Chiefdelphi.com: Inspiration or disappointment?

Even though I know a lot of post-a-holics are gone for the summer, I would like to take this time and throw this thread out to the community. I shall bring this thread to attention when we approach the next season.

How was the Chief Delphi Forum in the 2004 season? Were you disappointed? Surprised?

Comparing to previous years, do you think the CD forum has improved or degraded since its started years ago?

What were the things you like most about this forum? How about things you hate most?

How do you feel about the amount of thread/post created everyday during summer, fall, and during the competition season? Are they too much / too little?

If you are the webmaster of the CD forum, what would you change?

Do you feel it is serving the community the way you think it should? Why or why not?

In order to have a focused discussion about some of the things I brought up in the questions above, I ask that all posts stay on topic of this thread. Please reply to these questions with meaningful, thought out answers and be open-minded to any replies this thread might receive.

Thank you for your attention.

Having been a long time forum-addict with many different forums, I must say that in my first year of CD participation it has been one of the best forum experiences ever. There are virtually no full-time trolls on CD, no longwinded flamewars, no holy-wars, no backstabbing and admin clashes. CD is much more like a phrontisteron (definition here) then the continual wild-west barfight of most online forums.

(Ken, so many questons … you sound like a Professor or one of my manager) :wink:

*How was the Chief Delphi Forum in the 2004 season? *
Excellent (A+) Forum- the service is invaluable.
*Were you disappointed? *
Not at all. FIRST team can’t live without it.
*Surprised? *
Yes, by the amount of improvements and new features this past year.

*Comparing to previous years, do you think the CD forum has improved or degraded since its started years ago? *
It had improved tremendously this past year. The CD admin has implemented many new features and enhancements that have increased the quality of the forum.

*What were the things you like most about this forum? *
What I like best is the discussion topics, technical papers and abilities the exchange ideas with teams across the country and around the world (For example UK & Brazil).
These are definitely a key component to FIRST’s mission. The forum also maintains the FIRST momentum during the off-season (May-December).
The CD admin are very open-minded about new ideas and improvement suggestions. They also execute them with lighting speed.

*How about things you hate most? *
Useless postings and comments; posting that gets off the main topic.(Me guilty too :o )

How do you feel about the amount of thread/post created everyday during summer, fall, and during the competition season? Are they too much / too little?
Summer is for the die-hards, it’s nice and quiet (less of the non-productive chatter).
Fall is for the “Return of the flock” (the rookies are returning to post). Veterans CD’er start getting psyched. New rookies are signing on to CD and learning the values of the CD Forum (and rules to “post” by).
Winter- there is more noise, more chaos, tense is building up for the Kickoff.
6.5 week of Hell- ideas are flying; some ridiculous and some really great ideas. I have difficulties keeping up with all the postings (everyone should try to eliminate non-productive comments).
Competition Season- it is extremely important for me to check CD several times a day. Many valuable posting give great insight and feedback from the regional. Team impressions of the game are also critical. Regional pictures uploads are extremely valuable.

If you are the webmaster of the CD forum, what would you change?
Less attachments on the signature (bottom of every posting). I takes up too much space and adds the update time.

Do you feel it is serving the community the way you think it should? Why or why not?
The CD Forum invaluably serves the FIRST community. We are fortune enough to have Chief Delphi (Team 47) develop, maintain and run this unofficial FIRST Forum. I feel the FIRST mission be less successful without the CD Forum and all of the bells and whistles it offers to the FIRST community.
FIRST tried for the past several years to create a FIRST Forum with only some success. Why recreate the wheel? FIRST should consider working with CD Forum and make this unofficial FIRST Forum an official one. Some may say this will give to much exposure to CD-47… well…more power to CD-47.
:smiley:

Nice thread, Ken.

All responses will be considered seriously by the coaches on team 47 in order to improve the website. I’ll make sure they get to see them. Thanks for your input.

I was not dissapointed at all.

This is a tough question, for me. Since FIRST has grown tremendously, so have these forums. Overall, the community has improved.

I like the wealth of knowledge the most. Anything related to FIRST can be found here. It’s a great resource.

During the summer things get off-track but, hey, it’s the off-season. As long as things stay fun and no one is offended it’s fine. During the competition season it’s great. So many ideas being thrown around, it’s like christmas for four months.

I agree with Rich on this one. Also, a tighter limit the # of lines in a person’s signature

It’s serving it in the way the community needs it. Great job!

Thanks to all the CD moderators for all the hard work they put in.

