Help It's FOSS Survive Google's Algorithm Changes and AI Overviews

I remember the time this forum was not so friendly, sometime rude users, and even seem harassment here. I actually became upset and left the forum for a year or more. I remember other users also dropping out.

I was very happy to see the forum had changed when I re-visited it.


Sounds like we had a similar experience and i would imagine with the same people. I to dropped away but came back as ì was getting more out of it.

1 Like

Yes. I think it may only search on the topic titles.
It is useful for finding old topics, but there is also a search button on the forum page.


Hi Howard,
I think the moderators do regularly read topics.
There is really little for them to do recently.
That is good, we dont want to waste talented people on refereeing.


Need to work on improving the titles and categories to make searching for google better.

usb not working …
no use.

Needs more infor to trigger google

Such as

Linux mint, recovery of usb data from sans disk,
Also trigger the other key words associated with it

Once in the site good to search but if not seen outside then not much help.


Hi Neville,

Thank you very much for replying to my email.
I will reply to everything, but first I just want to point out that despite talking to you directly I was indeed addressing all of the forum’s users. I’d like to hear it form everyone else.


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No worries.
My view is… I think the majority of forum people are home users like myself. (There are a couple of people who work on servers, their interests are different).
Home users seem to like problem solving and new tools.
Some are very fixed on one or two distros, some like to look around.
Topics like my current stuff on init systems do not widely appeal… people want to wait until it is there in their favorite distro, they dont want to build new things.
Topics like how to make A talk to B always get some interest.
General computing and maths topics seem to have some appeal.
Programming is not a popular interest. Very few home users program, apart from shell scripts.

Now everyone can tell me what I got wrong.


Hi Howard,

I was one of those who left with a lot of regret and only came back because you convinced me that the forum was more friendly.
As much good information as the forum had, and I consider all of you friends, I would never come back if it continued to have rude users.



That’s right. I and other moderators regularly read the post and intervene only when it seems necessary.

Quite honestly, the forum is running smoothly thanks to dedicated members like you, Paul, Jorge, Dan and others :pray:


Hi Neville,
You’re absolutely right.

For example, from what I understand, our moderator Sourav Rudra @sourav does a lot of work that goes unnoticed by most users. When we create a new thread and choose the categories, if they are not correct, they are corrected. There’s a lot of work going on in the background that we don’t realize.

Mina @Mina has been tireless, although she hasn’t participated much lately, that doesn’t mean she won’t continue to moderate. I hope she continues to be one of our moderators for a long time to come.
And what’s really significant about moderating? we’ve been disciplined, we’ve helped each other out, we have a private alters system that works perfectly.

Some people can often get the idea that if the moderators don’t say anything, it’s because the forum is abandoned, but I think the opposite is true: if the moderators are active are active and don’t speak up, it means that everything is going well.

For those who don’t know who our current admins and moderators are, here’s the information on the site:

Note to all users: This is my honest opinion and in no way should it be interpreted as criticism. I am careful with what I write, but my texts are translated in full in the EN translator, and so I leave this warning here because sometimes there may be situations in which I may seem brusque with what I write, but it may have been translated badly, which I thank you for understanding.



Ho Paul,

In my opinion, even if the titles are poorly written or can be changed to better understand what the trheads are about, and I say again that it’s my opinion, it’s our fault for keeping the titles as they were created, because the dedicated users can edit the titles and we don’t have to wait for the moderators to do so.
We ourselves have a responsibility as “first-line moderators”:




We all admire someone who works under that difficulty.


Hi Abhishek,
I’m sorry I didn’t mention your presence on the forum, but it was only because I don’t think anyone doubts that you follow and read the forum regularly. Your likes, for example, don’t go unnoticed :wink:



Thanks for the confidence Abhishek and positive comments.

I did exchange with jorge a private mail last week to discover he lived in Portugal and spoke Portuguese, which surprised me as normally his wording is better in english than mine, occasionally i forget which language to use. I was going to drop in to see him later in the year but he is some 300 miles from where I will be, long round trip just to say hola! Or bonjour.

Will try hard to look at titles on subjects. And subcategories.

On general on the site, I very much appreciate the collaboration between us all on a variety of subjects, occasionally off piest of linux but around informatique systems. Most days I am able to discover new things. Working most days alone with no points of reference to fall back on, this site helps concentrate my mind.


Hi Neville,
Allow me to speak directly to you, but make it clear that I’m speaking for all forum users. When I write “you” please read “all users”.
(Paul, I’ll reply to your posts in a moment and keep participating in this thread, please).

I totally agree with you, but let me give you my honest opinion: there are posts that you write, on subjects that I didn’t know about and that are too advanced for my knowledge, in which I can’t participate, but, in my opinion, these posts are enriching for the majority of users and I read them with extreme care. For me they are blogs? yes, because I can’t participate, but I don’t dismiss them out of hand and I ask you to continue to have “blogs” on the forum, because the fact that we don’t participate doesn’t mean that we don’t read them.

