Well, the new DaniWeb won’t primarily be forum based ... so there’s that.

the new DaniWeb won’t primarily be forum based

So basically the same as it is now? Or are you going to make it even less so? As it is I am frequently moving programming posts from the Community (pseudo) forum to the programming (pseudo) forum because people can't be bothered to post in the appropriate area.

I imagine that even forcing people to add tags would simply result in someone posting with the tag "help" or "urgent". You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it think.

Dazah functionality of matching users for private and group chat will be front-and-center, along with the API, because that's where my revenue stream comes from.

Sorry for the confusion. I didn't mean it will be less forum based and more tag based. I meant it will be Dazah-functionality based.

One thing that can lead to frustration for the users, there doesn't seem to be any way to filter search results to specific tags and/or age of the posts.

If you're going full tag monty, then I hope the search function works. Really works. Are we to see the total demise of the community area? So no structure at all?

I'm not ditching forum structure for tag structure.

I'm shifting the focus of the DaniWeb.com domain to focus on the functionality currently only found at dazah.com

Does it worry you that the people here who are your strongest and longest supporters have no idea what you are talking about?

Did you ever consider that they constitute the perfect forum to discuss your ideas before implementing them?

Am I worried? I've been super duper worried for the past few years. Two years ago, I developed Dazah to be DaniWeb's savior. I needed Dazah to survive in order to keep DaniWeb going.

However, two years of failure later, I've realized a few things. Firstly, the two separate brands (Dazah and DaniWeb) are confusing to most people. User profiles being maintained on Dazah are confusing. And, in hindsight, I've done a very poor job getting across to people through the website layout and design what Dazah is, what its benefits are, how to use it, and how powerful it really is.

However, that doesn't change the fact that I still need everyone to be onbord with Dazah in order for DaniWeb's survival. Therefore, after raising questions for the past few months about what you guys think of Dazah, the reasons you don't use it, and what DaniWeb's biggest pain points are ... I've decided to go back to the drawing board with both sites.

All the functionality of Dazah and all the functionality of DaniWeb will be completely retooled into a completely new platform that all lives under the DaniWeb brand. All of the powerful Dazah features and functionality will be front and center when you go to DaniWeb.com. I'm working with a UX expert who will help me convey the messaging I need to convey in a way that will hopefully make sense to the masses.

Am I worried? Of course. I've been worried for years. But do you know what makes me LESS worried? Each time I try something and I fail, getting right back up and trying something even more daring. Eventually I'll find something that will work.

Did you ever consider that they constitute the perfect forum to discuss your ideas before implementing them?

I've been trying my very, very best to convey the benefits I see in Dazah for many years now. No one seems to fully grasp the concepts. Time for telling is over. Now it's time to actually redevelop everything and demonstrate the benefits by forcing everyone to use them. I'm not going to go so far as to say that if that doesn't work, then I have nothing else to try. But, realistically speaking, if that doesn't work, then I have to come up with something even more daring.

No one seems to fully grasp the concepts.

When I got my Amiga 1000 I also got the full set of technical manuals (just some light reading) so I could find out what was under the hood. When I showed it off to my fellow techies at the office I explained to them the awesomeness of a fully object oriented operating system that was able to fit so many features into one 770k floppy. Remember what was considered state of the art for a PC back in 1985. I was met with mostly blank stares. They were impressed with what they could see, but not the other "stuff". The concepts aren't visible. What people care about is what they see and that is

  1. ease of use
  2. good response time
  3. features that they will use

Does the redesign give them that? Will it attract the people who will increase your revenue?

There's one more thing to consider. Inertia. Most people don't want to have to learn a new way of doing something if they don't have to.

Precisely, Jim.

I am confident I have a strong platform. But where I have been lacking is an ability to convey that with a front end interface that gets the core concepts across and is easy to use and understand. I’m working on fixing that.

I've been trying my very, very best to convey the benefits I see in Dazah for many years now. No one seems to fully grasp the concepts. Time for telling is over. Now it's time to actually redevelop everything and demonstrate the benefits by forcing everyone to use them

You have an audience here who are expert practitioners in IT, web services, etc etc. Hundreds of man-years experience in designing, developing, supporting exactly this class of software/service. We don't need pretty pictures. But you think we are too thick to grasp your concepts and need to be forced for our own good, like children with spinnach. And no, we won't be "forced" to do anything except make a choice...

You insult us all.

One suggestion I've seen work on other sites, when big changes are being made, is set up the new web site in a test space. Now whenever someone logs in, give them an overlay touting the new site with the option to try it or not. Along with this it might be worth having a shorter timeout on the logins. Say in the range of 5-20 hours. This will give people the opportunity to be convinced to try the new site.

