OK, I get it now. *anyone* can see these posts. No login required. NOT liking this new feature. I may follow others who have left...
Would you mind me asking specifically why? If you'd like to send me the message outside of the community, feel free to email me.
There are still the FBA discussions, which I assume are available only to logged in FBA members. I don't even bother looking at (nor respond to) the regular TechNet discussions. Of course, the problem with this is that no one uses the FBA forum and FMI hasn't encouraged its use because they want FBA members to provide tech support on the public forums.
I still long for the days of -- and I mean I really do STILL miss -- the original FBA (FSA/CSA) forums. That was a place where we really got to know our peers, to help them with their challenges, and to seek advice from others worthy of providing advice. And it was a world hidden from our clients and potential clients, where we could afford to occasionally ask stupid questions...which in no way resembled the really newbie ("and I can't be bothered to read the manual or inline help") questions that this public forum gets nearly every day.
I think the point of having a forum outside of the view of our clients is important. It is a natural thing for us to communicate with each other, and bounce ideas off one another. Disagree about an approach and talk out why we do what we do.
We can't do that in a place where our clients can read it. Because for someone not on the development side of the business, it looks bad, and make the best of developers appear incompetent. Even though it's actually a really really good thing and makes the FM development community stronger and better.
I don't mind answering questions on occasion, which I do often on multiple forums. And helping newer users/developers...but its not uncommon for either the thread to get hijacked, or it gets missed by the target audience I'm trying to get feedback from.
Is there really a reason to have the FileMaker Forums and the FileMaker Community be nearly the same thing? Having a closed off, non-public section of the site is extremely beneficial. Otherwise, we start losing all of the really good developers that can't, or don't want to, comb through ALL of the posts.
matthew_odell, I just sent you a PM (email)
First off, we are definitely trying to push developers to use the FBA forums for this type of "non-client" communication. This is still the best private area for developers. Also, TechNet has not been private from clients for a long while, so I'm not sure where these changes really effect that. If clients want to do research on you, they could have done it before.
Also, we are hoping the Certified discussions will take off. We need to draw a minimum line in the sand in order to help that audience from having to parse through all other discussions.
On a side note, in the research that we have done, the level of discussion between the forums and community are not as different as it appears. There are very good technical conversations happening on those forums, as well as very basic content here.
At the end, the major goal of all of these changes is to make it easier for all of our customers to get their questions answered, without having to make a ton of decisions or choices about where to go or which forum to post in, and we are still working on plans to make this even easier.
With that, we understand your concern about giving more skilled developers an area to themselves. Please feel free to provide thoughts or options. I can't say we'll do them all, but I promise to consider them.
Thanks for the thoughts Matt.
Overall, I think my problem is really with the format of this community. I never complained about the previous iteration, because for me it was still useful. Even if not the same as the old TechNet, which I join literally as it was transitioned to the version just before this one. So the major difference I see, is that a guest can access the community without logging in. That is a change from before. I'm not totally against that, as I see what the vision is for the community from FMI's standpoint. I would still like to see a separate area for paying FDS members. That's really all I'm asking for.
The FBA comment I believe was for Howard. Since I'm not an FBA member at this point. I do most of my development in-house, so it's not likely for the time being that I will reach out to become certified. There is no benefit for me right now ( that may change in the future ). So I can't benefit from those venues.
I get that FMI wants people to be able to post quickly without trying to figure out where to post, again no issues with that. My issue with this format, it is very much a pain to access the actual content. To see what I've read and not. To see what I've participated in, and when new replies have come in. The Inbox work-around, is kludgy, and makes it easy to miss when someone sends a PM. The Streams are nice if you want everything to get delivered via email. Which sometimes it nice. Sometimes not. I personally prefer the traditional forum type. It's literally 3 or 4 clicks on this website to get to the content. And even then I have no idea if anything new has come in...or if I missed a thread that I would be interested in reading.
And I know you are trying to find a "one-size-fits-all" model. Personally, I'm sure given time you will find something that works. I also ask that you thank the web team as they try fixing the issues with this site. I believe once the speed issues are resolved, and the site gets reworked a little to unbury the content, I will find it useful again.
Thanks for the feedback Joshua. I don't think we're trying for a one-size-fits-all model, but trying to find ways to both help grow new customers, and also help out those that are the best of the best.
The question we have to ask ourselves whenever we create a side space for people to talk is "do those people really want to converse with one another?" This is why we're trying things like the Certification forum. Is this a group that would self identify and want to ask each other for help?
I'd pose that same question to the idea of an FDS group. Is that a group of people that would self-identify and want to ask each other questions? Maybe it is and it's worth a test.
At the end of the day, we want to create a community where people feel like they can converse and ask questions with other people and feel like they're getting a benefit out of it. That's no easy feat, but we're working on it.
I know you guys are working on it. I know most of us appreciate it. Those are my 2 requests.
1. Try to clean up the navigation. Getting to content is too cumbersome, and we need a place where we can see all content from a specific language.
2. An FDS would be great.
Just to be sure:
Are you referring to resources or discussion content? Can you give a little more specifics on actually what you're trying to accomplish and how it's slow?
1. To be useful, I need to quickly see what I have read and have not. The inbox thing kind of covers this, but not really. I am not seeing every topic being created. And honestly, I shouldn't need to use my inbox for that. Or my email.
2. I am constantly getting stuck on a page where none of the links work. Using Google Chrome, IE, Firefox, or Safari. Mobile or desktop. Tested mainly on Windows 7. Here is a video of it. FileMaker Community Navigation Issues - YouTube
I've had a similar issue as item 2. I have to quit the browser and re-login or switch to another browser to get the reply link to work.
Also, the site is almost unusably slow. It take 10-15 seconds after clicking a link to get the page to load.
Hi Josh, we're taking things down for some maintenance this evening, and hope that will clear up some of these issues. Also, if you find news issues, instead of replying to old posts, can you please create a new thread? It makes it easier for me to track what still need answers. Thanks, Matt
Sounds good Matt. I'd also like to say thank you for all your hard work. While I feel strongly about the need for certain changes, there is zero bad feelings on my part. I am merely expressing ( in the fewest words possible ), my thoughts.
I say that because I know sometimes my typed words may seem overly harsh or critical. They are definitely not intended to be.
No worries Josh, completely understand. As we know, tone can be really tough when just reading text, so I try to hope for the best in most cases.
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