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Subjects posted on forum - "How to use this forum"


Hugo Janzen
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Hi all,

 

Reading the posted topics last weeks my opinion is that a large amount of topics should be addressed to Dataton Sales, Support or Marketing instead of  posting them to us: professional colleagues.

 

So my suggestion is to post only the specific experienced related subjects on the forum.

 

I'm looking forward to your responses

 

Hugo J

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I have to agree with Hugo, I actually thought the exact same several times during the last weeks.

 

Neil, I really understand what you mean, but a lot of posts are either so simple / basic / dumb (excuse me in advance), or so specific to a private situation, that it's an utter waist of everyone's time and attention.

 

On the other hand your (Neil's) point is valid but perhaps the moderators can consider this issue in the future. Perhaps defining some more specific guidelines...

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I sincerely agree with Hugo!!

 

Neil, I see where you are coming from, it's great to have a huge resource at hand... But many posts are either too basic, simple or even dumb (no insult intended) or so specific to a particular situation that it's an utter waist of time and attention to read, and like many of our "professional colleagues" I regularly visit the forum with the intend to learn or assist...

 

A very good example is the previous or next post about WO3.x... This is typically NOT for this forum!!! It should have been directed to WO sales, preferably a local dataton reseller / partner in the country of origin of the topic starter. 

Another good example is a post of someone with an urgent problem, needing a solution for a show he/she was programming on and couldn't figure it out. First of all the problem was not generic and second of all, email or call dataton support, they always respond swiftly and know how to solve.

 

I urge the forum moderators to reconsider their policy, to keep this forum interesting for both professionals and newbies.

A solution for Neil's point could be = let Dataton support post the issue, after it has been resolved, if they consider it to be interesting enough to share... Or if they can't resolve it and/or need the users the step in...

 

I'm curious about the view of other regular visitors on this matter... 

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I'd tend to agree with Walter/Hugo here. However, I know there are several users also in the "other camp". We had another forum user complain this past week about the fact that the forum is moderated. He really wanted all his postings to show up immediately, since he wanted the ability to get immediate help from other users.

 

While I understand the urgency we all sometimes find ourselves in, I do believe for this forum to remain a useful and intersting place to go to on a regular basis, we have to keep the "signal to noise ratio" as high as possible. The only way I can think of for accomplishing that is moderation. Without moderation, it would quickly turn into a "I need HELP NOW!!!" forum. I know, because we've had such forums in the past, and it was a constant struggle to keep the noise out. While this may feel better to newbies posting for help, it would likely also scare away many professional users, which would negate the purpose.

 

So we intend to keep moderating this forum, specifically for that reason, while at the same time doing our best to answer support@dataton.se as fast as we can to help our users with urgent needs. You help us chose wisely here though conversations such as this one. So, please, if you have feeling in relation to how we handle this, please let us know your thoughts by a follow-up postign on this thread.

 

Mike

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Dear Forum members

 

Thanks for your feedback. As Mike correctly point out above, there are many different voices out there. I do however think that most of us share the opinion that moderation is necessary to keep the quality up and noise level down. Here are some rules we (the moderators) do apply:

 

• We delete all spam (of course)

• We also delete all posts which includes a direct sales pitch

• We filter posts with no relation to WATCHOUT

• We always re-direct support questions with no general interest to support@dataton.com (sometime we do re-post the answers)

• We approve as much as possible in order to highlight as many aspect of WATCHOUT as possible and keep the communication between members "alive"

• FYI, we have moderators in Europe and in the US so approvals should not be be pending more than half a day.

 

The tricky part for the moderators is to determine what is of general interest and what is not and when we are not sure we usually choose to approve. I think this has been the right approach so far, building a wide interest for the forum. But I do agree, as the forum has been growing rapidly, it is now time to review and possibly also adjust the moderation policy slightly. Thanks again for raising the topic.

 

Best regards,
Fredrik S

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Dear Forum members

 

Thanks for your feedback. As Mike correctly point out above, there are many different voices out there. I do however think that most of us share the opinion that moderation is necessary to keep the quality up and noise level down. Here are some rules we (the moderators) do apply:

 

• We delete all spam (of course)

• We also delete all posts which includes a direct sales pitch

• We filter posts with no relation to WATCHOUT

• We always re-direct support questions with no general interest to support@dataton.com (sometime we do re-post the answers)

• We approve as much as possible in order to highlight as many aspect of WATCHOUT as possible and keep the communication between members "alive"

• FYI, we have moderators in Europe and in the US so approvals should not be be pending more than half a day.

