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What is your take on this

The forums are just fine the way they are
the forum needs major improvement (a lost cause)
Improvement is needed but fixable

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Author Topic: Stand up AND Voice your opinion!  (Read 10460 times)

Tuicemen

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Stand up AND Voice your opinion!
« on: October 01, 2007, 09:42:08 AM »

This Question comes up regularly with the COs!
As TakeThe Active regularly states
Quote
*START*looking for ways to improve the forum...
I'd like to hear ideas from the forum users!
Rantings are OK here but please follow the General Forum Etiquette and keep it related to the forums not X10's software or hardware!
The Community Organizers try to balance things but One insists that we Aren't doing enough! ::)
Where are improvements needed?
How can users or X10 get you involved more?

Given the high post count in the resent Sentinel Camera contest are giveaways the ticket? ;) :D
Are certain threads turn offs?
Are ways that some users post turning you off the forum?
I get many PMs with forum complaints ,Most I can only forward to mmallari
I've yet to recieved a forum suggestion!
Think hard everyone! ;) :D ;D
Try to put out  at least one suggestion! ::) ;)
Even if it is: Get ride of Tuicemen ;) :D ;D
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Don N

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Re: Stand up AND Voice your opinion!
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2007, 10:58:48 AM »

My first impression is ... What is the goal of this forum?  What are we trying to accomplish?  Before I can offer suggestions for improvement, I need to understand why this forum exists.  I feel inadequate to suggest anything until I know what we are here for.  

A restatement of the purpose and goals of this forum will ensure good improvements.  There is a General Forum Etiquette that states, "The forums are here for your enjoyment and as a way for you to interact with other X10 users ..."     This is fine ... but it lacks direction for soliciting improvements.

Anyway, just a thought.  
« Last Edit: October 01, 2007, 11:01:27 AM by Don N »
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JMac

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Re: Stand up AND Voice your opinion!
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2007, 11:06:08 AM »

Well, my two cents worth.  I have learned a whole lot more information than I have imparted and I appreciate all your efforts.  Someone seems to have a work around (or solution) to about everything I needed help on.  Besides it's always interesting to see different thoughts on X10.
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steven r

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Re: Stand up AND Voice your opinion!
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2007, 04:49:02 PM »

I voted "The forums are just fine the way they are".

This doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement just that I don't feel there are any major problems with it. There's alway room for the forum to evolve but I didn't feel comfortable saying it was "broken".

e.g. The "[helpful] / [not helpful] feature" is worthless in it's present form. It could evolve into a useful feature but I'm happy to just ignore it in it's current form.
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HA Dave

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Re: Stand up AND Voice your opinion!
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2007, 06:20:48 PM »


............................ There is a General Forum Etiquette that states, "The forums are here for your enjoyment and as a way for you to interact with other X10 users ..."    


I have always thought that the forums are a place where X10 users both WITH and WITHOUT system problems can (sorta) meet. Discuss problems, fixes, ideas and be made to feel that they (WE) are not all alone in home automation.

I think.... that is what "Community Forum" actually means.

I know some people feel compelled to compile information as if it was a paper-base catalog of manuals and work arounds. And I don't want to sound like I am putting that down... because I am not. But a Community Forum should be a fun place to meet, and discuss items of interest about home automation, security, entertainment and X10.

The contest is a hoot!!!! Win or lose I've had a ball competing! More would be great, but the prizes don't need be so grand. The sentinel camera is awesome... top of the line. I would have had just as much fun competing for a ninja mount, video adapter, or DS7000 console. Keep the contests coming!

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Tuicemen

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Re: Stand up AND Voice your opinion!
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2007, 08:59:26 AM »

The forum was originally created for users to help other users create and maintain a reliable X10 setup!
It was meant to be a fun place to share ideas and stories,somewhere along the line that was lost!
Hopefully with all your suggestions we can help bring the Fun back to the forum! ;)

Cheers!!! ;) :D ;D
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steven r

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Re: Stand up AND Voice your opinion!
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2007, 05:08:04 PM »

...Hopefully with all your suggestions we can help bring the Fun back to the forum! ;)...

In addition to it being a basic resource for trouble shooting and a place for creative solutions to serious problems or in some cases just imagined to be serious problems, I like the idea of it being fun also.
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Walt2

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Re: Stand up AND Voice your opinion!
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2007, 07:39:19 PM »

While there is a lot of really good peer-to-peer help and support, I think many of us get frustrated when we find a problem that can't be fixed by just the user community.  We really want, and need, X10 itself to step up with a fix.

