Why did the Forum hyperlink disappear?

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

  1. tommytrc

    tommytrc

    Messages:
    5
    Information Overload

    Information overload is a great reason for throttling back the forums. Its not like we are being censored. If they do not want the forums to take center stage, then so be it. No biggie here.

     
  2. Angelo Schneider

    Angelo Schneider

    Messages:
    12
    Sorry,

    but this makes no sense! I'm a USER of the product! I'm even a paying customer!! I searched for 30 minutes now ... frankly: I wasted more time = money in searching for the forum than your product costs! I used google to find the forum, lol did not come to thje idea to search in the browsers history.

    Angelo
     
  3. Ben @ Parallels

    Ben @ Parallels

    Messages:
    56
    Hi guys -

    I want to state that we are NEVER going to close the forum, and we will NEVER censor what you say!

    All we've done is remove some of the links in the main menu structure, so the forum can be a place where real Parallels users can discuss the product.

    Everyone who is a paying customer, a beta tester, or anyone working with an evaluation copy of any of our products will be provided with the forum address and can register and post on any of the topics/threads.

    We're going to evaluate how this new system works, and after a few weeks, we'll decide if its a good idea to re-link the forum from the main page.

    Thanks for your patience as we scale up support!
     
  4. drtimhill

    drtimhill

    Messages:
    85
    Thanks, Ben, for such a rational reply to such a bizarre thread.

    Now, can we all get on with testing this great product?

    --Tim
     
  5. chazzzzy

    chazzzzy

    Messages:
    14
    MAJOR mistake removing the forum. The Forum IS the reason why I bought 2 copies of the product. Removing the forum to people before they buy the product prevents people from seeing the POSITIVE posts that are all over the forum. PLUS it really helps in the installation and use of the product to have the forums. Plus people can get their questions answered by others almost immediately.

    Parallels was starting to create an amazing LOYAL following that I have not seen in practically ANY other new releases of software, ever. In this day and age of social networks and the sense of community really driving the growth of the Internet, I would have to say that yanking that sense of community away from potential purchasers of your product is going to have a REALLY detrimental affect on the growth of your company.

    Now you are just a website selling a product. I see no human interaction and no users of the product prior to buying your product. You are a company now that doesn't appear to care about its users. All of those reasons were WHY I bought your product. Now you are a static home page with a couple press releases and a download button.

    Just because you are not taking down the forums, but instead are hiding them from potential purchasers, means that those people will not be convinced to buy the product due to your sense of community and the fact that you appear to care about your customers.

    You are making a MAJOR mistake.. and you will quickly see the results of your decision very shortly.. I promise you.. I have been in the Internet business since 1994 and I have see alot of companies come and go. This decision is the first really bad decision you guys have made... please change your minds for the sake of the company.. because right now, I am starting to lose my faith in you.
     
  6. Edd

    Edd

    Messages:
    88
    It's a pretty brave move, and I agree with posts on both sides of the argument. I used the forums before downloading AND before pre-purchasing you product, but understood that there were some serious beta testers out there and tried not to add to the noise (maybe I'm failing there but I'm trying).

    However, you should send out an email to all registered users to let them know what was going on, especially only a week after the forums DID actually go down for 24-48 hours for 'feature teasting.'

    I personally only found your blog by accident and read the entry saying only the forum links are down not the forum itself. I don't have the luxury of going through my browser history, so google was the only way.

    Prevent confusion... send a blanket email out to all registered users stating the link and reason for the change, maybe then some of the above he-said she-said nonsense will stop.

    If a reason you didn't do this was to prevent off-topic posters from getting the info, then boot the users (politely) and then send the email.

    A little more professional than just removing the link and sitting back to see how quickly your user-base picked it up.
     
  7. dhjdhj

    dhjdhj

    Messages:
    220
    They have NOT removed the forum. They just removed the LINK to it!

    I don't like it, but it's not the same thing! In particular, if I have not bought a product and want to see what others think of it, how problems are being solved and so forth, but I can't do this without already knowing the forum link, I'm unlikely to buy that product.

    If the concern is really about too much noise, then make the forums read only to people who are not explicitly involved (as a customer or beta tester) but don't make them unaccessible.
    D

     
  8. Andrew @ Parallels

    Andrew @ Parallels Parallels Developers

    Messages:
    1,507
    The link to forum will be sent to all registered Parallels users for sure.
     
  9. rohela

    rohela

    Messages:
    19
    re: Making a major mistake

    In today's world people do not buy from secondary companies without a sense of community. Companies spend big bucks to be able to present a sense of community to potential customers. Removing the link goes against everything that has been learned about Internet distribution. This quote sums it up nicely.

    I keep asking myself - what do they think they have gained by removing the link? It makes so little sense that I wonder why they did it. Even if they restore the link after a few weeks momentum will be lost.

    People, please respond (if you you respond at all) to my points and leave the personal attacks out of this forum. Attack my ideas if you like, but let us agree that we all want Parallels to succeed even if we disagree on the path to that success.


     
  10. ralfvin

    ralfvin

    Messages:
    2
    My 2 cents is the Forum should be restored to the web site. It is a GREAT sales tool and support mechanism. I bought the pre-release because the Forum was a fabulous resource for installion and learning about the product. Keep up the great work!
     
  11. joem

    joem

    Messages:
    1,247
    I really feel Parallels is making a tactical error by removing the links. If the goal is to reduce noise, that could be better achieved in several other ways such as allowing posting by users only (require a license key to register), by better moderation (I moderate several (about 20) mailing lists and can tell you moderator attention and posting rules make a huge difference, and I've been at this for a dozen years), and by forum reorganization.

