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The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

Ha. Creotins maybe?

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!


That would be pronounced “Cray-Oceans”, right?

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

whatever worx

RE: The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

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.

RE: The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

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?

Regards, Hugo.

<< ProE WF5 - PDMLink 10.1 M040>>

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

Please don't use any of the 'social media' sites, because there are
many companies that do not allow access to these sites. You will lose
some users that way. You may even get some users in trouble ("we noticed
in the logs that you spend a lot of time visiting social media

If you are going to move to a place, make sure it is a business-place,
so that people's IT depts don't have reason to block it.

Patrick Asselman

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!


The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

"and to reply, you have to go to the site"

And that is one of the major problems, as has been pointed out several times by various posters in this thread.

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

I also get the emails from PTC Community. You have to log in to the website to reply, I don't care for that part. It's cumbersome, in my opinion to paste in images (you have to save them to a file and attach the file).

Do I participate in the PTC Community, yes, a little. I participate in the PTC/User exploder way more simply because I can just reply to an email. I don't use it as a forum. I don't use the website part of it.

PTC took over PTC/User a few years ago. It was a financial decision for the PTC/User board. I accept that. I respect the PTC/User board, they volunteer their time to do stuff for me. I just wish they had asked the PTC/User USERS if it was okay to allow PTC to ELIMINATE the email exploder (which I refer to as my brain when it comes to pro/e questions). Maybe we could have come up with a different solution.

Steve Williams
Pro/E Version 15/16 (Circa 1995/1996)

RE: The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

Stopped by Don Patterson's office and mentioned theMail Exploder newsto him. he was quite surprised...

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

Facebook and wordpress sites are blocked where I work.
I get emails with no problems and the PTC community is still open, since it is a work-related site.

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

I'm seeing some talk now of starting a new site. I'd gently suggest that we wait to see what PTC is really up to. We've heard a PR announcement and lots of rumor and we know the basics, but not how it will be implemented. I too am concerned, but jumping off and creating something new risks fracturing the community even further.

This change is coming and PTC has indicated that they are listening to us. (Of course, they also said that they had no plans of merging the communities ...)

The other reality is that the user base is already fractured. PTCUser is where more of the long time users participate, while the PTC Community is full of folks who are brand new. PTC doesn't do a good job, frankly, of highlighting the strength of their product (robust reference management and parametrically capturing design intent), so these users come in not knowing how best to leverage that to make their work lives easier. Read some of the questions there and it's clear they don't understand some of the fundamentals that have been part of Proe from the beginning.

PTCUser hasn't done a great job of making this community accessible to them either. None of our posts and none of the wisdom shared here for over two decades is accessible to Google and therefore available to folks searching for answers. Once you find the PTCUser web forum, which is driven by our emails, is a mess to navigate as a direct result of being built from email. The threads aren't built properly, lots of garbage text and duplicate text and generally hard to read.

This generation is used to going to Google for answers. They are used to software companies sponsoring user driven communities as a help resource. They Google for help and PTCUser isn't even on the list. They know, however, that PTC is the parent company and PTC has a forum and it may even appear in those Google results.

These two groups need each other. Without an expanding user base, Creo, the product that all of us rely on to some degree or another to feed our families, has a limited life span. Without the knowledge we possess, they will have a hard time with the Creo learning curve and they start pressuring their companies for a more user friendly too. So it's to everyone's benefit to bring the two groups together. Will PTC do it well? Time will tell, but I'd like to give them a shot.

Someone mentioned Facebook or Wordpress. These are great for what they do, but wouldn't be great for building this community. Frankly, given the #1 concern is loss of email functionality; a Google group would be the best match.

But I for one would like to see this play out a bit first.

Doug Schaefer | Experienced Mechanical Design Engineer

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

Doug is our optimist. I agree it is too early (I hope, since no timeline is given) to move to a completely different solution.