Without answering all specific questions:

  1. My experiece was great this year.
  2. My experiece was different this year, but then again, my role here (as I see it) has changed as well. With time and growth comes change and I believe these forums are changing and growing to meet the needs of the community appropriately.
  3. Brandon and the other moderators are genuinely interested in FIRST as a whole - egos are always put aside when decisions are made.
    4.Brandon’s tireless efforts to make this place an engaging, inviting, and informative place for such a diverse audience makes CD a remarkable community capable of aiding in the quest for a transformed society.

-Keep going gang!

Ken, rather than answering each of your questions…

  1. I wish I had discovered CD sooner. It would have made life easier as a lonely mentor.
  2. Brandon has been amazingly quick and patient with EVERY SINGLE question/request I have thrown his way. I hope to meet him someday to say thanks in person.
  3. This forum provides an invaluable resource for the FIRST community. Thanks for the white papers and the willingness to have a place to share information
  4. Thanks for letting NEMO have a meeting place and thereby allowing it to grow.
  5. I appreciate the good sense shown in moderating the forums.
  6. The only thing I would improve on is maybe allowing more time to reply before the time out? I’ve learned to back up any long winded replies I have, but it can be frustrating sometimes. I feel like I should have a little countdown clock…

How was the Chief Delphi Forum in the 2004 season? Were you disappointed? Surprised?

The Chief Delphi Forums proved to be a valuable resource once again. My overall experience had been positive.

**Comparing to previous years, do you think the CD forum has improved or degraded since its started years ago? **

The forums have both improved and degraded.

Improved:

  • The vB3 upgrade was fabulous
  • All new features added by Brandon make this the most useful webpage I visit
  • The reputation system is a great addition
  • The honouring of the UFHs and WFAs is fabulous

Degraded

  • There are far too many useless posts (One liners, distracting from the thread topic)
  • Too many people answer questions without having the right answer
  • People need to search before they post
  • The overall quality of post has certainly dropped since I started coming here in 1998

What were the things you like most about this forum? How about things you hate most?

Like:

  • If I have a question, I know there’s a wealth of engineers and other experienced folks who can give me a quick, correct answer
  • The large message archive contains a wealth of information
  • The whitepapers are a great resource
  • The picture galleries are great for scouting purposes

Hate:

  • Needless chatter
  • People posting for the sake of posting
  • People posting incorrect and false information
  • When people turn perfectly good discussions into flame wars, causing the thread to be closed
  • The lack of proofreading

How do you feel about the amount of thread/post created everyday during summer, fall, and during the competition season? Are they too much / too little?

In general I think there are too many needless posts and threads being created. I think the chit chat forum has gotten a tad ridiculous, but I guess that’s why it’s there. IMHO, most of that discussion should occur on a different site, to help maintain a more professional atmosphere here. But I digress. This season I found that there was a lot less good FIRST talk going on during the competition season than there has been in past years.

If you are the webmaster of the CD forum, what would you change?

As I said earlier, I would get rid of the chit-chat forum. There are plenty of other places on the web where we can engage in those sorts of discussions. I’m not trying to be the grinch here, but I think the elimination of chit chat, would improve the quality of posts in all the other discussion areas. On the other hand, the chit chat may just end up moving to the general forum.

But really, if I was the webmaster, I’d quit and give my job to Brandon, because he’s clearly shown he’s the best person for the job.

**Do you feel it is serving the community the way you think it should? Why or why not? **

The CD forums continue to be the best resource in all of FIRST. So yes the community is being served. The community would be better served if you didn’t have to read through 15 pointless messages before you got to the good stuff.

I’d like to take this time to thank all the people who dedicate so much of their time to make the place the great resource that is. From Brandon, to the other moderators to all the people who make those thoughtful, informative and insightful posts. Thanks.

How was the Chief Delphi Forum in the 2004 season? Were you disappointed? Surprised?
I’m leaning more towards surprised. But, seriously, I’ve been on other forums where either nobodies ever on, leading to a dead forum, or one where the entire thing is just a junk load of spam. The content of this site was extremely helpful to me and to my team during our rookie season (this year).

What were the things you like most about this forum? How about things you hate most?
Like most: The people. You guys are great. (This is an “Aaaahhhh…” moment :wink: I will now ruin the moment: I’m great too. :D)
Hate: 47 second flood limit. And the 5:47 downtime. And the smiley limit; I can’t even put a smiley here… :rolleyes

How do you feel about the amount of thread/post created everyday during summer, fall, and during the competition season? Are they too much / too little?
Even during the summer, CD has a large number of posts. Unlike most other boards though, almost all of them are helpful.

