I've been following this whole 'Bloody Dazah' debate for a while, and have largely resisted from commenting as I was struggling to have anything positive to say. However, having now had a long chat with Dani about Dazah and DaniWeb I have to admit that I've changed my mind with regards to negative thoughts about Dazah and the way DaniWeb integrates with it. Indeed, I'd go so far as to say that I think Dazah will be the saviour of DaniWeb and we should support Dani in her efforts to ensure both have a future.

Dani could easily have just walked away from DaniWeb as it struggles to survive in an environment that has pretty much turned its back on 'niche' support forums like ours in favour of a few quick fix big hitters. She didn't because she actaully cares about the community as much as she does the business side of DaniWeb. That is a fact, and not just me giving someone I've called a friend for more than ten years now a much needed pat on the back. Dazah is where Dani is placing her hopes for the survival of DaniWeb, she isn't turning her back on us and just concentrating on another startup and if/when that takes off will drop us like a hot brick. The goal is for DaniWeb to be part of a bigger 'community of niche communities' and Dazah is the glue that will stick them together. This means that she has had to take the on-boarding approach that she has, and to leverage what already exists with DaniWeb in a way that will ultimately be a platform that allows us to share in any success. The two things are, like it or not, pretty much joined at the hip.

Essentially all one-on-one communication on DaniWeb is now entirely handled by Dazah; DaniWeb private messages are just a DaniWeb-themed UI for Dazah conversations. The same goes for group chat, with many of the Dazah group chats being reskinned on DaniWeb as forum chats.

The idea of an online meetup style system that can hook into multiple communities is a good one, and it could just save our bacon.

I have been involved with online communities since pre-Internet days with FidoNet BBS's and the likes of Micronet and Cix in the UK. I don't think I have ever come across any business owner that actually listens to the people who use the service as much as Dani does, and implements changes based upon those interactions if she thinks it will be of benefit to the community. Sometimes the changes can be divisive, as with the move from a forum structure to a looser tag-based system, or even when the UI has had a colour change for goodness sake. What I'm trying to say is that I truly believe we should cut Dani some slack here, look at her track record with DaniWeb and support her in trying to keep us alive in very difficult times.

Just my tuppence-worth.

diafol commented: Glad you moved this to its own thread :) +0
rubberman commented: The change-over was a bit rough at first, but it seems very stable now. +0

Yeah, I think it's important enough to have a new thread Alan. As I say, I was one of those who felt a bit 'whaaaaat' when Dazah first arrived and DaniWeb enrollment/auth was moved across to it. However, I know Dani well and I trust her to act in the best interests of DaniWeb. I know she wouldn't just drop the DaniWeb community when things get rough - heck, things have been bad before and she has always done everything she can (including eating into her savings) to keep us afloat. What I needed was that heart to heart, or mind to mind, conversation with her to fully get just why the two services have to be joined at the hip and how one depends on the other for future success. Now I do get it, I understand why things have played out as they have and why some difficult choices had to be made. I just needed to get it off my chest and hopefully help convince others, especially amongst us DaniWeb veterans, that the motivation is positive and in our best interest.

Thank you for posting all of this, Davey! Nice to see 3 upvotes, but I was hoping at least someone would comment. Oh well. :-P Can't have everything, I guess!

On the positive side, it's had 50 views and nobody has popped above the parapets to disagree with what I've said.

49 of those views were most likely me hoping to see a response.

Just for the record, I agree with everything HG said.

49 of those views were most likely me hoping to see a response.

Ah. I assumed that 'views' equated to individual user reads.

The article helps me see that I have been taking the Daniweb community for granted and helps me appreciate the substance of the website. Thank you for the helpful information.

Aww, thanks! Especially because this is the only post you've made in all the years you've been a member here. :)

I'll join RiversideCAJava and admit that I've taken DaniWeb for granted...need to spend more time here and participate :(...

Aww, thanks. Remember, you don't just need to post when you have a question to ask. Feel free to just start a discussion with our community. We're not just support forums.

Well I'm back after... how many years?

