User to User?

Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 01, 2012

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Some months ago I opened this thread to try to find if these are still User to User forums:


http://forums.adobe.com/thread/963665?tstart=270

The resulting discussion was interesting, but my question  never received an official answer, so I am still in doubt.

My reason for raising this matter again is that I have noticed, at least in the Reader forum, a marked increase in the number of participants who have a notorious staff badge. Which I would find perfectly all right if they were participating officially as Adobe staff. However, there are several cases where it is quite evident that they are only posting their own personal opinions. Which, unfortunately, at times are wrong, or show that they do not understand the problem being discussed, perhaps because of language problems.

The fact that staff messages are highlighted by a different background only makes the problem worse. In my opinion, at least, newcomers may be wrongly led to think that such prominent messages by Adobe staff are the equivalent of reading the Bible.

I would suggest removing the different background, or at least to restrict its use to the cases in which the person is officialy posting as a member of the Adobe staff.

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LEGEND ,
Sep 01, 2012

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I would suggest removing the different background, or at least to restrict its use to the cases in which the person is officialy posting as a member of the Adobe staff.


Ideally, the staff posting here, in any capacity, should be familiar with the product rather than simply expressing his/her opinion.  I guess the same principle applies to an MVP.  What is the point of an MVP interfering in a discussion in which he/she has no expertise at all.  All they do is disrupt the discussion and whoever was trying to help just stops to avoid unnecessary public row about nothing!!

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 01, 2012

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Shouldn't be staff badge be more than enough?

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LEGEND ,
Sep 01, 2012

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Claudio González wrote:

Shouldn't be staff badge be more than enough?

Only if they have the expertise in the product concerned.  Why would they spend time on forums if it has nothing to do with their full-time work?  If you look at Microsoft Forums,  they specifically say that they are working in the department charged with development of that product. 

These forums are to solve real life problems related to Adobe products and therefore, staff and MVPs should be expected to know about the product otherwise they should not use their designated titles when posting. 

My 2 pence here.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 01, 2012

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mytaxsite.co.uk wrote:

These forums are to solve real life problems related to Adobe products and therefore, staff and MVPs should be expected to know about the product otherwise they should not use their designated titles when posting. 

My 2 pence here.

(emphasis added by me). This is the crux of the matter. However, I don't see how they could choose  to use or not use their badges, or to control the addition of a special background. That's why I am suggesting to eliminate the special background.

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LEGEND ,
Sep 01, 2012

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<opinion>

The derived answer is this:

They are what they are, no more and no less.

That's really all that can be said.  It may be futile to look for a master plan.

</opinion>

-Noel

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Advocate ,
Sep 02, 2012

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I am very happy to consider the Adobe forums to be user-to-user discussion boards.

Claudio González wrote:

My reason for raising this matter again is that I have noticed, at least in the Reader forum, a marked increase in the number of participants who have a notorious staff badge. Which I would find perfectly all right if they were participating officially as Adobe staff. However, there are several cases where it is quite evident that they are only posting their own personal opinions. Which, unfortunately, at times are wrong, or show that they do not understand the problem being discussed, perhaps because of language problems.

I don't understand or sympathize with your use of the work "notorious" in this context.  There is nothing "notorious" about working for Adobe or posting in the forums as a staff member.  I look on voluntary staff participation as something very positive.  These staff members show the human face of Adobe when they express their personal opinions, and I wouldn't want to miss it. I find it especially refreshing when a staff member agrees with community criticism.

I don't really understand what you to expect them to post at all under the official "Staff" badge (or highlighted as representing the company).  If they had to represent the official company position in every instance, most of the time they wouldn't be able to post at all (because no "official company position" has been issued) or they would have to use boilerplate text. 

If you are having trouble differentiating personal opinions from the official Adobe position (I don't frequent the Reader forums, so I don't know what goes on there), you can always ask. 

The fact that sometimes the answers are wrong wouldn't, in my opinion, change if there was a differentiation between when a staff member posts as a private person or as an official Adobe representative.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 02, 2012

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Acres, I was fooled by a couple of false cognates: the Spanish notorio in its meaning of noticeable, and the English notorious which I forgot has derogatory connotations that were not in my mind. I sincerely apologize for my mistake.

My whole point boils down, I think, to this: the different background that all the posts by Adobe staff have gives them an aura of authority which in many cases they definitely don't have. As, in my opinion, these backgrounds contribute in nothing to the debates, I am suggesting that they be eliminated.

