Why did the Forum hyperlink disappear?

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac' started by dhjdhj, May 2, 2006.

  1. dhjdhj

    dhjdhj

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    220
    I normally get to this BETA support forum by moving the mouse over "Support" and clicking on the dropdown box that takes me to these forums. Today, that dropdown menu has ONLY the FAQ link.

    Ominous?

    D
     
  2. AtariAge

    AtariAge

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    17
    I was wondering this as well--looks like all links to the forum have been removed from the Parallels site. I went through my browser history to find the link, half expecting the forums to be gone.

    ..Al
     
  3. nick083

    nick083

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    43
    Improving support quality

    Dear Friends,

    We need to provide a good quality of the product itself and its support. Due to a large volume of support requests we removed the links from the site. We think that we should provide the links only to users of the product. It will allow users to asktheir questions and find answers faster.

    I can assure you that we'll never close the forum. Everybody will be able to read and post.

    Again, our only intention is to make the support better. It must work for you as users of Parallels product.


    Regards,
    Nick
     
  4. daj

    daj

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    44
    I think you still need a link on the web site, with a note that it is only accessible to users of the products
     
  5. AtariAge

    AtariAge

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    17
    I personally do not feel that hiding the forums is a very good move. Before I installed Parallels, I spent some time reading the forum to gauge opinions of other people who had installed it. This later lead to my purchasing the product. I now expect the amount of traffic (and posts) in the forum will go down to a trickle, making them far less useful to those who do manage to find their way here. I could see you not allowing people to post unless they are using the product, but at the very least you should still make them visible to visitors who are doing research on the product before installing and/or purchasing it.

    ..Al
     
  6. joem

    joem

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    1,247
    I agree. If the goal is to reduce traffic from non-users, requiring a valid license key for registration to post (or setting up an ID during purchase) would be a reasonable way to achieve the goal. Making users (like me, who (pre)ordered) search for the forums is unfriendly, IMNSHO.

    But one bad idea in a long string of good ones isn't such a bad track record.

    I'll bookmark http://forum.parallels.com for now.
     
  7. bbraun

    bbraun

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    47
    Clearly there is a problem. There have been hundreds and hundreds of posts to the forum in the last few weeks by people apparently incapable of reading the documenation, faq, sticky posts, or searching the forum. There have been real problems reported here as well as some technical discussion, beneficial to both users and to Parallels for improving their product and service. However, they have been buried under landslide of noise.

    One solution is to remove the link. There has been a significant decrease in the number of posts to the forum since the link went away, which superficially appears to have "solved" the problem. However, viewership appears to be way down as well. The forum reports views on threads, and the numbers haven't been incrementing quite as much.

    Something Oracle does to reduce noise and duplicate support requests is in the process of creating a new request (perhaps creating a new thread here), before the request can be sent, it does a search and comes back with a list of similar posts.

    Alternatively, or additionally, perhaps it is time for Parallels to take a much firmer grasp of the forums, and start locking threads and preventing people from posting if they're just posting noise. Potentially encouraging people to report bad posts and have them nuked when it turns out to be a silly question that is answered elsewhere (repeatedly).
     
  8. bigman

    bigman

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    35
    The problem is that this forum is misused as a bug reporting tool, too.
    It would be nice to maybe split the forum. One for general user questions and
    one for reporting bugs, isues etc.
     
  9. AtariAge

    AtariAge

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    17
    I believe that this can be fixed with a minor reorganization of the forums and better moderation. Many bugs do get reported repeatedly, and those dupe threads should be closed and/or merged with a single thread to discuss each unique problem.

    ..Al
     
  10. dhjdhj

    dhjdhj

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    220
    Very BAD idea. If a new user can't find your forums, then they are effectively closed!

    I don't blame you for wanting to improve the signal-to-noise ratio but eliminating the ability for people to find the forum is NOT the way to go. Make them read-only if you want, and perhaps require a key to be able to post if you want to restrict to legit users.

    I would also point out that the Mac version of your product is BETA and YOU (Parallels) are also benefitting from allowing beta users to post because you're able to make the product better (more quickly) and you're also benefitting because users are able to help other users. If I didn't happen to have bookmarked the direct link to the forum so I could find my way back, you would have immediately seen a credit card reversal for my preordered product!

    A big reason to use a product is quality of support. I've no doubt that VMWare will provide a Mac VM sooner or later. If it even begins to look like support is faltering here (and a missing link is a big indicator of such a trend), I will just jump to a competing product (and tell others to do the same thing) when it arrives - the initial cost of a product is only a small part of the TCO.

    David Jameson

     
  11. dhjdhj

    dhjdhj

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    220
    If you need a cheap but really good ticket system and knowledge base, take a look at

    http://www.kayako.com/

    After seeing it at a number of sites, I bought and deployed that system for my own company (www.digiportal.com) and it only cost a few hundred dollars - REALLY worth it. It's PHP based, runs on the usual LAMP model, etc.

    (Note - I've no affiliation with Kayako other than as a satisfied customer)

    David Jameson
     
  12. dsmac

    dsmac

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    7
    This forum is (was) one of Parallel's best sales tools. You have a largely ecstatic, loyal user base. The responsiveness by the PW team to the issues, ideas, and comments of the forum participants has been truly remarkable, and builds tremendous confidence in potential customers. While there is a fair bit of noise and the forum is becomming increasingly disorganized, I have yet to see a "disgruntled" customer or a single case of flaming. Dialogues have been courteous and informative. What a great user base!

