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Author Topic: Nice mention of DonationCoder in Windows Secrets Newsletter  (Read 3826 times)

mouser

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Nice mention of DonationCoder in Windows Secrets Newsletter
« on: October 02, 2008, 03:09:37 PM »
Brian Livingston who edits the Windows Secrets Newsletter writes this in his current newsletter:

Quote
I announced last week that I'd hold a meeting in the London area to get feedback from subscribers (see Figure 1). This is the second in a series of free seminars I'm holding in the few hours between changing planes in various airports of the world. The first seminar was held on June 15 in Hong Kong (see my June 19 report).

It's always been a dream of mine for readers to have a structured, online way to help each other and get help in return. We may be able to realize this goal as early as next year.

I asked readers to let me know about high-tech user forums that they already visit, and what they like and dislike about them. Here's a list of some of the forums that were submitted, in case you haven't heard of them all:

• AutoPatcher
• Experts Exchange (specifically, the forum on Microsoft products)
• Dell Support
• DigitalSpy
Donation Coder
• Google Groups
• Infoworld
• Microsoft Software Forum Network (independent, not affiliated with Microsoft)
• Neowin Forum
• PC Pro
• The Register (comments on articles)
• Techworld (described by one reader as "now moribund")
• Yahoo Groups
• Zone Labs User Forum



Screenshot - 10_2_2008 , 3_06_22 PM_thumb.png


jgpaiva

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Re: Nice mention of DonationCoder in Windows Secrets Newsletter
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2008, 04:49:34 PM »
Unfortunately, I wouldn't say the rest of the post is very favourable.
Looks like it's more a "windows secrets newsletter is better than those forums" kind of thing, not really mentioning what's good about the forums and focusing on the negative features. I specially dislike the fact that these negative points are generalized, and not really subject to any critic thought.

Quote
"The biggest problem I find is that it is sometimes difficult for a 'semi-techie' — one who can find his way around with advice/guidance — to explain his problem so that others can understand what he's getting at.

"Too often, as well, I have found myself (and others) being 'flamed' for not being able to explain our problems in technical terms, whereas the fact is, if we had that level of knowledge/understanding, we wouldn't need the advice!
Obviously, they have no idea what goes on around here, or they'd mentioned that people here try to help everyone and there's only like.. 10 threads that ended bad, in the 14,345 topics!

I think it's a lack of respect to ask people for their favourite sites only to later say that they suck, specially when it's based on unfounded accusations.

mouser

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Re: Nice mention of DonationCoder in Windows Secrets Newsletter
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2008, 04:52:19 PM »
well i think he was just quoting someone who was making a general comment about the problems with many support sites.. and the comment is no doubt valid for many of them.  happily at DC I think it's safe to say that we welcome non-techie people with open arms and are happy to lend a hand to anyone who needs help  :up:

Carol Haynes

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Re: Nice mention of DonationCoder in Windows Secrets Newsletter
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2008, 05:04:55 PM »
Sorry I am really cross at the comments and I have sent Brian this email:

Quote
As a paid subscriber I was somewhat perplexed that someone showed me the news letter 169 and I don't have a copy? Having said that I was equally perplexed about the first article in the letter about websites people find useful.

The articles seems to say "all websites are too geeky and unhelpful" despite the fact you have just listed a whole pile of websites that your own users recommend as useful.

You also seem to argue that only WindowsSecrets news letter can be trusted.

OK, I have an axe to grind really because I have been a subscriber at www.donationcoder.com practically since it started. OK there are some very knowledgeable geeks there but there are plenty of people who are extremely helpful and knowledgeable and who bend over backwards to help visitors etc. I was so impressed with the site that I volunteered to be a moderator - and there is precious little to do beyond remove spam. There are remarkably few flamewars given the large user base and an extremely open and warm atmosphere.

I have to say I still pay to subscribe to WindowsSecrets - OK not a lot but at least I pay - but I am seriuosly considering not renewing next time. The newsletters are now more advertising than anything else and since your first merger (with Fred Langa - of whom I was a huge fan) WindowsSecrets seems to have got blander and blander with hardly any article worth reading in full (unless you are a complete newbie).

Rather than rubbishing websites that help tens of thousands of people daily and declaring that you are better how about looking at yourselves and start producing newsletters of the quality Fred used to produce before the merger!

I probably won't get a response but at least I feel better for having said it.

mouser

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Re: Nice mention of DonationCoder in Windows Secrets Newsletter
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2008, 05:17:27 PM »
I hear ya Carol, but when i read it i didn't read it as attacking those websites listed, quite the contrary.
I read it as two separate points:
First, here is a list of sites people find useful.
  • Second, here are some common problems with getting advice and help on some discussion forums. I thought the problems pointed out were reasonable concerns, even if they aren't problems i think are present on DC.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2008, 05:21:54 PM by mouser »

cranioscopical

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Re: Nice mention of DonationCoder in Windows Secrets Newsletter
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2008, 05:43:49 PM »
Quote from: mouser
I read it as two separate points:
First, here is a list of sites people find useful.

    * Second, here are some common problems with getting advice and help on some discussion forums. I thought the problems pointed out were reasonable concerns, even if they aren't problems i think are present on DC.

That was my interpretation, too, FWIW.



Carol Haynes

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Re: Nice mention of DonationCoder in Windows Secrets Newsletter
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2008, 05:46:31 PM »
Yeah I think you are probably correct but I do think it is at best ambiguous and self promoting. A quick read could easily leave people jumping to the wrong conclusion.

