Koozali.org formerly Contribs.org

Contribs.org home page doesn't tell me why I'd want to use SME Server (again)

The Contribs home page says exactly zero about why I'd want to use SME Server.

I made this same point four years ago and the home page got better for a while, but it looks like it has regressed back to talking about 'distributions' and 'contributions' and not about why I might want to use it. The highlighted item at top is about the status of the current release, which could probably be pushed down the page.

From the earlier discussion four years ago:

Quote
There are eight sentences on the 'Welcome' page at contribs.org, which is the first page all potential users of SME will see. Of those eight, exactly one tells you what SME is, and it isn't even the first one. The other seven sentences are mostly irrelevant comments about sponsorship, the GPL (almost 50% of the page) and donations.

Marketing 101 tells us that you only have one chance to make a first impression, and the home page as it is today does not do that very effectively. It seems to be more tied up in the details of how SME is developed than what it might do for the potential end user. I think everyone agrees that increasing the user base is the best way to advance the project, especially with the excellent progress made on 7.0 to date.

This is the text that was on there for a while

Quote
Welcome to contribs.org, the home of the SME Server

The SME Server is a simple, powerful, secure Linux server used by thousands of individuals, companies and organizations all over the world. SME Server provides a friendly, free alternative to expensive proprietary software.

SME Server provides:
   ?     Sharing of a single Internet connection between multiple computers
   ?     A network firewall to protect against Internet intruders
   ?    A robust email server, which includes virus and spam filtering and webmail
   ?    File and print sharing
   ?    Web application server, including support for MySQL, Perl and PHP
   ?    Secure remote access
   ?    Support for over XX languages
   ?    and much more
 all managed through an intuitive web interface. 

The menu bar at the left provides easy access to the SME Server documentation, software downloads, a place to report any bugs, and vibrant user community forums.

Many individuals and corporations contribute to the ongoing development of the SME Server, which is made available freely under the GNU General Public License. This license requires the public release of any modifications to the server, and allows these to be used to improve later versions.

If you find SME Server useful, we ask that you make a donation in order to keep this project alive. To make a donation please go to This Page

Offline Stefano

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ok.. and so?

can you suggest something? do you want to be involved? what's the meaning of your post?
Consulente di Smeserver.it -  Soluzioni e supporto su Sme server in Italia

Thanks for the quick reply. I suggest that my quoted text (or something like it) would be a much better start for a home page, and I would be happy to be involved.

Does anyone else have suggestions for improving the text?

The Contribs home page says exactly zero about why I'd want to use SME Server.

OK, so fix it. The bug tracker has a "Website" section.

Thanks for the quick reply. I suggest that my quoted text (or something like it) would be a much better start for a home page, and I would be happy to be involved.

Does anyone else have suggestions for improving the text?

morpheusx,

I think your proposal is much better start for a home page in marketing point of view.

However, to make it fixed you have to post it in bugzilla. To make the suggestion/ideas work, register yourselft to bugtracker and file any bugs found, ideas, suggestion, proposed fix, Feature Request, etc, so the person in charge (developers, documentation can evaluate and do the job. This is how we at SME Server Community fix things.

We need a lot of volunteers here. Please visit http://wiki.contribs.org/SME_Server:Volunteering

thomas

Offline janet

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morpheusx

On the left hand top side of the main wiki page are various links, one of which is About SME Server
http://wiki.contribs.org/SME_Server:About

That has quite comprehensive reasons for using sme server.
Perhaps you did not see it ?
Please search before asking, an answer may already exist.
The Search & other links to useful information are at top of Forum.

what about we have a 'design a main page event' for those like me who don't have the skills to be involved in the development of sme but would like to play a part at a level which best suits their skills. I have nothing against the main page myself but anything to help foster community is good for me. This wouldn't have to be run by those doing all the work, but it could be judged by one of the "guru's"

Offline johnp

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I think Dave's idea has some merit. Getting the members of this community involved to enhance SME's image, could help bring more harmony.

I think, those that do choose to offer a potential version would likely be able to post their version for viewing. After all has been said and done, hopefully those that graciously provide this site, could incorporate the final version.


Offline janet

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Quote
morpheusx
The Contribs home page says exactly zero about why I'd want to use SME Server.