But then you have the hassle of merging the posts from the test space into Daniweb, or, if and when the test space becomes the production space, migrating the old posts into the new space. That's a pretty major undertaking for one person.

You have an audience here who are expert practitioners in IT, web services, etc etc. Hundreds of man-years experience in designing, developing, supporting exactly this class of software/service. We don't need pretty pictures. But you think we are too thick to grasp your concepts and need to be forced for our own good, like children with spinnach. And no, we won't be "forced" to do anything except make a choice...

You insult us all.

I am NOT implying that you guys are all too thick to grasp my concepts. Not at all. I'm saying that I have a problem explaining things that are in my head. The entire thing makes perfect, perfect sense in my head. But I just have a really hard time conveying what's in my head. It's just not one of my attributes. Keep in mind, I created DaniWeb in college, and I've always done all of the development work on it by myself. I've never worked on a team before like that, so I never built up the skills to take all the concepts and how they fit together in my head, and convey them in a way that makes sense.

That's the exact same thing that happened with Dazah. I designed the website based on all of the concepts in my head, and NO ONE -- I mean, NO ONE -- can figure out what it offers or what it means without me having to take a long time to try to explain it to them, and even still then, they don't fully get it or appreciate all it offers.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine who is a tech VC here in Silicon Valley arbitrarily reached out to me. I was really frustrated at the time, so I called him up, and basically said, "I'm feeling really frustrated and burned out with Dazah. I feel like no one understands what I'm trying to do. I'm having a really bad day. Can I have your ear for a little bit?"

He ended up giving me about two hours of his time that day. For the fist hour and a half, he listened, and he gave some feedback and suggestions. He gave a lot of encouragement. A lot of what he said is making its way into the new relaunch I'm currently working on.

But then, you know what happened? 1 hour and 45 minutes into the call, his voice suddenly changed, and he exclaimed, "Wow! That's really smart! That's really creative!" He then asked some really interesting questions that got me cheerfully exclaiming, "Yes! That's what I was thinking!" One hour and forty-five minutes into a phone call of me describing what Dazah was, he finally understood what Dazah was.

The next day, I realized what I needed to do. And that's why I'm working with user experience experts now to create a fully integrated version of Dazah and DaniWeb that is usable and makes sense to everyone. It's not that I feel like you guys aren't smart enough to understand me. It's just that I lack the ability to explain, so now I have to work with someone who is an expert at that kind of stuff. And that's where we are right now.

commented: *shrug* Im pretty dense. :-/ +0

I think what you need is a technical writer. You need to explain it to someone who can then explain it back to you (and others) in a coherent, non-technical way.

Years ago (when floppy discs ruled the Earth) I had a neighbour who was taking an intro to PCs evening class. Her instructor had made several unsuccessful attempts to explain what it meant to format a disc. He had been explaining it in terms of magnetic fields, tracks and sectors. In other words, all technical terms. She still didn't understand the concepts. I explained it to her with the analogy of a parking lot being paved, then having lines painted. In under two minutes she understood low level formatting, reformatting (full and quick), and for good measure, she also understood fragmentation.

You just have to look at it from outside your own head, something the instructor seemed unable or unwilling to do. The concept was easy to him to grasp, therefore it should be easy for the students.

Not really a technical writer, per se. More like a technical marketer, I guess. Someone who can take everything going on in my head, and explain it in one sentence, or in a few words. I lack the ability to do that. My boyfriend insists that I have a very tough time being able to see other people's perspectives.

commented: Basically a typical geek lol +0

Well, you should see my eyes glaze over when Adam (older son) tries to explain about mitochondria and cellular biology at the protein level.

My biggest problem with DaniWeb is the site is very difficult to read and explore for a newbie or someone who hasn't been around the changes to the site. I'm not saying the website doesn't look nice (compared to many websites, this one looks very nice). The problem is, for example, from a visitor's perspective, I am using a HiDPI display and half my screen elements are taken up by top and bottom banners, this "Related Topics" banner on the side that scrolls all the way to the bottom of the page (if I was interested in it, I would have clicked on it on the top). Also the recommended topics seems not related to anything I've read. For writing this reply message box, it's literally just a box on the bottom left quarter of my screen and the rest is just fluff making it harder to type this reply.

I also don't know if this is an oversight or not, but in the recent newletter I got the two threads were some random thread and the other was a spam post for pharmacy pills.

