View Single Post
Old 9th February 2003 | Show parent
Gear Head

Your role in online forums is critical !

I have been on every side of this issue, manufacturer, dealer and engineer, user, customer and working directly with existing and potential users of your products benefits everyone.

You will get purist who whine about manufacturers recommending their product but any knowledgable gearslut will see through self serving promotion in a heart beat.

The value of accurate knowledge is what advances any industry and the more information in the hands manufacturers, users and dealers the better off we will all be. I have witnessed the effect of all boats rising when the tide rises and this only happens when everyone has the best and most current information.

As a developer/designer it is critical that you keep your pulse on the market and how your products are being used. As a former manufacturer/developer we were constantly amazed at how our customers were using our products. They would come up with uses we never dreamed of when building a product.

The other problem is we often made decisions in a vacuum. I would sit in meetings and after a hours of wrestling with a problem I would ask "has anyone asked the customers", dead silence. Issues like upgrades, pricing, future features, etc. etc. Issues that might effect millions of users were being decided without the users input.

Forums are the perfect way for many users to talk directly to designers and allows designers to view users opinions. This is without a doubt a win-win and the improvements in today's products are a direct result of this relationship.

So Jonathan, I would urge you to ignore the naysayers and if you are sincere in your interaction and not pushy, I believe your knowledge will be welcome any where on the net. And if it's not then the users of that forum are the losers.

Love your ideas and your approach and keep up the great work.