I've moved 600 miles from where I was, had 3-4 different jobs, got divorced, had a kid... My life has changed completely. So has this site.

I might try and stick around and see if I can be a part of the community again, as my life allows now. My skillsets have changed, so has my ability to help.

I'm fine with the changes! Good to see Daniweb is still around!

Hey there Alex :) Skillsets have changed, eh? Not into Linux anymore?

Well, professionally, I was always a Windows/C# guy. Now? Javascript, Node, Groovy, Linux, Docker, Kubernetes... I'm getting paid to do open source now!

Obviously Dani loves and cares more for DaniWeb than me. And there were choices made that I believe is now common knowledge that hurt DaniWeb.

Some of them had to do with Dazah that although it was in production mode it took almost a year to work as expected for a simple task – ( e.g. to log in to DaniWeb ) (that alone says a lot but I will not stand on this). Dazah is not responsible for demolishing the once flourishing PHP community of DaniWeb … Dani did that.

Has Dani learned from those errors ? I seriously doubt because there is always the “Google prefers quick fixes solutions for common issues” that is not the point of any forum. Tech forums suppose to debate and mention ideas that a user couldn't find that debate and knowledge interchange elsewhere, is DaniWeb hold in that standard or even is DaniWeb search engine oriented in to that ? I seriously doubt and I could say more in that if you want.

Dazah is not the problem , if it were something that someone else have build and DaniWeb used , there would be the problems the first year (making it not serious) and then... all would be great for the users of this forum.

I seriously doubt because there is always the “Google prefers quick fixes solutions for common issues” that is not the point of any forum. Tech forums suppose to debate and mention ideas that a user couldn't find that debate and knowledge interchange elsewhere, is DaniWeb hold in that standard or even is DaniWeb search engine oriented in to that ?

I'm confused what you're trying to say? It's true ... Google is designed to give people the quickest possible answers to their queries. It's a known fact that Google modified their algorithm a few years ago to hurt discussion forums that involve a lot of debates and back and forth, etc., in favor of Q&A sites like Stack Overflow that present the searcher with a question followed by an immediate suggested solution.

DaniWeb isn't a Q&A site it is a forum exchanging opinions , in some aspects of those opinions there isn't relevant content in Google of it , does DaniWeb exists in those searches ? If not why ? If yes (in rare cases) how could you make this presence stronger ? . You shouldn't consider Google as the ultimate factor of success but rather if this form works or not . It would be idiot if you don't care if it doesn't work for contributers and askers and care only for the Google Q&A side of it (if the content will be great Google will index it).

Right, DaniWeb isn't a Q&A site. Google likes Q&A content and not discussion-based content. Unfortunately, Google is the #1 way to get traffic nowadays. DaniWeb's content isn't very conducive to Twitter/FB, which are primarily the other sources of acquiring traffic.

I don't think it's correct to blame Google for Q&A sites' success. I think these sites meet a specific programmers' need: we want to use software and libraries and we don't have time to learn APIs or read every manual. So we need expert answers to specific use cases. The Q&A site fills the gap between the use case and the API.

I think it's more a case of stating the fact, and it is a fact, that changes to the Google algorithm have hurt discussion forums and haven't hurt Q&A sites. That doesn't mean that Stack doesn't deserve the position it holds, of course it does. It does mean that sites like DaniWeb have suffered in terms of traffic because of those algo changes.

I'm not really sure what jkon is on, but the simple truth of the matter is that this forum worked perfectly well for the longest time (when it was getting the traffic via Google to keep the new blood coming in with questions and looking for answers, as well as balancing out the organic churn that such a site will always endure) and to blame the Dazah login process and mysterious 'other factors' or, indeed, Dani herself for "demolishing" the success of DaniWeb is plain bizarre.

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Dz is not to blame for anything AFAIK. If it keep dw kicking for a little while longer great.

