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

It’s Foss
I found you doing a google search as well as a couple of forums when I decided to give Linux a try about 5 years ago. People here helped me make the transition from a Windows user to Linux.

Why do I keep coming back / reading here?
Unlike the other forums I visited, this place has a small town feel to it. I felt like I got to know a lot of the people here. They were also knowledgeable and was able to give me the info I needed to help solve my problems and/or answers my questions.

Reading vs Posting
I am a regular user who visits here almost daily. I read most of the posts, but as @Tech_JA said my knowledge of Linux is also limited and many of the topics I don’t understand. Since I don’t understand the posts, they do not have any meaning to me nor do they interest me. Even tho I have a strong background in computers, there are not many questions about technology that is more the 30 years old. So I try to help when I can and will even perform a google search sometimes to try to help.

This is a Great site. I appreciate all the users here for their posting that try to help in answering questions and solving problems in a polite manner. Thank you for being the foundation that support this site.


Exactly, @nevj. I think it would be great if we had Categories for more than just Ubuntu & Linux Mint. I know they are the most popular, but for those who do like to look around, it would be great if we had some that use a different init, or a different method for app installation, even those that require learning new CLI because they use a different package system. I like problem solving and definitely finding out about tools (especially CLI) that I do not know about or that I may know of them but have yet to correctly understand how to use them.

When I read other members saying what they like about another distro, I go to that site to find out more about it. But nothing compares to reading about the experiences by other home users and it gives us a place to inquire more about it.

I can only “build” little things, as my knowledge base is minimal by comparison, but each time I write a script or automate a process, I am learning to build and for some of us, those are the stepping stones to being able to build new things.



Same here, Howard! And my “non-google” searches kept bringing up ITSFOSS as one of the top choices for my questions.

And that is what I meant about not discounting people who come to read but may not yet interact. As @nevj said, some people are hesitant to write in an unknown environment. But continuing to read all of the posts you are interested in is participating. And those posts (including those that veer off course to lawn mower parts…LOL) give off a certain vibe that we are a small town group of folks. That we are friends.

Thank you for being helpful when I am panicking over another non-booting computer…lol.



I think we are able to make new categories? I will check. We can certainly make new tags.
There is “Other Distributions”


I thought @abhishek made the categories. But even so, I was thinking categories where “like” distros could all be discussed in that same category.

For instance, I just installed Endeavor OS on my computer that I use for learning and then read @ernie 's post on Garuda Linux and from what I could tell, it was in the same category. So all of the Arch-like derivatives could be grouped in one. In fact, I do not even know all of the “like” distros Linux has. That in itself is an interesting topic.

Then from within those categories, we could do tutorials or Q&A sessions, where those who are experts or advanced, can teach those of us who are not, all the intricacies of those operating systems.

And when I get time, I intend to read all of the older posts in Shell Scripting and use the resources here, but we don’t use that topic as much as I would like to see it used. Maybe because so many users who are familiar with everything you can do in the shell are not asking questions and the new learners usually ask in relation to the distro they are using. But I have lots of questions and just need to get my list from my Linux notebook onto here in the forum.



You are one of the best at that.


Yeah, families… Debian family, Arch family, etc
A lot of issues involve tha package system and that is where families differ.


Don’t know if I’ll be able to answer to all the points here as there are too many posts since I last commented but I’ll try.

Most people are often spectators, not participants. They read, learn something, and then go on with their regular tasks and life, and there is nothing wrong with that.

The forum is for members to seek help and share interesting findings. On the main website, the team creates tutorials in a structured format. Here, you can share your experience, findings in the hope of helping others.

Imagine you were troubleshooting something and discovered a way to fix the problem. You could share your findings in the forum. It is likely to be a rough draft of what you did (and why you did it). This could also work as something you could revisit later for your own reference as @Sheila_Flanagan pointed out.

Similarly, someone asks for help because they have questions that were not clearly answered on the websites. The forum provides the opportunity to clear doubts with the help of fellow members.

We could also create a weekly scripting challenge to challenge our brain and engage the members. This won’t attract visitors from search engine, but this will be a good exercise for the active members. Think of it like Bowling, Bingo or other card games in your local club.

Apart from this, to make this forum more useful, I could see the analytics and see which posts are being visited from the search engine. And then I can try and see if the discussion in the post provides correct information or not. Changing the title of some topic could be a idea, specially when the topic title is extremely vague (like ‘this is not working for me’ instead of ‘cannot log in after grub update’).

