Hello Win10 forum family,
For people who have just subscribed, as the head list rep/owner of this forum, I’m sorry for what you will read below:
The state of the forum is… not good. If I’m to evaluate the current state of the forum from an A to F scale, I would say we are a border-line C – more towards a C minus. That’s how serious the situation is, and the MS Edge shortcuts thread that led to this notice is now locked. Before I go on, however, I must ask everyone to stay low for a while i.e. reduce posts and flames. Consider this an executive request (I hate to use the term “executive order” because of connotations, but please, please, please stay low for a while).
I cannot put into words what we’ve seen just now: another debate over a poster’s reply style. Many of you will say that the leadership team is overreacting by writing a formal notice over a small thing. Some would say that talking about this issue is justified, seeing that this wasn’t the first time a debate over a poster’s style, specifically inclusion of past responses was brought to your attention. But when the reputation of the forum is concerned, especially when viewed from a new member’s perspective, there’s no way I, your forum leader and head moderator, will ignore this mess.
One thing I have realized recently is that small things can make or break a forum like ours. A miscommunication or word usage, small political differences, and a debate over a message style can contribute to significant problems later. Many software projects experienced frictions and schisms precisely over small differences (BSD operating system family is a classic example where a project split in two, and Open Office versus Libreoffice schism is a well-known example, arising from licensing and company attitudes). I have witnessed one such example in the NVDA community involving a translations team, with the friction caused by translation standards.
Some of you may say that a debate over posting style isn’t worth discussing. But trust me: if not rectified, we will see larger issues stemming from that debate, including a potential reputation issue where this forum might be viewed as unfavorable just because we need to sort through a long thread, half of which are devoted to a debate on reply style.
Unfortunately, that did occur today: a thread meant to discussing Microsoft Edge shortcuts turned into another debate on posting style. This is unacceptable for two reasons: it became off-topic, and opened up the doors for putting our reputation on the spotlight. Both are serious issues, especially the forum reputation for new members, hence my disclaimer above: we can rectify off-topic posts easily unless it continues for a while, but we cannot easily rectify group reputation – once the reputation sinks, unless a dramatic turnaround is executed, it will not recover.
On a more serious note, today’s incident brought to light larger issues that can determine our reputation, and none of them has to do with Windows 10 ecosystem and screen readers (and I’m ashamed to admit that the larger issues have nothing to do with why we are gathered here):
In hopes of diffusing this situation, I advise:
Friends, I still cannot describe in words what happened today. Two things I ask you: please work on reducing tensions, and do not make me transform into a fierce volcano some of you may have heard of (those who’ve experienced it know what I’m talking about). As it is, I can only say:
I am exhausted and drained.