Since he's a user of the community, and I find the whole website confusing, I asked him:
· How do you typically use this site?
· When you go there... where do you go?
· How do you find what you want?
He sent me the following email. Which is the kind of information that should be promintly displayed on the PTC Community web site.
It's not a case of "Build it and they will come". There needs to be some thought of how a person would actually use the site. And then the instruction on how. That's where the community needs some improvement.
But all of us need to stop crying in our beer, and figure out how to use the site.
David Haigh Phone: 925-424-3931 Fax: 925-423-7496 Lawrence Livermore National Lab 7000 East Ave, L-362 Livermore, CA 94550
As has been mentioned multiple times, this is actually a much bigger deal than the PTC Communities personalities seem willing to admit or address.
Another one is the cumbersome nature of using screen shots in comparison to simply copy/paste into an email.
Another is to initiate a question in the first place due to work restrictions concerning web browsing.
Another one is get the full exchange in the email in case of those same restrictions.
These seem to be some of the bigger issues that get brushed aside by the "PTC Communities" community whenever this conversation flares up. Perhaps if this sort of stuff was addressed by now, the issue wouldn't be so prone to flare-up. (The realist in my then replies by noting that solving these does nothing to drive page hits to the web site.)
The rest of his post is standard forum stuff. Nothing really there to see except for people not used to forum software. So, important for some, no doubt, but not that much.
 While not speaking for anyone else, I can confirm I won't be taking screen shots, saving individual files to my workstation, uploading them to PTC, then posting them into a forum post. If they had some sort of copy/paste, like replying to an email does, I might have a different opinion.
Thank you for posting this. I just added notifications to Windchill and Creo yesterday, along with a filter in my mailbox to re-direct those to the same place my exploder messages go. Because everything comes via the same e-mail, it might be easier to deal with flagging messages that are re-sent to me by someone else (a conversation around a communities message). Because not all exploder messages come from the default exploder address, I had to filter those by subject, then add an exception if addressed directly to me. So, an advantage for the community method.
I already kind of miss the breakdown of the exploder topics but I would think this is something we could lobby to "fix" if there is interest from the user-base. I think it might be nice to have a bit more breakdown to limit what we get notifications on but am willing to watch for a while as it stands. The tips below make me think we must subscribe to the sub-topics if we want those to be included in our notifications with the main topic. Clarification on that would be good.
Anyway, the information on the Community use is needed. And we also need to specifically address issues with it. There are things I don't like about the exploder either, such as needing to go to the web page forums to start a conversation when I don't remember or have handy the proper topic e-mail address. In my limited experience, going to the Community page to start something is a bit easier than going to the PTC/User Forum. The flip-side of that is that the exploder is easier when you already know the address.
Something else though... the TCs have topic groups/addresses in the exploder. I think we need that to continue in some form. Is that in Communities somewhere or is that part going to continue in the exploder? Anyone know?
As I posted in the Communities, we need communication. Useful communication.
These are the technical issues, specific and to the point, not personal or assuming some background intent, that we do need to communicate. Perhaps one problem is neither the exploder nor the Community quite knows where to put this topic. It is running in the "Member Showcase" topic on the Community but it was acknowledged that this is probably not an ideal place for it.
(Note that I have had issues with screen shots in the exploder when they get big, which leads me to the PTC/User pages to see them. I wouldn't call the Exploder perfect on all points.)
Anyway, I'm seeing some decent technical talk about the issues on the Community for this so perhaps that's a place to go (if you can).