Issues with forum responsiveness?


#1

haha :joy:

Yeh I agree. First technique posts get a response but any updates on personal improvement get ignored. Which is frustrating if you are trying to get help on improving on your observed motions.


Help me get started! :)
#2

Hey, I saw this originally in a different thread which was getting derailed from the original topic, so wanted to move it and address it here.

@weealf it looks like you may be referring to your posts here? —

Sorry we missed that! I’ll definitely acknowledge that not all posts here on the forum get replies. I think that’s not always avoidable…but to the degree we can improve this, and facilitate as much great conversation as possible, we would like to do so.

Our time on here (particularly Troy’s time writing detailed #technique-critique replies) fluctuates based on the other work we’re juggling day to day. We answer as many things as we can, but to be clear, if we don’t reply to a given post we’re not intentionally ignoring anyone, most likely we just missed it!

I think it’s a testament to the fantastic community here that quite often even if we don’t reply to something, someone else (or several people) will chime in with helpful feedback. It’s tons of work for us to keep up with everything (though we do try!) so if there are things we can do to further encourage everyone to jump in and help each other out, we’re happy to consider.

Of course no one should feel obligated to respond to any particular posts; some topics will naturally be of wider interest than others and I think that’s fine. But at the same time it can be easy to miss stuff unintentionally…maybe we can do some things to improve this. For example, would it be helpful for us to:

  • Make a point to resurface (“bump”) threads more than a few days old that haven’t gotten replies?
  • Send more frequent “forum roundup” email updates? (The forum automatically generates a weekly digest summary, but we’ve tried more manually curated ones on occasion as well)
  • Add more clear guidelines for how to make #technique-critique posts that will make it easier for people to respond (e.g. specific format, clear questions, etc.)
  • [Something else?]

We want to do the best job we can to make this a place that’s welcoming and helpful for as many people as possible. Feedback / suggestions on this sort of thing always appreciated!


#3

My suggestion would be for this.

For example, I posted another video in my picking progress thread and got zero replies. I don’t like bumping my own threads because, from my experiences on messages boards, this isn’t appreciated on a lot of communities.

If time is an issue, maybe limit update picking progress posts to 1 every 30 days.

I understand where Hank is coming from in all of this and I know he is a guy who is quite clear about things and speaks his mind. I understand his frustration when there is a section of the forum to post your own videos to get advice on and you get some advice to start off with and then this just fizzles out when you post a progress video.


#4

I think there’s a couple of things coming together.

One is of course pure egoistic (and I count myself in there). the first view is always the most interesting and it’s more about checking out the abilities of the poster.
Afterwards you know which characters you’re interested in and which less, in addition, at least for me it’s not always that you have proper sound when reading the psot, I spend a lot of time here while in office (hard working of course).

Another thing is always, how to handle the situations when you have the impression that there’s progress in the wrong direction, especially if you don’t have the deep understanding as Troy has. I really hold back any negative critique if I’m not sure that I spotted the problem right. I know Troy doesn’t like that but I guess it’s just normal that he’s always the one to bring ‘bad news’.

Then there’s a lot of posts where you read one line and know the poster spent zero minutes watching the guidelines, I don’t know how often Troy posted the link to basic mechanics, in that case my patience is just related on ‘is there other topics I’m interesed in?’.

So, I don’t think there’s any need to update rules or notifications, some guideline in general on how and when to critique would be nice but not necessary.

Eventhough I agree with this:

I’d say the best way’d be to do that anyways. I wouldn’t mind in this case and for those people who have to split their time for help and interest it would keep it on top.


#5

Does editing a post bump the thread up?
Or should we write a new post to bump it up?

(Asking just in case :wink: )


#6

I would like just express my view here. Not looking for enemies. So please nobody feels targeted:

  • It is mentioned nowhere that Troy or one of the CtC team members has the obligation to analyze your playing.
  • Being a masters of mechanics subscriber doesn’t give you forum super powers. As far as I know, it is free and open to anyone. I myself am alternating between being a subscriber and a non subscriber. And my forum experience hasn’t changed.
  • The forum has plenty of experienced teachers whose input is very valuable to say the least. Needless to say that they too have no obligation to analyze your plyaing.
  • This forum is not too crowded and there are very few people here who could comment with confidence on your playing. And they are probably located in different time zones. Most of us are here to improve.

About my own experience with the feedback:
I have posted several times for feedback. Sometimes I get an answer within a few hours. Sometimes it could take days or weeks!

Little advice:
Post one single clip with a very specific problem/lick. I noticed that when your description is short and precise, you will have other members who are very interested in the analysis with messages like:

These messages will prevent your topic from being buried.

In general, I think we shouldn’t expect that our Technique Critique posts will get full attention, especially from the CtC team who is as far as I know a very small team focused on so many things at a time.

I think it’s totally fine to post a reminder on your Technique Critique post to bring it up again, like once every couple of weeks. But I think it would be even better if that reminder is an actual video update of your playing.

Peace! \m/


#7

Thanks all for the comments!

