[Bf-education] Breaking the ice.
ton at blender.org
Wed Aug 20 10:59:51 CEST 2008
Although I agree our website can offer much better info and structure
for new users, I don't think that's the target of this mailing list
(this is for educators and trainers support!).
There are cool hints in your text below we can look at further
(hopefully we get a web team back to work more actively on typo3 cms).
Several of your ideas will make it easier to browse the site.
However, what I don't like is the "community" approach. I don't want to
treat blender.org visitors (or Blender users) that way. The only
community blender.org approaches is the very small minority of "those
who want to be involved" (devs, documenters, educators, etc). For the
rest of the 100s of thousands of users, the website should be neutral
and objective and informative, without bull or marketing stuff, no
banners, no forms, no registration, no polls, no personal messages from
the boss, nothing that leads them away from the main reason they are on
our site: to download Blender and/or learn more about it.
Next to that: we always should treat users as professionals, as artists
with a serious interest in 3d creation. Hobbyists and amateurs prefer
to be treated as such as well.
Also: it works very well to have many communities *around* blender.org
(such as blenderartists.org or blendernation.com). Those communities
are best served with a very neutral unbiased blender.org.
@ Roger: we shouldn't add registrations or polls on the site to learn
our demography better. David's trick (get stats for different pages) is
@ all: I am seriously not interested in getting more users. Let's just
work on getting Blender better, improve our docs, arrange better
training material, etc. Or in short, make sure we get better users! :)
On 9 Aug, 2008, at 15:05, DavidHickson at gmail.com wrote:
> Hey, all
> I have prepared this SWOT analysis to assist Blender in both
> identifying the needs of users and helping people find what the are
> looking for as far as specific direction in learning more about
> Blender and Blender's community. It will also help identify who is
> using Blender and at what level.
> I think this method of data collection and the information that can be
> obtained from it can be very useful to Blender and very helpful to
> potential users.
> I am looking for some feed back. I am willing to assist in creating
> the pages and videos and have other that would be interested in
> Breaking the Ice and Blending up a Better image.
> Introduction: I have been a Blender user for over 2 years now and have
> learned slowly about the community aspect of Blender. During this time
> I have been lucky enough to meet a lot of great people and learn a
> tremendous amount about the program and the community.
> It has been my experience that new users, hobbyists, part timers and
> even potential professional studios may be falling between the cracks.
> they have specific questions they want answers for and it can take a
> while to get those answers, too much time. Blender needs to build an
> image like "Here at Blender remember one thing, the Blender community
> is listening."
> I don't have to explain what the Open Source Movement (OSM) is to any
> of you. We all know what it is and how it works. But ask yourself,
> does everyone that Downloads Blender know what they have? What they
> have become a part of?
> This is a great time to be alive! I mean this in the most honest
> sense of the phrase. Think about it, no longer do people with similar
> interests have to live in same geographical location, or even country
> to become a community. I have met truer friends in the Blender
> community than those I have met in my local community.
> Blender is so much more than just an independent effort, so why
> should learning it be? Ok, some may say there is IRC and Blender has
> tons of tutorials and manuals. I will be honest, I didn't buy the
> manual because I was waiting for the newest release.... still seem to
> be waiting for that. Point here is that Blender's developers make
> changes much faster than commercial applications and as such, a
> printed manual is out of date by the time it becomes available. As for
> IRC, that can be hit or miss but, it is the closest thing to what I
> imagine learning will become. As far as Blenders tutorial library, it
> is huge. Much to big to find it very efficient. Wiki is ok, but that
> too is not perfect.
> Problem Statement: There is little to no solid information about who
> is downloading Blender. What there needs are or what they would like
> to learn or how they learn.
> Suggestion: Rewrite the welcome page to be more of a "welcome to the
> community". Not just a, "welcome to Blender, good luck learning".
> Things to include:
> • Generic opening welcome message "Welcome to the Blender
> Community". Outline the importance of the community and that everyone
> has a role not matter what level they are at.
