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wie
06-29-2004, 03:24 AM
... with the web forum.
I tried to use it and posted several problems, but the only replies I've got (if any at all) are from other users saying "Yes, me too".
Where is the Bibleworks stuff?
I remember the good old times with the mailing list where there was immediate response, posting back and forth, discussing things. This was fun and helpful.
I can understand that this web forum is a relief for M. Bushell etc., not receiving many emails anymore and no need to answer, but the user support deteriorates.
Without response I lose interest.

Philip Brown
06-29-2004, 09:41 AM
Hi, Wieland,

Sorry you're disappointed. I scanned over your posts and it looks to me like the reason you don't get much response is either people don't know the answer -- like how to calculate the mean number of words per verse in a book -- or the topic isn't one in which they are interested.

If you really need program support, however, the forum is not the place to get it. MTan has posted a couple times asking people to email support@bibleworks.com if they need support.

Dogfish Jones
06-29-2004, 10:39 AM
I think what Philip points out is a sound explanation of why other users aren't posting replies, but I think what Weiland is saying is that the BW Staff aren't posting and interacting as much as they seemed to on the Topica board.

I've noticed the same thing. It does appear that they are not posting as often as they did, even when this board started up. Now, I understand that there are a thousand reasons why that might be the case, and I certainly am not complaining. They have repeatedly stated that they will post when and if they are able, but that they are under no obligation to do so. Hence the repeated requests to send support issues to the support email address.

But I miss the interaction with the fellas, too. :cool:

MBushell
06-29-2004, 11:09 AM
But I miss the interaction with the fellas, too. :cool:
You guys (and gals) have to understand that we have only two programmers. Our main job is to continue to develop the program so you have new tools and features to make your study of Scripture more efficient, productive and enjoyable. We have a technical support staff to answer questions so that the programming staff can program. Having said that, both Michael Tan and I do monitor the new forum and interact where appropriate. And the tech support staff are under orders to notify me when forum threads need direct intervention or interaction. But even so, the forum is intended to provide a means for users to interact with one another. The formal mechanism for interacting with the BibleWorks staff is through tech support channels.

I enjoy direct interaction with users and intend to continue to do that via the forum and direct e-mail. If you have a program issue that is critical, especially if other support channels have not given you what you need, then feel free to contact me directly. My e-mail address is not private and never will be. I will continue to have a presence in the list. It is important to me that I do so. But I can no longer read every post (as the Topical list sort of forced me to do).

Mike

P.S. I miss the Topical list in many ways too, but the Forum does have its own set of advantages.

vr8ce
06-29-2004, 07:59 PM
... We have a technical support staff to answer questions so that the programming staff can program. Having said that, both Michael Tan and I do monitor the new forum and interact where appropriate...

Mike

P.S. I miss the Topical list in many ways too, but the Forum does have its own set of advantages.

I don't miss anything about Topical. :) The new forums are great, however, the amount of BW interaction has definitely decreased significantly since the move off Topical. I've been a little mystified as to why that is (and so, apparently, have others). There aren't any less programmers now than there then, and no less support people than there were then, and the new forums make it, if anything, easier to see what an entire thread is about and therefore whether support's help is needed. So the sudden disappearance of BW is confusing at best, disheartening at worst.

Having to post things twice, once on the list to see if anyone else can help, second on private email, when we have to recap everything again (including, possibly, others responses), takes a considerable amount of time, enough so that I haven't bothered to followup with Support on a few issues because I either don't have time or can't get the motivation. My problem, to be sure, but it didn't used to be necessary, and I don't see what's changed to make it necessary.

Vince

P.S. -- By "my problem" I mean that I'm aware of the official policy (tech support through tech support channels), and therefore don't "expect" tech support from the forum. But it used to happen 90%+ of the time, whether it was "expected" or official or not.

Joe Fleener
06-29-2004, 08:24 PM
Having to post things twice, once on the list to see if anyone else can help, second on private email, when we have to recap everything again (including, possibly, others responses), takes a considerable amount of time

Vince


One nice thing about the forum is that you can refer tech support directly to an ongoing discussion about an issue.