I think an occasional bump is okay, like @kounistou suggested maybe after a week or two. If we (or everyone) miss something once it could be random. If you bump something and it still doesn’t get replies, that could indicate either that it’s not a clear enough question, people aren’t sure how to respond, or just don’t have time/interest etc.

I feel like we shouldn’t place hard limits on how often someone can post a #technique-critique update, as sometimes a quick check-in can be useful and not take tons of time. But as a general guideline this seems like a good idea…in line with more generally balancing expectations / not assuming immediate replies on everything.

Yeah I think this is understandable. Maybe we can figure out a more formal way of asking for / giving feedback, for example deputizing certain people as “technique critique responders” who would be like additional forum mods who are particularly great at giving feedback. And we can also work on making more clear intro instructional material to help reduce some of the sources of confusion that we see repeatedly cropping up.

I believe editing a post only bumps it if it’s the latest post, not 100% sure. But may as well write a new post to bump…I imagine usually it’d be helpful to add some clarifying info in that case anyway.

Glad that has been your experience! We do our best to make sure this doesn’t feel like a place where only paying members / customers get help.

Also good points that it’s still a pretty small forum overall and only so much collective expertise / time to spend commenting particularly with in-depth feedback that requires watching videos and so on. I agree that keeping videos + questions short and simple can help make it easier for people to reply.


#13

@Brendan:
Still I don’t think there’s really a need of adding new technical features to the forum software, cause the basic problem is basically well human I’d say.
Anyway I just got in mind that maybe some kind of flag-system (as in stackoverflow) in the critique section might be of help. If the poster could simply hit a checkbox that he’s got the feedback he needed, that might reduce the fear to come up with a ‘false’ answer and in best case it would reduce Troy’s work if he can filter for unsolved requests.
It’s just an idea, we get all this for free, and this is definately not of high priority.


#14

Yeah for sure! I think there are both human and technical components that could help, whether bringing on more expert feedback-givers, having clearer guidelines, adding some extra features to #technique-critique

This forum software (Discourse) is extensible with plugins, so we could definitely explore something like this down the line!


#15

On the “human” side of planning a future response when time isn’t available in the present, there’s a popular organizational system for filing non-urgent items for future followup and helping ensure they don’t “fall through the cracks”. There’s still overhead required to evaluate each new item and decide whether to act on it immediately or “file it for later”, but that can be done efficiently in batches once per day (or week, or month). If Discourse or an email inbox for notifications allows you to create arbitrary folders for messages, a system like the below could be implemented in a pretty lightweight way:

Edit: On the tech side, one thing that might streamline such a process is to create a separate moderator account dedicated for the task of skimming through notifications for new topics and “filing” ones that should be considered for future followup. That way the “systematic notification triage process” doesn’t get jumbled up with how the individual mods manage their own messages and notifications. (as long as someone actually monitors that separate account on some schedule! ;-))


#16

Someones been reading “Getting Things Done” :wink:


#17

Hi Brendan, thanks for your interest. I had originally posted a critique video that you have linked and it got a few replies saying what was wrong which I greatly appreciated. I was just upset as I tried modifying my picking based on the feedback. I was super excited to see if my corrections were moving in the right direction but didn’t get a single reply.

I get what everyone is saying that we are not entitled to a reply but as we are all guitar geeks I thought even one person (non CTC staff) could give me a point in the right direction. I know for sure if I could offer somebody advice I would. As I am at the very first step of DWPS on a single string it shouldn’t be too much for a keen eye to say yeh your on the right track or not.

Thanks


#18

Hi @Brendan,

My initial thoughts on this subject are mixed. On the one hand I was a bit dismissive, thinking that A - everyone had a day job and don’t always have the time or inclination to go on the forum and post replies
B - Sometimes you can spend ages on the forum, which could have been spent practicing!
C- Not everyone feels confident enough to post feedback. There have been many times where I have posted my feedback which turned out to be relatively incorrect (especially when Troy posts :wink:). It can be a source of great learning, but it doesn’t stop you feeling like an idiot!

However, CTC forum was set up with the technique critque at the heart of it, so we do need to cater for updates in some way
I think that there is a difference in responsiveness needed for different needa. @weealf wanted feedback on a specific item that is fundamental to his playing, so a relatively prompt response (say a week?) would be ideal. However, someone that has made the fundamental choices and is in the process of hard practice may just want to share their progress and get some affirmation I guess - in this case I would happily accept a response in 30 days (or not at all).

A little while back I made a suggestion of the possibility of each user having their own dedicated page for posting their up progress. Would this help matters in terms of the more affirmation type feedback? Then anything in the critique section would be only uses for queries on specific subjects where the player has hit a complete roadblock or is just starting out etc. And could be monitored more closely to make sure none of then slip the net.


#19

I too have hesitated to post feedback feeling that I didn’t want to post something that might be incorrect. So I get what you’re saying.
However, as I was reading your post it kind of dawned on me that even if I post something that’s not 100% correct and @Troy then posts a correction…I just learned something too.
So maybe I’ll start trying to be a bit more active with helping fellow forumites move forward and hopefully I’ll come out the other end more knowledgeable for it!!

