Today is the day I officially announce the launch of MindsersIT Community Forum!
Why? How? Who is that for? This is what we will be talking about here.
The MindsersIT Community Forum is a dedicated forum for this blog (also called MindsersIT Blog somewhere on Google...). It concerns people on my blog related social media, like @mindsers.it on Instagram or MindsersIT on Twitter, etc.
The idea first came from the impressive number of people asking for my advice on starting coding.
They generally ask this on Instagram which can be disturbing because on Instagram, we post photos not code. Well, you might be wrong on that one. I post photos of my code on Instagram everyday with a short recap on my daily work. Light blogging basically.
It seems like it gives people the desire to do the same job as us, developers. I am thrilled about that! It also, apparently, make it look like I know a lot about programming.
Based on that, people would often message me asking me for advice on how to start coding, what school curriculum is needed to be dev or even how to solve this or that bug.
I agree, those are good news but my problem is that the conversation support on Instagram is not well-made for that. Instagram is not appropriate to write code or handle dozens (or hundreds) of conversations. Writing on a computer could help but it is not possible.
I am bashing on Instagram but the same thing happens with Twitter. Having a place where I could simply answer and chat with everyone from a computer has become an increasing concern.
Back then, I told myself that there weren't a lot of people leaving comments on the blog and that if people wanted to say something they could reach me on Twitter. Let's not talk about that hardship of tech discussions on Twitter because this is not the point.
People have asked for it more and more. A lot of them have probably been discouraged by the Twitter thing and a lot of good ideas/feedbacks might have gotten lost in the way.
Despite all of that, I never really wanted to put a comment section back on the blog.
I currently have 3 maintained open source projects
- Yabf : A basic NodeJS framework I developed to learn
- Configfile: A CLI tool that simplify the repo dotfiles gestion.
This projects are on Github and I use the issue system of Github to track bugs and see the different things I have to do. But I don't have an official place where we could talk about the features before developing them. No place where people could ask for help about the projects as well.
It is not very necessary at the given time because my projects are rather small. It could be handled on Github but I like to think ahead and offer the best possible experience to my contributors.
You can support the blog in a lot of ways and one of them is to use the Patreon platform. Patreon allows you to make small monthly donations to support people that create content you like.
To thank the people that are willing to support my work on this blog, I'd like to allow them to interact with me during the redaction process of my posts. But for this I need a dedicated place to talk.
I am not going to get into the detailed tier that I offer to my patrons, it is not the topic. But you get it, I need a space for my patrons.
As I said above, this is a forum where I would love to gather the entire MindsersIT community by fixing the problems we talked about earlier. Which are :
- Social media followers need a tool that is adapted for tech discussion
- Blog readers can't share their opinions on my posts in a simple manner
- Patron need a place to share about the writing process of my posts
- Contributors need a free space to chat, ask for help and ideas
By reading several posts (on ghost, codinghorror, etc), I discovered Discourse. This tool has been here for a while but I never looked into it before reading a post on its functioning process.
Anyway, I installed Discourse and you can already use it here : community.nathanaelcherrier.com.
There are currently 4 main categories. The first - which is not really one I guess - is Uncategorized. It is the simplest, you write what you want as long as it is dev related.
Then comes Open Source. This category will allow contributors of Yabf, Configfile, Nativetable and other uses of my open source projects to ask questions or ask for enhancement.
For Patrons, I added a new category : Patreon. This category has some restrictions. It is only accessible for people supporting the blog on Patreon. If you use the same email for the forum and Patreon, Discourse will automatically grant your permission to access.
So you get access to this category but you will also unlock the "Patreon" badge, it will be shown below your profile picture and you'll have a few more privileges that I will let you discover on the forum.
There is also a Blog category: this category is different because members can't create new topics. When I publish a new post on the blog, a topic is automatically created in this category for that post. Then each member can write on the post's topic about what he thinks of the post, share his experience...
Messages from the topic will be displayed under the post on the blog. It is a sort of delocalized comment section in the forum. I said I didn't want a comment section back on the blog but because with Discourse it is so easy and people ask for it, I figure I could do it like that.
The last category is Meta : it is a place where everyone can discuss about the forum itself, its organization, the blog, the website. Nothing is set and I don't think it is perfect the way it is. So if you have ideas, advice or recommendation, create a topic and we'll talk about it!