For instance, if I wanted to direct their attention to an entire thread (say this one), I would send them an email with the following:

Subject: "Hey Check this out when you can"

Body: http://www.bibleworks.com/forums/showthread.php?t=341

No need to type much and no need to recap what has already been said on the forum.

To direct their attention to a specific post, the same idea works. For example:

Subject: "Hey Check this out when you can"

Body: http://www.bibleworks.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1310&postcount=5

This would take them directly to Vince's post.

It is still an "extra" step, but it is very nice way to keep things organized for them.

almather
06-29-2004, 08:47 PM
I too noticed that the staff doesn't seem to be as responsive to this list. Further, it took me a little time to figure out how to get in touch with support. I sometimes notice that I miss things right in front of my nose.

Further, I do not have any argument with the staff not reading this list, this is their program and their list, and if they want to have us contact them directly with our problems - okay.

My suggestion, would be for the staff/programmers to add an additional 'submit reply' botton that would read something like: submit message to the list and to support.

Or, have posted on the top section of the main page a permanent link or note directing people to support: like "if you wish to send a note to tech staff click here."

I would also like to add that this present list formate took a little getting used to but I now like it and can find my way around in it pretty well. I like the way it works and is set up.

May God continue to grant his blessings upon BW's.

Al

wie
06-30-2004, 03:18 AM
Ok,

so I have to leave this forum aside and post to the support email address? Hmm, isn't this a step backwards? But I will try it out.
The main point is that when there is no feedback, one (at least I) will stop posting. At least something like "Yes, we know about this problem and have it on our list." would be most helpful.
And Mike, I posted things to your email address, but did not get any answer.

Charlie
06-30-2004, 10:56 AM
Hi Wieland et al.

I also enjoy the personal interaction afforded by this forum and I do read it almost every day, however, I only respond if a question is asked that only a staff member could answer. The purpose of the forum is to provide a venue for interaction among users. We have channels in place for interacting with staff and those channels are of higher priority. Please use support@bibleworks.com (support@bibleworks.com) for all questions that require an answer from staff. The support staff will forward it to Mike or Michael if it is indeed something they need to be personally involved with. Sending email directly to Mike and Michael should not ever be necessary.

There are lots of reasons why you dont want a forum dominated by BW staff members. The advice of staff is not always the best. If you want to know how BibleWorks is used in the trenches the forum is the place to go. Some of the best BibleWorks tips I've ever learned have come from users who adapted a BibleWorks tool in a way the programmers hadnt even foreseen. If you want to know how other pastors use BibleWorks in their sermon prep, you need to ask other pastors who use BibleWorks. Because the forum allows interaction from all around the globe, you can post questions 24/7 and usually get responses more quickly than you ever could from our offices. We do respond to all email as quickly as possible, but we work regular business hours and all staff live in the same time zone. If it's Friday and you really need an answer by Saturday the forums are the place to go. These are just a few of the advantages of having a forum the focuses on user interaction. We're not trying to cut off staff interaction; we're trying to stay out of the way so users can interact.

Finally, keep in mind that one reason a question may not get a response from anyone is that it may not be clear. Try a follow-up clarification post if your question doesn't get any responses. If the question is really urgent send the posts web link also to support@bibleworks.com (support@bibleworks.com).

Charlie

MTan
06-30-2004, 11:02 AM
Hello BW'ers!

We want to maintain regular, direct interaction between the BW staff and users, but we also want to foster a user community where users help one another. We were hoping that over time, a number of BW experts would appear on the forums and would eventually become so numerous that the forums would actually be more responsive and helpful than the Topica list ever was. It remains to be seen whether the BW community is large and giving enough for enough experts to bubble up. We do thank all of the posters who give their generous support to fellow users in need!

It will take time for the forums to build up their membership. However, users won't be stimulated to help one another if BW Staffers are always jumping in...

Hope that helps.

Michael

P.S. I see that Joe Fleener is about to cross the 100 post mark and become a Senior Member!

Don Johnson
07-03-2004, 01:25 AM
Just thought I would weigh in on this...

I complained (mildly, I hope) early about the new format. I am still not tremendously happy with it. In fact, I have not been to the forum for well over a month now. I see there are 155 new or modified threads since I was last on the forum.

I don't have a problem with Mike Bushell or other BW staffers not posting much. They are busy guys, doing what we want them to do... build the next latest and greatest BW. I appreciate everything they do for us users.

