Was this just so you could get that screenshot showing you as having the last update on all topics??
I used to think this would be a good idea, too, Shawn - so I posted this idea about it. But it only got 6 votes in 9 months, so it can't be.
Actually, just expanding on this a bit more. One of the reasons I'm less active on the forums these days than I used to be is that it's too hard to find the interesting content. Notifications don't work well and scanning the forums by eye to see who has posted on what is nowhere near as effective as it used to be in the old forums. But I do believe that a lot of things are better now (which I think it is easy to lose sight of).
Shawn, from what I can tell, Tableau's intention for their forum does not support my goals. That is the main reason why I do not currently frequent or monitor the Tableau community.
Prior to Jive, I came to the forum to learn and share, to get meaningful practice, once Jive was used, the ratio of signal to noise went in the wrong direction, and it was more hassle than benefit to monitor and post on this forum. This current forum rewards quantity instead of quality, and the way the site works does not match my mental model for tasks that I would like to perform.
I would rather have a very simple construct, instead of a complex one that gets in the way. Better yet, ideally I would like a system that supports and values Q&A over discussion. I did not come to the Tableau forums to discuss, I came here to get help answering my questions, and help others answer their questions. This is where Tableau and I disagree, we have a different perspective and goal. Discussion such as this thread has no place in a Q&A forum, it belongs in a meta discussion and that is something Jive is well suited for.
Discussion enabling systems like Jive do not support the mental models of Q&A; systems like http://stackexchange.com/ do support and value asking and answering questions, along with finding answers. Threads on StackExchange sites are very easy to read and follow, you do not need to reverse follow threads to get context, they are simply a question and an answer. There are tons of other features and thought that was put into StackExchange that I feel Tableau completely misses the boat on. Desired behavior on a StackExchange site is rewarded, encouraging quality content.
When it comes to Q&A, Tableau does not care about the same things that I do, what is important to me is not important to them, and I am sad that this forum became a site that I rarely use.
Like a lot of you, I too use the community to look for answers and help those doing the same. I'm also finding it much more difficult to navigate and search for answers that can help me or others.
While on the subject of assisting others, it would be nice to have an ability to not only sort by number of responses to a query, but also by the level of the responders. This way, I could look to see who is still in need of help but also be able to identify those queries that have been responded to though I might want to check them anyway to see if I could add anything.
Furthermore, it would be nice if there was an option from the responder side to signal that although an attempt to respond has been made, you are unsure that the answer provided is exactly what the poster is looking for, so others might still want to chime in. You cannot easily determine this looking at the mass of queries in the forums.
You ARE the man and don't need this little hack to prove it
You need to write more about your v8 experiences! I have customers asking for info and I can only point them to your thread and the blog entry on the keynote!
Here is a use case of my frustration, Tableau does nothing to help people ask better questions, or encourage the questions to be edited to make them better questions. So we get poor questions like:
This is not the user's fault, I blame the the Tableau forum, and this is not a new issue. It seems to me that this is something Tableau does not care about, and it factors into why I do not use the forums. Tableau appears to not care about the same things that I do.
This means that frequently I have to explain to the asker that they need to provide more details and a packaged workbook. Now when someone else comes by this thread in the future, they will not be able to just read the question and answer, they have to read through the incomplete question, Shawn's post asking me to post, my post asking for more information, and likely other iterations that the future reader will have to string back together. This is the kind of thing that I feel Tableau does not consider when they value discussion over Q&A.
I really want to create a good resource to help enable more Tableau users, and yes I could write a very long comment that explain everything for all possible options, but they route disrespects the person answering.
The StackExchange approach suggests previous questions based on both the title and body of question, guides the user with tips on how to ask effective questions, rewards users that ask good questions, and then enables skilled users to edit poor questions to make them better.
BTW, the question in the thread I am linking to has been asked and answered at least three times before, maybe someone should take a look at the log of the path that this user when through and why they were not able to find the previous threads, or if they did, what happened.
While I have enjoyed the lighter side of this thread, I am deeply concerned with the views expressed by Messrs. Mako, Leeke & Wallwork - none of whom I know personally.