Steve Williams
Pro/E Version 15/16 (Circa 1995/1996)

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

Yeah...I agree this is an issue Ben.
I guess best option is dedicated website. I recommend something with
content management like "Wordpress".

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

Word press can handle email. That's what it's made for. I am still a
Newbie on Wordpress.....So I can't tell if it will cover all bases...but
its pretty powerful and well respected in the blogging community.

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

No need to jump. Planning is A ok.

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

While I agree that it might be good to see what they're really up to, I'll leave that optimism to Doug.

The community site has been running for a number of years.
During that time the Exploder has been humming along just as it always has, allowing the type of exchanges we've all benefited from.
PTC has made changes to their community site trying to attract more people. Multiple times.
Exploder keeps humming along.
PTC's Social Media guy is under pressure to get more people to their site.
Social Media guy hatches a plan not to improve the community site but to shut down his direct competition?

It may be all well and good to claim they'll make changes to the community site to make it work like the Exploder, I'd have to wonder why that wasn't done in the multiple revisions they've made to the community site already. That was until I realized Social Media guy's goal is not to provide a PTC version of an email exploder that lets users communicate with each other the way we do on The Exploder. His goal is to get people to go to the communities site. That means no Exploder-like exchanges. Page hits equals success for the communities site.

While I agree with some of the issues Doug mentions the exploder having, my optimism that PTC will get their community site right before closing down the Exploder is low. My optimism that they'll provide a means whereby we don't have to go to their site at all is virtually nil.

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

I’ve worked with Wordpress lightly for a couple of years; I was more heavily into Moveable Type before that. Both are blog engines. Yes, they can be made to do an email list, but it would be a lot of work. Better to start with a system already made for an email list.

An F150 can be made to drive a mountain road as fast as a Miata, but it’s a lot easier to just get a Miata.

Doug Schaefer | Experienced Mechanical Design Engineer

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

Is anybody else concerned that PTC will grow their community site and then
tie access to the support agreement or allow special access to advanced
topics based on subscriptions?

Again, don't be completely blind sided as to why PTC is interested in
taking this on.

Best Regards,

Jose M. Resendis
Mechanical & Optical Engineering Center (MOEC)
Raytheon - Space & Airborne Systems (SAS)

"Great execution requires discipline"

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

Do you use or capabilities? Big dif.

RE: The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

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?

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

That is the business model for SolidWorks. PTC has copied them before.

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

Damian asked "How do we make the PTC Community site the best place to get

One way is to go there and reply to Ryan Kelly's email post to the PTC
Community Forum and tell him what we think - what is important to us and why
we are nervous / upset about the announcement. He said he received
acceptance, support and happy thoughts at the Show - he needs to hear the
other side of the story. He obviously is not reading these messages.

I plan to do that - reply to his post on, not that it will stop the
action, but if our voices are heard, we may affect some of HOW it is done.
He did promise me that email as a method for communicating will not be taken
away - but as was mentioned - replying to the messages will probably require
login - unless we convince him of the need otherwise.

When one say's their company "blocks social media sites," I cannot help but
wonder if their company blocks specifically - did you
try it?

And if so, can your IT guy make an exception? Did you ask?

I want this to work as much as any of you, but I was in Boston for the Show
and talked to Ryan personally on Monday evening and the decision is made -
it will happen (according to him - it is HIS baby). There are decisions to
be made on HOW and I think they want us to be happy. We are their
advocates. So I think he will listen to us as much as he feels able.

I really want this exploder to remain - AND I want there to be a similar
resource for a SolidWorks community. The forum for SolidWorks is an online
thing much like Not nearly as convenient as the
exploder - but it is the only game in town. I think that is what PTC wants.
Why else do they "prohibit" a RUG to exist without the "presence" of a VAR?
And we don't even have a PTC RUG in the Boston area - even though this is
where PTC lives! The SWX forum does suck to use (no email, subscriptions
are hard to set up, screenshots need to be saved to HDD as jpg and uploaded,
password to login each time.etc) - but know this: There is a community of
very knowledgeable guys and gals there that are extremely patient, helpful
and welcoming - just like you all (us all.) The community is the people -
not so much the venue. WE will not be the same without the Ben Loosli's and
others who are not permitted at work to join the forum - so we need to voice
these concerns to those making the decision.