If you are the webmaster of the CD forum, what would you change?
I would definitely have a national holiday to honor me. Go webmaster! He’s an awesome guy! :smiley:
To be changed: Everything I hate.

Do you feel it is serving the community the way you think it should? Why or why not?
Nah, CD never did anything for me, and I know that no one else has ever found anything that was at all informative on these boards. Thanks to all the ‘helpful’ :rolleyes: people out their who donate their time to make sure any questions that get put here are answered in a clear, helpful way. NOTE: I’m meaning that the other way. CD rocks! :slight_smile:

ROOKIE ALERT

How was the Chief Delphi Forum in the 2004 season? Were you disappointed? Surprised?

I was pleasantly surprised. The folks here are pretty useful for bouncing ideas off of, among other things. It’s kinda like one massive regional.

** Comparing to previous years, do you think the CD forum has improved or degraded since its started years ago? **

Can’t answer that right now–gimme a year.

** What were the things you like most about this forum? How about things you hate most?**

Like: People are nice, no real flame wars but plenty of heated debate, plenty of options for random chatter.
Hate: Sometimes I can’t find the link to the forum thingamajig that I need.

How do you feel about the amount of thread/post created everyday during summer, fall, and during the competition season? Are they too much / too little?

During the season: Spot-on.
Summer: A little crazy, but that’s to be expected when we all get to stay up until two in the morning.
Fall: Ask me then.

** If you are the webmaster of the CD forum, what would you change?**

Well, I’d have to change the orange, since that’s Clemson colors. (I’m going to Carolina, and they’re rival numero uno.) Other than that…

** Do you feel it is serving the community the way you think it should? Why or why not?
**
Bingo. You can have tech talk and coffee talk in the same domain. Sure, the chit-chat forum gets crazy, but we’ve got to let that insanity out sometime when we aren’t at regionals. As Shrek said, better out than in!

How was the Chief Delphi Forum in the 2004 season? Were you disappointed? Surprised?
Very helpful. A wonderful place.

**Comparing to previous years, do you think the CD forum has improved or degraded since its started years ago? **
N/A. Rookie

What were the things you like most about this forum? How about things you hate most?
Like: The community. The feeling of knowing someone who’ve never met in person.
Hate: The occasional idiot.

How do you feel about the amount of thread/post created everyday during summer, fall, and during the competition season? Are they too much / too little?
Don’t know…

If you are the webmaster of the CD forum, what would you change?
I would fix the Read/Unread thing.

**Do you feel it is serving the community the way you think it should? Why or why not? **
Yes. ChiefDelphi is a great resource and allows FIRSTers to communicate to each other.

As in my Signature somewhere on this page I have been in FIRST since 2001. From the first week I joined up with a team to this very day, I have learned to use this website as an excellent source for help / understanding / and a great Q&A Forum as well as Fun and Games as a big family. I am very pleased with how the Forums are set up and the improvements that it has undergone since its inception.

I give CD an A+ in Overall quality and Reliability.

I like everything about this Site. I’m sure eventually though there will be a patch that eliminates multiple threads that contain the same information within those threads.

Its Never to soon or to late to post before or after the season beginning or start. Rookie teams are created year round at different times of the year. so the amount of posts posted no matter what the month or day is is just fine. It gives rookie teams to catch up quickly to whats going on and what FIRST is about.

Not a moderator but I’m sure one change would be to try and bring a thread back to its original topic / discussion if it should ever wander away

As said before CD is a very good source for information no matter what the question, and if CD doesn’t have the answer the members here help you find that information.

I give Brandon an A++ for all he has done and all he has put up with ( which isn’t very much to say the least! ) He’s an excelent webmaster and a great asset to not only Team 47 ChiefDelphi but to all the other people he makes webpages for ( if any at all )

Congrads to CD for being the best forums / home for all of the FIRST Community and to its webmasters for keeping this site up to par in everything Keep up the good work =)

How was the Chief Delphi Forum in the 2004 season? Were you disappointed? Surprised?

I think the 2004 season was wonderful. The amount of stuff that I learned and the answers I got to questions has come in handy. Disappointed…heck no! Surprised…at times yes. On several occasions when I’ve had questions or needed clarification on something I couldn’t believe how quick I got answers sometimes. This includes posts and PM’s.

Comparing to previous years, do you think the CD Forum has improved or degraded since it started years ago?