 

The tricky part for the moderators is to determine what is of general interest and what is not and when we are not sure we usually choose to approve. I think this has been the right approach so far, building a wide interest for the forum. But I do agree, as the forum has been growing rapidly, it is now time to review and possibly also adjust the moderation policy slightly. Thanks again for raising the topic.

 

Best regards,

Fredrik S

Being the poster most recently responsible for this thread's inception, I would like to point out that although moderation is indeed necessary, it should not be so at the mercy of preventing posters from as instant an access to the Forum as possible by the inclusion of moderator approval for each and every response to every post or thread. Once a poster has achieved membership status and until such time he or she forfeits that status, there should be as much freedom as needed to make the Forum as expedient as it can be by allowing any and all users to chime in at will. After all the word Forum means just that : A meeting or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged.

 

As a moderator myself on pro audio Forums I do not see the need for this extra step as all of the other moderator's responsibilities, already listed by Fredrik S, address much of the "noise and quality aspects of what this and other pro Forums should be......if a moderator needs to approve a post or reply then he or she can answer it directly!  and there will be no need for a Forum ! it just doesn't make sense. This also makes the possibility of active live discussions nearly ipossible  If indeed the questions are too banal or basic, do as other forums do and move things to the "basement" sort of speak or general area of a forum or divide it in different levels from beginners to expert.

 

If much of the posts should be addressed to Dataton sales, support or marketing then by all means forward this to the appropriate department and acknowledge that you did moderate that way, but to claim that only "professional colleague's" posts should be on the Forum than you might as well call this a club , a very exclusive one at that.....to be a professional is also to teach, that is how one becomes known as a pro.

 

Moderation =YES

 

Approval, past the acceptance as a forum member = NO 

 

In closing I would like to thank Fredrik S for his very professional handling and mature reply to my original comments to the moderators.

 

Thanks

 

RayS

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Ray, i'm sure you're not the cause of this subject, and no one is saying that only professionals should be allowed to post, but I suppose you're not a regular here? If you would be, then after the 10th time you read a topic answered with a reference to the basic manual (basically a RTFM response) or to the tweaklist / stable codec document... I'm sure you'd understand to some extend where Hugo is coming from. If I use a product I'm not experienced with (and I always do since I love learning new techniques) my first resource is the device itself (hands on / just DO it), next the manual, then search the internet and this would possibly lead me to a user forum. Which I would first SEARCH, in stead of posting a question immediately.

 

I know the meaning of the word forum but each forum has it's own purpose. Though I somewhat agree that at first it seems annoying that every post has to be approved (I found it strange at first) and you have a point in saying that approved forum members should be able to respond immediately, I've grown to appreciate this selective method and meanwhile, I even think it's not selective enough.

 

I challenge you, come back each week, read each post and tell me how you feel two years from now about the policy. Being just a tad more selective will still keep this forum alive and valuable to each reader, I'm sure.

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Ray, i'm sure you're not the cause of this subject, and no one is saying that only professionals should be allowed to post, but I suppose you're not a regular here? If you would be, then after the 10th time you read a topic answered with a reference to the basic manual (basically a RTFM response) or to the tweaklist / stable codec document... I'm sure you'd understand to some extend where Hugo is coming from. If I use a product I'm not experienced with (and I always do since I love learning new techniques) my first resource is the device itself (hands on / just DO it), next the manual, then search the internet and this would possibly lead me to a user forum. Which I would first SEARCH, in stead of posting a question immediately.

 

I know the meaning of the word forum but each forum has it's own purpose. Though I somewhat agree that at first it seems annoying that every post has to be approved (I found it strange at first) and you have a point in saying that approved forum members should be able to respond immediately, I've grown to appreciate this selective method and meanwhile, I even think it's not selective enough.

 

I challenge you, come back each week, read each post and tell me how you feel two years from now about the policy. Being just a tad more selective will still keep this forum alive and valuable to each reader, I'm sure.

Jonas and Walter thanks for your replies....

