Re:Understanding the Coffee House
I had a problem with a piece of software a while back. I will not mention the name because it turns out the glitch was due to a hardware problem. The software wrote out of sequence to high memory at a spot that had never been touched by ordinary software and crashed because of bad bytes there--thus being the only app that did not run on that computer. The software manufacturer did not offer free support, and its less than stellar knowledge base was not helping me. They also did not offer a hosted user to user support forum. So I started googling for support and ran into several unofficial forums on Yahoo, Google etc. What I found set me back. There were endless posts chatting about totally unrelated topics, people trying to arrange to go on vacation together, pictures of their cats etc. The few posts related to software problems were answered by people who clearly knew a lot less about the software than reading the skimpy manual or searching the company knowledge base would have provided. These forums were friendly chatty places where people who used the same software more or less were meeting friends online. The chatter truly did make them almost worthless as support forums. The coffee house is a way of giving people an opportunity to carry on irrelevant and meandering conversations without clogging up the other forums. The suggestion that the conversations be music related is not enforced, and people havef fun and make a lot of bad jokes here, and sometimes share a more of themselves than most of us want to deal with. This could equally well be hosted anywhere on the web, but by being closely integrated with the Cakewalk support forums gives us a cheap commute to the above pictured enclosure, and a place for the occasional moderator to dump something that he thinks does not belong somewhere else. Not a bad idea.