I have nothing against Adobe personnel participating on the forums, quite the opposite. At least one of those participating in the Reader forums usually provides very valuable and useful information which is not always known by normal users. In my opinion, if there are reasons for having each member of the Adobe staff identified as such when posting anything in these forums, the noticeable staff badge is more than enough.

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LEGEND ,
Sep 02, 2012

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Claudio,

In my casual observations, and I must immediately add that they ARE very forum-centric, I find the participation of the Adobe Staff to be a blessing. The "background issue" has been discussed, and I am a "fence-sitter," on that, though probably lean a bit to your side.

In the forums, that I frequent, there are usually two "types" of Staff participation: one is where they ARE paid to monitor the particular forums, as part of their job descriptions, and the other level is strictly a personal interest, and this is done on their time. In most cases, I have yet to find any difference in the input. There have been a few "slips," but those have always been minor, and are often points of interpretation. Again, these observations ARE for the forums, that I frequent, and there could well be many, many infractions, elsewhere.

Hunt

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Mentor ,
Sep 02, 2012

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acresofgreen wrote:

I am very happy to consider the Adobe forums to be user-to-user discussion boards.

I don't understand or sympathize with your use of the work "notorious" in this context.  There is nothing "notorious" about working for Adobe or posting in the forums as a staff member.  I look on voluntary staff participation as something very positive.  These staff members show the human face of Adobe when they express their personal opinions, and I wouldn't want to miss it. I find it especially refreshing when a staff member agrees with community criticism.

I don't really understand what you to expect them to post at all under the official "Staff" badge (or highlighted as representing the company).  If they had to represent the official company position in every instance, most of the time they wouldn't be able to post at all (because no "official company position" has been issued) or they would have to use boilerplate text. 

If you are having trouble differentiating personal opinions from the official Adobe position (I don't frequent the Reader forums, so I don't know what goes on there), you can always ask. 

The fact that sometimes the answers are wrong wouldn't, in my opinion, change if there was a differentiation between when a staff member posts as a private person or as an official Adobe representative.

He is referring to cases where the employee has experience in DreamWeaver. But doesn't know squat about Acrobat, or Flas, Photoshop. Then goes to forums they no nothing what-so-ever about. And Give answers they no nothing about and just pulling stuff out of the air.

If you think every employee should know every little trick and secret about every program Adobe makes. You have rose colored glasses. If Employees are going to participate in a forum they had better know everything about that product from top to bottom. If they don't know or know little about the subject. They need to avoid forums for that product, period.

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Advocate ,
Sep 05, 2012

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Phillip Jones wrote:

If you think every employee should know every little trick and secret about every program Adobe makes. You have rose colored glasses. If Employees are going to participate in a forum they had better know everything about that product from top to bottom. If they don't know or know little about the subject. They need to avoid forums for that product, period.

Of course I don't think that every employee knows about every program. I frequent the Photoshop forum in which I haven't seen the problem you describe occur.  In the PS forum we are lucky to have Chris Cox, one of the senior PS developers, participate.  I couldn't care less if his posts are highlighted or have pink posies plastered all over them. I'm just glad of his presence.

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Mentor ,
Sep 05, 2012

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I don't care about the colored backgrounds one way or the other.

But I've seen in some case in these groups and even in the Microsoft Answers forums that I and MVPs That use the products day to day; in some cases we knew a lot more about the subject than the employee.  You could tell they were trying to pull arabit out the Hat and the answer made no sense.

I've done that, but I don't pass myself off as anything other than a user that has experience using the product. And I base a lot of my answers on what Idid to cure a similar problem

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 02, 2012

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Claudio, others,

The background issue was up in this thread:

http://forums.adobe.com/message/4592761#4592761

As it appears, it turned out that it was (probably a remnant of the fortunately discontinued general use of contrasting background for special posters, still) only applying to specific staff members.

And as it appears, John would report the issue so it would go away.

I have seen no special backgrounds since then, so I believe it is a matter of a few overlooked cases.

As I understand the MVP designation, it covers a number of groups including former Community Professionals, moderators, maybe some other groups, and a lot of quite innocent and equally ordinary natives that know no more about the whole thing than anyone else.

As I understand the increased staff presence, it is an attempt to support the forums in different ways, including their actual participating in answering questions as equals rather than superiors, their helping to bring issues to the attention of the relevant other people at Adobe, and their taking care of things and thereby taking part in the running of the forums.