IMHO, the only thing we need to loose, are the troll postings.  Users who really don't want any help, by anyone, but post just to start a conflict (the "X10 sucks" stuff).   Possibly, as an improvement, we need a way to delete their threads, postings, and account?   ::)

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HA Dave

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Re: Stand up AND Voice your opinion!
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2007, 09:27:41 PM »

What has really been great for me at the forums are the ideas.

Although I can't say I have never had a setup problem... most of my X10 products have setup pretty quickly and smoothly. But the ideas, setups, work-arounds, solutions and USER CREATED SOFTWARE that have been shared here has been priceless.

I came to the forum looking for ideas and new ways to use X10 (and home automation in general). And I HAVE FOUND THEM HERE! Now I have a laundry list of ideas. Actually... the list of ideas grows faster than I can implement them.
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spam4us

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Re: Stand up AND Voice your opinion!
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2007, 10:16:39 PM »

Help from the user community has been great...............BUT................................................
Someone from X10 needs to step up to the plate especially in the AHP arena.  There should be someone who has technical experience (development/programming staff perhaps) that needs to be involved.  It seems that trying to get things to run is trial and error.

Someone from X10 needs to write a programmers guide. It needs to be someone with in depth knowledge that explains (with examples) how the CM15A works; why a macro that runs on the interface would not run on the PC & vice versa; How the internal timing of the CM15A works.  Does it run down the macros sequentially until it finds one that has been triggered, processes it and then keeps going thru the rest of the macros looking for another trigger until it hits the end of the macros and then loops back to the top looking for the next trigger?  It this what causes a macro not to run when it should?  Also an explanation of how macro commands are grouped together when run on the PC.

AND my last comment.

How about a specific area under AHP where people can post a working macro with an explanation as to what it does.  It could be as simple as someones macro report. One requirement would be that it would have to have a detailed explanation as to what the macro does, the AHP version it runs on and whether it runs on the PC or interface.  This would be very helpful for both new & old members to see how a macro would be written.

OK one more.

Someone from X10 is also needed in the other technical areas such a cameras, MyHouse, Iwitness, etc.

I'll keep quiet now.

thanks
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Boiler

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Re: Stand up AND Voice your opinion!
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2007, 07:51:17 PM »

Is this forum valuable resource - Absolutely (I used the forum for information years before I joined).

Could it be much better - Absolutely

Here's my examples-
  • Much of the "learned knowledge" is buried under the new posts.
  • We keep re-discovering things that were learned years ago (myself included)
  • We "Oldtimers" try to immediately solve the problem (that is the technical way afterall) rather than referring users to the "knowledgebase".
  • Posts are a long litany of one line Q&A sessions while we try to dig down to the problem.  No one is going to follow through a 4 page post, that reads like a Rodney Dangerfield standup routine, to determine if it solves his/her problem.
  • We use model numbers and acronyms like AHP, CM15a, RR501, etc.  Most people have no clue what these mean.  We've been criticized a number of times
  • as "weenies" and "eggheads" that have no interest in solving peoples problems - only to belittle.  Reading some of our posts (mine included) I'd have to agree.[/li]

Suggestions:
  • Find a way of linking into (or summarizing) the old knowledge.  Try doing a search on Roger1818, Bob Linca, or Charles Sullivan some time.  There's a lot there that we are not tapping into.
  • Rather than leaping into the Q&A let's solve the problem exchange, politely point the poster to the proper knowledgebase, troubleshooting tutorial, etc (reduce the traffic). If the poster doesn't understand something or has a specific question afterware, by all means jump in.  If a appropriate reference doesn't exist, answer the posters question, and then create (or add to) a reference.
  • For understanding posters systems/experience: generate a questionair that lists experience, equipment, recent changes, AHP reloads, etc.  I understand that most people will not want to fill this out.  It is, nevertheless, essential information for understanding the problem.  Politely refer them to it.
  • Create a list of X10 model numbers/descriptions/acronyms so that users can make sense out of the posts.  Give our users an easy way of figuring out that an RR501 is an x10 transceiver, or that an HCA02 is a Leviton Repeater.  This should include X10, Leviton, ACT, Smarthome (others?).

So much for my opinion.  Letters of protest to the usual address.

Boiler

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Re: Stand up AND Voice your opinion!
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2007, 11:23:35 PM »

Is this forum valuable resource - Absolutely (I used the forum for information years before I joined).

