One thread here got out of hand over the last 24 hours or so, so it's been deleted. I have no problem with the initial message being reposted--it was a perfectly valid and polite offer to provide services. But, I don't want to see follow-ups in the same vein as what happened yesterday--from the OP or the responders.
I'll take this as a good reason to explain the rules of all of our forums, but this one in particular:
[ol] [li]Keep things civil. This is the rule for all of our forums, and I'll delete any thread or post that steps over that line. But, for the Jobs forum, this rule is enforced with more vigor. I've only ever wielded the mighty banhammer on spammers in the past...but I could be convinced to wield it for lack of civility in the Jobs forum. I'm not kidding around. The Jobs board is for professionals who work with Virtualmin. If you can't be professional, I'm not going to allow you to post on this forum. We are a community of friends working towards common goals.[/li] [li]This one is just restating the above in more emphatic terms: No flaming on the Jobs forum. At all. Ever. If you have an issue with something someone has posted, you let me know via email...not the whole world via the forum. If you need to flame, occasionally, flame me, and on any other forum but this one. Jamie will happily be a foil for flames, as well. I bet Eric will even take one for the team now and then, though that's probably going above and beyond the call of duty. Otherwise, don't flame anyone.[/li] [li]And, of course, the obvious stuff, like "No spam!", don't post offers or requests more than once a month or so. I don't want to see a top-post war.[/li] [li]Otherwise, keep it legal, keep it friendly, and keep it professional.[/li] [/ol]
So, what's the point of all of these rules?
We, the Virtualmin community, need a healthy ecosystem of professionals that work with Webmin, Usermin, and Virtualmin. We need for them to be able to make money at it. As a professional working with these products and projects, you also need this. If you view everyone that comes along doing work in the same vein as competition, the Virtualmin market will remain small. We all benefit from more people using and promoting Virtualmin. The strength of projects like Drupal and Joomla is in their huge expert base, and it makes it easier for people to carve out a profitable niche for themselves in that huge market. Virtualmin is not yet a huge market opportunity, but we'd all like for it to be. Would you rather have one tiny grape all to yourself or a big slice of a watermelon that you share with some friends? I happen to like watermelon, myself.
Following on to the above, Jamie and I no longer have the available time to provide one-on-one support for these products and projects. If someone requires more than the premium support ticket service and the community forums that we provide here at Virtualmin.com, there needs to be a network of people that can provide that level of service. I refer more people every week to the Jobs forum, and so far, I've been very happy with the results. The folks providing services seem to have done a great job. If we can't count on the community to fill this gap, we'll have to figure out a way to bring it internal to Virtualmin, Inc. so we can make sure this level of support is available, and so that we can make sure it is provided with a professional attitude. This would be a major distraction from what we really want to do with our time and our business: we want to build fantastic software to help others provide great services. I also see quite a lot of Webmin/Virtualmin/Usermin jobs being posted to places like eLance and Rent-A-Coder. We'd like to see those jobs coming here, instead, so that we can "keep it in the family", so to speak. We want those jobs going to our friends, and people we can trust. But, it won't happen if the forum isn't welcoming to new providers and friendly competition. So, I'll do whatever I have to do to make this forum friendly and welcoming to new providers and new people in need of one-on-one support.
I'm going to sticky this thread...but I might tone it down after a week or two. So far, I haven't really needed to be heavy-handed about the rules, and I don't really want to do so, in general.