I posted a similar question a while back: OT: Is there a UnixMonks.com?
. While I appreciate the answers I got, the results were unsatisfactory. There isn't a unixmonks.com, but there should be. There should also be a windowsmonks.com, but there isn't.
Let's start with the problems involved in cloning the Monastary.
- Size. There are far more unix users than perl coders, and vastly more Windows users. One thing that's kept perlmonks friendly is that it's small. There's a real small-town feel to the place that helps keep things civil. A site with a wider scope would lose that. Consider how hard it is to follow a single thread on Slashdot. With 1000+ comments, it's a daunting task. Expect more Anonymous Idiots.
- Time. I don't know how much time Vroom puts into administration on a daily basis, but you can be sure that it's significant. Now expand that task tenfold.
- Money. More users = more bandwidth, more storage space, more memory, more servers = more money. Again, I don't know what it costs vroom out of pocket to keep us running, but you can be sure he shelled out a lot that first year.
- Growth/Evolution. Perlmonks didn't spring fully-formed from vroom's rib. It grew over time, evolving its own quirks and culture. I can't think of a better example than Stumbit. While you can guide the growth of a web community, you can't control everything. We have a happy accident here, and if vroom knows exactly how he did it, he should write a book and hit the lecture circuit.
- Lawyers. Call me paranoid, but the vultures and the weasles are circling. Windows is a trademark of Microsoft, and they're deeply protective of it. They sued Lindows claiming that they even own the non-word "indows". Anyone making extensive use of the Windows trademark would be well advised to get a lawyer sooner rather than later. Now, Sun, SGI, and Red Hat are far less litigious than the Borg, but the point remains.
All that said, it's a good idea. There should
be a Unixmonks, a Windowsmonks, and a Macmonks. The thing to remember is that the best web communities (and I'm totally biased here) are based around a singular vision. Plastic
and Perlmonks are both run by one guy. Slashdot was only two guys in the beginning. Unless someone wants to take on the daunting task of building *monks.com by their lonesome, I just don't see it happening. That said, if someone does
throw their hat over the wall and start, say, linuxmonks.com, I'm in. I'll even kick in $20 or a used hard drive or something.
So, we're all decent coders, and some of us are first-rate administrators. Clearly, we also have free time. Is this something people want to pursue? Seems to me that if 100 monks each kicked in $100 and 10 hours a week, we could have a server up and running in a month or two, AND have a stake to cover bandwidth for the first year or so. Whaddaya think, my brothers? You wanna put on a show?
"What do I want? I'm an American. I want more."