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As a Java Developer, what kind of site you will prefer for Community Network?

1)Pure Professional Site like
http://developer.sun.com

(2)Theme Based Site like
http://www.javaranch.com
http://intelligenceriver.net

I would prefer theme based site against professional one.

(Please post URL of other theme based site if you know any)
[ November 09, 2005: Message edited by: Chetan Parekh ]
 
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For look and feel... professional site I guess. I would be loathe to have the moose on my workstation in an office environment but this has been mentioned by others before.

The formatting bugs on this site also kind of annoy me but every forum has some problems and many are worse than this.

But I suspect you are asking more about the community aspect then just look and feel... I don't know. This site makes me less upset than the Sun forums that's for sure. On the other hand after a few days here I feel in need of a insulin shot.

All in all if trolls and abusive people are kept to a minimum on a site that's enough for me.
 
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I visit here. Nuff said!
 
Stephen Boston
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Originally posted by Stephen Boston:
I visit here. Nuff said!



Ok, not quite. I dig the Moose!
 
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[IMNSHO, of course...]

Themes are great - until you've been on a site for a while. First they start to pall a little, and then they start to get in the way of the whole reason for engaging in a forum, which is exchange of information and interaction. Note that the Ranch has certainly NOT hit that point for me yet - just commenting on past experience.

I came over here after ~8 years on Sun's forums, because I just couldn't stand how badly-managed the software and environment there has become. Sun's approach is very ANTI community. The explicitly-stated goal of the forum staff is for people to visit, ask their questions, and leave. Period. Bleah.

At any rate - I'm not here because of the Moose. I'm here because there's a critical mass of smart folk that visit here regularly, that are willing to share their expertise with a leavening of random weirdness. And The Management seems to do a fine job of keeping the civility level high. It's all good, as they say.

Grant
 
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Originally posted by Grant Gainey:
I came over here after ~8 years on Sun's forums, because I just couldn't stand how badly-managed the software and environment there has become. Sun's approach is very ANTI community. The explicitly-stated goal of the forum staff is for people to visit, ask their questions, and leave. Period. Bleah.


The Sun forum was doomed from the moment they got rid of the Water Cooler. After that it was just a matter of time. To be honest it surprised me how long the community feel managed to hang on there without the WC, but it seems to have (sadly) begun to wind up now. I guess what Sun haven't realised is that a lot of the people who post on a forum come for the community aspect as well as the learning/helping aspect.

Still, maybe it will be good in that more people will come and contribute to Javaranch.
 
Grant Gainey
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Originally posted by Dave Lenton:

The Sun forum was doomed from the moment they got rid of the Water Cooler. After that it was just a matter of time. To be honest it surprised me how long the community feel managed to hang on there without the WC, but it seems to have (sadly) begun to wind up now. I guess what Sun haven't realised is that a lot of the people who post on a forum come for the community aspect as well as the learning/helping aspect.

Still, maybe it will be good in that more people will come and contribute to Javaranch.


Agreed. A while back, I read an article on social software such as forums. It opined that there are three kinds of online communities: strongly-managed ones, unmanaged ones, and inconsistently-managed ones.

Usenet is a good example of an unmanaged community. That's both its strength and its greatest weakness - it engenders a lot of spirited discussion, but (these days, at least) an even larger amount of flamage and whining. If the down-side overwhelms the upside, the community fractures, and eventually the signal-to-noise ratio becomes so low no-one bothers anymore, other than the static-producers howling into the aether.

The Ranch is an example of a "good" strongly-managed forum. Active admins, well-stated policies, perceived fairness in enforcement, responsive. Takes a lot of effort from the admins, and some people no doubt feel it's too confining and leave - but overall, contributes to the development of a civil community. So long as there are a "critical mass" of people to provide answers and discussion, and so long as the moderators don't get burned out, this can be a fertile ground for both information exchange and community building.

Strongly-managed, in the sense of "dictatorial", is bad for community development. The person(s) in charge end up with a clique of sycophants, and everyone else is at best second-class. Such communities tend to die down rather quickly to just the "king" and their court, and then either stabilize there or die out.

Finally, there are inconsistently-managed communities. According to the author of the article (and I agree, after years of online activity), these are the WORST places for community development. Nobody knows how or why changes are made, rules are enforced randomly, management changes from none at all to tight-fisted control with no apparent rhyme or reason. Nobody stays on a site like this for very long, if there are any other options.

This is what Sun has turned their Java developer forum into. I peek in now and again, and just shake my head. Used to be a vital, interesting place for Java developers to go. Very sad.

ANYway - fortunately for us all, there are other places to go - like this one. Now if I only had time to post more often...

Grant
 
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I am hopelessly biased in favor of javaRanch.
I guess I get my sense of belonging here, and community feeling is much stronger!

- Manish
 
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theme based - life is too boring already, don't make it worse.

Even from commertial point of view - theme based sites stick to your memory.
 
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