I can also see some advantages to the forums, such as being able to refer folks to answers to common questions, etc.

Yet... what I miss about the e-mail list is the ability to keep current. The posts that didn't apply to me were quickly deleted, I didn't miss anything, and I learned how to do new things by scanning everything and finding out I had questions I hadn't even thought of yet. Following the forum format in the same manner is very difficult, hence my absence for some time. I am going to quickly try to wade through the various threads tonight, but I am sure I will miss some things, especially since the forum software will now mark all of those new threads as not new for me... just because I logged in.

So... I still wish this software could provide both the forum format and an e-mail subscription list option. Then we could all be happy!

Don Johnson
07-03-2004, 03:03 AM
I am going to quickly try to wade through the various threads tonight, but I am sure I will miss some things, especially since the forum software will now mark all of those new threads as not new for me... just because I logged in.

Arggghhh!!!!

Well, I got through about 1/2 of the threads, then accidentally clicked on "Open" instead of "Open in New Window" and since I had been logged on so long, the system now thinks I have seen every one of those 75 threads...

What a nuisance...

Sigh...

I still wish we had an e-mail list.

Gontroppo
07-03-2004, 04:30 AM
I think the web forum is superior to the old Topica list, but I agree that the software for detecting if you have not read certain posts is dodgy.

I have been tricked here, too.

For more part, I am more than happy with the interaction from Michael Michael and Charlie.

And grateful.

David McKay

wie
07-03-2004, 04:37 AM
I agree with Don Johnson and would make the following suggestion: Why not post at least the "Official BibleWorks announcements" as an email? I notice that I do not follow this web forum regularly and am now absolutely not up-to-date anymore with the latest exes and their features. I regularly read my email, but do not regularly read all web pages. So, please, give us email announcements back!

Don Johnson
07-04-2004, 04:32 AM
I think the web forum is superior to the old Topica list, but I agree that the software for detecting if you have not read certain posts is dodgy.

Hi David

Yes, there are some aspects of the forum that are superior to an e-mail list... but...

Actually, if there were a more fool proof way to identify new posts, I could become "gruntled" (as opposed to "disgruntled") :)

In Usenet Newsgroups, threads you have not read are bolded in OE. I have seen some forums where similar effects are used. Posts you have read can be hidden, etc. I don't know if such a setting exists in this setup... It would be nice if it did.

As I said, I do like some aspects of these forums, its just that I am sure I am MISSING something that drives me a bit batty. (Some would say that is not a long trip!)

ronsnider
07-05-2004, 05:10 PM
I dont know how anyone else operates, but once the forum moved and the emails quit arriving, I simply forget about it. Perhaps there could be some sort of happy medium, where the staff is not deluged with unnecessary emails (we all know how tedious it can be to sort through them), but posts are delivered to us rather than having to go look for them.

I dont know if that is possible, but I would probably be more involved if such was the case....although maybe you dont want me more involved :-)

Ron Snider

vr8ce
07-05-2004, 11:19 PM
Hi Wieland et al.
I also enjoy the personal interaction afforded by this forum and I do read it almost every day, however, I only respond if a question is asked that only a staff member could answer.
Charlie

The point you seem to be missing (and has been stated multiple times in multiple ways by multiple people on this thread) is that staff interaction on these forums is worse than staff interaction on the Topica forums. No one asked for or suggested a forum "dominated by BW staff". What we did have before (Topica) was staff stepping in on a question where their help was needed, or the question was really a bug. We don't have that now. As (only) one example, Mike provided the "keep verse context when switching verses", asked for input, was given some, but there was never another response. That would not have happened on Topica.

I can't even find that option in 6.0.010n, so I guess that's some kind of response. :)

Vince

vr8ce
07-05-2004, 11:30 PM
Hello BW'ers!
...
We were hoping that over time, a number of BW experts would appear on the forums and would eventually become so numerous that the forums would actually be more responsive and helpful than the Topica list ever was.
...
However, users won't be stimulated to help one another if BW Staffers are always jumping in...

Hope that helps.

Michael


Ummm, well, no. Abandoning a user's question to "stimulate" someone else to do the job doesn't really help the user at all. In fact, it might make them cynical, especially if it's stated as an official position.

BW is free to implement whatever policies you wish. I still believe (from experience) that it is the best software, and the best support, in the industry (at least on the PC side; I have no experience with Mac software). But I think you (collectively) should be disabused of your apparent belief that your level of support in these forums is the same as it used to be, or that the reduction has gone unnoticed, or that the reduction has not impacted what people think about your customer service. The trend is downward, and nothing being said officially in this thread is helping matters any, IMO.

Vince

wie
07-06-2004, 03:43 AM
Ummm, well, no. Abandoning a user's question to "stimulate" someone else to do the job doesn't really help the user at all. In fact, it might make them cynical, especially if it's stated as an official position.
BW is free to implement whatever policies you wish. I still believe (from experience) that it is the best software, and the best support, in the industry (at least on the PC side; I have no experience with Mac software). But I think you (collectively) should be disabused of your apparent belief that your level of support in these forums is the same as it used to be, or that the reduction has gone unnoticed, or that the reduction has not impacted what people think about your customer service. The trend is downward, and nothing being said officially in this thread is helping matters any, IMO.

Vince

Very well said!
There are two things that make BW stand out:
1. it is an excellent programm (probably the best) and
2. it had an excellent (unique?) support.

But now Point 2 ceases to exist. Since this thread started I have posted several things to the support address, but I've got basically nothing in reply. The contact with M. Bushell is completely broken off.
It seems that the good old times are over and I am sad about that. And I think point 2 has an influence on point 1. Direct and immediate feedback is the best method to improve the program.
I would consider this an existantial question. BW is losing its soul, sort of.

Gontroppo
07-06-2004, 03:45 AM
The support offered generously by BibleWorks is far above and beyond anything anyone could reasonably expect.

I think the point about staff not butting in continually is an excellent strategy. I don't think this means staff do not help us when needed.

Although some feel we have had less staff interaction on the forum than in the Topica list, you couldn't say we have had less fixes and improvements to the program, could you!

I am very happy with the level of interaction.

David McKay

wie
07-06-2004, 04:52 AM
The support offered generously by BibleWorks is far above and beyond anything anyone could reasonably expect.
David McKay
And what, David is at the moment so extraordinary about it? For BW, the support is vitally important, it is (was) what makes them different.

Joe Fleener
07-06-2004, 08:06 AM
I think all of us are aware that since version 4.0 BW's name has become more known and it has quickly become the premier program in this field.

All you have to do is look around. Look in anything from popular Christian magazines to scholarly journals; from exegetical studies to commentaries. I have seen BW mentioned in some way or another in each of the genre of literature mentioned above in the last three years and never in a negative light.

Hands down, it is now considered to be the tool of choice for original language exegetical study, not just by average Joes (like myself), but by scholars all over the world.

This is due in part to the fantastic team the Lord has assembled @ BW. However, it is also partly our own fault! Many of us have been satisfied users for several years and have not hesitated to tell everyone we came into contact with to "GET THIS PROGRAM...IT IS AWESOME!!!!" (to quote one of my own frequent statements)

Now there is a "problem." BW is bigger that it was ever dreamed to be. This program was one guy's effort to develop a program to help him with his own personal Bible study...oops! This is a bit bigger than that now!

Now sales are up (that is a huge understatement) and they have added a few (very few) employees, but they have never raised their price (unlike other companies we are all familiar with). Despite the fact that they have added some many new database and features, that one could almost argue that 6.0 and 4.0 are completely different programs!

So, with more users and more demands for improvements and changes (remember that what we see on the forum is only a small % of what they hear about and get in house). How can they keep up?

The last I looked there are still only 168 hours in a week, the same as there were when BW was @ 2.0. If you notice the time Mike B. posts many of the fixes it is generally around 2am, so he is already using more of his 168 than I do in a week!

So it seem like the only way for the previous level of support to continue as many on this thread desire is for the price of the program to increase so BW can afford to employee more support staff.

I am not necessarily opposed to that. "The laborer is worthy of his wage." Although, it is one of the great selling points of BW, they are not in any danger of pricing themselves above the competition anytime soon. However, I think we would all agree that we like the price were it is.

