Please, please, please - break the forums down more (more 'folders'). The infinite list of all discussions makes finding anything relevant almost impossible.
At minimum break things down by version, when having an issue with CS4 I don't need to search through things about CS2.
As it stands the only way to find an issue is with the brute force of a forum search, there's no just looking through to see if there is an active discussion - the signal to noise ratio is too high.
Take a current a discussion, "CS3 and printing to an Epson 7800 (Mac OS10.5)", it's path looks like:
i Support:User to User Forums:Adobe Product Forums:Adobe Photoshop:Photoshop Macintosh
I'd like it to be:
i Support:User to User Forums:Adobe Product Forums:Adobe Photoshop:Photoshop Macintosh:Version CS3:Technical Issues:Printing:Printer Setups
Or something like that - you get the idea.
And while we are at it, the search only needs to return one hit for any given discussion - pages of hits from the same discussion are more than useless.
Thanks and good luck!
BTW I like the look of the new forums, much less primeval!
People frequently post in the wrong forums, don't read FAQ sections that are maintained for the efficient benefit of all, and don't read forum guidelines for how to post questions most effectively...including informative topic titles and a bit about their system, their software version, etc.
It's like the weather. People complain about it all the time, but nobody ever does anything about it.
To a degree, the barely visible (
Updated) sign that appears when there are posts after the last one you read in a given thread, is a faint indication that can be used together with the bold titles of unread threads. Not nearly as conspicuous as the red flags.
Niles: There are too many forums, and your solution is the add more folders. I must be missing something there.
Also, breaking up into software versions would be a mistake. Many problems exist from version to version. So if a person wants to figure out how to get two pictures into one file (I see that one every week or so) he would post in his version folder, and all the people who might have the answer, would be in a different version folder, and never see it.
Adobe is just overextended. It's trying to chew more than it can swallow.
Gradually, and culminating with the Macromedia acquisition, it became a gargantuan, unresponsive bureaucracy. Where else can you find such a staggering number of products lumped together into a single set of forums?
It's not hard to imagine that economic realities are going to force Adobe to divestor drown.
I am a bit surprised that if the software knows there are posts in a thread newer than the last one you read, it can't send you directly to that post. It must know which one that is, to classify following posts as newer and add the 'updated' message.
There must be some kind of tracking going on to supply the info for 'updated'. So why not do it properly?
Wow, this has discussion has generated some traffic. Very nice!
So let's clear up: on the one front, users want to be able to easily tell what discussions contain unread content.
I can't imagine that's hard, or really need all that much discussion.
Adobe, make it so!
Now onto the more interesting (to me) stuff, organizing the discussions. I don't understand the defeatism more folders could never work, so we should just leave it.
Sorting conversations by the date they occurred going back to infinity is at best a default position.
Maybe my method is flawed and we need some much more advanced web 3.0 associative relational database idea.
My problem is that the longer these discussions exist (and I've been using them since, at latest, PS 5) the harder it is to find pertinent information. It just seems to be page after page of irrelevant discussions it's a signal to noise issue.
And this becomes a self exasperating problem; if a user can't find a previous discussion they start up a new one and add to the noise.
One thought on my hierarchical ideas, just because a discussion exists in one subcategory, does not mean that it can't exist in another!
I.e. in my previous example "CS3 and printing to an Epson 7800 (Mac OS10.5)" could be under:
i Technical Issues:Printing:Printer Setups
i Technical Issues:Hardware:Epson Printers
Rather than adding more folders I think the solution is an efficient search engine. The current Adobe search engine is worthless, I can never find anything. But if I type the same phrase into Google, I get relevant hits, in Adobe forums.
The new forum promises a better search engine, I hope it delivers. That way you can type in "CS3 and printing to an Epson 7800" and get hits that cover that subject only, and you don't care which folder it came from.
But this is Adobe. So far the update to the forums looks about on par to when my Travian Clan updates it's forum.
I want to see something new and powerful and useful. Something worth 15 minutes at TED.
I like to see a relationship cloud, something with wiki powers, with ranked user based linkages. Something cool. Something that really works, for all users.
i What can I say I'm a dreamer.
As for search, they always have limits.
Currently I have the issue that both illustrator and photoshop post a crash report error after I quit the program (any help here would be appreciated). No other symptom - just I 'quit' and they crash. There could be ten discussions about that, but a forum search with the terms 'crash, error, quit, photoshop, illustrator' return about a third of all discussions on both the illustrator and photoshop forum. No search engine can really get around that.
Full 'read tracking' is complex to implement, especially when there are a huge number of forum participants and a large number of different forums which could be visited by any given forum member.
Imagine doing it manually. Each time you read a thread, you'd need to note down the thread number and the post number you last read - and keep it forever. You'd need constantly to be keeping the information in number order to be able rapidly to access the data for each thread. Your list of threads would expand indefinitely.
Alternatively you'd need to keep a record associated with every thread, noting which member read it and which post they had last seen. So every read of a thread would generate another record, which again would have to be kept forever.
Just keeping a record of whether an individual had read a thread at all is simpler as you've then just got to keep track of the date and time that members visited the forum and the date and time that the thread was last changed.
The WebX 'read tracking' system is very good but apparently it does generate a lot of processing and database overhead to run.
The Jive software, as I understand it, simply does not currently have the underlying mechanism for WebX-style read tracking. Adobe cannot themselves do anything about that, apart from requesting its addition, which I would guess would not be a trivial task (and looking at Jive's own forums, and other sites using their forums, it's a frequent feature request already).
Curt Wrigley wrote:
> Can people really not see the bold subjects or the word "updated"?
Well, Curt, I have to ask: How old are YOUR eyes. Mine are 68 years and 9 months and YES the stupid blue 'updated' text is difficult to see and serves absolutely no purpose when it comes to determining where those updates begin and according to whose clock. No, the 'red flag' (which is/was a heck of a lot easier to see) didn't take me to where I needed to go but the forum code did.