2010-09-25

starting a emacs community?

My emacs tutorial, is getting somewhat popular. I like to thank all the people who came and read it, and also many who has written to me and given feedback.

Over the past 13 years since i have a website, i got a lot people who have written to me in private email. Sometimes quite lengthy, and some are quite personal too. In early years (1997 to roughly 2004), vast majority are due to my math stuff. Though, there's always been a problem with keeping in touch. Often, i get their email, i heartily reply, and we may exchanged a few more emails, but often it's hard to keep in touch. This is the days before twitter and facebook. So, a lot of people i would really like to know, and become friends, are basically lost. But also, am not much of a social person. I don't go out much. I've visited bars maybe once in every 5 years. The handful friends i might have in my life, the relationship is almost all platonic and very much intellectual.

For the emacs blog, i've been thinking to start some sort of community. Perhaps a mailing list, or a online forum, so that people can gather, ask questions, make friends, or even rant back at some of my rants. But also, part of this desire is to monetize what value i might have created. The donation box brings me few bucks a month. Good for a few cup of good coffee. ☺

Right now, there are few existing emacs communities. There's newsgroup “comp.emacs”, which is pretty dead, maybe a few post per week. There's newsgroup “gnu.emacs.help”, mostly limited to Emacs questions specific to GNU Emacs. Perhaps 4 messages per day. There's emacswiki.org, which is mostly a wiki. Looking at the past few days, it got perhaps 5 edits per day by different people. There's http://planet.emacsen.org/, which is a collection of about 80 emacs blogs, perhaps 2 posts per day. There's some emacs related twitter groups. There's also “#emacs” on irc.freenode.net.

So, am thinking, perhaps it'd be nice to start some form of forum with web 2.0 technology where emacsers can all gather and make a community. We can ask each other questions and learn together. I really love emacs.

One good success is stackoverflow.com, which in just a few years become really popular and effective at getting all sort of programing questions answered.

Right now xahlee.org is a static site. No no forum or any type of interaction. Am not sure what technology i can use with my hosted server to make it Web 2.0. Also, i wish to keep the html valid, but i think that's hopeless. Possibly i could start a forum using WordPress.

So, would this be evil? Is there a need? Let me know what you think.