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What does Google+ shutdown means to Tasker community

Tasker looking for a new home!

Due to several reasons (low adoption rate being the biggest one) and an unauthorised access to user’s data by 3rd party, Google+ is going to shut down. It will also drag our beloved Tasker Google+ group down. What does Google+ shutdown mean to Tasker community?

Google+ shutdown and Tasker

The Tasker group is just shy of 17k members and for the most part, it does well at self-moderating. Although I have been an admin for a couple of years now, I hardly had to “moderate” anything serious. The group is full of welcoming members who know how to post relevant content. Well done guys! You are the stars of this community.

With Google+ shutdown, Tasker group will no longer be the place to go. Joao’s Plugin group will meet the same end. We have enough time to start thinking about the alternatives. There are a couple of factors we have to include:

  • posts have to be visible not only to members
  • ability to organise the posts and responses
  • hosting pictures, files and code
  • general ease of use and popularity

Reddit

Reddit’s global success makes it a very viable option. Reddit already has a Tasker subreddit moderated by passionate RatchedGuy. Many of you probably searched the reddit resources too. With the recent UI overhaul, posting options got so much better.

In the current form, Reddit would require some changes as threaded conversations won’t be enough on its own. Perhaps an introduction to subreddits could be an option? Another issue is the lack of picture hosting.

PROSCONS
very popular platformlack of grouped content
threaded conversationsno picture or file hosting
advanced formattingnot possible to reply to older posts
ease of use
no chances of a shutdown
searchable by search engines

Google Groups

Started by Pent as a place to report bugs, Google Groups became a fairly active community. While the layout is terrible, it’s hard to argue ease of use, where you can reply to posts directly from your Gmail account, share pictures and attachments.

The very limited popularity of google groups counts against it as an option. I know the Google Groups fans will swear by it, however, we have to be open to expansion. With low popularity, I also fear that Google will cut the service altogether at some point.

PROSCONS
Grouped contentlack o threaded conversations
picture and file hostinglow popularity
ease of accessmoderate chances of a shutdown by Google
searchable by search engines

Joao’s Forum

I spoke to Joao about the idea. He is now the Tasker developer so it’s a reasonable idea that the main Tasker forum would be hosted by him. He is not opposed to the idea, but we both agreed that it’s an idea that needs to be thought through.

At the moment the Tasker subsection redirects to Tasker Google Group. There are concerns about the forum bandwidth and branding in general, but AutoApps are known to Tasker community, and many members have accounts with AutoApps Forum already.

PROSCONS
advanced formattinglack of clear Tasker branding
belongs to the devsmall platform
searchable by search enginesno threaded discussions
ability to host files and pictures
Grouped content

Alternatives?

I know it might be tempted to suggest Slack, Discord, Telegram and other platforms but these are not visible to the search engines, making the growth of the community very difficult. After all, the community is only as strong as the number of committed members, and these come and go over the time. To sustain active Tasker community, we have to find a platform that is easy to find by people who never heard of Tasker before.

Xda-developers.com

I also write from time to time for Xda-developers. While the website hosts Tasker tutorials and updates, there is no designated Tasker forum. I could check if such forum could be opened for Tasker users since Xda has an invested interest in the topic.

The forum has the ability to host files, pictures, supports advanced formatting and content grouping. It’s also very popular among Android users.

What do you think about the options presented by me? Let me know on my social media and fill the poll below!

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