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Fora Direction and Goals

Jul 17, 2012 8:43 AM

TO ADOBE

 

It appears to me that each "improvement" in the fora (nod to Hunt) leads to more difficulty for those trying to answer the questions of Adobe Users.

 

On May 24 the thread "Known Issues with New Skins" listed 27 problems.  In the last 2 months just 6 issues have been corrected.  This sends a strong signal that Adobe does not care about the opinions of those that respond to users every day, and so they are snubbing the one bright spot in Adobe customer service.

 

Then a week ago the number of comments per page was reduced from 50 to 10, and after complaints on this forum, it was increased to 15, but nowhere near the 50 requested.  Again, more difficulty in reading and responding to the fora.

 

All these "improvements"  make in more difficult to read and respond to users questions, and the response from Adobe and Jive is just abysmal.  For sure, there are a few Adobe personnel that sympathize with our plight, but the overall tone of Adobe is one of  "it is done, get used to it"!

 

So the question is -  What does the management of Adobe have in mind for the fora?

 

Specifically

 

1. Are they making changes just to annoy the Top Responders so they will drop out, and then Adobe can abandon the user forums?

 

2. Do they want the Top Responders (who care passoinately about the user's plight and the fora) replaced by just casual users that won't be so vocal in how the fora is managed?


3.  Do those responsible for making fora changes  have any clue as to how the fora work, and how the changes affect users?  If not then, Why Not?

 

4. Why do they ignore the advice of the heavy users of the fora, some dedicating many hours a week to answering questions?

 

5. Why don't they do a test of "improvements" on the Forum Comments page, have the users voice their opinions, and then IMPLEMENT SUGGESTIONS?

 

Just getting more than a little annoyed.

 

curt y

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 17, 2012 10:26 AM   in reply to Curt Y

    A Big  Amen Brother!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 17, 2012 2:13 PM   in reply to Curt Y

    Amen+1

     

     

    Curt Y wrote:

     

    All these "improvements"  make in more difficult to read and respond to users questions, and the response from Adobe and Jive is just abysmal.  For sure, there are a few Adobe personnel that sympathize with our plight, but the overall tone of Adobe is one of  "it is done, get used to it"!

    Pretty much sums up my experience here in the past year or so.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 17, 2012 4:37 PM   in reply to Curt Y

    To me, it started months before the forums (sorry, Bill) were taken over by Jive. Many of us spent time and effort posting suggestions to improve the promissed new version of the forums; but when we finally got it, it had no relationship with the hundreds of suggestions that were posted. And the attitude was so much "it's done, get used to it", that we ended by losing many of the most valuable collaborators, who refused to get used to it. Or, more precisely, to the new attitude.

     

    And I find it funny that now Adobe speaks so loudly about this "community" that is not even remotely like the one we had before the great chaos.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 17, 2012 5:53 PM   in reply to Curt Y

    Curt,

     

    I've been waiting a bit, before I commented. I wanted to see what the Replies would be. I also wanted to see who would respond, and so far, those, for whom I was waiting, have not done so - yet.

     

    I can say that Adobe has taken a more pro-active role in the forums.*

     

    I can say that there is a team in place, that is working hard to improve the experience for the "first timers," with problems, as well as for "forum regulars," who work so hard to make the forums a more viable tool, in the realm of Technical Support. I can also say that there are teams at work on improving T/S, though most see the Adobe Forums as a "first line of defense," and something that is functioning very well, and in place, while other changes are being worked on.

     

    I agree with your points, so please do not get me wrong. I also have felt the pain, and the new Relpy limit in a thread is not at all to my liking, even in its extended form. I hope that the Adobe Forum Team can change that, and for the better. I know that they are looking into it. Some decisions were made, based on ultimate performance, but reports from the field seem to indicate that there are no performance increases, at least ones, that we users can detect. This might fly in the face of what Jive has stated, but for the "regulars," we measure things on our observations, and do not care what some "meter" might indicate off in Jive-land. We know what we experience.

     

    Unfortunately, much in life has "unintended consequences," and one must by dynamic, in addressing things, when those consequences rear their ugly heads.

     

    I feel that things will improve, and for ALL users, and especially for the "regulars." There might be fits and starts, but I believe that plans are in the works, and will just keep reporting and keep my fingers X'ed.

