1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply on Sep 25, 2019 12:06 PM by L. Fernigrini

    Overall Participation

    Dude!

      Does Oracle community management realize that there has been a significant drop in overall community participation?

       

      Many of the product forums that used to be popular have no more participation at all. Recent community rebrandings and other site changes have certainly not helped to increase user participation and satisfaction. And although there has been much criticism from various people, community management appears to be ignoring the concerns. That's not nice.

        • 1. Re: Overall Participation
          EdStevens

          I hadn't notice a reduction in participation, but perhaps that is because I work strictly from my inbox.  If traffic in a particular space that I don't really pay much attention to falls off, I probably wouldn't notice.

           

          But I agree that all the cosmetic and rebranding changes make it much harder to navigate Oracle sites in general - and not just the community forums, and that Oracle doesn't seem to be too responsive.  I suspect that is because the Oracle employees that are charged with dealing with the actual customers  (I don't know what their titles may be) really have very little influence on feeding back to the people making the actual design decisions.  I strongly suspect the latter are marketing guys who are always looking for newer eye candy and buzzwords.

          • 2. Re: Overall Participation
            Dude!

            Oracle should have proper statistics, but I did a quick count on the ASM and RMAN forums.

            I did not count this year, but I expect the outcome to be considerably worse.

             

             

            Are RMAN and ASM obsolete technologies? But the same is also true with very similar outcome for other forums.

             

            Oracle may have internal communication issues as you suspect, but it's not anything I can discuss or determine, and not really a valid excuse. I just want to know if community management can confirm the situation, and if yes, whether or not it welcomes such development, perhaps to justify more drastic changes in the future, or whether there is still some interest to improve the situation.

            • 3. Re: Overall Participation
              L. Fernigrini

              I agree that the forum activity is currently declining, but I also see that there are many lazy users that post in the DB General Questions or SQL & PL/SQL rather than searching for the right place, and probably that happens since since those specific places are not frequently used and receive less public attention than more "generic" ones...

               

              If you can see the same statistics on the more used spaces, that would confirm your hypothesis...

              • 4. Re: Overall Participation
                Dude!

                Making people search for the right forum space I think is the wrong strategy. Not only is the search engine arguably not the best source, but also requires that people enter the right search criteria. As far as I can tell, not even Google finds a lot of posts anymore. However, the necessity to search the site to locate discussion forums isn't going to inspire participating. It also doesn't help realizing forums are dead, or participating in gamification missions, only to learn that the platform has much left to be desired. But unless someone in charge recognize the issues, nothing will improve.

                • 5. Re: Overall Participation
                  L. Fernigrini

                  Yes, what I tried to mention is that maybe some part of that decline in activity in those two particular forums was caused due to user actually posting questions regarding ASM or RMAN on more generic forums spaces.

                  • 6. Re: Overall Participation
                    Dude!

                    I'm aware of it, but I'm not aware that participation in any of the forum spaces has been increasing due to people posting in the wrong forum space. The platform no longer seems to be attracting new IT experts. However, I don't think it's the platform software that is the major problem, but the current presentation and strategy. The site has become too complex and inconsistent and also somewhat political. The content is boring, too obviously pushing for cloud and other eye candy, but provides no answers. And last, but not least giving away gamification points for trivial tasks. It's not attracting IT pros asking technical questions, or providing answers trying to improve their knowledge, Internet presence and expert reputation. So I wonder, what exactly the community platform tries to accomplish.

                    • 7. Re: Overall Participation
                      Dude!

                      The irony of circumstance. When MOSC was merged with OTN several years ago, I posted that participation might shift to the MOSC community. Now, merging the product forums and leaderboards to MOSC might be the very least, or next logical step, that could happen after all - providing the MOSC knowledge base for free, but eliminating the double effort of maintaining two product support communities.

                       

                      Since marketing was mentioned earlier. Here a couple of useful rules, I think:

                       

                      - Negativity doesn't sell.

                      - Never abandon your customers.

                      - Cheap doesn't sell well.

                      - Communicate your plans.