We could also see posts with zero replies and see if they could still be answered.

Basically, all of you active members, stay actively engage, share your findings (when you can) and help other members. All of you are doing a great job at making this forum more welcoming :pray:


Hi Abhishek @abhishek ,
Personally, I appreciate your reply and the ideas you mentioned.
Anything that can be done for the better is an asset to the forum.

Can you tell us the total number of monthly visits (readings) to the forum, from members and non-members?

I’d like to ask you directly, but without wanting to cause you any embarrassment (you can answer if you like, of course):

  • Do you want to increase the number of regular users?
  • What would you like to see improved in the Forum?
  • And is there anything, any topic or category you’d like to see in the forum to make it more dynamic?

Thank you very much in advance for your help and for listening to us.


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Hi Sheila,
I didn’t want the users of our forum to think that I could be accusing them of not participating, I just wanted to know why they don’t participate, but I’m curious to know why so many users are logged in and don’t participate or create new posts. That’s why I mentioned that the 46 users should take the opportunity to express themselves, so that we know what might be wrong or need to be changed.

I never intended to receive justifications, especially of a personal nature, and allow me to say this publicly: you are one of the people in the active group of the forum and of whom I have immense regard, and I will say it again, because there may be errors in the translation:
I’m not excluding any member of the forum. it’s because of all of you that I’m here and I try to be a regular user, but it’s difficult for me to be one.

Please don’t let anyone think that I want to know why you don’t participate, whether it’s personal or because you don’t have time - I don’t have time at the moment - what I’m trying to know from those of all users who don’t participate is what needs to be done or changed so that you can participate, that’s all.

Sincere best wishes from your mother, my friend.


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Hi Neville,
Thank you for your response.

I agree with you, but why?
That’s the million-dollar question and they’ll have to answer it themselves, because our forum is a friendly forum.
That’s why I addressed my question to all those who don’t participate, so that they can freely say why they don’t. No one will criticize them for saying what they think about the forum or the users.
There’s a saying in PT: “it’s by talking that we understand each other”.
(I hope I don’t lose the meaning in translation)

Thank you both.
I look forward to interpreting the statistics to find out what users prefer or are looking for.

I think I was misinterpreted and I apologize for that.
What I meant, about “Maybe among us we should start asking simple questions” was the following, example (I’ll keep this example to just the two of us, but it could be done by any user):
“I” would create a post “How can I see the contents of a directory?” or “How can I search for a file in Linux?” and “you” would respond with what to do.

It’s an example of a Q&A, done by forum users, which, with the production of content from the simplest to the most complex, could captivate other members who read to participate or eventually bring more members to the forum (I could be completely wrong about this).

I fully accept this answer and, as I wrote, I could be doing the research in the wrong way and by answering in this way, you are guiding me correctly :+1:

I’m glad to read this, really, but above all that you wrote it:

which led us to start talking about what we can improve in the forum. :clap:

I hardly understood it either and i followed the topic very carefully.

I can’t agree with you.
What would become of us (I’ll restrict to the “Linux world”) if we didn’t have access to more complex information?
I remember in the late 90s, when I bought a Linux magazine, I got a copy of Red Hat Linux.
I tried to install it, did everything I knew at the time (I didn’t know anything) and gave up.
I tried Linux again, I think in 2004.
Today I’m here helping and asking for help with more complex issues and “tomorrow”, I’ll be posting on your more complex topics.
Your posts, even if they may be “blogs”, are an asset to us and to the forum. that’s my honest opinion

I couldn’t have said it better myself, thank you Sheila :clap:

hi Howard,
I say the same.
Thank you all! :clap:

I can already see Sheila and Neville with ideas, very good indeed :clap:

Okay… Limited by Discourse to 3 consecutive posts. was creating a “blog”…
I have to wait for someone to reply before I can continue.
I’ve said too much…


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Sorry I went off on a different tack.
Yes, of course Q and A is fine…
All I was saying was, there are some Q’s that do not have an A … because tgey are not solvable

When they stop being an asset, let me know.
The ones like “this is how I learnt to do X” are indeed like blogs
but there are other like the ones I did with @Rosika that are more like tutorials.
yes, those sort of topics get a lot of reads but not much discussion.
So, I probably only do that sort of thing about twice a year.

