In the Zim chat room I had two people wander in independent of each
other and ask if the project was dead, in the past 12 hours.
 
There are some problems with Zim's web presence:
 * How do you find release dates, starting from http://zim-wiki.org/[1] ?
   * You have to click on Contribute, then the first link on that page gets to 
the Launchpad project. Then you click Code, then lp:zim, then Browse the Code, 
then CHANGELOG.txt.
   * If you don't think to look at Contribute, or you're not a
     habitual Launchpad user, you will probably fail to find the
     changelog this way.
   * If you open the project URL from Contribute, then go to the Code
     tab, and then actually read the paragraph at the top of
     https://code.launchpad.net/zim , then Zim REALLY looks dead:
     http://zim-wiki.org/bzr/pyzim/ . If you don't know Bazaar, you'd
     assume this shared folder is empty and the ".bzr" subfolder is
     just junk.
 * The Downloads page has dead links to "Source" and "Packages".
   Actually no they're headings, but they look like links that got
   unlinkified.
 * Zim is a desktop wiki. What is this "Wiki" page? The information
   scent <
   https://www.nngroup.com/articles/wrong-information-scent-costs-sales/
   > of that top-level navigation link is nil. People aren't
   clicking it.
 
Recommendations:
 * Immediately create a "History" or "Change log" top-level page on 
http://zim-wiki.org/ that is a placeholder directing the user to view 
http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~jaap.karssenberg/zim/pyzim/view/head:/CHANGELOG.txt
 (or transcludes it directly into the page on the main web site).
 * Maybe make a comment about the release cadence of the project on the
   Downloads page.
 * Fix this paragraph on the Launchpad project's Code page: "Zim hosts
   its code at http://www.zim-wiki.org/bzr/pyzim."; It needs to say
   something about the fact that this is a Bazaar repo, not the kind of
   live web view you'd expect from GitHub or BitBucket.
 * Rename the "Wiki" navigation link on the main web site to "User-
   Contributed Documentation" or "Community Documentation".
 * Add a top-level page for "Mailing List" that points to the mailing
   list home page AND to directly to the mailing list search form. (Wait
   ... CAN you search the mailing list archive? I can't find it.)
 * A chat room user wanted a screencast that demonstrates critical
   features of Zim. Something like that must be in the mailing list
   archive somewhere. It should be saved in a safe location and promoted
   on http://zim-wiki.org/
 
Who is in charge of the main web site and the Launchpad pages? Is there
anything I can do to help with these communication issues that are
driving users away?
 
And I hope no one is offended by this post. I'm trying to be helpful and
point out that we are probably losing prospective users due to a few
design issues in our public web presence.
 
Brendan Kidwell
 

Links:

  1. http://zim-wiki.org/index.html
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