Now that I’ve given my opinion on “blogs” in the forum and that they should be part of it, I’ll move on to another subject, but first allow me to make an introduction:


These are the statistics I have access to and now I ask Abhishek @abhishek for help: I believe that “Active users” are the users who access the forum, not those who participated in posts and, if I’m right, in the last week, the forum was viewed by 61 logged in users.

Once again, and I keep repeating that this is my opinion, I believe that between 10 and 15 users participate assiduously in posts and I don’t consider myself an assiduous user. Apart from those 15 users, in 7 days there were another 46 logged-in users who entered the forum, perhaps just to read.

I think this is a very important issue:

  • Why don’t these 46 users post on the forum?
  • Are they afraid to ask for help, because they have basic questions, or do we have limited knowledge for the help they want?

These users should be our key to finding out what needs to change in order to attract more users to participate.

What makes a good topic?
It depends on the topic: if it’s a simple question, simple and straightforward answers; if it’s a complex question, more complex answers, perhaps complemented with other types of additional information and we may not even know how to answer and have to turn to other forums for help. However, what starts a topic being a good topic is the title, which I share Paul’s opinion - the title is fundamental to having a good topic.
From then on, it’s a matter of doing what everyone else normally does, which is to do their best to help those who need help.

Should off-topics be allowed?
I think so, but then users should return to the subject of the topics.

Which topics should dominate the forum?
continuing with my reasoning, if we have between 10 and 15 users participating, it will always be the topics that these 10 to 15 users either want to talk about or have questions about. If these users don’t post, there are no posts on the forum.

Is it preferable for this group of people to post and, eventually, for specific subjects to dominate the forum or “blogs”, but which is open to all subjects, or for there simply to be no posts because this group of users has nothing to ask? it’s a rhetorical question.

What can we do to create good topics?
Maybe among us we should start asking simple questions, with simple answers, with titles that suggest the subject and create more flow of posts, even if we know the answers, and do the same with slightly more complex subjects, so that we have a portfolio of posts accessible to everyone and demystify that not all forums are inaccessible to users new to Linux or afraid to post and be criticized - I speak from my own experience of other forums.

Topics outside computing?
Of course and electronics, robotics, 3D Printer are some of them, but we may have insufficient experience to help those who have doubts and will have to resort to other forums or sites.
Is it worth it?
of course! Electronics, robotics, 3D Printers can use software, programming, be connected to a PC and configure ports, etc. etc…
Take OctoPrint for example - a 3D Printer software, Open Source, for Linux, with a camera connection, makes time-lapse recordings, etc. etc., and a user comes along, opens a thread, asks “OctoPrint doesn’t work over WiFi” and what do we say? “Go away, because this forum isn’t for 3D printers” or “Raspberry Pi and OctoPrint? That’s not for us!” or do we look in forums, even if we don’t know?
I believe that we can do this kind of support - we may not know, but those who read the topics may even register and answer the question.

I totally agree with you and I quote you: “that is a difficult one. … they are sometimes brilliant” :+1:

So what about a survey topic?
Thanks for the challenge, but that’s the responsibility of our admin and moderators, I don’t think it’s ours. However, if they want us to do it, we’ll do it.

What about a Windows section?
Of course! We have users who use Windows too and maybe we even know the answers, why not open that door too? that’s my opinion.

Bad answers
Whenever I answer, I do my best to make sure that the answers are correct and I often have to go to other forums or websites and even study in order to answer.
I have limitations in this world of Linux and I’m still a noob, but I try to help and if I don’t know, I reply saying, “I’m sorry, but I can’t help you” because something I hate is posting on a forum and not getting an answer" I don’t know if I’ve been completely ignored because the answer is so obvious or simple or if nobody knows the answer and nobody says anything.
I don’t do that and I don’t even say “go google” because if a person doesn’t know something, they often don’t even know what or how to look for it and it’s happened to me, maybe to all of you too, the answers from google depend on the way we ask questions: if I ask in PT, I may get an answer I don’t want; if I ask in EN, it depends on the way I “translate” what I want to look for into EN.
When I ask a question, it’s because I’ve already tried to get answers and when people tell me to “google it”, they’re simply running me off the forum.

You don’t just have to have good topics, you also have to have fair answers and, believe me, the question “how can I help?” is worth a lot to anyone who needs help.

I say the same.

What about programming topics?
I love it!
Do you want to teach C? I’ll ask questions and we’ll create a C 101 category and a Bash 101, Python 101, etc., Look, one I’ll need: Docker 101 :wink:

And why not a blog-like “How To…”, where we can make simple and more complex posts on various subjects, commands, installations, configurations…?
There are endless possibilities within this theme…

What do you need? I think it's knowing what people really want from the forum and for that, everyone has to have their say, because it's anyone's guess and as much as we want to improve, we may not be meeting what the users want.

That’s why I’m calling on our admins, moderators and all users to speak up and say what they really want to see discussed on the forum and what can be done to improve it.

Now to talk to you directly.
Without wishing in any way to belittle other forum users, I can only say to you “Thank you very much!” for what you have done on the forum and, whether you like it or not, it is obvious:

Neville, Rosika and Daniel,
I would like to thank you who, according to the statistics I have, whether you like it or not, are the ones who are keeping the forum going.
I hope you can count on the rest of the users, myself included, to help you maintain and boost the forum.



