Simplifying FCC's Gitter Chatrooms

Simplifying FCC's Gitter Chatrooms
0

#1

We currently have more than 500 chat rooms. Only about 50 of them have had a message in the past month, and only about 15 of them have had a message in the last 24 hours.

We’ve observed time and time again situations where campers enthusiastically introduce themselves in inactive chatrooms, only to never get a reply or a greeting.

This is a negative experience for them, and a waste of their time. They could have spent this time introducing themselves in an active chat room where people would actually read what they wrote and would respond to them.

Over time, even a semi-inactive chatroom will become completely inactive.

Our goal is to only have highly active chat rooms.

This means trading some specialized topics (for example, CurriculumDevelopment) for related but broader topics (Contributors).

It also means moving low-volume topics over to a platform where a delayed response is OK and expected: our forum.

We will continue to offer a long tail of topics to discuss, but a chatroom is a poor medium for low-volume messages. This forum is a much better medium for this.

So we are archiving a vast majority of these semi-inactive and completely inactive rooms. We started a public discussion of this back in May.

Note that is not enough to merely unlist these inactive rooms, because new campers will still stumble upon them and introduce themselves, expecting a response. A big part of this is how Gitter handles rooms. For example, here is its overview of Free Code Camp’s rooms. Note that even rooms with many members are still relatively inactive. These rooms also show up in searches within Gitter and on Google.

We’ve updated our official chat room list. In the coming days, we will download the full archives of these public chat rooms and release the entire dataset as open data. You’ll be able to download this dataset and explore it for yourself, along with various researchers and data scientists who want to better understand open source communities and how learning to code works.

If you have any feedback on this transition, or questions, please reply to this post.


#2

#5

Thanks for the clarification and explanation. I have a better understanding now of why you are taking this action and am okay with this chat room deactivation.

Steve


#6

You forgot to include https://github.com/FreeCodeCamp/FreeCodeCamp/issues/8418 in the warnings in all channels, as I proposed. So you left that people without knowing anything, blind. Someones already decided to move the discusion to other (not FCC) places. Community loses.
Plus, doing some exceptions for people that noticed of that (NYC, LetsPair, etc), when others, that didn’t noticed the existence of that hidden (for them) conversation, as https://gitter.im/FreeCodeCamp/Russian (I’m not Russian), with a similar activity, will be closed. Because they, as others, doesn’t know about that discussion and, probably, neither read the forum, because, you know: they like the chatrooms. It’s that the reason because they’re in the chatrooms. This happens because the channels wheren’t really pretty well «checked» (the decision was already taken).

I wouldn’t call «Public conversation» to an issue deeply hidden in the Issue tracker. That isn’t «Public» at all to people using the channels. It would had been a «Public conversation» if that was mentioned in the room titles (just like the «We are closing your room» warning), so people could know: «Hey, we’re discusing if we will closing your room or not, maybe you have something to say about that, after all, you’re using that room». That wasn’t the case.

Apart from that, the reasoning for this… kinda… well… It doesn’t stands.

I just want to put clear that I strongly disagree with this decision. That is also a community breaker and a bad decision from my perspective. Very, very bad decision. And very, very bad taken, with zero communication with the affected people, the community. It puts before people that even isn’t in the community or that are there out or curiosity and will left soon, than people that are already deep in the community. Just because they aren’t in the massive rooms. The community is treated like a customer: the new maybe customer is treated great, while the regular customer is forgotten and not so important. With nobody found that hidden issue in the git tracker, that not inactive rooms would have been closed for good, without any conversation. By people that doesn’t use the closing rooms (obviously).

That’s all, thanks. And I forgot, quoting again: This is a pretty negative experience for all the people evicted. But well, at least, it won’t be a negative experience for people that isn’t using that «soon no existing» channels. This will be also a negative experience for the future coming people. They will hit with a wall of endless text. With a few overcrowded rooms where a question could be lost and hidden quickly easily. And where everyone talks about everything because there isn’t any focus. This is what you get when you aim to:

only have highly active chat rooms.

It’s like try to talk about programming in a disco or in a «running of the bulls» in San Fermín (Pamplona, Spain). Sorry for the graphic examples (and for the animal abuse). Overcrowded rooms are good for some topics and in some scenarios. In others, not so good. At all.


#7

Thank you for your candid feedback, @soulchainer.

I’ve updated the official chatroom thread to link to this discussion.

At some point, a chatroom is so inactive that a majority of its messages are new campers joining and introducing themselves, only to receive no response. This is not what people expect when they join a chatroom. They expect for people to be in that room chatting.

Most of the rooms we’ve chosen to close - including most of the world language rooms - are extremely inactive, with less than 5 messages a day on average. We hope that these discussions can move to this forum, where there is an expectation that it will take hours - or days - to get a response.

Regarding you observation about the overcrowding of rooms, this is generally a self-correcting phenomenon. As the great Yogi Berra said, “No one goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” I expect this will only affect a few key rooms, such as gitter.im/freecodecamp/freecodecamp and gitter.im/freecodecamp/help, which are common places where new campers arrive before moving into the more specialized rooms.

We have categories on this forum for the major world languages and programming languages, and can create more as needed. We can have a wide variety of threaded discussions here that unfold over time.


#8

So out of 50 rooms active in the past month you only leave 13, which all had messages in the last 24 hours?

Why not do this: have monthly checks and see if there were more than, I don’t know, 10 messages in the last month. That would be enough to reduce the number from 500 to 50, but not enough to cram all the new content into chat rooms where you can’t even see the message you just posted because of the frequency of new messages

Also, I get not wanting 500 rooms, but I don’t see why 50 are too many. After all, you removed HelpBackEnd, Security, GameDev and a few more of the channels that are still used from time to time. Sure, not daily, but again, if you move the chat room to the forum you

  1. cram the existing rooms with spam, in the form of not being able to hold a conversation with someone because lots of other people are trying to converse with eachother at the same time, in the same room(s) and
  2. moving to a forum would effectuvely have the conversations hidden from the people, due to the flood of new discussions/threads that appear daily on the forum.

Also, as it was mentioned above, the decision was taken without even considering the community you’re trying to profit form in the first place (open-source mentality; but that’s sidetracking). No asking, no polls, no inviting them to provide better suggestions, nothing.


#9

I understand why some rooms were removed from the FCC Core group of relevant rooms. So I created 2 Official Gitter rooms both explanatory and hopefully will help many Gitter users in the future as well as Freecodecamp Students…

  1. https://gitter.im/Learn-G-I-T/Lobby

  2. https://gitter.im/Learn-G-I-T-H-U-B/Lobby

Please drop by leave a message and share your experience and workflow :smile: :smile: :smile:


#10

While I agree with that, I do think that reducing it to fewer rooms a good idea, but leaving not enough rooms would make searching for and getting answers more difficult. I would say 50 rooms is a good number, and it shouldn’t be more than a few pages.

Sure, the ones on the fist page would be the most popular, but there is also need for specialized rooms, due to the variety of subjects in IT. For example, you might have to cram the Game Development with back-end development, but hte game development also includes graphics and game design, as well as networking and many other things. Trying to cram that in a room specialised in something else would only hurt both the game development on FCC and the room it’s crammed into.


#11

Re: the standard text at the foot of this screenshot:

– please, can you make the message clearer? Maybe:

Twitter users can not join this room. Please use GitHub, not Twitter, to sign in.


#12

Good point. Here’s the issue I just created for this: https://github.com/freeCodeCamp/freeCodeCamp/issues/14383