> • Then add links as follows: (head)"Blender understands time is
> crucial, so to get start you can get a specific introduction tour
> designed just for you, just select one of the links below. (/head)
> • . New to 3D?- Moving to Blender (New to Blender)- Studios-
> • ◦ New to 3D (content) (insert video here)
> ▪ Lets talk (lead in to showing an understanding of new users and
> that they are the fundamental part of Blender)
> ▪ Basics about 3D
> ▪ What Blender can do
> ▪ Open the door to a fun new community
> ▪ Best resources
> ◦ Moving to Blender (content) (insert video here)
> ▪ Introduction to those to talk to when and where
> ▪ Examples of differences between Max and Bender
> ▪ Learning curve
> ▪ Examples of Modeling done with Blender
> ▪ Emphasis on Power, speed and cost
> ◦ Studios (content) (insert video here)
> ▪ Emphasis on Power, speed and cost cutting methods
> ▪ Benefits of Open source
> ▪ What other studios have learned about Blender (testimonials)
> ◦ Developers (content) (insert video here)
> ▪ Great way to learn
> ▪ Great team to work with
> ▪ What others have done after writing for Blender
> ▪ More stuff here if I knew more about the Dev community
> • More new users (when they feel like a part of the whole they will
> • Better statics about users (by keeping track of what links are
> clicked through will provide usable data on demographics)
> • Identify weak areas and improve (are most people down loading new
> to 3D or coming from studios)
> • More Blender exposer (more word of mouth. If someone asks a
> question they will get pointed to the video pages)
> • Helpful and informative to people before they even download
> • Can increase user Base and satisfaction
> • Open the eyes of individuals and studios that might interested
> but not motivated enough to contact Ton.
> • Page should have a message from Ton either recorded or typed
> thanking people for their interest
> • No better way to welcome people to a community than, to welcome
> • Keeping this page current will take resources
> (I have volunteers that will make the videos)
> • Band width at Blender may get pushed a bit hard then usual.
> • May be frustrating to power users if they just want the facts
> (although some text can be offered, and no one is forced to watch the
> videos, they are just offered)
> • This videos can become dated and would have to be kept up to date
> and current.
> • Learn more about those interested in Blender
> • Show Blender is Listening to the community and focused on their
> • Learn more about how they heard of Blender
> • Understand what the needs are and what they want to get out of
> • Grow the community
> • Give the community additional adhesion.
> • Open the door to asking questions of interested to nonmembers of
> the community.
> • Build this to be a model that other OSS projects will mirror to
> grow their communities.
> • Get the wrong message out about Blender (can be a risk)
> • Up set the community by portraying Blender in with a different
> • Make Blender look like it is going commercial
> • Being on the front line of an effort like this can have some
> level of risk I have over looked.
> • Do nothing and let the community remain the way it is and miss
> out on learning about the people interested in Blender.
> • Implement a re pore with new users that will allow them to tell
> Blender about themselves
> • implement a text only web page that welcomes users and doesn't
> divide users by interests
> Example of Generic Welcome page: (I would be glad to build a mock
> page to show this all in action if needed)
> Blender is Listening!
> This section of Blender is a way for new users and professionals to
> learn more about Blender and what it has to offer. Blender is a
> powerful 3D suit of tools that allows you to take a concept right
> through to completion. But more than that Blender is a community of
> like minded individuals that share one objective, to be heard! We
> speak through images to our audiences, we create therefor we are!
> This section is designed to also help everyone under stand how the
> Blender community works and shares. New users can get the most up to
> date learning tools at there finger tips. Advanced users can now get a
> tour geared just for them. And those of you in studio environments
> have special needs that can be addressed also.
> I am looking for feed back.
> Bf-education mailing list
> Bf-education at blender.org
Ton Roosendaal Blender Foundation ton at blender.org
More information about the Bf-education