Edit: plus this is a relatively small community (which I love about it) so I would agree that there may be some time that has passed before responses trickle in.
I think if we all make an effort to help the best we can it will make a big difference.
Even if it is a simple comment like “wow, big difference in this video…keep up the good work!” That will go a long way.


#20

Perhaps I’m misinterpreting the meaning behind that statement so please correct me if I have.

I also love that the community is relatively small compared to, for example, a Mixed Martial Arts forum which I belong to and has thousands of members. There are lots of people on that forum who average 5,000 posts or more per year! It’s crazy. I find it very annoying when a thread becomes 30 pages long on that forum which is not uncommon. Who has the time to read through a 30 page thread? Worst of all, most of what they post is garbage. A lot of the replies to threads are just pictures of people with no text at all! It wasn’t always that way but as it has become more and more like that, I find myself using that forum less and less.

The point I’d like to make is I find the opposite to be true of what I understand the writer of the post to be saying. I believe that because our forum is relatively small and we have just a small handful of requests for technique critiques each week, it’s possible to give them a lot more attention and much prompter attention as well compared to if we had 100 new videos a week being posted here all asking for a technique critique. Do you see my point?

I find the fact that people who aren’t even paid subscribers to CTC created content can still get a free evaluation of their technique from Troy Grady himself to be remarkably generous on Troy’s part! Most owners of companies would charge for the privilege of getting a technique critique from the founder and top executive in the organization. I don’t think some of you realize what an amazingly generous offer the Technique Critique section of this forum is!

A couple days ago I was personally attacked by a member of this forum who stated that this forum is BS and he went on to put things a lot more colorfully than that when I suggested to him that he adopt a more positive attitude and that I thought he would benefit from the forum more if he didn’t take such a negative view of it and looked at it in a more positive light. If someone is truly angry about not getting enough feedback and nit getting fast enough feedback from the Technique Critique forum as that guy certainly was,

I continue to suggest one adopt a more positive attitude and show some gratitude toward a man in Troy’s position as well as anyone else who freely devotes his time to helping someone they don’t even know. Honestly, is showing some gratitude for such a wonderfully valuable free service too much to ask?


#21

I’m not sure if this addresses your concern but I meant that because of the lower overall number of members (as compared to the mma example you spoke of) a certain amount of time may pass before a particular person or persons actually visit the forum and see that a critique has been posted. I believe @PickingApprentice had mentioned that many of us have day jobs and families and other such obligations. Therefore several days may pass before we can login and give critique. Add to that the overall lower membership and I feel it’s not uncommon to have a bit of time pass with little or no responses to a post.
But I agree that a larger membership such as the mma forum oftentimes has pages and pages of crap to wade through…and who has time for that! I would think that this forum, especially with the smaller membership would be able to (and does) give much more insightful and helpful responses when they are posted.
Again, I’m not sure if I directly addressed what you were asking about, but that’s kind of all I meant.
Smaller membership=lower post count.


#22

Yes Gtrjunior, that pretty much addressed what I was asking about. Still I really believe that the smaller membership is a positive thing regarding the Technique Critique section because of the following:
Smaller membership = lower number of videos submitted per week to critique.
Troy, as all of us has limited time to spend critiquing videos, so a small handful of videos submitted weekly means the guitarists who submitted those videos have a better chance of Troy getting around to critique them sooner than later than if this were a large forum with 100 submissions per week asking to critique their videos.

I realize Troy isn’t the only one here capable of responding with a valuable critique but he is the guy that I believe most people submitting videos for critique are hoping will critique their video since they know he’s very good at it whereas with someone else they don’t necessarily know how good that person is with providing useful, valuable critique. The person may be good at critiquing but not as good at critiquing as Troy. Or the person may not be very capable at all and actually offer a critique that does more harm than good.

So, all things considered, the small size of the forum makes it more likely that a person submitting a video for critique will get a prompt and highly useful critique on his playing than if the forum were larger.


#23

I think that both

And

Are both true and can occur in any particular week. If you post in a week where everyone so happens to drop by the forum then great, but the next week - not so lucky.

But the main issue raised here is not the initial critique - it is the follow-up critiques that may not happen and sometimes it is the more difficult one to advise on. Also, my perception is that sometimes the follow-up request is made very quickly and I feel that some people expect results in a short period of time and post another critique video that shows very little difference - I would much rather see someone post an update at least 2 weeks from the original post -where some real progress could have taken place and been more insightful.


#24

I think a time frame wouldn’t be of much help, eventhough in most cases you’re right.
But I remember a couple of posts where post and answer came every few minutes and made sense, basically that was about finding a motion to work on, so to be more general if you don’t know what to practice waiting makes no sense.

Assuming that most of us are adults, I still think the best way (at least at the actual size of the forum) would be some guidelines. Maybe there could be a notification everytime when posting in critique section telling what would work best to get answers.
And a thread like this one from time to time is probably not bad, that way we all get remembered to take some time here and there to have a look on those videos.


#25

Only when I’m supposed to be working. :wink: