November 20, 2012 at 11:57 am #897
"If it ain’t broke, why fix it?"November 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm #902
How is tagging a post that pertains to a very specific question with a specific child theme within a huge sea of all types of questions for all types of themes a better idea than having an easy-to-find forum and threads (like the old forum was). I don't understand this switch. I chose Genesis and my theme in part because I saw that there was a very active forum and community already created. This new forum system has changed and pretty much eliminated the best part of what that forum was - which is easy-to-find answers with direct support from the developer which everyone could easily benefit from.November 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm #904
maybe if everybody keeps complaining they will go back as it was! Imagine the themes they could have designed with all the time wasted on this switch.November 20, 2012 at 1:04 pm #913
I like the idea of not having about 50+ forums for child themes that share mostly an identical code base and differ mostly only in some CSS.
For me the Help Desk feels like "Priority Support" (I've also experience on other platforms) and I absolutely go with that!
If this forum here is about to grow, which it IS, we shortly have a big new "knowledge base" which also will contain child theme specific information.
The propagated use of tagging makes really sense because child themes not only consist of PHP & CSS but are part of OUR PROJECTS! Therefore we have to deal with different languages for example... If properly tagged we will have lots of aspects for a specific child theme on the table if needed
November 20, 2012 at 1:25 pm #921November 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm #942
There was a lot "broken" (or not working) with the old system. And it's going to take some time for content here to build up and for searches to be as fruitful but I am already seeing signs of more community involvement.
And as far as determining the difference between customization and support ask yourself "Is this something I am having trouble with or something I don't quite understand to get the theme up and running like the demo that inspired me to buy this theme or is this something I want to be different from the demo?" If the former submit a help desk ticket. If the latter then ask here in the forums (well, not here here but in the design tips forum 😉 ).
November 20, 2012 at 3:34 pm #947
Okay imagine a very common question, like 'I want the Going Green sidebar wider'.
I would go to the forum, search or browse the Going Green thread and very likely find an answer. Or if not, I would post the question and get the answer within minutes either by you guys or some gentle soul. No waste of time.
Go to the old forum and very likely not find the answer since the old forum will get obsolete. Waste of time.
I would then go open a ticket and wait up to 24 hours. Waste of time (and money of course since I do design this for a living).
I would then get a reply and maybe it's not clear, so I have to answer back and wait some more, waste of time.
Maybe I should have posted on the old forum? I can't because it's ready only. Should I post on this forum then, no because this is not a technical forum and it says questions will not be replied (what kind of forum is this, I don't know. For 'suggestions'?).
Unless I am missing something this is how it is: an old read only forum, an useless forum, and a ticket system (wait there's even a fourth place called mystudiopress just to download a theme! Studiopress now takes 4 bookmarks in my browser).
I consider myself fortunate since I've been with Genesis for a long time so I rarely need help, but I can only imagine how awkward this can be for newbies. I can only suggest to reconsider this change.November 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm #953November 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm #962
Nothing has changed?? at http://www.studiopress.com/forums first thing it says is " Responses in this forum are not guaranteed. ", which is kind of a weird/worrying statement for a "support forum". In addition, the Design Tips category is not even subdivided by theme for easy browsing - don't you see posters already have to write the theme child name in the post title. Can you imagine, 'Sidebar wider in Going Green', 'Sidebar wider in News', 'Sidebar wider in Agency'.... bit funny really.November 20, 2012 at 4:32 pm #965
This isn't a support forum. It is a community forum. There's bound to be confusion at first but support is provided through the help desk.
As for different forums for each theme that got really bloated and was unnecessary in my opinion as there are so many similarities between the themes and it's much more likely that an answer that applies to one theme will also apply to any other theme than it is to not. And such information as the theme title and version should really be entered as a tag instead of as part of the title.
November 20, 2012 at 5:48 pm #996
I have to agree with apt513. The old forum system was so much better. Great, you want people to have direct access to you for support. I like that, but the old forums were so much better for community discussion and as apt513 pointed out ideas/fixes can be theme specific and should be in a theme specific forum.
One of the things I loved most about StudioPress was the community forums that you had. I could go to the forum for the theme I was researching, find ideas/fixes pertaining specifically to that theme and if I needed help or had a question the community was involved. On that same note, I would reply to others if I had an answer and the SP team had none. If I found something I thought was wrong, I'd post a fix without anyone asking such as the continued errors with the xml files on updated themes.
I dunno, simply put... I say leave the downloads in the portal, allow people direct access through the portal, leave the old forums with the disclaimer you have in the new... that you may or may not get an answer. What's there to manage if your people are doing tickets only?
I get a bad feeling that things just won't be the same nor as good from a community perspective.
Just my 2 cents worth.
