Relaunching ClojureVerse


#1

Hi Clojure friends!

Clojureverse.org has been up and running for a few years now. It originally started as a mailing list for the Chesnut project, but once it was all set up and running I realized it wasn’t any more effort to turn it into a general Clojure board. The main objective in opening it up like that was to provide mailing lists for other Clojure projects that were looking for an indy mailing list solution*.

Besides dropping a link in Slack and on the Clojure mailing list I never made much noise about it. It simply did its job in providing a mailing list, and for the rest the offer to use it by others was there if they wanted it.

Recently it seems some more people have found out about it. It’s still a very low traffic place, but it’s starting to feel a little more alive, and I added some more categories for general discussion.

I know Slack is where it’s all at these days, but I believe there are plenty of people out there who are still interested in a slower, more in depth medium for banter about their favorite programming language. I would like to see what we can do to reach those people, and make this an appealing space for them to hang out in.

Slack is where information goes to die. It’s also for people who like to be “always plugged in”. I’m not like that.

Someone on reddit recently compared Clojureverse with the elixir forum, and I have to admit the contrast is stark. There are no doubt lessons we can learn from them.

So… where to go from here? I’d like to find out if there are people already on here who are interested to make this a nicer place and who can help get the word out. I think there are three areas that we can focus on

  • customizing and styling discourse so it’s more “ours”. This includes setting up new categories.
  • writing posts. The best way to make a forum appealing is by making it seem alive with friendly and interesting discourse.
  • getting the word out. Poke your friends, post on social media, write announcements for the main mailing lists, let people know that we’re here.

Do you want to play a part in shaping this community? Let us know! You can reply to this post, or message me.

Thanks!
Arne


* “mailing list solution”: People mostly see this place as a forum, but Discourse allows both posting and reading via email, making it a fine replacement for a mailing list. At the time this was the only modern open source mailing list solution I could find, the fact that it also provided a nice web interface was a nice extra.


#2

A Slack or a Clojureverse is like a message channel for audiences. In Slack, there are limited numbers of channels, with some of the threads. In Clojureverse, every topic is a message channel. It’s much better if we put messages in correct channels, where the messages should only reach small part of people.

The other difference is asynchronization, as mentioned above. Even people some here years later, it’s still possible for him/her to communicate.

Another thing I think we should prepare Clojureverse more for beginners. Senior programmers do not like nosies, but beginners need noises in order to communicate with more people and start building connections. That’s mean we need to make it more reachable from the Web. (Big part of the conclusions are from Chinese tech community though…)


#3

Here’s an initial draft for the setup of categories. This is largely inspired by this page, but with some different accents.

  • News & Announcements (admin only, high profile Clojure news and announcements about the forum)
  • General chat
    • Watercooler
    • Beginners
    • Meta (discussion about clojureverse itself)
  • Community
    • Confs & Meetups
    • ClojureBridge
    • Outreach & community building
  • Questions & Help
    • How to?
    • Troubleshooting
    • General Questions
  • Learning Resources
    • Books
    • Talks
    • Courses
    • Screencasts
    • Tutorials & Guides
    • Blogs
  • Showcase
    • Products built with Clojure
    • Your libraries & projects
  • Job board
    • Employee positions
    • Contract & Freelance
    • Remote
    • Dev profiles
  • Dedicated sections (we can add these as soon as a number of people request them. Project mailing lists with a dedicated email address are also here)
    • Chestnut
    • shadow-cljs
    • Datomic
    • reagent & re-frame
    • Emacs
    • ClojureScript
    • Testing
    • Deployment
  • The periphery
    • LISP stuff
    • Industry talk
    • Philosophy & Design

#4

Another thing I think we should prepare Clojureverse more for beginners.

I’d definitely want a dedicated Beginners category. As steam picks up we’ll also need good moderators to make sure the vibe stays friendly and inclusive. I think one of the most important aspects of growing a healthy community is dealing with trolls and abuse immediately and consistently.

The Code of Conduct currently links to the Chestnut code of conduct, which is taken from the contributor covenant, which is more focused on open source projects than online spaces, so this might need some discussion. I think the Berlin code of conduct has a broader reach and could be a good model.

And a code of conduct is only half of the story, you also need concrete guidelines for moderators.

That’s mean we need to make it more reachable from the Web.

What do you mean by this? Everything is already reachable from the web, but I assume you mean something specific.


#5

By “reachability” I mean, when I pasted Clojureverse to Reddit, I received comments that they surprised there’s a forum for Clojure. I think there’s still some work to do to make more Clojure developers know we have such a forum.


#6

Yes!

I can mostly pull on point #3 (getting the word out)!


#7

Thanks @daiyi, I’ll make some separate threads to look at the things that need doing.

@jiyinyiyong I agree, that’s what I meant with “getting the word out.” We’ll have to get our hands dirty with some good old marketing :slight_smile:


#8

Small status update

  • I created most of the categories that I had in mind
  • I started moving posts over from the Clojure and ClojureScript categories, these two categories will go away
  • Instead I’ll install a tagging plugin so we can have Clojure/ClojureScript/ClojureCLR/self-hosted CLJS tags across all categories
  • General discussion can now go in #community-center:watercooler
  • I updated the welcome banner: Welcome to Clojureverse.org
  • I made some small styling changes
  • The categories page has been completely revamped, it now shows categories in a fixed hierarchical ordering
  • I added a bunch of important emoji

:clojure: :clojurescript: :bmo: :parrot: :fiesta: :sharkdance: :pride: :hammersickle: :bubblegum: :finn:

All subcategories have gotten the same color as their parent category, and category “badges” now show the full badge colored instead of just the bullet point. I’ve also fixed up all slugs and incoming email addresses for all categories, they derive directly from the name, so if you want to post in this category for instance from the comfort of your email client, you can post to [email protected].

I started writing the “about this category” page for each category, for top level categories you see this on the categories page, for others it shows when you hover over the tag.

I’d like to add the “solved / accepted answer” plugin for the help categories, so you can mark a topic as solved, and point at the post that contains the solution : https://meta.discourse.org/t/discourse-solved-accepted-answer-plugin/30155

I could still use help with these and other things… Don’t hesitate to raise your hand :slight_smile: So far only @daiyi has come forward. (thank you @daiyi!)


#9

I’ve got a bit of experience with being an admin for Discourse if you need an extra hand.

I’d personally like to see oauth implemented - Google and/or Github would be good candidates, as well as https.

Congratulations on the relaunch!!


#10

Thanks Jeff! Those are definitely good suggestions, and your help is very welcome and appreciated!

I just realized the other day that Clojureverse isn’t https yet, that definitely needs to change. OAuth also seems like a good way to lower the barrier. I’m guessing there are easy plugins for that.

I’m gonna start a new thread with a todo list.

I also set up IFTTT to tweet any new topics to https://twitter.com/clojureverse. I read that for some other discourse forums that definitely helped drive traffic.


#11

Can we look at the source code for clojureverse?


#12

The app is called discourse, you can find it on github.


#13

Aah, i thought it was build on clojure. Thanks!