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Author Topic: I think we should close the Company Complaints and Compliments Section  (Read 10984 times)
mouser
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« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2011, 03:38:43 PM »

Quote
then it increases the possibility of spam not decrease it.

Yeah thats why i say lets just so away with that special section -- whether its dedicated to compliments or complaints or both, it just attracts spam and animosity.  and while there is definitely some good that come out of warning people about bad practices or praising good ones -- we don't have the resources or temperament to do the objective behind the scenes work to verify claims that would make such a section truly valuable and trusted.

i think that's the clincher for me.  if one really wantes to have a forum devoted to complaints and compliments, i think maybe you have an obligation to police that section very rigorously and investigate claims and try to do some due diligence in identifying posts as unrepresentative.
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wraith808
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« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2011, 03:56:24 PM »

A good indicator - has there been a proliferation of these types of threads since it was opened?  Has it created more animosity?  I haven't noticed that it was so- there's always that element, and there's always going to be that sort of element around as long as it's not policed, but the discussion has gone on no matter where the location.  It does give more of a 'target' for such threads to consolidate them, but I don't think direct causation can be established.
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cyberdiva
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« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2011, 04:17:23 PM »

Yeah thats why i say lets just so away with that special section -- whether its dedicated to compliments or complaints or both, it just attracts spam and animosity.  and while there is definitely some good that come out of warning people about bad practices or praising good ones -- we don't have the resources or temperament to do the objective behind the scenes work to verify claims that would make such a section truly valuable and trusted.
Mouser, I think I agree with your arguments for closing down the section.  However, I doubt that closing it down will end the uncivil exchanges of messages that have taken place recently both in that section and in at least one other.  I think the problem (at least the current one) has more to do with one software developer who goes on the offensive whenever his company's software is mentioned in anything less than glowing terms.  He is relentless, apparently feeling some obsessive need to respond over and over and over again.  His extreme defensiveness makes it hard to have a civil, productive discussion of his software.
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Josh
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« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2011, 04:45:09 PM »

I am with cyberdiva. I, for one, am sick of reading replies (attacks) by this author. It is because of this that I have vowed to NEVER install their product nor recommend it to anyone as a possible suggested solution should they require it.

Close it down if you like, but this author will be back in other threads, elsewhere on the forums, and it will continue until the administration takes action. I am all for free speech, but when doco members are blatently attacked every time product X or competing product Y is mentioned, that is not conducive to the atmosphere which once attracted me to DC. We seem to be taking a very lax approach to some of the more abrupt and intrusive users and it is detracting from my experience, and I am sure the experience of others.

Closing this section will not stop this trend, and like said above at least confines it to one area now. The threads will spill over to other sections and will continue.
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wraith808
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« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2011, 05:29:22 PM »

^ /signed
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mouser
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« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2011, 06:03:16 PM »

Let's not make this about one author, although that's the thread that finally pushed this to the breaking point.

The point isn't that we can stop all such arguments by getting rid of that section -- we can't, and we're not going to try to.  Arguments happen, and we try to let them play out and keep them reasonable.

The main point is that the Complaints and Compliments section is like a honeypot for encouraging arguments with companies and company spam -- it gives such posts far more weight and attention than they deserve on our site.

Like i said, everyone should feel like they can voice their complaints and compliments in the normal forum areas -- and companies have to have the right to rebut accusations against them.  But i don't think we should highlight and "feature" these threads by giving them their own section, which is what i think in effect what we are doing now.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2011, 06:05:40 PM by mouser » Logged
superboyac
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« Reply #31 on: April 21, 2011, 06:07:10 PM »

I don't agree or disagree with this. I'm very neutral about it.

I will just say that from what I've observed in discussion forums, whenever things like this start becoming issues, it's usually a bad sign.  What was/is great about this place was that it was never an issue before.  Why is it an issue now?  What would happen if we ignore this?  Did something change recently where this has become a problem now?

I know that doesn't help you make a decision, those are my thoughts though.  I guess it's a friendly warning.  To me, stuff like this always points to the beginning of bad breakup type situations.

Somewhat related:
I was recently banned from my Lakers forum.  The technical reason: because I went around the official "rule" of not bypassing the profanity filters (I typed "a-hole").  But the real reason was that I was posting topics that people didn't like to hear.  I never insulted anyone, yet they bashed me to death on a personal level.  I was always polite, and they continued to mock me and insult me.  But because I was asking questions that were uncomfortable, they banned me on a technicality.