I want the old forums back!!!November 20, 2012 at 6:37 pm #1006
My thought is to ask the Studiopress crew what led to the changeover...I feel like if I understood the problems that needed fixing from their perspective it would go a long way to helping me "sign up". Having said that, my experience has been that I have gotten great help here in the past several days, not so very different than before. The studiopress outfit has done a pretty damn good job to date...I am willing to cut them some slack; I am inclined to go with the new situation for a bit and see how it plays. Just sayin' for what it's worth. 😉
November 20, 2012 at 8:23 pm #1031
SoZo - thanks for the clarification on what to do where. I was kind of afraid that was the answer, but I appreciate your being upfront about it.
While I share the concern that the support system is now only for a much, much narrower set of issues and will exclude the vast majority of things I've asked about in the past, I'm certainly willing to hope for the best and give these forums a try. Frankly, I often thought the theme-specific forum structure was helpful some of the time but not always. For example, sometimes I am searching for a way to change a small thing on a specific theme. Other times, I know about what I want to accomplish and I'm trying to figure out which theme to start with or to copy from. While I can see that for experts, maybe all the themes are coded similarly - to me they are very much not!
For that reason, I can see having general forums (like Design Tips) and making use of categories or tags for the specific themes being really great after we all get the hang of them. After all, we are all WordPress people, so that seems like it would work. However, I have to admit to a question about that. It's an embarrassing one so it has taken me a couple of days to make myself ask it . . . . Where are the tags? I must be the only person that doesn't see them, but I don't. I'm looking for something like a tag cloud - but cooler, of course. How do I find tags to click on - say for Executive or Agency? I don't find tags displayed anywhere except on the top of a specific post. That doesn't really help much with searching or browsing - especially not if it's intended as the replacement mechanism for the individual forums. If there would be a way to expose those tags for people to see on some of the more "main" pages that would, I think, relieve some of the stress.
I know nothing about bbPress (that's what this is, right?) but can you make it really obvious that you should choose the tag for your theme(s) when we write up our questions? I would think that would really help some people that are searching and also people that might answer a question. I know I would only consider answering very basic questions on a couple of themes - even though I own the whole package I only use a couple.
And thanks to all the moderators for putting up with what's got to be an avalanche of questions and comments . . . .November 20, 2012 at 8:40 pm #1036
The change is actually based on many different problems with the previous system plus the desire to use our own product (Premise) to handle things. Also we are a WordPress company so it makes sense for us to use WordPress services (bbPress) over other services.
Some of the issues we had with the previous system include limitations on downloads and the inability to allow ProPlus members to get new themes without using the forums to deliver the downloads. A lot of users were very frustrated with this delivery system as were we. my.studiopress is about making a one page system that all users will have access to so purchases are available without going through hurdles.
We also had problems with users registering for support. The old system required a purchase, then a download link and support email were sent. Because of the way the system worked they had to register for a support account then upgrade that account. This system had so many "moving parts" that things broke regularly. You wouldn't believe the number of times users weren't able to get to support or even tutorials because of this system. The new system gives immediate access to tutorials and the technical and usage support in one step. For customization requests there is one more step. It is so much simpler and things break less often. When we find something broken we can fix it because it is our system. We developed it and the developers are on staff. It's a pretty good scenario for making sure things work and that is best for our customers.
Speaking of support, in the old forums users created a thread and then needed to wait till we could answer it. If they replied to a thread before we could or if someone innocently said "yeah, I've got this same problem" we would miss the thread. That is a messed up support model. It was fine when we fielded 50 or so threads a day. We could go and looks to see if things were missed pretty easily. Towards the end I fielded 75-100 myself each day, and I know the other moderators were fielding a ton too. We had so many threads that we just missed literally dozens every single day. Last January we went through and made a solid effort to find every single thread that was missed. It took a couple hours every day. We did this for a month and we had an average of 20 a day back then. Requests were only going up so missed threads only went up. That is a seriously bad support system. It makes us look bad and it makes our customers very frustrated. Users that learned the system didn't make this mistake so that means the ones who were getting the brunt of this are new customers, ones who don't know how much we really want to help everyone. That frustrated us the most.
Another big problem we had, there wasn't a good way in the old system to tag team. If I took a day off (heaven forbid) then anyone who I was helping had to wait till I got back. Sometimes I even like to take a whole week of vacation, and that means people had to wait a whole week for my to get back and answer them. That is not how you do support. Under the new system I can tag the other staff if I think they are better suited to answer the question or they can tag me in. If I take time off they can see all my waiting tickets and respond. It is much better for us because we can actually take some off and not think "man I can't enjoy my time off because I know there are people who think they have been abandoned." It is better for the customers because they don't feel abandoned when we take time off. It really is a win for both of us.
I could keep going on this. We had so many meetings before things got started where we listed every bad thing and every good thing about how the old system. The lists are long on both sides. Ultimately we knew we had to keep community forums because we have an AMAZING community. We also knew we needed a support system for technical and usage issues that didn't lose customers.
We know the system we have now isn't perfect, but it is a system we own, so we can continue to develop it to adapt to the needs of StudioPress and the needs of our customers.November 21, 2012 at 5:20 am #1086
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