The Garuda social channels: Why?

Decided to try join some of the social channels recently to see what was up (maybe some of you will recognise me lol) :smiley: but... they seem to be infested with help vampires, mostly from Telegram. Maybe getting the bridge fixed was a mistake :upside_down_face:

What exactly was the initial vision for these social channels? They state (at least the channel topics for Matrix, Discord and Telegram do but not IRC) that people should go to the forums for support but very few people listen - I guess they're the same kind of people who just delete the issues and assistance template without a second thought, then never post their garuda-inxi because they didn't read the template. What often ends up happening is that people give support to the people who ask anyways - very few times do they get told to visit the forums for support, and only once did I see someone get warned for being a help vampire.

Are we supposed to talk about our morning coffee in the socials or something? Discuss news? I'm curious, because other distros that have two channels (one for support and the other for socialising) seem to have the opposite problem where people socialise in the support channel :thinking: lol

In order to change the unofficial support culture of the chats, we'd need some things to talk about that aren't just "can U help me with my dual boot". I'm willing to give it a go but the issue is that people don't really respond, unless I just previously talked about things that were too dumb to reply to (a very common occurrence lol)

Lastly, it seems a lot of the people who ask for support on the socials rarely end up on the forums unless I've just missed the posts. Are they deliberately trying to avoid the culture or something here? Trying to avoid being told to do some Whoogling?


I'm probably the wrong person to answer you, because I use social channels very little (in general), but in my opinion it's a "cultural" problem (I see it in many contexts very different from Linux): unfortunately, more and more people (especially among those born/grown up in the social era) tend to take a too informal approach to troubleshooting, they don't want to follow a structured logical process (read logs, search on bug trackers proceeding "upstream", search in an appropirate way).
The current trend seems to me to spam some social and trust only unlikely tutorials (with tutorials you don't have to think :slight_smile: ).
This approach is not well seen in the forums, so the forums are not used, or are used wrongly.
TL/DR: that's why I don't like social channels :crazy_face:


Basically, to create a place for people to hang out and chat about things... without providing extended support. It should serve as an extension to the forum for more fast-paced conversations.

I do agree it tends to be annoying, especially since some people don't get that the support space is supposed to be the forum only :confused:

I agree it is an issue, especially as of late I've noticed it. I think we lack dedicated moderators for those chats as we do have here (big props to our mods in here, I think they are doing a somewhat fantastic job! :heart:), which results in people asking stupid questions all over.

It might also be caused by the general social chat audience being younger than people who think about signing up for proper support forums, people will inevitably have less common sense and abilities to troubleshoot things in an appropriate way most of the times.

It tends to be rather hard to judge when to shut down a discussion without seeming to be pulling draconic measures..


Actually Telegram only exists because Garuda didn't have a forum at the beginning :smiley:

Personally, I would prefer to have only the forum as a point of contact. *

The shared knowledge fizzles out on Telegram and the same questions are asked and answered there over and over again. It's a waste of time, in my eyes.

If you provide the lazy, an appropriate portal, then they also use it :smiley:

Garuda team should only moderate there and always refer to the forum, spreading resources (moderators) to different channels like Telegram and Reddit is ineffective.

*Those who do not want to register in a forum, for whatever reason, will have to learn to help themselves, even if it is only how to search properly.

Sample sticker, just posted :rofl: on telegram.


Though, this would inevitably end up in unofficial chats with probably even more help vampires and false information spread, therefore I prefer having it official and at least moderated in some kind of way.


Did I write/mean moderate and monitor, from the team, and refer to the forum. :smiley:


Now that you mention it, wow the impact of growing up in the social era is real. Kids these days (even though I kinda am one of them LOL) just use Discord every day without a second thought. Discord for literally everything. Support for an app? Discord channel. Support for some kind of service? Discord. Question about a tutorial on YouTube? Comment down below. Oh also, we have a Discord channel you can join. With the support right there, and with how annoying searching a chat channel can be, the same question will definitely be asked more than once.

Telegram, Matrix etc. all offer something similar to what Discord and WhatsApp do UX-wise. The only one that's radically different is IRC since it's from 1988, so it's like Discord for boomers and text only.
(btw come join the IRC gang, I'm lonely :((( )

This would've been unheard of before Discord became the new Skype D: (or if it was, then I just wasn't paying attention). Forums and message boards were widely used back in those days.

I think you mean amazing job :smiley: the forum is kept so neat and clean because of you all! Plus the avenues of research and extra search skills are awesome to see as well. Really expands the knowledge you have with each post, even if you're not an active contributor to the thread.

A lot of people criticise the approach of being told to search (like one of the recent posts a day or so ago that necro'd an old thread), but if you asked them to be in your shoes for a month, they'd probably bail in less than half the time.

Maybe when the issue warrants a garuda-inxi (which was almost 80-90% of the ones I saw), it's time to hit the forums :joy:

Could it be that the history of Telegram as one of the only support channels back then be a major reason why a lot of the help vampires seem to come from there? Due to the channel also being bridged, people learn from each other and just follow the culture (which at this point is still, go there for support instead of the forums)... which means everyone in every chat becomes a help vampire - except IRC cos its for old farts and no one goes there ;(

Seriously though, kudos to those of you who moderate the social chats as well as the forums (like dr460nf1r3 :smiley: ). It's never easy, especially when the culture is conducive to help vampires.


