February 19, 2013 at 6:33 pm #21520
My main suggestion is to create individual theme forums.
Before, you could go to the forum for a particular theme and easily review all the discussion about the theme your were working on. It was all in one place and you could usually finding an answer very quickly for common problems for that theme. Sometimes I would even get ideas for a website improvement that wasn't even on my radar.
Looking at the bigger picture, I guess I don't get the point of creating this forum and having a separate "Get Help" process. Here, it appears a question can sit idle for weeks, while pertinent information (which should probably be added to the theme's instructions) can require paging through pages of search results to find.
Let me be clear; the support received from "Get Help" was excellent the one time I used it - of course no one will know the answer to that query except me, since it was all conducted through email. I guess that's sort of the other point I'm getting at: this new dissected approach to support seems like a community killer.
Anyway, those are just my thoughts.
“If it works, mark the post as [Resolved] so others will feel comfortable trying the solution on their website.“February 19, 2013 at 11:30 pm #21565
P.S. Another reason to create individual theme forums is that, as it is, support-type posts scattered all over. Every one of the forums, including this one, has support-type requests regarding an assortment of various themes.
“If it works, mark the post as [Resolved] so others will feel comfortable trying the solution on their website.“February 20, 2013 at 10:59 am #21688February 20, 2013 at 9:45 pm #21862
Right, this is a forum for feedback on the forums (plural) - which is what I'm submitting. I guess you can keep moving them, but if you pages through each of the forums, I am sure you will find they have not all been moved. And as was highlighted by one of your earlier posts, there is a reasonable question as to whether there is any difference in the few forums that are here.
The underlying problem is that it is not immediately clear to users where to appropriately place a post - which I would imagine is the reason that the "How to find your theme's instructions" post is a sticky in ALL of the forums.
So unless you get charged for each forum you create or something weird like that, I would defer to my original suggestion that a forum should be created for each theme. You can place a sticky post in each forum with whatever links you would like for that theme (a tutorials link, plugins used in the theme's demo, psd files, a Get Help link or whatever.
Additionally, it would have no affect on the display of posts in the overall order in which they were submitted, since, as you mentioned in another post, "most members who are on the forum looking to assist someone generally look for the “posts with no replies“.
“If it works, mark the post as [Resolved] so others will feel comfortable trying the solution on their website.“February 20, 2013 at 10:05 pm #21865
I totally agree--we need forums based on themes like in the old forums.:)February 20, 2013 at 11:47 pm #21888
The typical argument given by SP folks against individual forums for themes is that there is overlap in some questions, and that's true. For example, how to change the search box text is the same across all themes. But talking about the overlap ignores the differences between themes. I don't know if bbPress (this forum software) supports searches within an individual forum (whereas vBulletin, the old forum software, did support that). Without the ability to search within a forum, I'm not sure how useful individual theme forums would be. And if I were to build a list of things to change in this forum, adding theme-specific forums would be on but wouldn't be at the top of the list. For better or worse, I think SP employees have said they're not in favor of separate forums for themes, and although many voices have expressed contrary opinions, they haven't indicated a willingness to revisit their view.
February 21, 2013 at 10:46 am #21988
but if you pages through each of the forums, I am sure you will find they have not all been moved.
The only forums where I will move threads is: Showcase & Feedback and this forum; neither of those forums are for specific support questions. Generally, I will only catch them when I'm doing a search for unanswered posts and I notice they are in the wrong forum.
You can place a sticky post in each forum with whatever links you would like for that theme (a tutorials link, plugins used in the theme’s demo, psd files, a Get Help link or whatever.
The theme specific information is contained in your downloads file, so putting those in the forum would appear to be redundant.
It's at this point that I let you know I'm not a StudioPress employee, and any views expressed are my own.
February 21, 2013 at 10:26 pm #22136
Bill M: No offense, but on this particular issue I'd like to hear from some actual StudioPress people. If you have a link (to where they said whatever they said) that might be helpful, too.
I mean what is the point? I assume the community concept hasn't been completely abandoned? We have been using individual forums for the various themes for years, so there should be some pretty strong logic involved for deleting them. It's a major change in work flow for the community and I don't think "overlap" comes anywhere close to justification.
Susan: I do understand how you are saying things work; I really do. But the fact is, after I loaded the Pretty Pictures theme it didn't take long to see that my galleries did not look as cool as the demo. So I double checked the tutorials and the download (I assume you mean README.txt) to no avail. And, since there wasn't an individual forum for the Pretty Pictures theme, I had two choices: (1) read every single post in every single forum, or; (2) try search.