Could it be much better - Absolutely

Here's my examples-
  • Much of the "learned knowledge" is buried under the new posts.
  • We keep re-discovering things that were learned years ago (myself included)
  • We "Oldtimers" try to immediately solve the problem (that is the technical way afterall) rather than referring users to the "knowledgebase".
  • Posts are a long litany of one line Q&A sessions while we try to dig down to the problem.  No one is going to follow through a 4 page post, that reads like a Rodney Dangerfield standup routine, to determine if it solves his/her problem.
  • We use model numbers and acronyms like AHP, CM15a, RR501, etc.  Most people have no clue what these mean.  We've been criticized a number of times
  • as "weenies" and "eggheads" that have no interest in solving peoples problems - only to belittle.  Reading some of our posts (mine included) I'd have to agree.[/li]
Suggestions:
  • Find a way of linking into (or summarizing) the old knowledge.  Try doing a search on Roger1818, Bob Linca, or Charles Sullivan some time.  There's a lot there that we are not tapping into.
  • Rather than leaping into the Q&A let's solve the problem exchange, politely point the poster to the proper knowledgebase, troubleshooting tutorial, etc (reduce the traffic). If the poster doesn't understand something or has a specific question afterware, by all means jump in.  If a appropriate reference doesn't exist, answer the posters question, and then create (or add to) a reference.
  • For understanding posters systems/experience: generate a questionair that lists experience, equipment, recent changes, AHP reloads, etc.  I understand that most people will not want to fill this out.  It is, nevertheless, essential information for understanding the problem.  Politely refer them to it.
  • Create a list of X10 model numbers/descriptions/acronyms so that users can make sense out of the posts.  Give our users an easy way of figuring out that an RR501 is an x10 transceiver, or that an HCA02 is a Leviton Repeater.  This should include X10, Leviton, ACT, Smarthome (others?).

So much for my opinion.  Letters of protest to the usual address.

Boiler


[/quote]

This brings to mind... why aren't we using the wiki (X10 Knowlege Base)?

I know I have access to it.  Not sure if that is because I am a CO or if all Community Members do.

My suggestion is that instead of just stickying posts, etc.  we add useful information to the wiki.  Then direct users there.

Thoughts?

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Boiler

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Re: Stand up AND Voice your opinion!
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2007, 04:53:20 PM »

Great Idea,
We've been using a Wiki at work recently to document the development of a new design.  I wasn't too keen on this at first (being an Oldtimer) but it has worked out well.  It's a great way to share information.

It will, however, take a substantial amount of work to condense the "knowledge", contained in the various forum posts, into an understandable Wiki format. 

This, of course, begs a few questions:
  • X10 operates the Wiki and the Forum.  Why isn't a X10 representative condensing the information into a Wiki format?
  • If X10 is unwilling to dedicate personnel, will the CO's be allowed to add items to the Wiki?
  • Would information on non-X10 products be allowed on the Wiki (incompatibility between manufacturers is a major source of problems)?

There is a lot of great information on the forum.  Additionally, there are a number of great tutorials that have been created through individual effort on the part of members.  Getting this all into a Wiki format isn't a small task, but it would capture the knowledge before it's buried.

BTW Bill - Helpfull suggestion.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2007, 04:55:40 PM by Boiler »
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MichaelC

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Re: Stand up AND Voice your opinion!
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2007, 05:19:54 PM »

The X10 Wiki should be open to anyone to post (that was our intention when we set it up), though it appears you need to create a login. When we first set it up we used a creative hack to use your forum login info as your Wiki login, but it looks like that doesn't work anymore.
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-Bill- (of wgjohns.com)

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Re: Stand up AND Voice your opinion!
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2007, 09:41:05 PM »

Great Idea,
We've been using a Wiki at work recently to document the development of a new design.  I wasn't too keen on this at first (being an Oldtimer) but it has worked out well.  It's a great way to share information.

It will, however, take a substantial amount of work to condense the "knowledge", contained in the various forum posts, into an understandable Wiki format. 

This, of course, begs a few questions:
  • X10 operates the Wiki and the Forum.  Why isn't a X10 representative condensing the information into a Wiki format?
  • If X10 is unwilling to dedicate personnel, will the CO's be allowed to add items to the Wiki?
  • Would information on non-X10 products be allowed on the Wiki (incompatibility between manufacturers is a major source of problems)?

There is a lot of great information on the forum.  Additionally, there are a number of great tutorials that have been created through individual effort on the part of members.  Getting this all into a Wiki format isn't a small task, but it would capture the knowledge before it's buried.

BTW Bill - Helpfull suggestion.

Thanks Boiler.  Actually I had been meaning to ask why we haven't been using the wiki some time ago.  Just slipped my mind until now.

The X10 Wiki should be open to anyone to post (that was our intention when we set it up), though it appears you need to create a login. When we first set it up we used a creative hack to use your forum login info as your Wiki login, but it looks like that doesn't work anymore.

I can't speak for others, but I logged in to the wiki just fine with my user name and password from the forum.
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-Bill- (of wgjohns.com)
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