Ranting to each other will not solve anything. YOU - Make the effort to
tell Ryan your thoughts - even if it means logging on from home. I don't
think he fully understands what the resistance is all about or why it is so
persistent, but he may be able to alleviate some of the pain in the
transition if we educate him.

If it DOESN'T work like we hope,

A google group will accomplish the same functionality that the exploder has
- at least for the everyday usage stuff that we enjoy. I use it now for a
much smaller group - ~20 people - I don't know how it would handle ~2000.
And we would need an owner / administrator. (I nominate Mike Lockwood and
Wayne-O) J

And I think MailChimp would be the next resource I would investigate - but I
am not sure.

Ahhh, progress.

I am glad to hear that we are all passionate about sticking together. I am
all-in however I can help. I can't live without you all.


The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

Nathan -

Many companies, as does our lab, now sit behind a web-portal based firewall.
There is no direct way in, and no direct way out. Log-in sites that
communicate directly with explorer are history for us. Gotta keep the,
well, you know who wants in.

Anthony R. Benitez
Senior Mechanical Designer - Supervisor
Applied Research Laboratories - The University of Texas at Austin

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

I agree this move is all about driving traffic to It is not about "enhancing the customer experience", as has become the go-to wool-over-the-eyes corporate-speak excuse for every move nowadays. That is not unique to PTC but neither is it a reason for the customer base to buy into that baloney. In Texas, we say "Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining."

PTC brass has, no doubt, realized that the Exploder traffic was an untapped, uncontrolled revenue stream. To believe otherwise is to believe that PTC willingly spends money on efforts that do not yield a profit. We all know that is not PTC's habit.

The instantaneous response of the Exploder is its greatest asset. A close second is that the responses are from front-line, down-and-dirty users. It puts all of us just on the other side of a virtual office cubical wall..., able to shout out a quick question to a problem which is halting our progress and to get an immediate targeted reply instead of a 24-hours-later reply all too often laced with scripted "Try this..., try that" seemingly random suggestions. We've all been there.

For a contrast to the effectiveness of the Exploder, just look at PTC's online Knowledge Base. Do a search for an Error Message. Use the exact wording. What is your percentage of success in finding a single Tech Doc specifically written for that exact Error Message? My experience has been <5%.

There is no excuse for that! PTC writes the code which presents that very Error Message to the user. The error dialog doesn't appear on-screen by accident. The programmers went out of their way to display that Error Message on the screen. Yet PTC can't manage to write a Tech Doc specific to each Error Message and post it within their own Knowledge Base. Hence we all turn to the Exploder and, voila!, there is typically an answer in our Inbox within minutes. Apparently, we've all seen that Error Message but the geniuses who manage the PTC Knowledge Base have not.

No, I don't see PTC "enhancing the customer experience" we already enjoy within the Exploder community. If PTC has idle time on their hands, they can first make their Knowledge Base a reasonable asset to visit.

Already PTC is asking, "How can we make the everything you want it be?" Here's how: Leave the Exploder alone and don't reinvent the wheel. We're fine out here.

I don't hear any "customer-driven" demands for getting rid of the Exploder by absorbing it into the black hole of "Customer-driven" supposedly means something to PTC when they start pushing their newest releases, but apparently not when it comes to the Exploder.

Fortunately, the internet itself remains unharnessed (for now). I expect that the same spirit that gave birth to the soon-to-be late great Exploder will again give rise to the next generation of Exploder. It's good to see busy minds already working the problem.