 

Having been a member on many technical forums, this is the first time I experience this behaviour and the disturbing fact is this, who decides when a question or query is adequate or beyond the text written in the manual....all  moderators that have xx years experience with the product? those who've written the code? the developers? other posters at pro level? who?  whenever a post receives an RTFM type reply from a fellow poster, IIMO(it is my opinion) that this fellow poster should have kept quiet and passed by that particular post......RTFM is a rude answer in any if not even the most obvious cases, the moderators or creators or experts and pro or power users don't need to be concerned with user levels, they should actually rejoice that more people are using the product and other users of lesser capabilities will take care of answering those basic questions and in time perhaps become power users themselves......to teach is to share the knowledge and to share knowledge is to teach. In my experience, most answers of the RTFM type could easily have been answered directly along with a slight quote on the page # etc....I also find this RTFM answer subject to myriad misconceptions when addressing posters from all over the world as the written english is not necessarily at the same level for everyone......again who decides? it's your Forum and I am a guest here because I need to know something about what the application can do for my productions, posters should not concern themselves with the why I don't quite understand what the manual describes or did I even do a forum search or read the manual (I did both). Sorry Walter and others for the rant and the long winded digression so far from the original post.

 

RayS

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I am afarid I am with Ray on this one.

What I have found useful is the added advice a post may generate.So that although the post itself may be one that has been answered before, the replies from members invariably throw up interesting ways of working.So for me, I am happy to read similar posts as now and again this indirectly throws up something new.My other favourite forum is Creative Cow, and that has a vast amount of posts on there.I never find it a problem. And if the topic is of no interest/relevance or is repetitive, I am not obliged to read it.

 I am guilty of posting too quickly sometimes when I may have found the answer elsewhere, and apologise for that. Take a recent example though. I was on site and the situation arose where we wanted to leave the client with a simple solution to managing five projectors and a Watchout display. I contacted the projector manufacturers but got no answer, so while I waited for their technical team to get back to me I posted on here. The question was not a Watchout one, but regarding the port address etc for Optoma projectors. The post was accepted. As a result there is now a definitve answer to whether you can send a string output to these projectors on the forum. In the future if I am looking for an answer on another projector, I would be delighted if I could pop in here and someone with previous experience had posted on this. Stricter moderation would remove such posts, though many Watchout users would be grateful for such info.
So for me it has to be moderation in moderation.

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Couldn't there be a separate "newbies" section, like there is for other forums I've participated on.  Problem solved, eh?

But, mercy, I don't always remember everything I've read in the manual, nor do I always find the answer when searching, though I could swear I've read it there.  And who perfectly understands everything in the manual when they read it though the first time anyway?  So it has been most helpful to feel free to ask here.  Not that I haven't asked "dumb" questions, especially at first.  I still get embarrassed when I think about how I asked how to move things down the time line.  I was scared to death I'd destroy my hours of programming.  But humbly, Mike answered, which gave me great confidence and I've been doing shows ever since.  Interestingly, I've seen the question asked since, so I jumped to answer since I suspected that user might have the same trepidation that I had at one point.  So that sort of stuff could go to a newbies section.      

But even David Branson, formerly of ShowSage, who used to teach Watchout classes, once said that his propeller didn't spin fast enough to keep up with some of the stuff he saw posted on this forum, so it must be difficult to decide what should be allowed through.

Still, I get Hugo and Walter's point.  If I was at their level, I wouldn't want my time wasted with the simple stuff either.  You got a business to run, right?  (And by the way you fast-lane guys, I read every word posted here, so when you post your rather in depth stuff, I love it because it opens my mind to things I never even thought of before AND it often answers some of my questions before they ever even come up!)  

 

At the same time, I'll admit I still need a "I ain't so smart, so may I ask a stupid question" place to post.

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I don't believe there is a such thing as a "dumb" or "stupid" questions, only "dumb" questions

are the one's never asked, at least in my book.   :)

 

That said, there are questions that lack a some information from the beginning, resulting in sometimes,

an un-necessary Q&A conversion, before one get to the point. 

 

It makes it harder for forum members or ourselves to understand and help out, I think.

 

So I just want to urge all to be as specific and detailed as they can be, if possible, when asking questions:

 

- on what you tried to do and/or want to achieve

 

- info on software setup ie WATCHOUT version/OS version/tweaking/driver version/output resolution etc

- info on content used ie file type/codec/pixel-size/bit-rate/frame-rate etc

- info on hardware setup ie processor/graphics card/HDD-SSD/how many outputs/type of connection to Display device etc

 

An important reason for the need of as much info as practically possible from the start, is that WATCHOUT can only function

as well as the underlying hardware/software platform allows it to. 

 

 

As always, if you require more detailed research, please file a case at support@dataton.com instead.
If possible, compile a small show file, exhibiting the issue at hand, and send it to us.
 
my 2 cents/jonas
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