It depends on the reasons. There may be very little we could do or change.
I go back to my original statement… quality content attracts people, but they may only want to read, not participate.
I dont know what can be done about people feeling they have little to contribute… that feeling is misplaced, of course, but we all feel like that sometimes. Every person does have something to give. That is fundamental to all religions and to any humanitarian outlook.

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Good healthy discussion going on here and great to have so much from so many and all positive (unlike some forums)

I wonder if this one should be moved into the lounge to continue , think we are all members of that bit. Why? If a new user comes along and sees this may consider it of no help, scare off reading, not for general use.

I joined a dance class a few years back, but noticed that we did not get many new members, they came once then never again, so I stood and watched one week, new members were not made welcome, the found it difficult to join in and share, the level became too advanced to quick… this could be the same, imagine reading 40 posts on this subject.

Yes great idea any question with no reply stays on top of list for a set period until answered and after a set number of days with no answer starts to become mire important, orange, red flashing mark to encourage a reply


Hi Neville,
Thanks for your response.

No worries.

from me, you’ll be the first to know :wink:

About the tutorials that you and Rosika @Rosika did and plan to do only twice a year:
Your tutorials are excellent and in my opinion, with Abhishek’s guidance, both of you should be invited to publish tutorials on Linux Handbook, as I think it would be an excellent challenge for active and experienced Linux members, once again I say: that’s my opinion.

I want to believe that our forum has quality content

We couldn’t agree more and that’s why I’m continuing to reply to the thread. Earlier I was “banned” for wanting to post more than 3 tropics and more than 10 user names.
My intention is simple - to appeal to forum users to express themselves on this subject, in order to energize and improve the forum, of course, and always with a friendly and correct discussion. So, at the end of this post, I’ll put what I intended to put up this morning (if Discourse lets me).

Hi Paul,

If the thread is moved to the Lounge, only dedicated users have access to the thread and I think we should know everyone’s opinion.


Maybe Neville is right and there should be a Survey Topic, but more than that, there should be dialog between users and that’s what I’m encouraging.

I completely understand and agree with you, but what should we do so that there isn’t a thread like this one, with dozens of posts and which is accessible to everyone, including newer and less experienced users, so that they can have their say?


I apologize for mentioning some names, but it is not my intention to exclude anyone who is not mentioned in the list, on the contrary, I am trying to encourage dialogue…
(I can only mention 10 users per post)


(I can only mention 10 users per post)


all users not mentioned:
I invite you to participate in this thread and express your opinion on the issues we are discussing. Feel free to comment and/or criticize.
Thank you in advance for your replies.

Note: In no way do I mean to put you in an uncomfortable position by mentioning your name. I’m just bringing more users into the conversation, and I’m no one here to do that. I apologize for that and for bothering you.

Now the time has come to stop talking and give others a voice



Perhaps the answer is a survey of existing users asking what they want to see, read or hear about.

Done through the site would limit it to existing members, though the weekly newsletter may get a wider audience to reply and either could be constructive.

But bearing in mind how many serveys we all get each week about different subjects not sure many will reply, depends on question wording or incentive.

I get so many monkey based that i get half way through then abandon because the questions are bizarre, i dont have an answer applicable to me, or badly worded, especially negative questions … hader in french
Ne pas
All are negative so do you reply yes or no ?

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The solution I found to writing is an extension from LanguageTool. I use Firefox, and to install it, I open “Settings > Extensions & Themes >”, then in the search field near the top, enter “language tool”. From there, you can install the extension. I have also installed it in Thunderbird. This extension has helped me with more than spelling. It has taught me to write in a more concise/easily understood manner. There’s a paid version, but I haven’t upgraded to it yet (I may at some point, but not yet). Perhaps, with LanguageTool to help us, we could all become better writers.

I hope this helps others,



The CLI has some tools too…
There are linters for text called proselint and alex
There are old Unix tools called style and diction
The language-tool you refer to can be used as a vim plugin.

I rarely bother. You can tell from my frequent typos.

The best way is to get someone else to read it.


Hi, @ernie. I also use the free version and chose it over grammarly after reading @abhishek’s review of the extension. I really like that you can use the CLI version from within the folder.

Grammarly has more options, but it also bothered me constantly as the AI would signal it did not like my “tone.” LOL.