The State Of Our Site – Not An Official Statement But A Perspective
You all know that we have had the Portal up and running for a little over 18 months now. In that time, we have added lots and lots and lots of content from all around the site. Everything has been featured here from themes and icons, to apps, mods, guides, and even some rather questionable hacks. But I am here today celebrating my 1,000th article in the Portal with a much more serious and pressing matter.
Allow me to provide you with a working definition of what our site truly is, what its main focus is, and what rights and privileges you get for being a member of xda-developers:
Since its original conception back in 2003, xda-developers has been a place for hackers and enthusiasts to discuss, share, and otherwise promote the advancement of mobile platforms, regardless of how much/little cooperation they got from the manufacturers and carriers. Developers on this site have always done what they do out of the passion for what they do. They do not do it for the money, they do not do it for the fame. As stated earlier, they do it because they can and they share their knowledge because they want to and feel like doing so. Why? Because they know that there will always be people who can take their work one step further with the right ground work.
People from across the globe flocked to xda-developers once the pda-phone (wrongly called Smartphone as this name was used by Microsoft for the non-touchscreen version of their Windows Mobile OS) became popular outside of the business and hi-tech medium. A lot of people came in and used xda-developers as a source of knowledge that it is to learn and make improvements or even new things. That is how theming was born as well as several other concepts that today we take for granted. By the time Apple introduced the iPhone back in 2007, HTC had to go into high gear due to the threat to their market share on this side of mobile computing. Because of this, many people from other aspects of life came on board. These people were only interested in making their “expensive” devices look like or better than the iPhone. Time went by and Android was introduced, giving people the ability to do everything that Microsoft had been preventing them from doing for years. The relative ease of use brought even more people who were even less interested to learn anything at all.
Shortly after, development efforts on xda were quickly being over-shadowed by the needs and wants of people who donated to developers. Now, this opens a completely different can of worms, but the take home message (and final stance on this) is that if you donated something to a dev, do not expect anything in return. It is not a service and you are not being forced to donate. I have seen comments from people stating that their donations actually entitled them to extended support as they felt that their donations made them customers.
So, what are the perks for being a member of xda? You get to access one of the largest sources of development for mobile devices from the last decade. Also, you get access to some of the most ground-breaking advancements as they are released into the wild. Lastly, you get the right to read and look for the information that you may need to get started on your next project or to complete the current one. You can also ask questions and much of our community will be glad to help (so as long as the question is posted in the correct place).
What you DON’T get for being a member of xda-developers is the ability flame others, demand things, harassing developers, or to behave like a proverbial idiot, polluting an otherwise perfectly good development thread in the process.
It should not come as a surprise to anyone on this site that some developers have left. Their motivations are several, ranging from the opening of their own forums, to leaving alongside with other groups for other communities, some are even money driven. The one thing that they many share is frustration with the n00bs.
Now, I am not here to criticize n00bs as they are, much unlike what people think, not the root of our problems on this site. As per azrienoch’s video, a n00b is someone on this site with little to no knowledge about anything. The ones that are driving our developers away are far from being either new or not knowing anything. They are in fact members (long standing ones in many circumstances) who believe that xda developers is a customer support site, or even a customer oriented site. They are also strong believers that the large user base is the backbone of xda-developers. These are the same members who pollute good development threads with garbage posts, demands for stuff (note that I said demands and not requests), and even flaming posts.
These are the reasons for most of the departures by our devs. Other sites like offer devs freedom from this kind of stuff. However, as devs go to other sites swearing at xda for allowing n00bs in, what makes them think that their “followers” will not go along for the ride? This brings me to the next point I wanted to make: moderation on this site. I read an interesting stat today, courtesy of one of our moderators jerdog. Apparently, each moderator has to deal (in theory) with 728 posts and 84,723 users per day (based on daily total post counts and membership numbers). I have seen complains of a few devs leaving that moderators are not doing anything to keep them on the site. On the contrary, we do everything we can and in fact, the Recognized Developer program was the next logical step so that developers could help themselves a bit before we go into a thread for a cleaning.
To sum up, if you are reading this and are among the groups of devs who have left our site or are considering leaving, please remember that we are doing everything in our power to protect you and prevent you from doing so. As stated earlier, without making the user base feel less important, you, the developers, are a big important part of the core of this site. We (the administration and moderation teams) are in the process of implementing several new ways of making your experience on this site more enjoyable, including a zero tolerance policy which is slowly rolling out (code name: Operation Iron Fist).
If you got this far, I wanted to thank you for reading and for being with us for this long. And I also thank the owners of this wonderful site for allowing me to write and bring you news everyday about the biggest and best development site of the planet. See you at the 2000th article 🙂
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