                      • 8. Re: Overall Participation
                        Marwim

                        I limit my participation to certain spaces like SQL Developer or PL/SQL. Especially the latter shows much less activity. In the beginning there was at least one comment each quarter-hour. Now there are hours without new postings (gut feeling).

                         

                        Marcus

                        • 9. Re: Overall Participation
                          BluShadow

                          Of course, there's always the possibility that the experts have done such a good job of answering common questions and people are learning to search for answers better that less people have a need to re-ask the same old questions and find their answers without having to even start a discussion.  All the answers they need are already there. 

                           

                          There is certainly 'seasonal' participation, whether that's just the case that it's always quieter Friday thru Sunday, or whether it's quieter over the summer and holiday periods; but that's always been the case.  Usually there is an influx of new members with questions when Universities kick off their course terms in October, January or May; that's also been obvious.

                           

                          I think there's also the possibility that universities are teaching less courses on "Database Programming" etc. as they tend to follow the latest "industry buzz" to get students on courses, so there's likely lots of people learning "Web Development" and "Cloud" and "Big Data" things without getting involved in the lower database level of stuff.  That's the nature of the industry unfortunately.

                          • 10. Re: Overall Participation
                            Dude!

                            I have more and more trouble finding my own posts using google or the site search, and I don't see why other people should have more luck finding existing answers. I also see a drop in the number of views, and an increase of remaining questions that are less educated or completely clueless. Do you see that people have become more efficient in troubleshooting technical problems? I think the trend is the opposite and people don't care as much than they used to.

                             

                            It's clear that Oracle has to deal with more competition and some technology has been shifting to cloud, for example, which can explain why there are less questions overall, but it doesn't justify why there are also less questions in areas that are ostensibly becoming more popular, such as Linux.

                             

                            Of course, this all perception and not based on scientific research. However, I think it's "more likely" that less people find the site inviting, or don't see what people hope to accomplish. Out of sight, out of mind. It doesn't help if people have to search for product forums, or when the community is rebranded to "groundbreakers", as you previously mentioned yourself.

                             

                            Well, no one is paid for participating, but this doesn't mean current trends are not a great loss.

                            • 11. Re: Overall Participation
                              BluShadow

                              Well, I'll completely agree with you about the name.  "Groundbreakers" is not encouraging anyone to recognise this as the place to find a technical community.

                              • 12. Re: Overall Participation
                                L. Fernigrini

                                I agree that there is less activity, and that is probably worse on the specific spaces. I've recently seen 2 or 3 threads on RMAN (that has it's own space) on the General Database Discussion space, and so on with many other subjects. Not only the overall participation dropped, but it is concentrated on the general spaces rather than specific ones...

                                 

                                RMAN backup-restore      --> Rman Space

                                Oracle 19c Datapump Import Issues --> Export / Import / SQL Loader space

                                import speed vs export      --> Export / Import / SQL Loader space

                                Problem With PL/SQL And DBMS_SCHEDULER --> Scheduler Space

                                Run dbms_scheduler Job in different schema  --> Scheduler Space

                                • 13. Re: Overall Participation
                                  Dude!

                                  It would have been unthinkable several years ago, but now you could probably manage to have a universal forum for all. questions.

                                  • 14. Re: Overall Participation
                                    BluShadow

                                    L. Fernigrini wrote:

                                     

                                    I agree that there is less activity, and that is probably worse on the specific spaces. I've recently seen 2 or 3 threads on RMAN (that has it's own space) on the General Database Discussion space, and so on with many other subjects. Not only the overall participation dropped, but it is concentrated on the general spaces rather than specific ones...

                                     

                                    RMAN backup-restore --> Rman Space

                                    Oracle 19c Datapump Import Issues --> Export / Import / SQL Loader space

                                    import speed vs export --> Export / Import / SQL Loader space

                                    Problem With PL/SQL And DBMS_SCHEDULER --> Scheduler Space

                                    Run dbms_scheduler Job in different schema --> Scheduler Space

                                     

                                     

                                    Well, things can be moved if a) people know they're in the wrong place and b) people know where to put them. 

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