     

    I expect to see some comments on "things" regarding the forums. I feel that there ARE people listening, and caring, and who recognize the contributions of the "regulars."

     

    Will the great changes happen this evening? No. Will they happen next week? Maybe. Will they happened during the calendar year? I would bet on it. Will we embrace every change? No way, as each will have their own idea of what would be an improvement, and a benefit. That is why threads, such as this one, are so very useful.

     

    Did every suggestion in the "Skins" thread get incorporated? No, but that is often how it goes. With the Adobe products, many of us have posted Feature Requests for many, many versions, never to see those come to light. However, and depending on the ease of implementation, sometimes they DO come to fruition. Heck, after about 6 years, three of mine finally made it into Premiere Pro CS 6, however, I now have a bunch of new ones, as much of the "good code" got changed to accommodate the FCP switchers. Now I have a bunch of new Feature Requests, and many are - "Put things back, as they were, since you already had a great user-base of Adobe Premiere Pro users, and the FCP folk can just learn how things are done in PrPro - it is not FCP 8 - which never came about, as Apple sold out, and issued FCPx, which appears to have been an abomination, forcing millions out, and to Adobe.

     

    OK, climbing off my soapbox, at least for now.

     

    Hunt

     

    * I have finally gone over to "forums," in lieu of my preferred "fora," as I kept having to link to various dictionaries, when confronted. That took time, but it did contribute to about 40,000 of my posts - so all was not lost...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 17, 2012 5:56 PM   in reply to Claudio González

    Claudio,

     

    I hear you, and also feel your pain. There ARE ears and eyes, listening and observing. Not sure where it will lead, but people DO care. A discussion of "the fair forums," has caught some attention. Questions are being asked.

     

    Will we all get, what we would like? Doubt it, BUT things CAN get better, and should.

     

    Good luck to us all,

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 17, 2012 7:22 PM   in reply to Bill Hunt

    So we get brand new Adobe fonts instead of trusted ones like Verdana? And we get casts in the community? And special meaningless backgrounds nobody wants for selected messages? And ...?

     

    I admire your patience, and I congratulate you for finally moving on to "forums" instead of "fora".

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 17, 2012 8:10 PM   in reply to Claudio González

    Claudio,

     

    I cannot address your questions, as I do not know the answers. Those are rather specific, and do need to be addressed. I was talking in rather broad terms, and am not privy to specifics, but hopefully someone will read, and can comment.

     

    Sorry,

     

    Hunt

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 18, 2012 3:52 PM   in reply to Curt Y

    Hello Curt,

     

    First, I want to thank you for the thousands of forum posts you've made to answer users' questions. I'm in awe of the time the regulars take to help people -- people they don't even know.

     

    Second, I want to assure you that Adobe does care about the forums. In fact, it's one of our most valuable channels for customer support and feedback. To that end, we’ve invested in new technology and additional staffing, and we'll continue to refine what we have.

     

    I hope you and all forum visitors tell us what works and what doesn't. We may not always act on that feedback for a variety of reasons, but we definitely do listen.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 18, 2012 7:17 PM   in reply to Terri Stone

    Hello Terri,

     

    Unfortunately, the good intentions you are telling us about don't seem to reflect what those awesome regulars say about the ever decreasing functionality of these forums... Maybe Adobe does care, but they spend time and resources on things regulars don't care about, and don't seem to make any effort in solving issues that do make their participation more difficult, and less rewarding.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 18, 2012 10:11 PM   in reply to Terri Stone

    Hi Terri,

     

    What I am wondering: who is making these decisions to make the forums less and less useful?  It is obviously not someone who is using the forums on a regular basis.  Is it some designer who is sitting in some office, looking at the forum layout and thinking: removing this would "look nice", and removing that would "look nice too"?

     

    I know, too much information is regarded as "clutter" by some, but at the end, missing information is just reducing usefulness, and missing functionality is further reducing usefulness.

     

    For us forum regulars, reduced usefulness at the end requires more effort, more work, and less productivity.  This cannot be possibly the goal of all these changes...?