Do we really want forums going this way?  I find that people who are usually pretty meek in real life become somewhat of bullies on forums.  The bullies tend to dominate and eventually win.  But the price we pay is the absence of healthy discussions where we get educated and learn interesting things.  Topics become arguments and everyone starts defending themselves and the original topic stops being discussed.  I hope we don't become like that here, because I always felt like DC was the best forum as far as the people here.

I know this is probably overkill, but whatever.
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« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2011, 06:25:37 PM »

As this is to a large extent about allocating resources, I defer to Mouser, whose judgment in these matters is far better informed than mine.  Once he's heard the pros and cons, I'll go with what he thinks.
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app103
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« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2011, 06:38:25 PM »

I agree with mouser.

Before we had this section, we posted our rants in the Living Room or the General Software Discussions sections. And we didn't have many threads like this.

When this section started, it was for complaints only, not for compliments.

But having a section for complaints seems to imply we need to have something to complain about, and that is a suggestion that tends to make people look for things to complain about, even when they normally might not. It was for this reason why I originally wasn't too keen on adding this section.

Then to balance things out, it was decided to add compliments to this section too. But it failed to give it balance. I guess the suggestion to complain is much stronger than the suggestion to compliment...or we were still posting our compliments in the other sections of the forum instead of here.

Removing the section and putting the existing threads in the correct remaining sections of the forum will remove the suggestion that we complain about something, and restore the balance that once existed, without stopping anyone from posting a complaint or compliment if they really have one.

It will also discourage anyone from unnecessarily dragging up an old complaint when they are visiting the section.

Right now, the older complaints do not get buried as easily as most other threads do. Having them in a section that isn't as active tends to make them hang around on the main page of the section much longer than would be considered healthy.
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mouser
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« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2011, 06:48:15 PM »

Quote
But having a section for complaints seems to imply we need to have something to complain about, and that is a suggestion that tends to make people look for things to complain about, even when they normally might not

really excellent point.
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Stephen66515
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« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2011, 07:00:22 PM »

Oh just close it already lol
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« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2011, 07:19:16 PM »

I will just say that from what I've observed in discussion forums, whenever things like this start becoming issues, it's usually a bad sign.

If they remain unresolved, or are resolved in a manner that leaves too many feathers ruffled, it can be a bad thing.

But right now I think it's more an indication that DC has reached that stage where things are changing because DC is experiencing its own slow but inevitable change due to growth and exposure. With the outside attention being paid to the NANY event, DC is likely becoming viewed more and more as a "player."

When you add in the number of members, the number of posts, the fact that this site has been around for six plus years - and the huge success of the past two fundraisers - it's inevitable that many software businesses will be looking at DC more seriously than before. And also taking anything being said about their business at this site more seriously as well. Because it's become fairly obvious that a good number of people care about DC and what's being said there. As is evidenced by the fact DC hit it's contribution goal by a factor of 2 times plus.

If your products or service are being criticized on some quasi-anonymous "personal rant" blog, you don't worry too much. But when you get what you consider a knock at a place like DC, you know it's going to get read - and possibly quoted elsewhere. Including some of the big tech sites that seem to respect DC. Hence, a lot more "damage control" type posting can be anticipated as DC's visibility continues to increase.

Quite probably it will only be a matter of time before some company goes totally bonehead and threatens legal action for a comment posted here. It's happened in other places. And there have been a few hints (I'd hesitate to call them threats) of that already in a few threads here. And while any such misguided legal action will probably not be a real threat to this site, anybody who has ever received an attorney's letter (or had papers served on them) knows it's still a major hassle to deal with, regardless of the legal merits, or how it eventually plays out.

So can the much admired (and appreciated) laissez-faire approach DC's administrators take in the forums continue indefinitely? Possibly. But it becomes less probable as more people join in and the site's visibility and reputation grows. Because in some places, what's being said at DC is starting to matter.

And because of that more than anything else, things will (of necessity) start to change.

I could very well be wrong about all of this.

