Apparently Zoom is down.

Reminder: Unless someone asks you for alternatives this is not the right time to suggest alternatives. Not everyone who is over here is the driver for all of their technology or business decisions.

@craigmaloney Especially since it seems to be down for paid accounts--i.e., the meeting hosts, not the participants.

@craigmaloney Realistically, this seems like exactly the time when discussion of alternatives is most needed. The people who chose it for themselves and didn't even think about alternatives are not gonna ask for alternatives.

@craigmaloney Obviously be respectful when bringing up alternatives, etc, etc.

@grainloom May I offer the alternative of please don't? All you add is stress and frustration to the issue, and solve nothing in the process. As someone who routinely gets offered alternatives when I a) have already explored alternatives and b) am not the driver of the decision all I get in return for someone offering "help" is a rise in my blood pressure and the opportunity to swallow what I'm really thinking in that moment.

@craigmaloney Do you somehow indicate vent posts as such?
I think it's rather odd that the social norm some people are trying to push is to not try to offer help, instead of clearly indicating in advance when help really is not needed, in addition to less intrusive ways of offering help.

Personally, when _I_ get angry because someone asks "do you need help with finding an alternative" or even just straight up offers alternatives, I consider that my failure. I'm more disappointed that they wasted time writing info I already knew.

So, combined with yours, that's one data point for and one against.

@craigmaloney Anyways, IMHO there is way more nuance to this then "either infodump people with a list of alternatives or don't say anything".
There are multiple ways of offering help and multiple issues that help could be offered for. Someone could simply ask who made the decision to use the specific tech and why.

Or, you know, we could all shut up and wait while the corporations in question wage multi-million dollar ad and lobbying campaigns.

@grainloom Any time I mention Google, Zoom, Skype, or any proprietary program invariably I'll get someone helpfully offering me an alternative, as though I had never considered any alternatives to those platforms. I blesss the day that Mastodon set the character limit to 500 characters because it gives me 240 for an opinion and 260 informing folks that I've been advocating Free and Open Source software since 1995.

@grainloom Point being that someone expressing frustration that something is not working for them is not the right time to start offering alternatives. Tht's the time to help them through their problem and then (if they ask for it) offer alternatives. The last thing anyone wants to hear when they're fighting with software is how another software program might help. No, that's not helpful; you've just added "learn X" to my todo list without me asking.

@craigmaloney Mostly agreed, but sometimes the answer really is "this thing won't work, you gotta learn a new thing".
But yea, this is basically what I said. It'd be more constructive to help folks help others effectively rather than telling them that they shouldn't even try.

In unrelated news, I just went down a rabbithole of rebooting my router, measuring throughput, and searching for recent ISP outages... only to realise I'd been testing from a far corner of my mesh wifi, and sitting close to the router made all the difference!


@craigmaloney I agree that FLOSSha folks often try to use these situations as opportunity to push technologies they like and that turns people off.

One thing that I've found works well though is to just use the technologies we like for meetings where you can control things. Showing people using the technology works far better than proselytizing.

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