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TOPIC: How can I encourage users to upload calculations?
#202
JohnDoyle[Admin] (Admin)
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How can I encourage users to upload calculations? 10 Years, 11 Months ago Karma: 494  
ExcelCalcs has over 1000 subscribers yet only a few individuals have uploaded calculations to share with other users. Has anyone got any ideas as to how I could encourage users to upload calculations?
 
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#217
InfoJunkie65 (User)
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Re:How can I encourage users to upload calculations? 10 Years, 11 Months ago Karma: 7  
Excel is a highly flexible program, and there are a multitude of reasons for carrying out calculations and not all of them require final presentation of the calculations on a piece of paper. For example I use excel/VBA for generating Acad LT scripts and Microstran frame analysis '.arc' files.

I have VBA libraries for AS1170.2, AS4600, AS4100, AS1720 and a few other Australian codes. Most of my calculations are dependent on these VBA libraries.

Here in SA many consultants are still using pencil and paper, thus using Excel also represents a competitive advantage, both in terms of time and detail of calculations.

Thus have many barriers to submitting calculations to Excel calcs:
1) do calc's need to be formatted using XLC?
2) loss of competitive advantage
3) liability for errors in the workbooks

just being a few. The latter is also a good reason not to use someone elses worksheet. If a workbook is complex it is easier to create own, than check others.

From a design viewpoint there are also individual preferences for presentation and design models, even though we have design standards, there is still plenty of scope for variation between designers. Therefore have a problem of what kind of workbook are designers going to go searching for, and what kind of designers,or educational level. What technicians look for isn't going to be the same as what engineers look for.

Workbooks for simple calculations which can be combined, or single workbook to design a complete system such as a simple building? Why would I want an entire workbook to calculate M=Pab/L or M=wl^2/8?

Put simply need to know the audience and their needs, plus the competition with respect to those neeeds. There are several websites out there for excel calculations , and this one points to some of them. So what is the gap hoping to fill?

Just a few thoughts on general source of reluctance to submit.
 
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#218
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Re:How can I encourage users to upload calculation 10 Years, 11 Months ago Karma: -1  
I spend a lot of time writing software but there are many software engineers who post samples of code on sites like The Code Project these guys have something to loose I guess but they are happy to help others too - and I for one am very glad that they do! I have even had some offers of employment resulting from posts I have made there. ExcelCalcs seems to share code in much the same way but code in the form of formulae in spreadsheet cells. There is no better way of learning than following and understanding some other guys approach - so I say share and be happy. I have already uploaded two calculations to the site and I would post more but I am not sure that they are presentable yet.
 
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#219
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Re:How can I encourage users to upload calculation 10 Years, 11 Months ago Karma: 4  
I agree with Billy....We can all read the theory but there's nothing like seeing a worked example.

I spend a good proportion of my working life writing and checking calculations. Iam a confirmed Excel junkie but writing calcs using the equation editor is a pain. XLC softens the blow and not only assists in writing but also in checking.

I have been a member here for a while but haven't contributed a calc yet. What's stopping me?...well nothing physical I could probably knock one out without too much effort either..... It's just a matter of getting around to it.....

And that I think is th crux of it...I'm sure that many people want to contribute but just haven't got around to doing it (I will soon, I promise).

How to encourage people to do it?...Well that's another matter.....The only thing I can think of is to expand the forum and build the community. Perhaps steering the site toowards somewhere where people will come to get & give maths, engineering and science tips (preferably involving the exchange of XLC calculations through the repository) will do the trick.
 
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#227
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Re:How can I encourage users to upload calculation 10 Years, 11 Months ago Karma: 4  
Another way to encourage people is to allocate student and professional status....i.e. when someone first joins they get access to a limited area and maybe a cut down or time limited version of XLC....

Students can be upgraded to professional status by contributing to the repository..getting a perpetual license for XLC and whatever other benefits can be conferred.
 
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#228
yogia (User)
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Re:How can I encourage users to upload calculation 10 Years, 11 Months ago Karma: 9  
I think this site does uphold the value of sharing and help and be helped -- DaveC and BillyNoMates have made this point very profoundly. So it is a matter of time -- things would begin to gel and the contributions from members would increase.

Also as InfoJunki65 has stated, people use EXCEL in different ways and for different purposes. The beauty of a spreadsheet is you start with a blank slate, and with no rigid format as to the layout, you tailor it to the way you want -- and such a choice of layout can be highly personal-centric (I mean for one's own use) and that layout may not be of much use to others. Additionally, how I may have my spreadsheet laid out for one situation may not make much sense in another situation -- so I will call the spreadsheet layout can be highly situation-centric.

Now when it comes to making contribution to a forum, one has to think about ...

1) what do I have to contribute?
2) does it have any value for others?
3) what does it do?
  • what problem does it solve?

  • what are the boundary conditions

  • what are the input parameters? -- and the scope of those

  • what is the output? does the output make sense? what is to be done with that output? and so on


  • ...


  • What I am getting at is that there is a lot to think about making a meaninful contribution.

    I believe the emphasis should be be on the quality, and not necessarily the quantity of contributions. And I do think with the spirit of sharing and help and be helped, it is just a matter of time the participants would become more comfortable and clear about what makes for a good contribution and the number of contributions would increase.

    Let us not forget ... we need to have time and space to stretch our comfort zone . So we have to be patient and it will happen.
     
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    Yogi Anand, D.Eng, P.E.
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