[theforum] A sound of silence

Matt Warden mwarden at gmail.com
Thu Nov 20 18:16:26 CST 2008

Elfur asked:

> Do I sense your comments correctly in that regard? That we don't have a
> proper community today because noone had to work hard to build or maintain a
> bespoke solution?

No, that's backwards from what I was trying to say. We lost our
community. I am not trying to explain why, and certainly it is not as
simple as 1 reason. Maybe someone will write a book some day.

I'm starting from the point where we have agreement that we no longer
have an evolt community, at least like we did. Martin offered a great
bulleted list of reasons why I'm wrong with the custom CMS idea, and
while I appreciate that, I think the time might be better spent on a
bulleted list of community-building alternatives. Upgrading our
technology is not going to build community. The visual redesign has
some potential, but right now 1-2 people are working on that (I could
be wrong -- I haven't been following it closely), so that's not going
to build community much either.

What is our common purpose anymore? Why, other than history and
stubbornness, are we even bothering with evolt anymore?

People join a community because they are passionate about the common purpose.
People join a community because the community offers value to them personally.
People join a community because they wish to feel a part of something
positive and bigger than themselves.

We don't have a community because we no longer meet any of the above
conditions. We have no defined common purpose. We have no articles. We
have 10 softball posts per day on thelist with an answer and question
quality that could be found anywhere on the web. We are not something
bigger and we are usually not positive. (Yes, it's a little ironic for
me to be so negative about not being positive.)

If we have no ideas on how to revive the community that was, then we
should stop wasting our time, give the treasury funds to something
that is actually useful and positive in the world, and turn off the

I'd be willing to do a weekly "ask tom"-style SQL column. And I bet I
could get some db gurus from the past to do guest articles, which
could perhaps pique their interest in evolt again.

Come on, people. I know you understand this stuff. You are half of
those who taught me 10 years ago. Think outside the drupal.

Matt Warden
Cincinnati, OH, USA

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