    What Parallels is doing, is providing virtualization software which has intrinsic security issues that have to be addressed in terms of proper isolation of the VM from the host, and then demonstrating that they seem to believe in "security by obscurity" which everyone in comsec knows is ineffective, so much so that it's become a joke.

    This seems to me to be a marketing blunder.

    I have the fourm address bookmarked, so I can find the forums, but if I couldn't have found them in the beginning, I would not be testing Parallels now. It was beta user comments that convinced me to try and pre order the product.

    Parallels, you guys goofed (IMNSHO). Please admit it, put it back, and move on.

    Thanks.
     
  12. rvanderveer

    rvanderveer

    Messages:
    9
    I can understand how Parallells feels they're getting crushed under an avalanche of Mac users. But that's only because this is really the only product of it's kind in the Mac world. Windows and Linux both have several solutions, so Parallels probably didn't make as large of a splash in those worlds.

    However, I totally agree with everyone's thought that Forum's for ANY product helps build a community around that product. And yes, I too check out the forums before purchasing a particular piece of software. It gives you a good indicator of what kind of support you can get, and what kind of problems people are experiencing.

    More importantly for Parallels, it provides free, self-supporting technical support with little intervention from company personal. Just for one example, like for example this thread: http://forum.parallels.com/thread1442.html.
     
  13. PubGuy

    PubGuy

    Messages:
    119
    I've been involved in a lot of other beta tests, and usually the beta-test forum is restricted to authorized beta-testers only.

    Maybe a better solution would be to replace your forum links, but change your forum for the Mac OS X user to only allow those users that are registered in your database to post messages. All others can read, but can not post.

    How? You already have a full email list of all registered beta testers and just sent everyone new test keys. Match that email list to your forum database and allow those users to post, and set all others to read only.

    I agree that at this phase, shutting off the link is a bad strategic move. Restricting Posting ability to the forum would achieve the desired result. :D
     
  14. MicroDev

    MicroDev

    Messages:
    122
    I would not have purchased a license had there been no link to any community support for one. In my experience sending E-mails to company tech-support, in general, is a complete waste of time and rarely leads to timely solutions. Forums, on the other hand, always seem to lead to an answer or a clue to the desired answer in short order.

    Anyone else who states that you can 'find' this forum is delusional IMO to think that 95% of prospective first time users would ever be able to do so. They'd hover over 'Support' and see nothing of use, then over 'Contact Us' and see nothing. The natural conclusion, therefore, is that there is no support of any kind. In part, this menu design is improper which contributes to the problem (there is no obvious link to support due to the single remaining menu item).

    Personnaly and professionally I find the lack of visible support disconcerting, disappointing, and highly impersonable. Whatever the real reason is for this action, I for one do not agree with removing the forum especially given the products current state.
     
  15. MicroDev

    MicroDev

    Messages:
    122
    To the point of reducing feedback only, this forum is a community support group. While it is nice that the Parallels team uses it, I often get my solutions from others here - not Parallels directly.

    If the goal is to stifle communication or reduce the volume, surely the next logical step would be to simply turn off the forum. By eliminating the link, Parallels has effectively cut off the first time user from being able to get a fraction of the help we have been privileged to.

    While I'm not willing to open public executions over the matter (like some here feel), I too am disappointed in the mentality and reasoning for the decision. Honestly, pissing off one customer is one thing, but pissing off 30% and cutting off another 30% is the same as pissing directly ON the customer. That, my friends, is never good business.
     
  16. chazzzzy

    chazzzzy

    Messages:
    14
    A case in point would be that I sent a message to the Contact Support link on the home page yesterday and still have not received a response. I DEFINITELY would not have purchased this product had I not seen the forums and the questions and answers in them... as I have had bed experiences with things like Virtual PC in the past... and seeing that it actually worked in the forums was what made me download the product and take the hour or so it takes to install XP.

    Without that, I would not have taken the time.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2006
  17. Ray

    Ray

    Messages:
    33
    I must admit that I also sent a message to support asking where the forum had disappeared, finally got the reply this morning. I never even thought to Google for the answer but then how many people would.

    Ray
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2006
  18. sailguy

    sailguy

    Messages:
    3
    First let me say I am pleased with your product and have already pre order.

    I would like to also support the link on your web site. I think it was a very bad idea removing it.
    I heard of your product from another web site and then visited yours. I would not of purchased your product if I had not found your forum and read the post.
    I read all of the problems people are having and then way the amount of installs, problems, support, etc and make up my own mind if I want to try the product.

    What made me purchase the product was this forum. Although I rarely post, you have a lot of people here helping or at least trying to help each other. That means a lot to someone thinking of buying your product. If that person thanks there is not even a support forum, he likely to move on.

    Think about putting the link back and only allow post to regester users.
     
  19. Godrifle

    Godrifle

    Messages:
    53
    Agreed - Not a good move

    I paid for Parallels the day before the forums link disappeared. I have to admit that it generated some doubt in my mind.

    The forums are the driving force behind me buying the product. I wouldn't buy from a company that doesn't have an active user forum. So, in a nutshell, I think Parallels is hurting themselves.

    Then again, it's their ball, field and stadium, so they can make the rules. ;)
     
  20. theMacMan

    theMacMan

    Messages:
    2
    Forums

    Just give you my input, the reason I decided to purchase the product - and it was at Beta6 - is that I kept a close eye on the forums and everyone here helped me make up my mind to purchase rather than using bootcamp. I have support putting the forum link back on your main button. It now appears that there is something that you are hidding, a lot of here not that you're not. What would perspective buyers think. And to do it at such a critical time, just before release, I think is a huge mistake.
     

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