I am absolutely convinced that with the growth the program has experienced (which I think all loyal BW users are thrilled to see), it is completely impossible for Mike B. and Michael T. to maintain the same level of user interaction they once did.

Many of the people on this tread have commented that they used to work (or still do) in a computer related field/even tech support. That is my background as well (Oracle DBA for 10 years). We of all people ought to understand all of this!

The drop off in staff interaction is not a result of the Forum vs. Topica. Real staff interaction (other than announcing the move to the forum) was beginning to drop off on Topica as well near the end. It is a result of a growth in business that is a tremendous blessing to BW and to the Christian community as a whole (I believe). But, with this blessing come growing pains...

Kind Regards,

almather
07-06-2004, 08:22 AM
The one time I sent something to support I did get a response back from a staffer saying that they duplicated my problem and he was passing it on. The complete fix has not come yet, but I did get a response.

Thank you staff.

And I do think a response is a courteous, and godly, think to do.



I do not know if the staff is fixing any more or any less of the problems reported now than they used to. I do know that we did not get all that we asked for back then and I think I can remember some complaining that the staff was just not interested or listening to some of the concerns.



I wonder to what good end is this thread going to come to?



I would suggest that we pray to the God of the kings, the one who holds their hearts in his hand, for BWs staff/programmers. Perhaps he might incline them to send a few more notes, etc.



Our concerns have been stated here, and perhaps even emailed directed to the people running BW. Now what? Do we want them to do whatever we ask? If they try to please all of us they will certainly get distracted from the goals they have set for BWs. And as the proverb goes they might end up not pleasing any of us.



We are users of a Bible study program. This implies that we are students of Gods Word. I am sometimes chief among complainers, but over the years God has been convicting me of my rebellion against him. I am just urging caution here. Certainly one may express a concern or desire, but where and when do we as individuals or as a group cross the line into just complaining?



Most of us look forward to the next version of BW, and sometimes even the updates and fixes. Sometimes we are thrilled and sometimes we liked the old ways. However, my point is that the program itself is always changing. We will decide for ourselves whether to use the program, features, changes or not to use them. Maybe some will decide that BW is no longer the program for them.



So to it is with the support side. BWs is trying, doing, something different. Support is changing. What are we to do about it? How does our God teach us to respond?



Thanks for reading this far.



In Christ,



Al

Charlie
07-06-2004, 11:17 AM
...Why not post at least the "Official BibleWorks announcements" as an email? I notice that I do not follow this web forum regularly and am now absolutely not up-to-date anymore with the latest exes and their features. I regularly read my email, but do not regularly read all web pages. So, please, give us email announcements back!
This is already possible. Just click Forum/Thread Tools and choose Subscribe to this Forum/Thread.

wie
07-06-2004, 11:55 AM
This is already possible. Just click Forum/Thread Tools and choose Subscribe to this Forum/Thread.
But this only gives you a "hey, there is a new post on the BW forum, not the message itself!

vr8ce
07-06-2004, 06:27 PM
The support offered generously by BibleWorks is far above and beyond anything anyone could reasonably expect.

It used to be far and above. The point of this thread is that it's now just above. Any trend downward should be identified before it gets to the point of being a problem.


I think the point about staff not butting in continually is an excellent strategy. I don't think this means staff do not help us when needed.

Our experience here lately is that all too often now, that's exactly what it means (staff not helping on the forum). I've still received excellent response (24 hours or so) from tech support email, but the point of this thread is that that didn't used to be necessary.


Although some feel we have had less staff interaction on the forum than in the Topica list, you couldn't say we have had less fixes and improvements to the program, could you!

Yes, actually, I could say. Don't bother counting # of releases, that's not what I'm talking about. This is the area that mileage varies most; if the list of things fixed or enhanced includes the things you want fixed or enhanced, then this is excellent. If it doesn't, it's not. So opinions on this particular item will be all over the map (even more so that normal).


I am very happy with the level of interaction.

Excellent, glad you spoke up. It's not that I'm unhappy (the trend hasn't gotten that far down yet), I'm just not as happy as I used to be. And I only say that now to support wie in his contention that support has dropped off in the last few months, since a couple of staff responses seemed to ignore wie's core contention (unintentionally, I'm sure).

Vince