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27

It's a downward spiral, at least for me. I used to be very active. I believe I averaged 30k rep per year for the last couple years, but my participation is essentially non-existent now. I've been thinking about this since I saw this post yesterday and wanted to share my story, as it may provide insight and lead to a solution down the road. I got busy in ...


25

I have to admit, cries of "Read the FAQ!" are a hallmark of USENET. I used to rail at length at newbs who clearly did not do their due-diligence in newsgroups of yore, and even daily postings of it didn't do any good since all they saw was a group named something interesting, saw a few posts that seemed like that there were smart people around, and posted ...


24

I almost made this a TL;DR intro to my other answer, but I think this is a standalone way of looking at most of the "problems" with ServerFault that we've been discussing lately: Most* of the regulars want ServerFault's focus to be on professional system administration. One thing that all professional sysadmins do is figure things out: we learn how things ...


22

Here's a simple way to use voting to clean up some crap: In the search box, enter: votes:0 answers:0 Click the "Newest" tab and scroll down until you're looking at questions that are at least a day old Click on one that looks bad (based on the excerpt), read it. If it really is bad, vote it down. After 30 days, questions with no answers and negative ...


22

What is the purpose of ServerFault? Is it to be a country club golf course for elite cream of the crop IT? Or does the definition of "Professional IT" include those who work for MSPs or for small businesses, who frequently have a limited scope of experience? I think you're right in comparing the site to a country club, and this is something I have a problem ...


19

Why don't you an active member of Server Fault bother to vote on people's answers1? I guess it's this: I usually only view questions I personally care about, which by the time I wade through all the stuff that's not a favorite tag but shown to me anyway isn't too many. At this point I'm already pretty disengaged. I usually care about questions which I find ...


18

Stack Overflow is so large that it is not possible for any single person to read even the titles of every question posted there on a given day, let alone all of the questions. However, Server Fault, while fairly large, is still small enough that someone could at least read all the titles of all the questions posted. Some people do this, and as a result, they ...


17

I'm of two minds on this. There is nothing "unprofessional" about compiling your own Apache if you have a valid administrative or business reason for doing so. For anyone to suggest that this is unprofessional is blatantly wrong. I've had custom-compiled Apache and PostgreSQL installs on all of my servers for years, because I generally use a set of options ...


16

Frankly, I'm seeing a great deal of wheel spinning lately over what people want this site to be that it currently isn't. Some of this is within the context of what SF says it wants to be, but the rest basically amounts to SF would be useful to me if it were X. SF is not useful to everyone, nor can it be. I feel that a great deal of our problem stems from ...


16

TL;DR: The focus on low quality questions is a sisyphean obsession of the remaining community members who think this site can still have the quality and community it used to. Professional Capacity If you have not yet had a chance to read sysadmin1138 excellent summation of Why professional capacity is a requirement I really suggest you start with that. A ...


15

Warning: This is something of a though-stream, so... The visible symptom: Attracting and retaining people who can positively participate in the community, either both asking and answering questions, or at the least providing substantive answers on some kind of "regular" basis. This has been an ongoing issue for the site for a long time now. I'm really not ...


15

In very short words: SF is a site for professional system administrators exclusively and we don't want non-professional questions. Low quality questions are by definition non-professional. This is a major and important difference to most/all other sites on the SF network. Why? Broken window theory. I see it every day. And unless you filter very heavily ...


14

I will chime in & basically say I do not think this is an issue with the quality of posts & interactions here as much as the state of I.T. & developers in general nowadays. Seriously, I am far from the best says admin out there, but I have met developers & other admins out in the market nowadays who somehow have gigs yet their work is jaw ...


13

I'll start out by saying that in the last month I cast 138 upvotes and 51 downvotes. (In that time I also closed 279 questions, deleted 111 posts and 89 comments, and made 70 edits.) My biggest problem with voting is that if I don't understand the subject matter, I'm not likely to vote. And despite my reputation as a know-it-all, I really don't understand ...


13

Old software versions are a fact of life at many companies. Just today I was at a client who is running every version of SQL Server from SQL 2000 through 2012. SQL 2000 is dead, Microsoft won't support it but this client is still running some key systems on it probably until the end of the year. Is it unprofessional that I support these systems for my ...