The basic problem is like with dog or child training, there is a lack of consistency.

Even if people don't follow the template, help still comes from somewhere, I'm not excluding myself.

But things have improved a lot and we don't want to give up hope (even if it always dies in the end).
"Hope dies last. - Yes. But it dies." :wink:


Well the case is reverse for me

I actually got to know that there is a telegram channel almost a week after when I became a forum memeber :wink:

But still never joined telegram group :joy:


Just adding a personal data point: I joined telegram, discord, and matrix. That lasted all of 1 hour because there is no social aspect and the support chats I saw were chaotic and didn't have the same positive pile-on flavour we have here on the forums. If there was going to be a social channel I suspect it would be around gaming since that is what people on the outside think (bloated gaming to be precise) vs the reality of fast, robust, beautiful, and helpful. I think the general Arch prejudice bleeds over.


So the reason that there are help vampires basically is that people are helping?

Better, I wrote it like this.
The basic problem is like with dog or child training, there is a lack of consistency. Even if people don't follow the template, help still comes from somewhere, I'm not excluding myself.

The questioner does not follow the template, but still gets help, so the next time he again provides too little information like the missing garuda-inxi.

He again does not look for a solution himself in advance, and thus becomes a help vampire.

We want to help here but not without the help of the questioner.


Honestly, I'm really feeling this and am beginning to lose hope with these social channels. The forum is making a better social channel than these ones that are specifically for that purpose.
Sometimes you see some actual socialisation happening - it's amazing, but then you gaslight yourself into thinking that it will get better, that people will follow their example...

It's precisely in that moment that someone posts a blurry picture of the terminal, and asks "please how to fix??", or other variants of "it's broken". The illusion of a good social chat is shattered, and we are back once again to either:

  • A: giving them support to the very end and then another help vampire comes along to ask for even more support (bad ending - in fact, the worst of the worst),
  • B: ignoring (normal bad ending),
  • C: after a small bit of troubleshooting, get sent to the forums but the chat goes dead silent (neutral ending), or
  • D. after the person gets sent to the forums, the convo from before continues (good ending).

Most frequently it's either B or C that happen nowadays, though A does still happen quite a lot. C is starting to happen more often. With C, it often takes a few tries before the person stops asking for support in the chat and either posts or doesn't post a topic here. D is basically the dream ending that never happens.
And then you get the people who, despite getting told to go post on the forums like 3 times, continue to ask questions to get support until they get warned. These people come back to then repeat the cycle.

It doesn't exactly help that there are only a handful of people that actually treat it as a social channel. I guess the question should be, how do we get people to start treating it as a social spot rather than yet another avenue for support? How can people become friends with each other rather than help vampires vs support people? :thinking: because that doesn't exactly sound like a typical friendship.

fun fact: I posted this in the funny things thread before but I knew a help vampire irl. They were trying to use me as their computer support person. Obviously, that was not a friendship that lasted long.


My aching head

Fran Healy Reaction GIF by Travis


Aah... joining such big social channels personally I feel risky for my privacy and here you make some unkown a friend ?!? :exploding_head:
Didn't you felt like it is risky as through your telegram account anyone can see your phome number ? :grimacing:

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No no no! This was a person I knew in real life, and I don't use Telegram either. I got to know them before they started trying to use me as support. With services that require phone numbers publicly displayed, I only use them with people I know in real life :slight_smile:

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Settings - Privacy - Phone number - Nobody


Telegram is not the most liked platform for me. I prefer the form based support.


I'm not sure how realistic it would be to implement something like this, but if someone were able to design a bot that would identify when folks are asking for assistance and automatically reply to them (something like "It looks like you need assistance with an issue. Please use the forum instead of this discussion channel. [link to forum]"), that might help take the curse off some of the social channels. It could potentially make it easier for folks who are actually having a conversation to just ignore the help requests, since an informative and useful response has already been provided by the bot.

This resource claims creating a bot in Telegram is "super-easy"...if you are a developer: Telegram FAQ

Q: How do I create a bot?

Creating Telegram bots is super-easy, but you will need at least some skills in computer programming. If you're sure you're up to it, our Introduction for Developers is a good place to start.

Unfortunately, there are no out-of-the-box ways to create a working bot if you are not a developer. But we're sure you'll soon find plenty of bots created by other people to play with.

I have seen bots used in this way to seemingly good effect, such as the bot on Reddit that attempts to discourage people from whinging about bugs on Reddit instead of opening a proper bug report.

Example: issues with 5.25 - r/kde

u/AutoModerator Jun 18 '22

Hi, this is AutoKonqi reporting on duty: this post was flaired as General Bug.

While r/kde allows to discuss issues, raise their visibility, and get assistance from other users out of good will, it is not the proper channel to report issues and the developers able to fix them won't be able to act on them over Reddit.

So if this bug was not reported to the developers yet and it is in fact a bug in KDE software, please take a brief look at the issue reporting guide and report the issue over the KDE Bugzilla. If it is a crash, be sure to read about getting backtraces so your report can assist the developers. If this is a known issue, you may want to include the bug report on your post so your fellow users experiencing the same thing can CC themselves to the report. Be sure to describe your issue well and with context. Thank you.

I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.

I don't know how difficult it would be to set up something like that, but since we are brainstorming I thought I would mention it since it is the first thing that came to mind.