Improved…definitely. You may notice that I’ve been registered only since Dec 03 but I visited these boards as a guest before then. Personally I think the upgrade to VB3 was an improvement in itself. The addition of the reputation system, even though some have a love/hate relationship with it, has and still does help keep the forums and users “in check”. I also notice that Brandon is constantly improving the forums by adding subgroups, new features, ect.

What were the things you like most about this forum? How about things you hate most?

The people! I’ve met so many people on here and I hope to meet them in person some day. They are more than willing to help you out and share information or present a different side to an issue that you never thought about.

What do I hate most? Vague thread titles. I find it annoying when you can’t understand or have any idea what a thread is about until you go in it. I know the mods will change the title if needed but it really comes down to those that created it in the first place.

How do you feel about the amount of thread/post created during summer, fall, and during the competition season?

It is slow during the summer but that’s to be expected. That’s where the Chit-Chat section comes in! :smiley: During build season it’s so busy I have a tough time reading all the new threads/posts.

If you were the webmaster of the CD Forum what would you change?

Not much. I think Brandon’s got the right formula. The only thing I would suggest is a section devoted to computer/operating system questions and issues instead of being scattered in the Chit-Chat section.

Do you feel it is serving the community the way you think it should?

Yes. CD has proved to be a valuable resource.

First of all I would like to say that Chief Delphi Forum was THE PLACE that inspired me to be who I am in FIRST today. It was a wonderful experience due to many of the reasons mentioned above. Having said that, I would like to post some constructive criticism that others might not agree with without seeing how the CD forum was a few years ago. Understand that I do agree this is a wonderful place; however I am frustrated with a few things that are reducing the quality of this forum.

Without quite following the questions I posted, I will get to the point.

  1. There is a huge amount of post everyday during the season making it very difficult to keep track of all the discussions in the forum. The threads get too large too quickly without control, and it is difficult to digest all that’s being said in the thread without spending a huge amount of time.

  2. Discussions often lack focus. It is mostly due to the off topic post in a thread, which will interrupt a linear style thread very easily. Unfortunately most people seems to be used to linear style as oppose to thread style, therefore a multi-topic thread is nearly impossible. The only way to solve this problem is to actively create new thread and lead the discussion there.

  3. Lots of chit-chat post even in serious discussion is interrupting the float of discussion. Many times people reply to those fun posts distracting everyone else from the main discussion. Its ok to reply to them, but try to stay on topic and add a little message at the end of your post. Too much chit chat can easily turn the entire forum to too much fun and not enough business.

  4. Questions asking for serious responds are often answered by uncertain replies or clearly wrong answers. This is against the reputation of being a helpful place to the FIRST community. I urge that people who are not confident about their answer to let someone else post the correct answer. Do not post just to show your name on the forum. Correct answers are usually followed by strong evidences and references; try not to reply without them.

I used to log into Chief Delphi forum everyday thinking its purpose is to serve the community and not for my selfish reasons, and was afraid to post any messages. Now I post in the forum for the benefit of myself and the community together. I don’t want anyone to be afraid of posting, but bare in mind that every post and action have their consequences in the community, the most immediate ones are reducing the efficiency and integrity of this place. I would hate it if people have to choose between having fun and getting inspired. I know there is room for both. Just be mindful that you might be having too much fun sometimes.

I know a lot of mentors are driven away because they are frustrated and tired of the noises happening in the forum. I am sure they very much like to inspire students with their wisdom and experience, only it is impossible to do so when 1 post get buried inside 100 within 2 hours during the season. So please, think twice before you click that little button that says “reply”.

On a side note, I would like to ask everyone to think of some ways to improve the efficiency of this forum and deal with the tremendous amount of growth we face each year. Think about things like, how do we deal with too many replies in a thread, organizing discussions within the threads, and how do we educate future members to choose quality over quantity.

ChiefDelphi.com is a great technical resource. Over time, it has accumulated a fabulous resource of technical information specific to robots that could benefit not just FIRST-ers, but any mobile robotics afficianado.

ChiefDelphi.com is a good place, during the competition season, to get a feel for how teams are perceiving the game.

The signal to noise ratio on ChiefDelphi is becoming problematic. As several others have pointed out, irrelevant and off-topic comments in the middle of discussions makes it difficult to extract the good stuff. The moderators might consider moving “chit-chat” posts from serious threads into a separate chit-chat thread or outright deleting them. This will get the message across in a hurry what content is not fit for a serious thread.

I know some people would consider this “censorship.” However, the moderator and poster could have a private discussion to resolve the issue.

Innaccurate information is a problem. But, generally someone in the community will spot it and issue a correction. The discussion can be profitable. Chronic inaccurate posters are usually easy to spot and can be ignored.