Finally the problem that I think this website is encountering is the same problem that many other forums encouter is the kids today just want instant gratification. It used to be when I didn't get a reply for a couple days was normal and it took maybe a week or two to troubleshoot a problem. These days if they don't a reply in minutes, it's as if the world has ended.

Regarding the part of you having to explain someone to someone who clearly cannot comprehend what you're talking about is normal. There are tons of things I cannot understand (for example abstract art) and no amount of explaining will ever get me to understand. However when it comes to tech related problems it just seems to click. A lot of people are pushed into tech despite it not being their strengths at all. Everyone wants to be a coder these days. I know a lot of people who are very strong, but plenty more who has no place in this field.

commented: Thanks. In the editor, there's a box to make the reply box nearly full screen. Try it. +0

The biggest things that the relaunch coming next month is aiming to do is:

  • Migrate revenue away from advertising and instead more towards the Dazah model of end-users paying to be matched with each other (question askers paying to find answerers, mentees paying to be matched with mentors willing to help them, etc.)
  • Simplify the user interface so that it's more friendly to people new to DaniWeb
  • Fewer ads and "fluff" content on forum thread pages
  • Create a modern interface that is more attractive to millenials ... forums tend to have high turnover rates overall, so it's important to be attractive to newer users in order to constantly get new blood in here
  • Homepage, landing pages, and navigational pages retooled to promote quality content written by members with a higher reputation, and push down questions asked by students and newbies (the newbies/students will be steered towards paying to be matched with potential answerers, until they build up enough reputation by demonstrating a history of quality content)
  • This model is designed to give them instant gratification since the algorithm attempts to match people with those who have the highest probability of responding quickly based on their past behavior

I hope it will be mobile friendly, specifically the ability to leave a comment when up or down voting.

Any sign of the new DW? Says 'launch next month' on a thread posted 2 months ago. Launch date?

My latest estimate is in a week or so. In reality, it will most likely be closer to two weeks.

In programming section, java can be found in Software Development, Mobile Development and Computer Science.

Why we need three java as they refer to same thing ?

What you are actually looking at when you use the programming section dropdown and those subsections are the most popular tags that have been used on posts in those sections. Hence, some tags such as Java will appear in more than one section.

Dani I wrote you that many times , what is missing is an interactive online programmers magazine.

DaniWeb could be that , it has the base and persons with good communicate skills. A programmers magazine with news of each language , articles with points of views , reviews of extensions / libraries and contests. Forum questions could be still there but I think most interesting conversations would be under a article / review / news story.

In my point of view the reason that you don't see many people involved in Dazah is because it is a login api (while there are more out there with millions more users) or a loose social network of programmers that nobody seems to understand how loose is it.

The aspect of the “ loose social network of programmers “ is not something to ruin if you believe in it , ceternly if I believed and had incorporate Dazah in one of my communities (if I had one) I wouldn't like it to be reorganized in a different domain.

My suggestion would be to consider them as different projects (/companies). Continue what you are doing with Dazah with the goal to make it the social network for programmers (niche social networks have future in my opinion), and reorganize DaniWeb if not in the direction I am proposing to you in a direction that respects and includes its members.

Soooo ... 3 months ago, I wrote in this thread:

The biggest things that the relaunch coming next month is aiming to do is:

Migrate revenue away from advertising and instead more towards the Dazah model of end-users paying to be matched with each other (question askers paying to find answerers, mentees paying to be matched with mentors willing to help them, etc.)
Simplify the user interface so that it's more friendly to people new to DaniWeb
Fewer ads and "fluff" content on forum thread pages
Create a modern interface that is more attractive to millenials ... forums tend to have high turnover rates overall, so it's important to be attractive to newer users in order to constantly get new blood in here
Homepage, landing pages, and navigational pages retooled to promote quality content written by members with a higher reputation, and push down questions asked by students and newbies (the newbies/students will be steered towards paying to be matched with potential answerers, until they build up enough reputation by demonstrating a history of quality content)

This model is designed to give them instant gratification since the algorithm attempts to match people with those who have the highest probability of responding quickly based on their past behavior

Thoughts? Do you think that I stayed true to my motivations with this redo?

Simplify the user interface so that it's more friendly to people new to DaniWeb

Check

Fewer ads and "fluff" content on forum thread pages

Check

Create a modern interface

Check

Homepage, landing pages, and navigational pages retooled to promote quality content written by members with a higher reputation, and push down questions asked by students and newbies

Check.

This model is designed to give them instant gratification since the algorithm attempts to match people with those who have the highest probability of responding quickly based on their past behavior

Too early to tell as of yet, will need a week or two in order (for me at least) to get an idea if this is happening with what I see - although I suspect that I might not be the best case study as an admin.