I recommend somebody start a site immediately as a "place-holder" and post the URL to the Exploder while we are still in touch with one another. ( is currently available - unless PTC buys it now <g>.) That way when we wake up and the Exploder is gone, we'll all know where to huddle-up.

We all have more pressing things to do than to flame PTC, but let's call a spade a spade. Once again, PTC is proving why they aren't exactly the Master of Customer Relations.

Scott Pearson
Senior Designer
CAD System Administrator

[cid:image004.png@01CF8B1D.148C1170]S O U T H W E S T R E S E A R C H I N S T I T U T E(r)
Space Science and Engineering Division
Space Systems Directorate
Department of Space Engineering
6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238

RE: The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

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."


EXTERNAL: The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

Having to log in to the PTC Community site has been mentioned several times as a drawback, but in fact it is worse than that. You have to log in to see the entire conversation, to get context for a reply. Here is a reply to a reply I made on a question to the Community site.


In order for one of you to have any clue about the original question really was and what I had suggested, you have to go to the thread. The likelihood of the next person following all of that to offer a different solution will decrease exponentially.

Rob Reifsnyder
Mechanical Design Engineer/ Producibility Engineer / Components Engineer / Pro/E SME / Pro/E Librarian

RE: EXTERNAL: The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

Not as active as it used to be and not the mail exploder but MCAD Central still has some activity 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 page

The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

No , really - I need to get back to work!


Scott's take on this reflects my feelings well. The goal at PTC is to
increase traffic and revenue (can you blame them for that?) Unfortunately
that might not align well with our goal. Ryan Kelly told me that "We're not
changing the game or the team, we're just changing the stadium." I think he
believes this, but he doesn't realize the issues we will face. Robert
Reifsnyder highlighted one of those issues in his message. These are the
things that Ryan needs to understand if he will do anything for us. And he
says he wants to keep us happy. Without us, his forum will not be as good
and THAT he does know. We could band together and leave him and THAT he
also knows. I really think he wants to hear what we want and will do what
he can to accommodate. In 2007/08 (?) PTCUser created the forum as it
exists today and the Board then was going to kill the email exploder and go
to a fourm. Why didn't they? Because we raised a ruckus. And they listened
- they made the forum, but kept the exploder. We need to raise a ruckus
again - but we need to raise it - "over there." Last night I said I would
personally do that and I (just did) Why did it take me so long? Because it
is a PITA to login and remember my password, etc. etc. And this thread is
delivered to me. So I have been spending my time here this morning. I just
went there to voice my opinion. Please do the same if you haven't already.

Whining to us about it won't change anything - guaranteed. Whining to Ryan
might affect a change. That is why petitions exist - the voice of the
people needs to be heard in order for change to happen.


The Mail Exploder is at risk, Speak up NOW!

My problem with PTC University specifically is it seems that this is an added cost, and they are trying to use this to make up for poor help documentation. I believe that the VAR's may be also letting PTC know that they are unhappy spending quite a lot of time/expense 'servicing' small accounts with many questions, etc... about software features that are poorly documented.

I personally have issues because some of these 'functional areas' seem never to have classes available locally to learn the nuances of the modules. (Tool Design, Import Data Doctor, Toolkit, Java, etc...) Sure, I can bring a person in (sometimes) but the cost is prohibitive, and I only need the assistance in the first place because the help file is less than helpful.

I'm not charged with paying our maintenance, but can anyone tell me if you can access to PTCU if you have a maintenance contract without paying extra?

In order for the PTC community to be of use, I would like keywords/tags available that when triggered would send me daily digest emails that pertain to those subjects of interest. Also, as others have demonstrated, I need to be able to archive the entire message thread for future reference.

Unfortunately for PTC, there are already services and sites that will tag and aggregate web content for me based on tags and keywords for free. (Google news for example).

Christopher F. Gosnell

FPD Company
124 Hidden Valley Road
McMurray, PA 15317
Business Continuity with Creo: Learn more about it here.