an idea to help devs talk to users

How can the Elgg developers enhance their interactions with Elgg users? Comments, questions, and discussions encouraged!!

Forums, forums, forums!!!!!

Why in the world are there no forums here?

Take this from an 'elgg' newbie standpoint, though I am in no way new to working with systems online.

Seriously, it would help organize things so much better than having hundreds of different groups spread all over the place. I mean cmon.. if I want to talk themes, I have to find the theme group, if I want general questions, I have to find the general group, etc etc etc...

And then don't even get me going on looking up my history LOL.

I spent over an hour trying to find an old post I made my first day here. Search returned nothing, it's like the search function doesn't even realize there are groups on elgg.

Tags do nothing either... click on anyone's profile tag, and you get an empty page, still  can't figure out the logic there.

I understand that groups have their place, but seriously, is there anything better than a well setup forum for tech support dealing with users?

I run probably a dozen very large forum based websites, and with just a few clicks I can find pots I made years ago. Some forums even let me choose plugins where topics can be set as resolved/not resolved so I can simply go in and check the unresolved posts.

I'm not knocking elgg, as I am slowely coming to like it a lot. I'm just saying if you want 'real' interaction between devs and users, this whole group thing needs to get dumped quick....

I'd seriously love to hear from the opposing side, as to why in the world a multi-group help type system here is better than a well setup and run forum....

just my 2c... after the last hour of futily in looking for an old post to see if it was answered or not

  • When I read this I don't see a need for a forum, but the need for better searching--something that's being worked on currently!

    Personally I don't agree that forums would help organize the information better.  Mind that I'm not saying group discussions on Elgg are the best way to do it either.  (For the record, we have rough plans to improve the discussion experience in groups.)

    The biggest problem with large forums, and to some extent Elgg's group discussion, is information gets lost in the mix.  Go to and search for "can't flash rom."  You'll get 8 pages of results.  Of the 25 threads shown on the first page, 10 of them have over 1000 replies.  One has over *17,000* replies.  This is not efficient.

    You can aruge that restricting by subforum and even thread would be useful, but how is this different than restricting by group?

    With what you're saying concerning Elgg, I believe the heart of the issue is really search--not groups or forums.

  • The discussion groups here are a mess. There is no structure. As a new elgg user I need to find answers to specific problems, under a section of elgg, for example groups. Yes the documentation is all there and easy to access but what if I wanted to find a particualr group setup. If I search I could possibly end up finding I have returned every discussion that has the word group in it. I would like a way I can see the structure of Elgg being replicated in the groups discussion.  This will make it easier for me to narrow down my search.

    Forums may not be where you want to take elgg, but at least provide some structure to the groups.

  • I think one of the more ideal mixes is a forum combined with a good wiki which is already growing for Elgg.  However, this requires a fair amount of work to really do this right and who is getting paid to do such.  What you are really looking for is that person who will answer questions by providing links over to the wiki.  And, when the answer is not in the wiki, that person first grows/adds that content to the wiki and then links to that section.

    There are many natural reasons this does not happen.  First, the role is far more about being an effective eLibrarian than a programmer per se (but need that knowledge).  It means following a path in the short term that is more work to get far smoother operations over time.  Typicially, the shortest immediate path is just providing a quick reply in the thread itself.

    The eLibrarian also has to spend the time to take information & answers on other threads and incorporate that into the wiki as well while putting a link on that particular forum topic to the appropriate section of the wiki where it is answered even though the answer is already in the forum thread itself (solves problem when people are looking at the forum thread later and yet the accurate information has changed... the link will still take you there).

    Eventually, general members in the community start providing quick links to the wiki as well.  But, it all takes time to develop.  And, the problem still becomes how to pay for that eLibrarian's time because I think we can all attest to the fact that this pattern of activity is not naturally occuring from our past activities on other projects.  This particular area of an eLibrarian is typically not solved well by crowdsourcing (exceptions exist) and usually requires someone with the specific responsibility to simply grind it out.  It is not so much complicated as just plugging your way through it.

    I am not saying any of this as this should be something we expect the Curverider team to do for us as a community given how much we already get.  I am just sharing what I think the challenges typically are in these situations.



  • The answer is Better Elgg Search.


    The majority of the issues raised in here can addressed in a more sophisticated sarch feature.


  • ( I'm a contrarian...)

    I do not find any dis-ordered mess on the community info here. I have many / several times "lost" track of my posts after a few weeks but.. cpl of minutes and I can find. So that must mean "search" works ok for me ;-)


  • Paige-AKA_Stormy

    umm far is i see the groups are fourms

    this is now common that systems have one or the other titles one groups or other forums our e107 forums are just like the gorups set up of elgg but only admins can make them not users so it based on fourms set up not groups we do have a blog section as well that the users them selves.

    And no im not comparing but most systems i have worked with now days apart form the late 90's early 2000 there was no options for such, like they have now on groups or forums. it used to be and some still  that you would have to intergrade a forum fit for that script.

    And i agree the search is important on a system like this or any systme runing a developer network i did a search on users posting or signing up but place fake emails so i have to remove the user based on false information and they stay ban from our system due to it.

    we had one come in to my rockme soical its an elgg site,

    i did a look up on him found he falsely used an email.

    to me he wanted to spam, so fake email would cover track. umm not on our ellg you wont lol. so i did a search on here found him and his email, removed him from our system and is locked out server wide. including his ip ranges, incase dsl reasons.

    And again the search helped in tracking his user down, i noticed the search though only likes one keyword when i did this search. i place the full name and search only targeted one name of the 3 i placed.

    sorry i get to in to what im saying it gets to long like im wrighting a book or something lol sorry all

  • I'm with shawn ..

    why there is no forum with the elgg software ? why there is no support forum ?????????????????



    No one can convince me that these options aren't necessary ..

  • I agree with the statement that elgg needs FORUM. Its not just me... and you. I managed 1000 members... most of them say that the community needs a FORUM feature. I know that group discussion can be a replacement. But thats totally different.

    A community needs forum. Period.

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