It’s All About You: New Community Forums for Cloudera Customers and Users

This is a great day for technical end-users – developers, admins, analysts, and data scientists alike. Starting now, Cloudera complements its traditional mailing lists with a new, feature-rich community forums intended for users of Cloudera’s Platform for Big Data!  (Login using your existing credentials or click the link to register.)

Although mailing lists have long been a standard for user interaction, and will undoubtedly continue to be, they have flaws. For example, they lack structure or taxonomy, which makes consumption difficult. Search functionality is often less than stellar and users are unable to build reputations that span an appreciable period of time. For these reasons, although they’re easy to create and manage, mailing lists inherently limit access to knowledge and hence limit adoption.

The new service brings key additions to the conversation: functionality, search, structure and scalability. It is now considerably easier to ask questions, find answers (or questions to answer), follow and share threads, and create a visible and sustainable reputation in the community. And for Cloudera customers, there’s a bonus: your questions will be escalated as bonafide support cases under certain circumstances (see below).

Please see the FAQs below for additional detail.

Will these forums replace Cloudera’s existing mailing lists/groups, e.g., cdh-user?
No. We believe it’s always best to provide choices and there will undoubtedly be people who prefer to use lists. However, we’re confident that forum features like reply-by-email will make mailing lists increasingly undesirable for most users, in comparison.

Should I ask my questions on mailing lists/groups, or forums?
See above. We encourage you to use the service that best meets your needs (or use both) — that said, we believe most users will eventually use forums more.

Is registration required?
No registration is expected or needed for browsing. However, if you choose to participate, we’ll need your name and email address.

Who will answer my questions?
As is currently the case with existing mailing lists, these forums will be closely monitored by Cloudera employees (from Support, Engineering, etc), many of whom are project committers. The ultimate goal, however, is to see users assist other users — which is a defining characteristic of a healthy community.

What is the reasoning behind your taxonomy?
We made a sincere effort to balance the requirements of simplicity and thoroughness. Of course, we’re always open to suggestions for improvements.

Can I use these forums to promote products or services?
No. These forums are intended for non-commercial purposes, and this principle will be strictly enforced.

I’m a Cloudera customer. In what circumstances will my issue be escalated as a support case?

We have both automated and business processes in place to assist subscription customers in getting their thread posts turned into support cases when necessary. In general, any paid customer’s thread that goes unsolved for two days will automatically become a support case. Furthermore, Support Engineers and moderators will use their good judgment based on the severity/urgency of the issue to intervene if necessary.

Where is the user documentation?
You can find all user doc (for getting started etc.) here.

If you have questions or feedback, feel free to use comments below or post them to the “Community Suggestions” area at community.cloudera.com. Enjoy!

Justin Kestelyn is Cloudera’s developer outreach director.

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