The search term I used was "Pretty Pictures". After paging back three pages I finally found a post that was unanswered. Fortunately for me, the post contained the name of the plugin used on the galleries (jQuery Lightbox for Native Galleries). So I downloaded it, installed it, and then came back to answer the post.
In conclusion, the theme specific information wasn't contained in the download file or the tutorial, so putting those in the forum would not be redundant - and even if it were, it's a one-time copy-paste.
So again, I understand what you are saying, I simply do not agree.
I cannot see one advantage to this new dissected approach to support. Even if there were a single forum for official support requests (to make it easier to process them in order received), once the issue was resolved, the post could be moved to the appropriate theme forum for all to review and reference in the future. The way it is now, 20 people could have the same question and each of them would have to "Get Help" to get the answer in their email, where of course the next 20 people still would not see it.
This new process almost seems like it was designed as a way to destroy community interaction - if not the community itself - and to make users more dependent on StudioPress. I mean, StudioPress is great, but they are not the community they created, and should have more consideration for the community in this case.
February 22, 2013 at 12:14 am #22156
@webmaster - No offense taken. Here are 2 links:
Nick's language in several replies is the exact same. My remarks weren't meant to disagree with you; I was just trying to point out that you are not the first who has made this point and you may not be the last. For better or worse, SP has made their decision, and whether one considers sticking to the decision based on stubbornness or strong conviction in what's right, I haven't seen any flashing indicators that this is changing anytime soon. I'll guess that if no SP person responds to your particular question, the organization believes the question to have been asked and answered already.
One common response is that posters should use tags to provide some of the functionality of individual theme forums. The problem is that tags don't really help the search experience, and search on this forum is far less capable compared to the old forum. Perhaps using Google custom search would help. I think the requests asking SP to "bring back individual theme forums" are an attempt to fix problems with search, and while I think individual theme forums would help search, I think it's not the best way or the only way to improve search. I'd rather see SP devote its resources to the best improvements to search, and more generally to devote its resources to the highest priority fixes to the forum.
February 22, 2013 at 1:32 am #22159
This new process
almostseems like it was designed as a way to destroy community interaction – if not the community itself – and to make users more dependent on StudioPress.
February 22, 2013 at 2:30 pm #22281
Okay, okay... I've thought about it and StudioPress doesn't owe the community anything.
If there is actually a community out there, it will reemerge in another format. It would be nice to have gotten the database with the years-worth of posts that were in the old forums to start out with... but so long as you can still go search the posts, they will eventually become worthless as the framework and child themes continue to improve.
And hey, if StudioPress would rather have me writing to them directly instead of searching recent quiries on my own, then so be it. Like I said, the support I received from “Get Help” was excellent the one time I used it – I'll just be using it a lot more than I usually would.
Case closed... right? I mean, annual support contracts wouldn't be right around the corner, would they? Dog gone that cynic in me!
March 1, 2013 at 5:04 pm #23595
My 2 cents, at the risk of being censored or privately refused help later -
It definitely comes down to an issue of $$$ - how many posts were made that a question asked by a user in the forum was beyond the scope of their help, and they should HIRE one of their suggested folks to help?
Guess what - the ticket system gives them a way to refuse assistance to drive business to themselves, and also prevent the community here (that might be more inclined to help) actually provide a searchable answer, thus depriving them of whatever money they might have made on a quick solution.
I, like many others, was sold on studiopress due to the community support forum. THAT sold me - steep learning curve, but assistance came with the package, and many users were willing and able to go above and beyond what the developers had time for or were actually outside their scope.
Your assessment seems correct, and I've read nothing from the SP folks to dissuade me from seeing that in action with the hidden ticket system.
If I'm wrong, I welcome information on how the questions privately asked in tickets and their answers are made available to us on the forum.
On a related side note - this destroys serendipity completely. I've gotten countless directions and ideas from small things others did through the forums - that is gone now.
For what it's worth...
March 1, 2013 at 6:41 pm #23616
Nobody is being censored *but* this suggestion has been made a number of times, and each time the response has been the same:
We can certainly appreciate that change is hard. The forums are now, and will continue to be, a community driven place for users to share ideas and solutions. The official support channel is limited to assisting with issues related to using StudioPress themes. Topics pertaining to customization of StudioPress themes will be referred to the community forums. We are confident that, over time, the new forums will contain even better information than was previously available since we are able to encourage community members to participate in discussions, offer suggestions, and of course ask questions. This system is here to stay and will ultimately bring the best balance for both our users and our staff.
Because there are no plans to change the format of the forum, I'm going to close this topic, as the subject has been raised and answered previously...
The topic ‘Individual Theme Forums’ is closed to new replies.