Don't you think it strange that there is no mention about what people find positive about those sites - only negative comments.

Edit actually rereading it makes me think the opposite:

Quote
I asked readers to let me know about high-tech user forums that they already visit, and what they like and dislike about them. Here's a list of some of the forums that were submitted, in case you haven't heard of them all:

...

As to what readers dislike about these forums, ...
« Last Edit: October 02, 2008, 05:51:37 PM by Carol Haynes »

cranioscopical

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Re: Nice mention of DonationCoder in Windows Secrets Newsletter
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2008, 06:02:59 PM »
Yeah I think you are probably correct but I do think it is at best ambiguous and self promoting. A quick read could easily leave people jumping to the wrong conclusion.

Don't you think it strange that there is no mention about what people find positive about those sites - only negative comments.

No, I don't think it at all strange  :)  WS is self promoting... probably more so now than ever before.
There's nothing inherently wrong with self promotion, is there?

I can't believe that the article was ever intended to promote the websites of others.
Certainly, the item could have been written with a different slant but I consider it a bonus to have been mentioned in a reasonably high-profile newsletter. If the article prompts even 5% of WS' readership to look into DC I'm sure that DC will speak for itself in terms of its own value.


mouser

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Re: Nice mention of DonationCoder in Windows Secrets Newsletter
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2008, 06:08:18 PM »
i think cranio is probably right about the slant of piece -- which is probably what carol detected and upset her.

zridling

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Re: Nice mention of DonationCoder in Windows Secrets Newsletter
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2008, 10:15:49 PM »
I think what Carol mentioned about knowledgeable geeks and "remarkably few flamewars given the large user base and an extremely open and warm atmosphere" is a big part of what makes DC worthwhile.

There are some of us who've been in on Windows since it started (3.1 days or before), and we know how to install it, tweak it, or even fix it when something goes wrong. A few of us even remember the history of how far we've come -- Carol being one of them. But if people are running into jerks around various forums when they're asking for help, maybe they need to pick a better forum.

jgpaiva

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Re: Nice mention of DonationCoder in Windows Secrets Newsletter
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2008, 04:27:44 AM »
Cranioscopical: What really upsets me isn't the fact that they self-promote them, it's the fact that they do so by attacking the sites they requested the users to submit!

I just don't think it's fair, they should have said: "please send us your favourite sites so that we can say our newsletter is better than them" (yeah, right :P).

cranioscopical

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Re: Nice mention of DonationCoder in Windows Secrets Newsletter
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2008, 07:36:34 AM »
jgpaiva,

Both you and Carol inferred a different meaning than did I.
I certainly respect your point of view and, in this case, I don't happen to share it.

By the way, diverging from the point a little, even here on DC, there exists part of the problem to which WS refers.
In ANY forum where individuals are free to respond, a neophyte cannot immediately discern whom to trust.
For example:
Newcomer asks for help with a dilemma... for the newcomer, this an urgent matter which needs fixing NOW...
three people respond with different solutions (all intent on being helpful)...
two of the three offer flawless solutions... one overlooks a critical point and inadvertently sows the seeds of a small disaster.
To the newcomer, ALL of the advice seems logical and knowledgeable.
My goodness, when someone poses a question here even I am free to offer a suggestion (and the newcomer hasn't yet discovered that I'm  a complete imbecile).

Whom to trust?

I'll make up my own mind about whether or not to trust the contributors to WS but I can understand the proposition that it could be them.

Since the WS agenda is to establish its own bona fides in this area, it seems entirely reasonable to me to discuss a perceived shortcoming elsewhere, rather than to promote the many and various benefits belonging to the members of a list of favourites.

When I advertise, I don't immediately extol the virtues of the competition. I try to highlight what my own services can offer

I hope you don't see this reply as offensive. :)

Darwin

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Re: Nice mention of DonationCoder in Windows Secrets Newsletter
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2008, 07:56:45 AM »
Well stated, Chris :Thmbsup: However, I think Brian should have balanced the negative comments with some positives about the forums that were recommended. He did ask respondents to tell him what people like about the forums in addition to soliciting what they don't like. Anyway, a generous reading of the piece is that inclusion on the list is a recommendation and the summary of what one reader dislikes simply a cautionary note. I think it's great that DC got a mention  :)
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
« Last Edit: October 03, 2008, 07:58:18 AM by Darwin »

Stoic Joker

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Re: Nice mention of DonationCoder in Windows Secrets Newsletter
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2008, 11:06:40 AM »
If all the feedback you get is positive ... You're probably being lied to...

Newbies occasionally get flamed in any circle not just the Internet ... and some questions really do warrant a smack in the forehead.

Here's (an example) a question I really got (in it's entirety) from one of the client's where I work.

"Can you tell me why I can't send Email to Germany from my AOL Email account on my home computer"

Now... I manage the client's network under contract so I'm obligated to come up with an answer, however there are several problems with the question.

I'm only responsible for their Exchange server, which (as usual) is running flawlessly.

I don't work for AOL so have no access to their server status updates.

The only thing I'm being given as a target, is an entire frigging country.

If I encountered this question on a forum, it would be best for all parties involved if I did not answer (and I usually don't) as tact is something I'm frequently in short supply of by the end of the day.

No I am not advocating newbie bashing. I'm simple trying to show how/why it can happen. It isn't wrong, it's just best kept in check, and one of the things I like about this site is it that (IMO) does not happen here. ...Other people (with thinner skins) may however perceive answers given differently...