But it's something to think about anyway.  huh

Oh just close it already lol

I might not see the LOL part in it. But I think I'm pretty much in agreement with the rest of Stephen's comment to wit: "...just close it already."

 smiley



« Last Edit: April 21, 2011, 07:28:35 PM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2011, 07:48:56 PM »

Oh just close it already lol

I might not see the LOL part in it. But I think I'm pretty much in agreement with the rest of Stephen's comment to wit: "...just close it already."

 smiley


The "lol" was mainly because I didn't feel like this matter needed as much discussion as it has received.  Closing it now would be the fastest and simplest approach to things.  DC is not about complaining about 3rd party companies, its about Creating custom software, and donationware and being open to the public.  Rants and Complaints can go to other forums...If required, i'm sure someone on DC would be willing to set one up   Cool
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2011, 07:59:41 PM »

Quote
But having a section for complaints seems to imply we need to have something to complain about, and that is a suggestion that tends to make people look for things to complain about, even when they normally might not

really excellent point.
+1

Also, the "General Software Discussion" is under the "Reviews and Recommendations" board, so I find it perfectly reasonable that people post the review (positive or not) of their experience with companies there.
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wraith808
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« Reply #39 on: April 21, 2011, 09:33:31 PM »

Oh just close it already lol

I might not see the LOL part in it. But I think I'm pretty much in agreement with the rest of Stephen's comment to wit: "...just close it already."

Truthfully, I'm in agreement.  There has to be a decision made, and done with.  We won't all agree... but people rarely do.  An opinion had been formed, and personally I'm ok with it; governing by committee rarely works, and by community even less.  It's nice to be consulted, but I think in a lot of cases it bogs things down unnecessarily, especially since in a lot of cases its just going through the motions because point in which there isn't a majority agreement has to in the end be decided on.  Mouser isn't the dictatorial leader even though it's his board- so I'm personally ok with just making a decision and being done with it in cases like this.  Transparency in decision making is a different thing IMO than decision by committee, so an open letter why the section was closing and then the closure would have been enough... and would be enough in the future.  Just my  two cents
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mouser
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« Reply #40 on: April 21, 2011, 09:44:45 PM »

moving all posts now.
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« Reply #41 on: April 21, 2011, 11:01:37 PM »

I'm on another board that has a "rants" section.  There's a thread there started in 2008. Maybe a couple of years ago I read the initial post. I don't remember for sure.  But every few weeks or so somebody posts a follow-up.  Might as well be a sticky. It's like the thread that wouldn't die. When Sol super novas they'll be this one last follow-up saying the original poster was a jerk!!


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mouser
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« Reply #42 on: April 21, 2011, 11:27:30 PM »

Quote
When Sol super novas they'll be this one last follow-up saying the original poster was a jerk
Grin
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J-Mac
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« Reply #43 on: April 22, 2011, 02:20:57 AM »

I really don’t care that forum is gone, but I did notice that the few times I saw you complain about that forum was during Phrase Express thread wars, mouser. It seemed that you always stepped in and defended that creep and immediately afterward threatened to close that forum.

So I have to ask... what's up with that? Just curious.

Thank you.

Jim

PS - The great majority of PE's rants and attacks have been in forums other than the Complaints forum. Search the Deals forum - every time another text expander is mentioned as being on sale somewhere he starts his crap all over again. Take a look.

Jim
« Last Edit: April 22, 2011, 02:25:03 AM by J-Mac » Logged

J-Mac
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« Reply #44 on: April 22, 2011, 06:38:41 AM »

Quote
It seemed that you always stepped in and defended that creep and immediately afterward threatened to close that forum.

I've been uneasy with that section from day one, and I'm always skeptical of creating new forum sections..  I don't remember if it was same product that started the first heated argument in that section a year ago or so, but at that time others were suggesting to me privately that the section seemed like it shouldn't exist and was going to just be a source of general negativity -- at the time i had pretty much concluded it should be closed, but then things calmed down and i just let sleeping dogs lie.  So when things started up this time i was already predisposed to try to remove that section.

Note that the posts in that section have not been deleted, just merged into the other main sections of the forum, where presumably they will have an even larger readership (though not nearly as special a status), and that I'm often asked by people to remove such negative threads and always reply that we don't remove posts because they are controversial, etc.

