The colors and names are a direct attempt to get users to come back, correct?
-If someone new to the site sees that a user who has been here for 5, 10 or more years is answering their question I think they are more likely to seek advice here in the future. We are a visual beast are we not?
Getting someone to look for the answer will never fully work:
-Few if any will seek an aswer before asking a question. Many a time do we link to other threads that share similar or the same solution to an answer so the OP can find same; or link the Search thread for them. Hopefully the Solution check and Kudos will drive some of the boilerplate questions away. Though it is getting interesting finding new ways to say: Set PICKADD to 1. Would be nice to not have to do so; but, again - human.
Experience with Autodesk employees answering questions:
-In my estimation this has only occured more recently. I do not think that this is something that will drive long term users and posters away but does further the idea that when someone new comes here they are getting an Autodesk employee answering the question. If t is to be a user Forum maybe that should be instilled in the new user when they get here and for the first ten times they post: This is an Enduser supported Forum. Autodesk hosts this site for Endusers by Endusers.
As I am sure everyone is aware of, the sticky posts at the top of the forums are often ignored. For instance, there are regular posts for specific products in this forum. Would it be more noticeable to display such notices as crudely illustrated below?
That's exactly my thinking, and I love the simplicity of it. Now if we can add a really blatant Welcome/Search message, make search new user friendly, and improve the ability to find accurate and complete user posted solutions I think we will have hit gold, huh?
Sounds like I need to involve users in all my brainstorming...
So I'll go point by point, since you have some great points.
- Colors and Names: Serves a dual purpose. Visually separates out who might be really helpful from who is new to the forums. Behind the scenes it's a gigantic mathematical puzzle for me to use to figure out who you all are.
- Are you suggesting we show an additonal field (maybe do away with the 'Registered:') that says something like
7 Year Member
In some ways it would be nice if we could do something a bit more clear, but then we're headed in the direction of flashy graphics and that just isn't going to fly with most of you... or me.
- Getting any search to work perfectly requires perfectly educated, incredibly intelligent, and highly logical humans. They don't exist, so all I'm looking to do is improve on what we have. We know right now that you'll keep seeing questions like 'How do I change the color of my materials?' (just about any product), and there's not only help files on it, but blogs, and forum posts. Some how I need to get browsers to search before leaving, and new users to search before posting. Impossible? No. Insanely difficult? Yep.
- I think we can fix the perception of the forums by just getting a more human side to it. I'm always hearing in the forums and in rants 'Autodesk doesn't care about it's customers'. It sounds kind of crazy, but here I am talking to you, so for once you might not be thinking of Autodesk as a whole entity. You're talking to just me... just one part of Autodesk who does care (really, I do! Promise!). I don't know if I can change the mass perception, but I know that I have managed to change a few folk's perception.
Maybe if we can get our new users to see who they're really talking to as well, they'll start to appreciate the super users and others who answer their questions instead of demanding Autodesk. I know it might sound crazy, but someday I'd really like to do a 'Meet your super users' type of thing. Feature a write up in each forum about the people who help, some pictures, etc. Just an idea, but I want to promote the 'By user, for user' mentality.
Awesome ideas, so thanks for sharing and being honest with me. Glad the users in this forum don't feel the need to sugarcoat everything!
<<<- Are you suggesting we show an additonal field (maybe do away with the 'Registered:') that says something like
7 Year Member >>>
No I wasn't suggesting that just thought that this is why Autodesk has instituted these changes in order to let newbs and others know who might be useful in their response. I suspect my own contribution is 50/50 in terms of what I get right/wrong and maybe should not be highlighted and I know others who are very deserving of the additional notoriety even if they do not want or deem it necessary.
Thanks for the clarification and sorry I misunderstood.
So, yes - changes were made to make it easier for someone to think 'Huh, this guy has been around since '05 and has 5000 posts. Maybe he knows what he's talking about versus the new guy saying the opposite thing.' Is it working? I don't know quite yet.
I know certain forums have a pretty regular showing of super users, so regular users who are here for help know who to trust (seems to be the most apparent in Inventor). But I'm suspecting that it's because they see the name JDMather and go 'Oh, JDMather... he's good!', not 'Tons of posts? Check. Active lots of years? Check.'.
Such a process, huh?
Not to pick on one user of this forum, but he is a great example of how your ratings system does not work: JamaL9722060 is now a green god-like "mentor", and ALL of his posts, with maybe 2-3 exceptions (I read them, I don't use a mindless stats tool) are all posts related to that user using this site for personal training and not answering questions posted by others.
Your rating system needs a human reader to make judgement calls: you all rely on the technology instead
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