Ask Fedora retrospective - 2020

Originally published at: Ask Fedora retrospective - 2020 – Fedora Community Blog

In the first quarter of 2019, we officially moved the Ask Fedora user support web site to Discourse. You can read more about the migration on the Ask Fedora Retrospective – 2019 published last year.

How it is going

The forum is still running very well and in 2020 we can note a growth of new topics (almost doubled), a growth of replies, and a growth of users and people interactions. And an increase of replies marked as solved.

While we can see a growth in topics and replies in the English category, discussions in other languages categories (we have Spanish, Italian, Persian, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese) are still in line with 2019 numbers (very low compared to English, just a few dozen). As noted in 2019, probably even non-native English speaking people prefer to ask questions in the English category, possibly because it is more active so there are greater chances to get answers. Or they prefer to use other places where their native language is the main and solely one used.

Spam and bad behavior

Spam is nearly absent thanks to the fact that authentication is tied to FAS and thanks to Discourse’s antispam system.

Like in 2019, also in 2020 there was not any notable flame or bad behavior that needed an heavy intervention by moderators (i.e. nobody was suspended due to Code of Conduct infringement).

Changes

Thanks to the impulse of the Fedora Project Leader, we made several adjustments to the platform in order to make it more effective, friendly and usable. For example, publishing in the main categories is now forbidden; people have to use the subcategories. This lead to less work for moderators. We rearranged the badges to be more Ask-Fedora-specific. Display names are now visible in the posts. The default site language is based on the headers provided by the browser. We also made some other tweaks on minimal posts length, notifications, and other small improvements.

Data/Statistics

Topics and replies

As you may know, for each language category there are two subcategories covering the entire lifecycle of a release: “on using Fedora” and “on installing or upgrading Fedora”. We still strongly believe that this is a good categorization: the forum looks more clean and easy if we avoid a high number of categories i.e. for each Spin, each Edition, each Desktop Environment.

The number of new posts (topics) in the English “on using Fedora” subcategory was 1072 in 2019, with 5048 replies, and 1907 with 9492 replies in 2020. The number of new posts in the English “on installing or upgrading Fedora” subcategory was 227 with 1566 replies in 2019 and 323 with 2059 replies in 2020.

The total number of topics in all the forum categories was 1602 with 7898 replies in 2019 and 2519 with 12546 replies in 2020.

The number of topics marked as solved was 550 in 2019 and 846 in 2020.

The average number of daily replies was 40 in 2019 and 50 in 2020.

Users

Discourse works with “trust levels”. When a user log in to the forum, they start at Trust Level 0. At every interaction with the forum (new topics, replies, likes given and received, and also the time spent reading the posts of other people), they gain points, and they can reach new Trust Levels.

In 2019, there was a total of 658 users with a Trust Level equal or greater to 1. At the end of 2020 there was a total of 1569 users that reached or went beyond such Trust Level.

Counting also the Trust Level 0, that are, as said before, the less active users (maybe just curious people, or people who joined the forum just to ask a single question), at the end of 2019 there were 2103 users, whereas at the end of 2020 we have a total of 4540 users, that is 2437 resistered users in the previous year.

The future

New changes are on their way. The design team is working on a redesign of the web site theme. We are also hoping to connect Discourse’s badge system with Fedora Badges.

Heroes of Ask Fedora

The Ask Fedora community want to thank these users for their great contribution, time and great work helping other people:

  • vgaetera , with 98 answers marked as solution
  • augenauf, 32
  • twohot, 31
  • lcts, 26
  • vits95, 19
  • ersen, 16
  • alexpl, 13
  • computersavvy, 11
  • grumpey, 11
  • tjdoyle, 10

And like the previous year: thanks to everyone using Ask Fedora… and keep it growing.

9 Likes

I was confused that there are now two Fedora Discourse sites.