2 Replies Latest reply on Mar 1, 2013 9:11 AM by Toby Erkson

    Get a cup of coffee, this is one of those longer posts...

    Toby Erkson


      1. How do I get the to Community Canvas?  I'll tell you:  Hover over "Support", select "Community" in the drop-down, then click on the link at the bottom of the page that's embedded in the note, "Question, comments or ideas about the Tableau Community Site? Share them here."  I don't see any other OBVIOUS way to get there [get there originally, not via a bookmark after the fact].


      2. What is Viz Talk?  Even worse, what's with the apparent sub-forums in it that are barely used?


      3. When I hover on a discussion URL (like in the All Forum view) I want to have a little pop-up that shows the first paragraph or 256 chararcters of the question or SOME length of text from the first [original] post.


      4. It's nice to see who the author of a post is but it's far better to see who was the last poster.  The date/time stamp is nice but doesn't give enough info.  Neither does the post count.  All are needed.  I remember names better than time stamps and reply count.  Think of these information providers as a combination key as used in a database table.


      5. I have to enter into HTML mode whenever I want to use heading or style changes, add an URL or fix a Jiveformed URL, paste something from the clipboard, add an emoticon that I don't know the keyboard shortcut to...ya know what, I have to enter HTML mode when ever I want to click anything in the WYSIWYG editor menu.


      What's the common thread?

      The forums need greater attention,all at once, and quickly.  #5 is totally unacceptable.  Period.  #3 & #4 are very common in the other forums I'm in and make the active user experience more pleasant.  Yeah, they could be posted as Ideas and then get lost in the shuffle, the priority list, lack of votes, etc.  Trouble is, they are already VERY common attributes of traditional forums!  #2 highlights missing information (metadata if you will) about each individual forum -- they need an introduction, a quick little "this is what this specific forum is about" in the header.  #1 is an example of inconsistent look & feel and easability of the forum structure.  For example, when you go to the forums you can get a pretty, high-level view with avitars to the left of the topic that has a nice big entry box at the top to ask a question or the condensed view (which I prefer as there's more data on the screen) with a tiny link to the right to start a question.  Huh?


      My viewpoint with a grain of Pacific Ocean salt added

      Tableau began as an innovator and unique product to fit a very needed niche.  Awesome product.  So why not have our own custom and unique forum?  Hey, sounds great, do it!  But it turns out forum applications are much more than meets the eye, which kind of explains why they're applications.  As the Idea [complaint?] list grows and the number of posts to the forums continues, it shows just how important the forums are.  Don't half-*** them or make them a token item; if yer gonna do it then do it so well there aren't so many unhappy participants.  And dang-diddly-darn-it do it now, not next quarter! [Note: Yeah, that last part was wishful expression.  I've been in enough projects to know that things do take time, money, off-shore developers that take 12 hours to respond to your email with a question of their own, and thus it's not always easy to get it done now.]


      Okay Einstein, you fix it!

      So here's what I propose.  Establish a select group of end users to provide a requirements document of what they deem the bare necessities that the Tableau forums should have/perform in terms of giving participants a rich user-experience.  Or something like that.  It would be under democratic rule (majority vote) so it'll need to be an odd number of folks.  Get the list of Ideas related to forums, freeze any more Idea input, include the group's own forum requirements, and let them hash it out.  It may be one item or it may be 50 but it will be what needs to be done now and with no questions asked (well, clarification questions are okay ).


      Yeah, I'm a developer.  I trouble-shoot, analyze, fix, critisize, and fix again.  I really dislike project management, paper-work, red-tape -- though I do have the rare talent of code & application documentation so it's not totally foreign to me.  So please excuse me to those with management knowledge who like to see more substance...it may be 'meat' to you but it's 'fat' to me.  If someone wants to take this and run with it, cool.  Just include me in the closing credits




      Message was edited by: Toby Erkson By having a user group work on this it take some of the heat off the project manager.  They simply [hahahaha] need to steer the forum ship in the given direction.

        • 1. Re: Get a cup of coffee, this is one of those longer posts...
          Dustin Smith

          <cup of coffee consumed>


          Hi Toby,


          Here's the part you may not have expected:  Thank you.  Seriously thank you.  You care enough to write, in detail and for everyone to see, the things you want fixed here.  And not pie-in sky requests, but concrete "these are typical forum things all users want/need/use." It may sound weird, but this type of feedback is a compliment in my book.


          Here's the part you probably did expect:  We're working on it.  All of the things you mentioned are issues that drive Tracy and I nuts as well (even right down to "what the heck are these spaces and what are they for???").


          Here's the question you're probably now asking yourself:  "If this stuff drives you nuts, why haven't you fixed it yet?"  And the answer to that is a mixed bag.  Some stuff we've already made improvements on.  Some stuff we're getting close to fixing.  Some stuff is a known bug that is out of our power to fix in the near future, but we've got contingency plans there too.


          Here's what I want to propose:  In two weeks we're holding a live discussion via WebEx on exactly this subject (Thank you Shawn for leading the charge on this one) and the goal is to convene precisely the select group you reference to kick off precisely the project you're proposing.  Be on that call and hold us to task.


          <caffeine courage winding down>

          Again, thank you for caring enough about this Community to post this.  I don't know how it works on other forums necessarily, but anyone who is passionate enough to engage with us like this has my full attention.




          P.S.  Normally I would have responded to this almost right away instead of waiting more than 24 hrs., however Tracy and I both wanted to give this some thought instead of dashing off a 2 line response.

          • 2. Re: Get a cup of coffee, this is one of those longer posts...
            Toby Erkson

            <whew!> I was almost expecting a new topic, Tableau bans its first forum member for life! 

            It's fine you and Tracy waited.


            Yes, I would definitely like to be on that call.  It's good to know y'all are working on it.  I know it takes time, I'm just an impatient SOB (son ofa beaver)!