As I see it, the increased staff presence is one of the best changes since the days of the fair forums.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 02, 2012

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Thanks, Jacob, for the additio¡nal information. I fully agree that an increased participation in the forums of Adobe personnel is a bonus. My suggestion was only aimed at trying to get that those unsightly and unnecessary backgrounds are removed. Let's hope that you are right, as I'm longing to see  the day when the forums recover their clean look of long ago.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 02, 2012

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Claudio,

Both being on the same side of the fence, let us hope together.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 02, 2012

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Jacob, could it be that we don't have to wait any longer? This is what I am seeing right now in this thread:

The same.JPG

(members, staff and MVPs are treated equally!). But then I found that this is not so simple. From the Reader forum:

Notthesame.JPG

(the same MVP is treated differently in two posts).

And I do like the uniform look of this thread at this minute!

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LEGEND ,
Sep 02, 2012

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That's a helpful vote that makes Pat Willener's first post in that screen grab stand out.  Everyone gets those.

-Noel

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 02, 2012

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Noel, I did some research and found that it does seem that everyone who gets a Helpful vote is awarded with that colored bar. But in passing I also noticed this:

what..JPG

(yes, I know that there is only one JC and that he fully deserves a special treatment, even if he is only asking a question ).

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LEGEND ,
Sep 03, 2012

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Claudio González wrote:


(yes, I know that there is only one JC and that he fully deserves a special treatment, even if he is only asking a question ).

I wouldn't bet that John is the only user of the Adobe-Admin account, but I do think it's appropriate for the Admin's posts to be special looking.

-Noel

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 04, 2012

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Claudio,

Jacob, could it be that we don't have to wait any longer?

I am afraid we shall have to wait somewhat longer. I hope we can still hope.

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1002437?tstart=0

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 04, 2012

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Jacob, the screeshot in my message #17 of two days ago shows that at that date and time there were no differences in background for member, MVPs or staff, Adobe-admin excepted as I found little later (tested in Mac and Win). Pity that this improvement was so short lived; I really liked the simplified look of the pages.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 04, 2012

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I know, Claudio.

I still have some hope, referring to post #5 by John here:

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1043280?tstart=0

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LEGEND ,
Sep 04, 2012

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All I can see on my 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio monitor are the posts by mere mortals punctuated by these brilliant light sources. 

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-H8Emwt6Mobw/T3DOPK8X6jI/AAAAAAAAKYQ/GSAXSnwyhzE/s400/blind1967.jpg

-Noel

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 04, 2012

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Are you telling us that you are not seeing this?

Back.JPG

Man, you are lucky.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 04, 2012

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I posted my message immediately above using Safari/Win. Now that I am back at my usual Mac, the difference between the brilliant white background of Jacob's message and the pale blue of yours is a lot less noticeable. Fortunately.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 04, 2012

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Jacob, I know that my memory isn't what it used to be, but I seem to remember issues that have been reported to Jive by JC many, many months ago without anything happening afterwards...

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 04, 2012

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Claudio,

I am afraid that your memory is all too good.

Noel is just joking about being dazzled by the overwhelming whiteness of the backgrounds of the posts of the most vehemently punished.

Pale blue?

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LEGEND ,
Sep 02, 2012

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Even if they are staff, there is no guarantee their response is any more correct than one of the users,with the noted exception.  If they are directly involved in the development of that particular tool/procedure/interface that the question is based on their comments are a treasure as they are then the "bible".   But each program is so complex, and developed in different buildings and countires, and every computer has a different hardware/software mix, that any given staff person can not know the "correct answer" every time. 

In my own experience I see answers by staff that are given with good intentions that miss the mark.  It will probably always be this way as what solution works on User #1's machine will not work on Users #5 machine even with the same problem.

So readers should give a little more attenion to a Staff's response than a user's response.  And even with users response I would think they are biased by a user that had 9 posts vs someone with 9,000 posts.  And I personally think this is the way it goes.  I see all to many responses to a Staff's comments which says "you don't know - - - - "

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LEGEND ,
Sep 02, 2012

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Perhaps points ought to be influencing post backgrounds... 

First time posters start out posting with light gray text on a dark gray background, and as each 100 points is earned the background gets lighter while the text gets darker (i.e., more contrast).  Maybe at some point (e.g., Bill Hunt's point count) the text gets larger and begins to look like shiny gold metal...

-Noel

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Adobe Employee ,
Sep 02, 2012

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HA!!

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LEGEND ,
Sep 02, 2012

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Noel,

I am glad that I swallowed my bite of sandwich, before I read your reply.

Hunt

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