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I appreciate that a product as new as the RPi is difficult to be an expert in, however it seems like a lot of the questions get answered by a very small number of users. I guess this is because a lot of users and new, and just getting up and running.

The are problems with this though:

One of the things about SE sites is the ability to compare answers and up/down vote them according to your own knowledge/how useful the answer was.

With only a small number of answers for each question (according to Area 51 the average is just 1.7 answers per question), this is missing to a degree at the moment.

It can distort the information on the site around the knowledge/habits/practices of those few users, and won't help get a diverse spread of experience, or alternative solutions to problems.

It also means that if the few folks that can answer aren't around, then things will stand still a bit (it is holiday season coming up afterall).

So the question is, what can be done to entice more likely experts into the site to start contributing their knowledge? Do we just need to wait for likely electronics/linux experts to get RPis of their own and come looking?

  • Perhaps this illustrates a fundamental problem in setting up something unique and expecting the expertise to find you there, vs asking questions in the settings where there is already expertise in the pi, or in embedded systems in general, or in embedded linux configuration. – Chris Stratton Oct 8 '12 at 0:17
12

Part of the problem at the moment is the lack of actual Raspberry Pis, there are many people out there who would contribute to the site but just can't get their hands on a board.

As supply becomes less of an issue, we should hopefully see more participation.

  • There are quite a lot of RPis on eBay for those that can't get one yet. – Jon Egerton Jul 2 '12 at 8:08
  • @JonEgerton True, but I expect most people (like I did!) will wait another month or two rather than go through the hassle and faff of using eBay. – Tom Medley Jul 2 '12 at 8:45
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    You also need to be careful down the ebay route, I seem to remember the foundation warning there were a number of fakes around the initial launch floating around there... – berry120 Jul 3 '12 at 21:20
  • I have read that the foundation is putting a number of RPis on ebay itself, to stop help keep down the resale value. – Jon Egerton Jul 11 '12 at 8:58
10

The difficulty here is that the foundation at present isn't on board - from what I've gathered they're weary of sites trying to make a "quick buck" as they put it from the Pi, and they would prefer all the information on their forums in one place.

Considering the most obvious experts at this stage are the ones in the foundation, this isn't the greatest start. However, I believe the relatively broad array of questions means that experts can be drawn into various subcategories:

  • Linux experts will do well with guiding people how to set up, configure and generally use Linux on the Pi
  • Hardware experts who know the details of schematics and the SoC will be able to answer people's questions on the technical hardware specifics
  • Electronics experts will be able to give guidance on using the GPIO, using the Pi for things such as a robotics platform, etc.

This may help when thinking about who to recruit; if we can get a good base of people from those areas I don't think that would be a bad start at all.

  • 2
    Generally, while their forum is good for discussion, SE site are better for support style stuff, with the Q&A format. Its a shame they don't (currently) see it that way. – Jon Egerton Jun 29 '12 at 13:25
  • @JonEgerton I agree - still, I don't think their position will change, so in all practicality we'll need to work around it. – berry120 Jun 29 '12 at 17:09
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    @JonEgerton - The way we convince them is to become a site which hits the top of google searches when asking Raspberry Pi questions and the way we do that is to get people to write good questions and good answers, which is precisely what we are doing (our stats are great for a 19 day old site). – Mark Booth Jul 2 '12 at 13:00
  • @Mark: Yes - I'm asking some noob questions as I come across them - these should help. – Jon Egerton Jul 2 '12 at 13:09
4

The BeagleBoard (and BeagleBone) communities appear to have answered most of the newbie questions that will eventually be asked here. Through cross-linking and assimilating that information we can quickly build the body of information available here.

For the same reason, we should attempt to attract existing Beagle{Board,Bone} users as their experience seems largely applicable to our audience.

I do agree with earlier comments about the lack of an RPi installed base being the most obvious impediment to building a thriving community.

0

The embedded linux world is growing fast, so is the iot devices and applications out there. I have played on both the raspi and the bbb. The pine64 has also secured good funding.

There is a good argument for including these communities and using tags to organise the site.

c-:

-1

What about stealing questions and answers from the official forum? I've used the official forum and I think it would be easy to extract good content from the rambling conversation threads.

  • This has to be really shakey ground - especially if we want to endear ourselves to the foundation. I'm sure we'll cover the same material a lot of the time, but any copying would be a no-go. Perhaps if you've a question then ask on both at the same time - that would be different. – Jon Egerton Jul 8 '12 at 21:34
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    People posting answers like this destroy the reputation of the community as a whole and makes us lose the trust of the foundation. =/ – user46 Jul 9 '12 at 1:48
  • @Bryan Dunsmore - I'm not sure if I agree, if the foundation can see the benefits of SE format then they may make it the official stop for pi answers, ultimately a great deal of the answers have to come from the foundation as they developed the product so I can't see the difference. – Dog Ears Jul 9 '12 at 7:01

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