Hi Paul,
I totally agree with you, in fact, I think what I wrote is partly summed up in this post of yours.

You’re absolutely right. We may be talking and not want changes, but Abhishek, who is present, will tell us what he wants, because what we are discussing is trying to make the forum more dynamic, but maintaining its unique characteristics: a forum accessible to all with polite users who want to help others.

(I’m repeating Abhishek’s answer, but from a user perspective)
You, me, everyone.
Any user can send a private notification to warn Admin or moderators:


on the other hand, as a dedicated user, you can change/correct some things and, as a last resort, direct message Abhishek or our moderators.

it would be more like “Olá” :smiley:

You all say exactly what I think and I can only add “ditto!”

To all users an to sum up my many posts... Everything I've written is my way of thinking and, as I've said many times, It's FOSS Community is where most of the people I've been talking to for years are and I consider them friends. If it's about change for the better and for the good of everyone, count me in. You know my limitations, but I'll do everything I can to help.



Hi, Jorge. For the past 2 months I have been dealing with my elderly mother’s illness and that has not left me a lot of time to “participate.” While I consider myself an active participant, I always find time just to “read” all the new topics: even ones I barely understand (@nevj and his latest topic :thinking:).

Even though I have some issues I would like to get help with, I know that right now, I do not have the time to input the suggestions I would receive from the group here, so I will wait till I do have time.

Ever since I kept running across topics I was searching for in a DDG search some time ago, ItsFOSS kept popping up and I would come here to read about them and eventually, that is exactly why I became a supporting member. I must have not been active when anything was not right here on the forum as I have found everyone to be friendly, helpful and eager to assist. I do not interact in any other forums, only read their solutions as I find them. But here I can sit and read (and heart) even if I have nothing to contribute at the moment.

I admit I have often started out with a topic that I needed help on thinking it could act as a guide for others; and by the time it was worked out, it was definitely not a tutorial…lol. But on the other hand, I learned something that I could use in the future and had fun along the way.

Even when we have posted topics off the main idea of ItsFOSS, it usually evolves from such a subject or it is in the spirit of education (i.e., when I posted about New Year’s Day :slightly_smiling_face:) and is fitting in the moment. I think those are great and what we learn may not be computing, as such, but it is definitely in the spirit of FOSS!

The whole idea behind the site, to me, is to find information and get help with things that are strictly FOSS. So many people are going to need to learn about Linux once MS has its way and all of the topics we already have as well those we can create will be of much value to those who choose the Linux path. I am one such person myself and the info both here and in the newsletters are what have led me from a beginner to an avid fan and student of all things Linux. After 3 years, there is still so much to learn and I never cease to be amazed at the things I can do with a FOSS app or just in the shell in a Linux OS.

I agree that the possibilities are endless as to the topics and types of posts we can even collaborate on. Bash 101? You bet. Docker 101, why not? The “How To” seems to be my constant questions and the more of those types of topics we have, the better we not only help each other, but all those that stumble upon the forum (like me) from searching for such answers.

Great Post, Jorge!

Sheila Flanagan


Hi Jorge,
I think quite a number of people feel uncomfortable with writing , simply because
they hardly ever get to practice it. I am not sure what can be done to help with that, other than being friendly and understanding .

I have noticed that titles with a personal tone seem to attract replies
eg " My problem with X" works better than “X does not work”

Every event we call a problem does not have an analytical solution. You cant solve the “Problem of Pain” , the “Problem of War”, the “Problem of Evil”, etc.
The world is not like a detective story… it does not have a built in analytical solution to all issues.
The forum has a focus on branding posts as “solutions”. That only works for the detective story class of problems.
There are other important discussions that never reach a “solution”, they instead open people’s eyes, or entertain, or sometimes just “agree to differ”, or echo our artistic appreciation of something.
The problem and solution mentality oversimplifies life.

I think it is OK to say … google on “abc” and you will find it
but not a rude “go google”
It is better to give a link.

Lastly… what makes a good topic?
A new area or a new idea is always more exciting.

Thank you for the appreciation, and for the effort you put into this reply.



Hi Sheila,
I think we all understand your situation at the moment. Quite a number of us have been through the stage of caring for ageing parents.

I worry about that.
On the one hand, a discussion with developers is probably good for itsFOSS, but on the other hand it can lose touch with people.

Take care,


I don’t think it is cause for worry. For one, after reading all of the varying posts here it is obvious we have everyone from beginners to experts. An expert who stumbles across the topic will have no trouble with the parts of it I did, but may need a higher level of help that would require assistance from the developers. I was thrilled to find them assisting you.

Secondly, people like me, who are eager to learn new systems, may at the moment have trouble digesting all of the items you worked through (like the trees :slightly_smiling_face:) but may later be able to use that information as they try out that new system.

As Jorge said, you, Rosika & Dan are invaluable here and I very much enjoy reading all of your quests as you discover new things in the Linux world.

Keep writing!