These gentlemen and others (you know who you are) have made immeasurable contribution to the Tableau community. The company makes some fantastic software - we all agree here; and while the training videos and knowledge base articles are well written and very useful, they are by necessity generic in nature. What the new (and not so new) Tableau users in this world get stuck with though, is the specific. And at these times, advice to go and read the KB articles, however well intentioned, is not enough. What makes the difference is the real world expertise and enthusiasm that is metered out by these characters with startling selflessness.
I cannot understand how or why the marginalisation of their contribution should be of benefit to the company. Why their concerns are being ignored makes no sense to me. Admittedly, sometimes their exchanges fly well above my head, but if this is the price to pay for the invaluable work that they do put in for the community, then it is without doubt a price worth paying.
I am quite sure that I am not alone in thinking that these guys have made an absolutely unbelievable difference to the success of Tableau users worldwide. It isn’t just that they have helped many of us out at points when all hope seems to be lost by answering our questions directly. What they have done is to provide a fantastic legacy of tips, tricks and insights that allow us mere mortals to access a world class reference of problem solving techniques any time of the day or night. They also inspire us to find new ways of working with the software and encourage us to set our goals just that little bit higher.
If these characters end up drifting away from the forum through frustration with the damned forum tool itself, all of us will be the poorer for their absence. There is absolutely no harm in having a place on the Tableau site where users can chat about stuff, but this approach can never act as a substitute for positive exchange of help and advice that is well structured and easily accessible.
Rather than alienate people like this, it seems to me that Tableau should be trying hard to keep hold of their attention.
Should any of you out there feel the same way, then maybe you too should make your thoughts known.
Thank you for taking the time to make your voice heard. Tableau is most definitely listening (me especially). Joe, Shawn, Jonathan, Richard and a host of others have actually been working with me hand-in-hand (online and off) over the last 6 weeks to make improvements to the forums as well as the overall Community site as a whole (an example of the some of the awesome contributions and collaboration that have already taken place).
I'll be the first to acknowledge the shortcomings of our current solution and have made commitments to making things better. These threads are a great way to help flesh out not just one person's frustrations, but also for others to add their context to it which in turn assists me tremendously.
Lastly, I never want anyone to feel ignored. Ever. My mandate is to listen and the act on the behalf of the community. Anyone at anytime can reach out to me directly (email@example.com) and as Joe, Shawn, Richard, Jonathan and others know - those emails get followed-up on and usually evolve into some pretty awesome discussions.
Again, thank you to everyone in this thread that has contributed.
Here is another use case of my frustration with the Tableau forums and how it is not assisting the task of Q&A and adding unhelpful noise:
What is the path this asker went down? where could Tableau have pointed them to better resources? instead of again going through the process of asking a repeated question and then again getting a less than ideal answer (in my opinion). Do you see the threads Johan linked to? how hard is it find useful info? walls of text must be read, instead of just getting directly to the available options.
how many more examples do you need before you will consider valuing Q&A above discussion?
Hi Joe - There's definitely no disagreement that making the best and most accurate content fast and easy to find is what we want. If I've given the impression that we're not considering it then I completely apologize. Part of what I'm hoping we can talk about on our Monday call is how I can make sure I understand all the elements of this that are important to you so that when I start to make changes I don't make assumptions that miss the heart of what is truly the issue at hand.
So Dustin in prep for your conference call, why not spend the weekend exploring the ins & outs of Stack Exchange?
First note, it is a collaboratively edited way to answer questions. Both the questions, and answers are voted up/down so the best answers (and questions) pops to the top. There's a whole badge system that weights stuff, so the real experts (Zen Masters) have more say.
Because of these features, I suspect there is a lot more straight-forward Q&A, and a lot less of the banter I tend to stir up.
Ooops! Forgot to login as my other self. Oh well.
Waaaay ahead of you on that one. I've been checking out stack-exchange ever since you guys threw it on my radar and have been taking notes on all the cool stuff they do and how we can hopefully emulate a host of stuff they do extremely well.