During the last fiasco, the French and Spanish ex-Adobe forums simply vanished, only to reappear after things were restored to their previous state. If anyone trusts my memory, I would say that the ex-MM forums remained untouched in that period.
Is anyone visiting these forums in a position to say if there is any intention of keeping all/some/none of the international forums? I am aware that there would be technichal problems such as combining both sets of forums for each language, but they should be no more difficult to solve than in the "normal" forums.
I also know that the number of participants in the Spain (Adobe) forum is small, but the forum is a great service for all of those who don't know any English. I imagine the situation is very similar at least for the France (Adobe) forum. It would be a pity to loose them.
Finally, if they are going to be kept, this would be a good time to translate properly all of their fixed text.
Good question! The plan is to continue having forums available in French, German, Spanish, and Japanese.
I have mixed feelings about this. I like the idea of offering a forum where you can converse in your native language. But at the same time I think it is also a disadvantage because many of the people you come to the forum to ask questions of are participating in the English language forums and do not visit the various language forums(usually because they don't speak or write those languages).
Is it better to ask your question in your language in a place that might not get much traffic or answers? Or is it better to use broken English (or even your native language) in a forum with a lot of traffic and a lot of answers? I've seen messages posted in German in an English forum that get more answers and get answered more quickly than if they had been posted in the German forum.
Are we setting up people for disappointment (not getting a reply) by shuffling them off to the international language forums? In some ways, I sometimes feel that having the international forums sets those users up to be second-class citizens.
I happen to have the opposite feeling to yours. There are many Spanish speaking people who do not know any English at all, so they wouldn't even be able to use completely broken English. For them, being able to post a question in their own language is a blessing. Even if at times the answer they receive is a link to a knowledgebase article or a thread in the forums in English, plus a recommendation to use a machine translator. And I am not the only one to give this sort of advise in the forums in Spanish...
There are also at least two other complicating factors. One is that Adobe Spain does not do very much to publicize the existence of the forums in Spanish, which at least partly explains their low level of participation. And the other is that Spanish speaking people using versions in Spanish of Adobe software have no (easy) way of knowing about these forums. So, even if they were able to write a post in broken English, thay wouldn't know where to publish it. And I wrote "no (easy) way" because if there is one, I am not aware of it.
Based on my experience in the forums in Spanish, I would say that a majority of the non highly specialiced questions do manage to get a useful answer. And I therefore consider that their existence is fully justified. If I wasn't convinced of this, this thread would have died years ago:
John, I asked something about that in the way, way back forums and got the suggestion that many groups already have forums in various languages that serve the need very adequately. In those cases, would the powers that be at Adobe be willing to list recommended resources rather then ending up in competition with other groups, with the likely result of providing a poorer customer experience, then could be had using external resources?
Dorothy, the Spain (Adobe) forum is not a competition to any other Adobe forum. Most people who post questions (and get answers) there would be unable to post their questions in any other Adobe forum. Except perhaps for those "at the other side", but those are quite a different animal. Due to the lack of moderation, the ones in Spanish are very similar to the L*****. Plus, the endless quoting used over there makes threads nearly unreadable.
Claudio, what others were saying (not specific to Spanish) is that they are aware of forums not run by Adobe that cover Adobe software in other counties/languages. The group I was visiting with are the Community Experts http://www.adobe.com/communities/experts/ many of whom spent time in the forums helping out.
The link posted by Kath seems to indicate that there is actually more information in the international forums.
What Claudio said, with the addition that a very clear reference to the larger English forums, stating that language (level) should not stop anyone, would increase the value of the international forums.
The new opening page of the FAQs on New Adobe Forums, where the link posted by Kath points, opens some hope.
I have just taken a quick look at the part in Spanish, and what I saw at first look appears to be a good translation of the subjects in the part in English -not including the messages posted in English, of course. This contrasts with the fixed text in the Spain (Adobe) forums, which includes a few passages in good Spanish, many in bad Spanish, many in Spanglish, and even more that a few directly in English.
I cannot however forget that the Spain (Adobe) forums vanished during the last attempted change, while the Spain (Macromedia) ones remained untouched. That's why, although I very much welcome this international aperture in the Forums, I am only partilly optimist about the future of the Spain (Adobe) forums.
In my opinion, this new international opening page is a huge and unexpected step in the right direction. My congratulations to those responsible for it.
Yes, the international forums suffer from small participation, there might be a need for experts. I know some french forums for Lightroom, but not for every software. And why favour one place instead of another? There are some experts appointed to the community help, they might be invited to share their knowledge on the forums...
Actually, both the Adobe and Macromedia Spain forums disappeared in the last go-around. And they both came back.
The current Adobe Spanish forum was set up as a Latin American forum. Adobe Spain never had anything to do with it. It was users here on the forum that requested the name change to Spanish from Latin America.
>Adobe Spain never had anything to do with it. It was users here on the forum that requested the name change to Spanish from Latin America.
Well, you have been around here much longer than I. They have always been the Forums in Spanish for me.
The fact that Adobe Spain never had anything to do with it doesn't change the facts that, by whatever means, they are forums in Spanish about Adobe products and housed in adobeforums.com; and that they do serve a useful if somewhat modest service. If, for whatever reasons, Adobe Spain do not want to take advantage of this oportunity to help Spanish speaking users, they could at the very list promote the forum in their site.
John T, I did undestand, and I was only saying that when I discovered the forum, it was no longer a Latin America one. What I didn't say is that, whatever its initial name, it can't have been the result of an initiative of plain users alone, or it would never have been housed here.
So that we have an
Adobe forum, housed in an
Adobe site, initially named "Latin America", and now called "Spain" since at least 2004 although without intervention of
Adobe Spain. I know that bureaucracies are slow to react, but one would suppose that Adobe Spain should have come to know about the existence of this forum by now...
By the way, in the last line of my previous message I wrote "list" instead of "least". Sorry.
The revolt from both Spanish and Latin American users was prompted by the absurd coexistence of one Spanish and one Latin American forum. The users in Spain were as incensed as the ones in Latin America.
(Incidentally, I hate the French-initiated term "Latin America". French Canadians and Italian Americans are as Latin Americans as Argentinians or Peruvians.)
There never was a Spanish forum. The forums started out in English.
Someone in Adobe Germany created the German Forums on his own and then provided the German templates to me to install. So then we had English and German. That was in summer 2001. The guy who did them then left.
The Latin America forum was set up specifically because an Adobe office in Costa Rica was closing, and that was in 2003. Within a few days it was asked if it could be repurposed to cover all Spanish language contributors. Claudio, I could have sworn you were one of the people leading that suggestion.
French Forums were added in 2004, but I don't remember the events that led up to that one.