13

I've made 682 votes so far this year, roughly about 4/day. However, I've trailed off considerably over the last 2 months, both in voting and in activity. For reference, I asked a similar style question here last year: Sure, we like the IDEA of voting, but we are poor in our actions as a follow up to: Is ServerFault doomed? Not if we all vote more! So to ...


13

where we came in? There is always a focus on quality not just at election time, SE is supposed to be a repository of high quality Q&A. Perhaps I am missing some relevant history. Yes, lots, most if not all of it is here on meta. It boils down to SF is largely a river of crappy questions easily answered if the OP would be bothered to read some ...


12

Before going through old stuff looking for things to vote on, I strongly suggest keeping an eye on the front page in order to help keep it clean. This is how I approach voting and I (of course) highly recommend it. Upvote questions which are clear and well-written and should, in your opinion, have more eyeballs on them. If you answer a question, it almost ...


12

Speaking as one of TheCleaner's "regulars," I've been ruminating and have a similar but slightly different too-long-for-a-comment. I think you can also break the site down into Answerers, Mods, and Questioners. There's clearly overlap among the three, but... Answerers: You get to help people with their interesting real-world technical problems and in ...


12

You only noticed this in the past few months. Which stone have you been hiding under for the last couple of years or more? Perception is reality. For all of their high falluten words about quality and community SE really only care about footfall. That's why their efforts to date to improve the quality of SE have been so pink-and-fluffy and largely ...


11

I've always felt - from as far back as Usenet before the word spam was coined - that if you want to get something out of a community, you HAVE to participate in it. One one level, that's obvious hyperbole - someone can come here, create an account, and ask a perfectly good question or post a good answer without any prior activity on the site. But in most ...


11

I am on here because of these policies. I only turn to serverfault when I cant find an answer to a problem I'm facing or there is something I dont understand. I assume a certain level of knowledge from the people I'm talking to, and its nice to know the people replying are profesionals and tend to know what they are talking about. On the other hand it can ...


11

It's not for lack of trying that we're largely "failing" to be the site we want to be... There's plenty of discussion in the past, some of which you link to. The scope has been whittled away several times. Some I don't have any issue with: Unix & Linux as well as IT Security have some incidental overlap, but their target audience is mainly different. ...


11

Your comment was flagged as being rude and deleted for that reason. Please take note of what we consider acceptable behavior: Civility is required at all times; rudeness will not be tolerated. Treat others with the same respect you’d want them to treat you because we’re all here to learn, together. Be tolerant of others who may not know everything you ...


11

The comment in question is this one: Perhaps from your theoretical distance, you can smugly confirm yourself in believing that refactoring this huge, ugly codebase is going to be easier than haxoring rpm to make an ugly frankenrpm. And you're right, it is certainly a far better thing to do, but it is not easier to do. The right thing is usually harder to ...


11

I sort of agree with your thoughts... One notable exception however: Using old software, out of support, shouldn't make a Question automatically off-topic. But when that lack of support is the heart of the question and there are supported upgrade paths available, then the question is wandering out of the scope of a professionally supportable situation and ...


11

We could re-examine the list of things that we shut down as "not professional", and see whether there is a community of professionals who work with those subjects we could embrace. The datacenter is changing, and if we don't update our definitions, we'll find ourselves shrunk to obscurity.


11

After reading all the answers thus far, and initially convincing myself that I had nothing to add, I noticed something that's missing from everyone's analysis thus far. Us. We are missing from our own analysis, particularly when it comes to the signal-to-noise ratio. The crap outnumbers the good stuff. And for sure, there is a problem of too much crap/...


11

There is only a very small number of users who actual actively look at the review queues. What I see happening is this: User posts question User does not read the notice about how there is a wait before the question appears Question does not appear on main site User posts the same question again Question still doesn't appear wtf is this shit? And ...


10

If you were looking for an actual answer to: However they seem to get away with it. Is it because they have high rep, or because they hang out with mods in the chat rooms? First, you should have posted examples, but according to your comment you keep thinking certain people are excluded from the rules and are part of the "in crowd clique". As ...


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