As I've said multiple times, it's a simple fact that Google loves Q&A sites because their end goal is to give their searcher the quickest path possible to getting their query answered. Therefore, they simply love any site that can quickly and efficiently accomplish that. Q&A sites that have a specific and direct question that is curated to mimic what Google searchers are looking for (e.g. generic enough to not be specific to just one use case yet not open-ended either) immediately followed by a suggested answer hits the sweet spot for Google's algorithm.

It's not that Google is anti-DaniWeb. Google would love us just as much if we were able to figure out a way to hit their sweet spot too. The problem is that Stack Overflow already has the perfect combination of features and functionality to hit the sweet spot for Google and for the end-user.

You have to design something that is not just great for Google, and not just great for your end-user, but fills a gap in the market as well and solves a need. And creating a platform that is designed to be just what Google wants, yet, in actuality, is just a poor replica of Stack Overflow, isn't exactly going to win us any awards.

We can get our Google traffic back ... but we have to solve a need in the market that gives Google searchers the answers they're looking for quicker and more efficiently than Stack Overflow currently can.

Some people try to compete with google by launching their own search engine. You could perhaps create a search engine of your own, advertising user privacy for example, and send more traffic to daniweb.

It's not possible to define specifically what Google is or isn't beyond it being an Internet search engine. Daniweb moved away from the way people think, search, and learn. Different people have different ways of learning depending on their personality, past learning culture, willingness to adapt. You cannot squeeze people into algorithms.

Personally I wonder if the dip in interest in DW could be due to the hierarchy between those who make donations and those who didn't want to do so. The attitude of some moderators to users, or vice versa, leading to open, petty public spats.

Imagine a street of food outlets, DaniMeals, McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Domino's. One day DaniMeals decides to offer a 1st Class and 2nd Class service. The 1st Class customers are served at the same rate at which all customers used to be served, but the 2nd Class customers would be served later, or may not be served at all, essentially told to go away to the other outlets if they want a realistic chance of getting lunch. Next, DaniMeals tell their customers to start following more rules, such as wearing specific badges, comply with ordering in specific ways... etc, etc...

What has happened here? DaniMeals has attempted to define their customers, to be what DaniMeals expects. Meanwhile, other food outlets focus on the quality and variety food they offer. They strive to adapt to their customer base. The other outlets provide for customers who like to hang around for a while with friends as they eat, but they also allow for the drop-in customers with a drive-through service.

A psychology professor was giving a lecture on efficiency. At the end of his lecture he concluded with a personal story... he said, "He noticed each morning his wife, while preparing breakfast for the family before they went work and school, would make several trips between the same cupboard and kitchen work surface. He then drew up a plan for her to follow that would mean she could save about seven minutes off making breakfast for the family and then gave it to his wife... After a moment of silence a student piped up and asked, "How did the plan work out?" The professor said, "My wife decided on a different option, she makes the childrens breakfast, and I make my own".

You can square the corners, shave the seconds, enforce uniformity, but never be the fool who ignores human nature.

Some people try to compete with google by launching their own search engine. You could perhaps create a search engine of your own, advertising user privacy for example, and send more traffic to daniweb.

You mean like DuckDuckGo? It's been around for well over a decade, is powered by Google's API (IIRC) and still never truly took off. The market has spoken: people care about personalization more than they care about privacy.

DuckDuckGo was launched in 2008 and is totally unaffiliated with Google. It's a shame Google is so entrenched but DDG is the best option around from a privacy point of view, results are of a decent quality and the UI is sensible and familiar.

There are other engines, such as Startpage, I know a french engine named Qwant, a german engine named Metager, etc. If you had your own engine, you could insert some Dazah results: you're the master in your own house. You don't need to gain a massive traffic similar to Google's.

I've never heard of any of these, and I'm not so sure I see the need? I get that people care about privacy, and there's DuckDuckGo for that. Why is there a need for multiple sites that just reskin Google and Bing results?

Update: my mistake, it looks like some of these actually have put the resources into indexing the web themselves. Hmm ...

Either way, please pardon my saying so and do not take offense ... I guess I just kinda see it as, "I'm having a hard time getting Walmart to carry my product on its shelves, so the solution is to build a Walmart competitor. Then I can put my product in every aisle!"