I have had another look at the main contribs.org home page here
http://wiki.contribs.org/Main_Page
and it appears to be quite comprehensive, as does the whole site.
Not everything can be fitted onto one page, so it is inevitable that a visitor will have to click on other links in order to read everything the site has to offer.

The main introductory text is pasted below and does refer to other links, which if read, have just about everything anyone knows about sme server. Any web site can always be designed differently in accordance with individual tastes or expectations etc, but as a collaborative effort the existing wiki is a pretty good effort that has been created by many people over a period of time, and as such is an ever changing or ever growing volume of work.

If you do not like what you see, or feel there is significant missing information, or poor layout and design, then get in and help to "fix" it. If you propose changes, then your ideas will need to be vetted by your peers, and this is done by submitting any specific proposals via the bugzilla, selecting the web site category for your posts.

Personally I see nothing seriously wrong with the wiki, and the other contribs.org websites. They are a complex set of sites with a lot of information, and as such need to be compartmentalised into different pages and main sections.

Any visitor will need to familiarize themselves and spend time clicking on the other links to get the whole picture. As mentioned already there is a whole page and specific link dedicated to the good points and reasons for using sme, ie About SME Server.

Here is the main page text, which seems straightforward and readily leads me to other information.

Welcome to the information and documentation wiki for SME Server
We're here to provide collaborative documentation of the SME Server project. SME Server is a leading distribution for small and medium enterprises. It stands apart from the competition by shipping with most common functionality preconfigured and features a number of popular additional enhancements in the form of downloadable 'contributions'. It is published under the GPL license and while freely available, a small donation is requested.
Quick Links
   Find help with reading and editing the Wiki
...and don't forget all the navigation links in the sidebar to the left.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 04:03:45 AM by mary »
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Offline johnp

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Quote
The Contribs home page says exactly zero about why I'd want to use SME Server.

I tend to agree with his statement. No disrespect.

Shameless self promotion has always been my mantra. Althought the site provides a wealth of information, it fails to provide the visitor a reason to use this disro.

If the target market is those that know e-smith, it's dead on. If it's something different, it falls short.

Shouldn't we toot our own horn on the webpage?

Offline cactus

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I suggest anyone who wants to have a crack at a new main page to become a member of to the Documentation team and start by creating a new design in their user space.

I will create a category tag and some introduction text and perhaps if we have enough ideas and fresh layouts we can then run a poll on how we would have the main page look.

Unfortunately I will be away the rest of the weekend and will have to post-pone the creation of the main page category tag and it's introduction text, but don't let that hold you from redesigning the main page in your user space.

For my convenience (and to quicly locate them) please name the page Main_Page and create it in your user space. (so the name would be something like http://wiki.contribs.org/User:Username/Main_Page

Happy editing!
Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than its worth ~ Baz Luhrmann - Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Shameless self promotion has always been my mantra. Althought the site provides a wealth of information, it fails to provide the visitor a reason to use this disro.

Constructive suggests for changes to the website are welcomed - please make them via the Website section of the bug tracker.

Offline Stefano

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could we start about re-publishing smeserver.org?
Consulente di Smeserver.it -  Soluzioni e supporto su Sme server in Italia

Offline janet

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johnp

Quote
I tend to agree with his statement. No disrespect......Althought the site provides a wealth of information, it fails to provide the visitor a reason to use this disro.

Did you read
http://wiki.contribs.org/SME_Server:About

The main page cannot include everything, and the above page is only one click away, reasonably comparable to how it is done on other web sites.
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Offline johnp

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Mary,

Yes I did read about and that does expound upon ones reasons for choosing this distro. I think certain bullet points could be incorporating in the main page, with a link such as for more info that points to about.

The main page IMHO should include some of the reasons, that we all know, why this distro would benefit the new user.

Since you and I already know these reasons, it's somewhat hard to view this as a new user. If we're not bragging about how good this distro is right off the bat, we look like we are catering to the savvy few. Without having a crystal ball, I think this may have been the OP's point.

With no disrespect intended, you know I'm hooked and will drink the kool aid. My point is, how can we get more to do the same without forcing an extra click.

I'm sure if successful, this would put an extra burden upon you. I do value your support efforts.

Respectfully submitting MHO