This evening I spoke with someone that has some insight into what's going on. The social media guy at PTC is trying to drive traffic to the ptc community site, in order to get the site metrics up. The problem is most of us old farts don't go to the site. Heck, I hardly ever come here to the PTCUser site. I'm using it right now because I'm away from my work email this week.
If we just look at the PTCUser site, when I send out this email, down at the bottom of the site it tells me that this will reach 1799 users. If I were to post on the community web site, I may reach no one. Or at least no one that knows an answer.
If you are like me, you work for a living, I don't have time to go check out a web site. But since I filter my incoming mail into sub folders of my outlook in box, when I have a few minutes, I'll go check what emails I've received from this list and the system admin list. And normally once a day I'll check out the Windhcill Solutions list. Every few months I'll grab all these emails and drag them into matching archive folders for future searching.
This afternoon I went to the community site and I didn't see a way to reply Ryan's post touting how good this move was going to be. Perhaps I have to log in to reply. But then I'm not sure I remember what my password is.
I've been on this mail exploder since Don Patterson put it together. I wasn't kidding when I said this is the goose that laid the golden egg. This exploder has been a huge benifit to me.
The other thing that concerns me is the independence of PTCUser. Just like competition from Solidworks and other CAD vendors drives improvements in the PTC product. So do the complaints and bitching that happens on this exploder. Without that irritation, many improvements we take for granted now would never have come about.
I'll speak for this old fart, I'm a social media ludite. I've never been on Facebook, Twitter, or any of the other sites out there. I email folks, and pick up the phone to call them. I finally got an iPhone in Feburary, so now I text my neice & nephew once in awaile. But half the time I don't have the phone on me, it's sitting in the car or at home on the dresser. I'm not about to log into a web site to look for and answer questions from people I don't know.
I feel I know the folks here even though some of you I've never met in person. To me the mail exploder is the real PTC community.
If they want to drive traffic to the ptc community website, they need to have something up there that is of value to go get. That means PTC needs to invest in it. We are not going to build that value for them.
In my opionion the mail exploder is perfect as it is. It's a mail exploder, that's how people should access it. Filter you inbox into seperate folders and it will work perfectly for you.
Dave Haigh, The high tech ludite admin, Creo expert.
Sorry, I don't understand quiet well, I get e-mails daily from PTC Community, exactly the same as from the Exploder. They look a little different, and to reply, you have to go to the site. But this avoids mails repeating over and over again old replies.
Regarding independence from PTC, where does PTC/User gets its funding from?
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I don't fill my inbox with emails unless they are business related. This helps me keep my inbox at zero while getting things done that pay my salary.
This is why I do not have any email's from the exploder coming to my inbox and instead I choose the weekly summary. Now this may not be great for those who have an issue that needs an answer quickly, but I think the use of email can also be a productivity killer.
As mentioned before, it seems PTC already made up their minds so why don't we focus our efforts in making the PTC Community site better and more responsive to the questions that need answers.
You can have RSS Feeds pushed to your favorite RSS Reader for example (I use Feedly).
What ideas can we come up with to make this a better and faster service to the users. PTC does not want to stop the information being shared, they just want to move it to one destination. Times change and people need to change and adapt with them. This does not mean we do things worst than before, but just different.
How do we make the PTC Community site the best place to get answers?
I think you are mistaken in believing users can have influence over the way PTC Community is run.
The PTC Community goal is to have users regularly exposed to PTC marketing material, a function PTCuser does not serve. The lure is based on telling new users that PTC Community is the only place to get help and information and to supply a small amount of free educational materials.
The immediate expected result for PTC is people paying to get the information they need on a subscription basis via PTC University. I expect that those subscriptions aren't happening. The long term may also be to get people back to maintenance support so their complicated questions are answered via paid subscription.
It's like other marketing; no matter how good the ad, if people don't want the product, it's not the ad that's the problem.
I think PTC University is not seen as a value, and PTC tech support will sometimes be helpful, but the answers are usually 'no soup for you!' in that the desired result is either not available in the user's current version or not available in any version. Lots of money for a "We're sorry, but, no." The worst answer is "Sure, it's a known problem, but we don't tell unless you ask."
Not as active as it used to be and not the mail exploder but MCAD Central still has some activityhttp://www.mcadcentral.com/forum.php so instead of starting another group users could move to that site if in worst case this gets shutdown.
I like how it's divided into different categories as well as getting a what's new pagehttp://www.mcadcentral.com/search.php?searchid=332399