    After initially reading some marketing hype, I decided to visit the website. Only after spending a couple of days in the forums did I decide to preorder the software, because at that point I could tell it was not just hype. I'm really happy with my decision. I'm sure my experience is similar to many others.
     
  13. rohela

    rohela

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    19
    I wonder if all of the posts on other forums about Parallels being a front for Russian scammers is correct. This suspension of the forum makes it look that way. Any marketing person will tell you that public perceptions have very little to do with your intent or even the truth. You are jusdged by how your actions look, and taking down the public supprot forum and hiding it looks horrible to anyone but the beta testers who emotionally identify with the product

    Can't get the product running? Never had a product? It doesn't matter if the next relese is the final proudct with all features implemented. What you have done by hidding the forum goes against everything that Mac peopel beleive in. Mac people ahve always insisted on free and open discussions of all issues. Even Apple allows criticism on it forums.

    Unless things change quickly I will report this outrage to every Mac forum and BB. If they take this post down I will act immediately. I am an award winning Mac software developer and placed a pre-order. But in 22 years in Mac software I have never heard such a lame excuse for suddenly hiding after taking money.

    This reminds me of what happened in the early days of Mac software when a software utility company was really being used to launder drug money. They also suddenly shut down support when their scheme was under investigation.

    Shutting down the forum is generally a sign of something horrible to happen and I do not believe what they say about it being to imporve service. Like every other person in the Mac professional community I wnat to know what is really going on?
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2006
  14. Kypt

    Kypt

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    8
    Why would they take your money and run when they have such a good thing going and its barely on beta stage? The software is awesome and they are working really hard on it (which we can tell by the speed of the Betas coming out)

    Aren't we just being paranoid? I also think its a bad idea to just hide the forums, before I tried the beta I checked here to see what kind of problems where going on and reading documentation before actually trying. I've been using it since Beta 3 and I have honestly loved every bit of it, I have a question I come here, search, if unable to find I'll post (i did post a stupid one a while ago but i was relieved it was answered so fast).
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2006
  15. tommytrc

    tommytrc

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    5
    Take your money and run?

    Kids,

    Removing a simple link from their web page does not constitute being a Russian scammer or taking your money and running. Maybe its not the best idea, and maybe we are being way short-sighted on this...only time will tell. They have their reasons. But really...They come out with new betas and features at least once a week if not more often. This is not a cut and run operation. Please cut them some slack here. The software ROCKS and they have done what no one else has been able to do.

    Keep up the great work Parallels!!!:D
     
  16. rohela

    rohela

    Messages:
    19
    As a software developer I can tell you that the last 10% of what the public sees really takes 50% of the development effort. I pre-ordered because I want Parallels to succeed, but what we have is seen so far is really an alpha, not a beta, release because it is not feature complete.

    So many times it was near the end of the development cycle before we discovered a fundamental flaw in our software design that prevented us from completing the feature list,

    I am NOT saying that VM is impossible or that Parallels has reached a dead end (hey, I gave them my money and my credit card number). You asked why such an apparrently good thing could be shut down.

    What I think is that this an epic marketing blunder. Combined with the way they are handling the beta expiration by making people wait until the last minute, I think that they are destroying their good will and creating mistrust and needless anixiety.

    BTW I am a VP with an VC funded Internet company (yes, I know that I cannot type properly and that is why I use voice recognition ordinarlly) and I deal with issues like this all day long.

    Parallels has the chance to capture the good will of the opinion makers, but once they loose it over issues that that they may think are trivial, then they will NEVERregain that trust. And in today's world it is that trust that drives product reviews and buzz.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2006
  17. Scott Willsey

    Scott Willsey

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    174
    Me thinks you need a vacation. Somewhere with sun and water and lots of good beer.
     
  18. tomhalv

    tomhalv

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    28
    I agree...............
     
  19. Scott Willsey

    Scott Willsey

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    174
    I am using beta 6 and it's stable enough I shipped out my xp workstation to someone who needed it and am using only the mini for all my xp work (vs.net programming, etc). For a product that doesn't run or doesn't exist ("never had a product?" - are you on drugs??!!) it seems to work remarkably well.

    So they have Russian programmers - big deal. Good for them. There are lots of smart people in Russia who could use the work, if some intelligent Russians sat down, started a company, and came up with a good product that will meet a very real need, then more power to them. That's supposed to be the "American way"... good for them for being here and for doing it and being extremely responsive to their customers during this beta period.

    Do you have a problem with Russians? What other prejuidices and paranoias do you possess?

    PS. Since you are calling them liars, and they clearly have a product that works well already even in beta, what are your award winning products? Please name them. And please provide some evidence that you actually wrote them. Something we can verify.
     
  20. dsmac

    dsmac

    Messages:
    7
    Guys
    Everyone take it down a level. I made the observation earlier in this thread that I had yet to see flaming or other antisocial behavior. I agree that unfounded acusations and threats are unfortunate. Let's not compound the problem. This is a great place to hang out - while there's quite a lot of clutter here, there's no trash ;) Let's keep it that way.

    Focus on the product. PW is a joy to use.....but I do wish I could figure out how to resize that console window....
    Peace
     

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