Promote this forum to newcomers more intensively

Currently most newcomers seem to start in the Gitter chat rooms. This is good, but I think that due to the single threaded ness of the discussions there, some people might be overwhelmed. So since we have this great new Discourse forum, I would like to see it pushed as the first place to get in touch with the project members.

It would also be fantastic if we could get this forum up to the level of SAFEnetwork’s, including pinned posts, topics and incentives to participate and such. I know they are about three years ahead of us with the forum. I think we’ll catch up soon!


I love that idea. The forum is great, and the onboarding experience, with the discobot :slight_smile: here rocks. That makes me think of a thread: How to start with Solid? And then a list of resources covering the different types of people who are asking this question, e.g. For beginners - this and this; for …- this and this etc.


Great suggestions. We’ll get it integrated into more materials on the site and referenced more across chat properties and github repos!


I love this suggestion. Our aim with the Getting Started page on the developer portal was to ultimately provide that “start here” resource. There’s a lot more content that we need here, but I also think it’s a great idea to have a thread that parallels it here so that people find one or the other!


Justin, I very much like the Getting started page which you referred to. And I was thinking about the same concept and construct when it comes to “non-techie” people, to people who in one way or another and for one reason or another :slight_smile: want to get started with Solid. @JPL described such an audience very well at another thread with me and @johanbove here: How to change the Sharing settings for a resource?

Here’s what I am came up with then thinking through such a “beginners” experience:

  1. Getting started depends on the starter [Content/Interaction ideas: the discobot can have several different scenarios. A. Are you a non-techie, willing to tinker with Solid? Come browse these: x, x, x.x B. You wanna build an app? Sure thing, make it in your lunch break - check x, x, x]

  2. Getting started for non-techies (read me :)) [Content/Interaction ideas: How do I migrate my data? How do I work with a Data Browser (there is a ready resource - etc. How it works (general, there is such a resource, which is perfect: )

  3. Getting started, BUT, MINDING the Vision/Implementation GAP [Content/Interaction ideas: Explaining about Solid with as much clarity and perspectives that would keep the enthusiasm earned media for Solid kindled. That is, something that says that "the vision and specs are mature, but the Solid software is currently a prototype aimed at developers." while at the same time encourages participation! and reminds of the "true data ownership" vision.

All these, I realize will grow organically, but if a clear structure can hold it (idea about the architecture of the content experiences), then it will have bigger impact and can scale.


The structure of Discourse forums is quite flat, ie you arrive at the home page and you see the threads with the most recent posts regardless of category (except for those in a hidden category).

This is a good thing for admins as they don’t need to think too much about what category to put something in, unless that category is restricted in some way.

It’s also good for the end user who gets an overview before diving in. However, I do think a Beginners category would be useful, one where the content is generally of an educational or high level nature.

My experience on first investigating Solid was bafflement at the sea of abbreviations and acronyms - RDF, JSON-LD, OWL, SPARQL etc. I found it hard to see how it all fitted together (I still do if I’m honest), even after I’d looked up the meanings, and the overall picture was unclear. Being rooted in academia and going back a couple of decades, the language of the Semantic Web is pretty arcane and even if I were technical (which I am to the extent that I research technology but not in the actual doing bit) I’m sure I’d still be confused. So I’d like to see some kind of explainer laying out what these things are and why they are important to the vision of Solid.


@justin, @JPL and @johanbove I just got hit :slight_smile: by an idea and wanted to share it with you. What do you thing of a category, named: A non-geek corner. Isn’t that descriptive enough to house some basic things about a data browser and about the whole idea of Linked Data and the workings behind a Web of People and a Web of Trust, with as little tech detail as possible. Just as an awareness building activity. And to nurture the interest of non-geek people who heard about Solid and got excited.
Pinging @MitziLaszlo here - re: the idea for such a category and a place for people like me to land here and feel safe and solid :slight_smile:


@TheodoraPetkova perhaps those discussions would fit in the General Discussion, Data Ethics, and The Market?

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I certainly think it’s a good thing to have an obvious front door labelled Beginners or Non-Geek Corner or something else that makes it obvious that this is where you go to get basic information. General Discussion is likely to be a bucket for anything that doesn’t fit elsewhere and will most likely become hard to navigate (a lot of forums seem to suffer from this). An obvious category with a number of pinned topics is the way to go IMHO.


Sorted, just set up a category called “Solid: The Basics” :slight_smile:


@JPL thanks souch for your thoughts and @MitziLaszlo for acting upon them :slight_smile:

I think @TheodoraPetkova’s suggestion “Non-geek corner” may feel more welcoming to non-geeks than the label “Beginners”. Some like following a project for years without ever becoming “geeks”. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for chiming in. I totally support the idea of a more welcoming narrative. I plan :slight_smile: (hopefully today or tomorrow) to create a thread within the category Non-Geeks Corner and write-up some basics - conceptual framings and more abstract whys and then we will see how that goes. Whether the thread will attract people and comments.
I have never curated or created content architecture for a Forum and maybe the best way forward is to see this content growing organically. Not sure. I am testing :slight_smile:


Some constructive feedback:

First per @TheodoraPetkova suggestion of a “Non-geek corner”, I really like this idea a lot, although, may I suggest the title of “Neo-Geek Atrium” instead.

As a neo-geek newbie roaming around for the first time and finding this post, honestly, the term “Non-geek Corner” left me hesitant. It is so definitive and final, inviting no further learning or exploring AND creates a distinct division of those in the know and those without the knowledge. The term doesn’t feel very inviting and makes me feel (dramatization) like I’m being punished in the corner for my ignorance. Whereas “Neo-geek Atrium” evokes a light-filled entry point into a fascinating environment and includes the lighthearted humor acknowledging the neophyte’s status, but still welcomes exploration and discovery and inclusion in a community where learning is paramount. Just a thought …

@justin I really appreciate the simplicity necessity of your suggestion and the very helpful link to the Getting Started page on the developer portal. This page really helped to orient me in the process.

@MitziLaszlo the “Solid: The Basics” is an excellent solution. However, as a newbie and an admitted “non-geek” this is still a very overwhelming process to enter into. I found a significant connection gap between this forum and getting started with a SOLID POD; while I am working myself out of my confusion, initially, I was very boggled.

Is it possible to have a closed category pinned up top somehow (so that it doesn’t shift up or down in the list of threads) that is not a actual discussion, just a simple ‘How To’ without any comments being added, listing helpful links, as well as protocols and procedures?

I really enjoyed my tutorial with discobot and I think he could be a good resource to lead new users to this ‘How To’ page by ending his tutorial there.

This ‘How To’ page would explain the process in creating a SOLID POD profile in a dashboard type interface as suggested by @eduardoinnorway here Conceptual Design - Solid better user experience

While the metaphor of constructing the road as you travel it or building the ship as its sails are unfurling is complete understandable, this is a time of development not without risks. I’m sure that the Solid team realizes the publicity now coming out, announcing Solid as a reality, will be bringing a wave of interested people (fed up with the current state of the Internet) coming to check out the Solid POD concept. And that the risk of losing out a flood of first adaptors if the landing entry experience is not smooth and elegant is a very real scenario.

All that said, this is an exciting concept and a wonderful experiment that I intrigued play within and lend a contribution or two if I can. Well done ya’all!


Ahhh! I found the start of good page along the lines I was thinking about … something like this should be one of the first post newcomers see.

@megoth I’ve registered my POD and now I don’t know what to do

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