Comments from the PowerShell.org survey

by Don Jones


As you probably know, we’ve been running a survey for PowerShell.org, which helps us both improve the site and create demographic information that makes us appealing to sponsors (who, you know, pay for everything here). We’ve gotten a ton of great feedback. Yeah, we really are reading every single comment you left.

Let’s start with the biggies:

Maybe some more guest writers for articles? I imagine it’s difficult with all the articles that get posted all over the net every day, but maybe some of those folks (like the scripting guys or scripting wife) can do some to help the Powershell.org community.

You find us guest authors, we’ll give ‘em a place to write. Problem is, not many folks want to write. We try to aggregate the better PowerShell-related blogs out there (we link to the original site so that we’re not stealing their traffic) just as a discovery mechanism, but I’m not sure what else we could do.

On the forum almost every thread remains ‘unsolved’. Maybe moderators can close threads, and even remove posts that are not relevant. I also see a lot of questions returning, for example on ‘how to change a property in AD’. I don’t know if this can be avoided, but if you know a way to diminish double threads, that would be great.

Testify, brother. You tell me how to fix it and we’ll give it a shot. The rest of the interwebz would probably like to know how to fix that, too. We can’t make people click “solved,” and believe it or not they get TESTY if we click it for them. Seriously. Been yelled at. And don’t know how to make people search before they post. Just don’t.

And now for some shorter responses:

  • PHPBB forums for questions… just link to StackExchange. Honestly, whatevs. We literally have at least one comment telling us to use every piece of forums software out there, and/or link to every other forum already out there. ServerFault, ExpertsExchange, we’ve got ‘em all in here. We’ll continue having our own forums mainly because it’s easier to ensure newcomers (especially) get a polite answer, not a brush-off, which happens too often in some of the other forums I’ve seen. As for software, we’re moving off of phpBB in June.
  • I don’t know if that something not to like – but I do think that people should be awarded for contributing to the community. Agreed. Looking into it.
  • forum email notifications work sporadically (does not always send an email for notices/updates). I’m not sure they’re that sporadic – I’ve looked into this a LOT. A lot a lot. Problem is that people have their spam settings set to DEFCON 1, with three layers of filtering. ForeFront Online Protection, for example, had a global block against our hosting company’s IP addresses that we had to get resolved – when things are blocked at that level, you’ll never see it in your Spam folders.
  • I love the simplicity of the site, please DON’T make it too busy with meaningless ads and trivialites. Dang. There goes our plans for putting ads every three inches on the page. Oh, well.
  • It needs rss feeds. It has ‘em.
  • Regarding Summit info, and especially the session registration process has been a bit confusing. I’m not sure of a single place to optionally check status updates. I know. That’s my fault. We’re going to do better next time, putting everything in the “Announcements” category here.
  • There is too much fokus on American area. We need more European stuff / events. Dude, you help us put it together, then. You live there. Asking Americans to put on a European event does not smell like a recipe for success, ya know?
  • It’s not possible but it’d be nice if the moderators when stumped would reach out to the masters to get threads answered. We really try to. Sometimes the other folks aren’t all that responsive. They got jobs too, and whatnot.
  • The home page isn’t very appealing – not a big complaint but it could do with a makeover. Done. Hope you like it. The Forums will be moving, too.
  • There’s a lot of good email newsletter design templates available out there to make it more reader friendly and not just a wall of text. Well, PowerShell’s pretty text-heavy. Guess we’re not big GUI folks <grin>.
  • I do not like the fact that you make business around powershell. Yeah, I’m not sure you and I agree on what a “business” is. We set up PowerShell.org, Inc., so that an entity could own the Web site and pay for its hosting. We make about enough money from sponsorships to pay those bills. Officially, PowerShell.org, Inc. is “not for profit.” Nobody draws a salary or gets paid. We can’t give you all of these resources for free without someone paying, and the “business” gives that money a place to go so that it is only used to run the community. Nobody else can pinch off pieces of the money for their own purposes.
  • More integration / collaboration with PowerShell User Groups. Yeah, working on it. Literally, Mark Schill (who runs that site) and I have been exchanging e-mails this morning. We both understand the value in having one place to discover user groups and keep up with their schedules; we’re trying to figure out the best way to deliver the functionality user group leaders require to post that information, and where the best place is for it to all live. We’ll link to it from here, wherever that turns out to be. Stay tuned.
  • Put newsletters in an online archive. Working on it. The March switch in mail providers was in large part to facilitate this. I just need some time to finish up the programmery bits needed.
  • Live hangouts/webinars in the vein of what vBrownbag does for virtualization. Awesome idea. You volunteering to lead ‘em? Please, contact me if you are.

Y’all had a bunch of nice things to say, too, which we all appreciate. We’ll be sharing the complete survey results once it finishes running at the end of May.

But let’s wrap with a big philosophical comment, because I’d really like your feedback on this one – just drop a comment below if you care to weigh in.

I would like to see a site that becomes the authoritative place to go for resources since Microsoft doesn’t really seem all that interested any more. There are way to many sites hosting scripts and pieces of “stuff”. I would really like to have “One site to rule them all.” ;-)

I get that. But… in some cases, the folks running a great resource (take PoshCode.org) want to rule their own destiny, and not become part of the collective. Nothing wrong with that – it lets them do their own thing. We’re trying to just link to the best of those community resources, so that people can find them when they run across this site. If someone wants to jump in and be part of PowerShell.org, we’ll try and make it happen – our charter is to offer support and resources to anyone who’s contributing – but we don’t really lobby for them to do that. If you see something out there you like, and you think they should hook up with us in some fashion, tell them.

About the Author

About Don Jones

Don Jones is a Windows PowerShell MVP, author of several Windows PowerShell books (and other IT books), Co-founder and President/CEO of PowerShell.org, PowerShell columnist for Microsoft TechNet Magazine, PowerShell educator, and designer/author of several Windows PowerShell courses (including Microsoft's). Power to the shell!

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One thought on “Comments from the PowerShell.org survey

  1. scriptingwife Teresa Wilson

    Hello, Thanks to all for giving the feedback from this survey, I saw my name in the very first comment. I am happy to do what I can to help. If you have something specific you would like to see me contribute please let me know. My contact info is not a secret @scriptingwife on Twitter or scriptingwife at Hotmail dot com. I would love to contribute whatever I can I just need direction you want me to go.

    Teresa
    aka ScriptingWife

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