     

    Two examples:

    1. reducing the posts/page from 50 to 10/15 (http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1035381).  In complex topics with many posts and many posters, it is often impossible to make a new reply without repeatedly looking up earlier posts.  With 50 post/page that could be done in the same window most of the time; now we have to open an additional tab/browser window, locate the topic in question, and find what we're looking for there.  Not useful!
    2. removing the <code> tag (http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1036485).  Admittedly, not so many forum users use it, but I do use it regularly.  But removing that functionality does not benefit anyone, so why do it?  Instead of using the simple <code> tag, I now have to use something like <span style="font-family: courier new,courier; background-color: white; font-weight: bold;"> to get some remotely similar effect.  And how do I know if the <span> tag is not removed with the next forum update?

     

    Are all these functionality reductions actually discussed with someone who knows what the purpose of these forums is?  Remember: some of the forums are highly technical, not just discussing a bit of gossip.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 19, 2012 2:40 AM   in reply to Terri Stone

    Second, I want to assure you that Adobe does care about the forums. In fact, it's one of our most valuable channels for customer support and feedback. To that end, we’ve invested in new technology and additional staffing, and we'll continue to refine what we have.

     

    I hope you and all forum visitors tell us what works and what doesn't. We may not always act on that feedback for a variety of reasons, but we definitely do listen.

    Great sentiments.

     

    Sadly, few regulars seem to think this is borne out in practice.

     

    Feedback from regular users of these forums is more often ignored than implemented.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 19, 2012 9:33 AM   in reply to Pat Willener

    Thanks, Pat! We've logged the code bug.

     

    I'm new to the bug-fixing workflow, so I'm not sure how long it will take for the engineers to get through the log.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 19, 2012 2:10 PM   in reply to Curt Y

    Although I am not quite happy with these forums, I am also not complaining about them because for what I do, the forums are pretty much functional and do the job they are intended for.

     

    However, somebody here should take the responsibility of listing everything that is expected from these forums so that Adobe programmers can use it as a "check list" and implement them one by one.

     

    How about starting a special thread specifically for new features required (or missing features)?  Pat has made his views clear in his message in this thread but there should be a special thread for these things so that programmers can use it as a reference point.  Clearly they can't go through all the threads here because they have other things to deal with as well.  They need just one thread as a reference point.

     

    My 2 pence here .

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 19, 2012 3:01 PM   in reply to mytaxsite.co.uk

    Good idea. Unfortunately, we have the sad previous experience of several months of posting suggestions for the new forums that simply went down the drain.

     

    As there is no worse errand than the one that is never done (nearly literal translation of a Spanish saying), perhaps you may want to open a thead on Suggestions for Improving the Foums...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 20, 2012 12:39 PM   in reply to Terri Stone

    TerriStoneCHL wrote:

     

    Second, I want to assure you that Adobe does care about the forums. In fact, it's one of our most valuable channels for customer support and feedback. To that end, we’ve invested in new technology and additional staffing, and we'll continue to refine what we have.

    I have no doubt that Adobe values the forums.  They are an inexpensive source of customer support that Adobe could not offer otherwise. Outsourced support technicians can't have the real world experience that makes the forums the best possible support option for customers. Just keep in mind that the most important people in the forums are the unpaid experts answering questions, and they need to be your first priority when designing the forums.

     

    Similar complaints were rampant in the Microsoft forums, and a couple of community members programmed a Community Bridge which allows users to access the web forums in a news reader to get back the efficient newsgroup experience of old.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2012 10:03 AM   in reply to mytaxsite.co.uk

    mytaxsite.co.uk wrote:

     

    However, somebody here should take the responsibility of listing everything that is expected from these forums so that Adobe programmers can use it as a "check list" and implement them one by one.

     

    How about starting a special thread specifically for new features required (or missing features)?  Pat has made his views clear in his message in this thread but there should be a special thread for these things so that programmers can use it as a reference point. Clearly they can't go through all the threads here because they have other things to deal with as well.  They need just one thread as a reference point.

     

    My 2 pence here .

    How about 'updating' the existing one?

    http://forums.adobe.com/message/4654395#4654395

    Thoug a new and clean thread would be better...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 28, 2012 10:16 AM   in reply to Claudio González

    Claudio González wrote:

     

    Good idea. Unfortunately, we have the sad previous experience of several months of posting suggestions for the new forums that simply went down the drain.


     

    Perhaps that's ourselves fault?

     

    ... "As there is no worse errand than the one that is never done" ...

     

    Jean Vanier: “Growth begins when we begin to accept our own weakness.”

     
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