I don't have any relationship with phrase express or the author or really any position on those arguments other than to have privately reached out to both sides and told them they were making the situation worse with the tone of their posts and the ad hominem attacks -- not that my advice seems to have had much influence.  I generally find it my responsibility in such cases to try to stay as neutral as possible and see both sides of these kinds of debates.  I know that bothers some people sometimes -- and occasionally I find myself privately very sympathetic to one side of an argument or another but still conclude that as long as their are strong advocates already on one side, no one needs me to jump in and try to tip the scales any further.

Hope that clears up the question -- not trying to choose sides just trying to do my best to keep the forum focused on being productive, helpful, fair, and open!
« Last Edit: April 22, 2011, 06:54:29 AM by mouser » Logged
BartelsMedia
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« Reply #45 on: April 23, 2011, 10:07:25 AM »

The great majority of PE's rants and attacks have been in forums other than the Complaints forum. Search the Deals forum - every time another text expander is mentioned as being on sale somewhere he starts his crap all over again. Take a look.

Jim


Yes, please do take a look.

What you will find is, that my last such posting is from November 01, 2009!

At the time of that posting in 2009, I learned, that DC is not the suitable place to debate intellectual property issues in the way I did. I sincerely apologize for my misconception and for any bad feeling this may have caused to you. I learned my lesson at that time and apologize.

Now, it would be fair if you would recognize, that as a consequence of that event, I never started any such posting ever again.

It would really appreciated if you would not beat this horse again which is dead for more than one and a half year. Please realize that it is decomposed to dust and won't live up anymore.


It was not me, who opened this recent attack on us (and I am clueless why it happened yet again and why it happened yet again at DC in particular). But we have been attacked and not you. And we reserve the right to take position if we want to do so. Whether you like or not. It is just not your business.

Please understand, that it is my paid job to answer on any posting that relates to us or our products.  You, however, should not feel such obligation. You can and you definitely should opt to ignore threads related to our product. You do not need to bother with it as you and we are well aware that you don't like it anyway.

I promise you that I will never open any non-related thread  anymore as I already did for the last years.

Peace.
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Michael
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« Reply #46 on: April 23, 2011, 10:29:40 AM »

Here's an idea, how about you let users discuss products without your interaction. Sometimes the best information a user can receive is from that of another user, and not an employee who makes it his personal goal to ensure they have the company's viewpoint over that of another user. Developers tend to be biased towards their own product, rightfully so, and users tend to be biased on what works for their situation.

I, for one, will NEVER recommend your products solely based on your responses on this forum in the past and as of current. I do not tolerate companies who have employees who behave in the way you do. Attacking end users for stating their opinion is wrong. Constantly trolling a forum only when your products name appears just to "get the story straight" is not conducive to good discussion. Every thread you join ends up in some war because you start your posts in an attacking nature.

Donationcoder is about discussing software and related topics. It is about users looking for a tool to do a specific job. Sometimes we debate about why Product X is better than Product Y. It is nice when developers step in OCCASIONALLY, but you take it to an extreme which detracts from useful conversation. You attack users who make any negative claims against your products. Sometimes, silence is the best answer. I have held my breath on this topic for some time now but feel I needed to get my voice out there.

You are doing more harm to your company than good. I have recommended a competing product, Direct Access, to people I've worked with, in the past and currently. I've used your products, extensively too, but refuse to recommend them because I do not want the users to whom I recommend products to be attacked in a manner similar to what I've witnessed here. That makes me look bad for knowingly recommending the product knowing the way the company behaves (You speak for your company, so yes the company behaves in whatever manner you portray).
« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 06:54:19 AM by Josh » Logged

Strength in Knowledge
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« Reply #47 on: April 23, 2011, 11:52:07 AM »

Peace, Josh. Peace.
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« Reply #48 on: April 23, 2011, 11:55:47 AM »

Michael,

First, I was responding to mousers's post and I will do that any damn time I please, and about any relevant subject.  smiley  If you wish for me to not discuss such matters on your forum I will certainly respect that. But don’t expect to come into another forum, particularly where I am a long time supporting member, and tell me what and when to post.

Jim
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« Reply #49 on: April 23, 2011, 03:27:48 PM »

I don't have ... any position on those arguments other than to have privately reached out to both sides and told them they were making the situation worse with the tone of their posts and the ad hominem attacks -- not that my advice seems to have had much influence. 

Indeed.
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