Agile Network: Where is everyone?

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The agile network has 6,000+ registered community users, approximately ~200 registered users are active users and only a handful of users are interacting with other users on this forum.

Where is everyone? and what are you up to? can we be more social here? :)
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Robert -

Honestly, lately, I just haven't seen any questions I know the answers to. I'm not sure if that's good or bad! I hope it means that all of the low hanging fruit is addressed by the forum already or the tutorials. :)

J.Ja
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Also, it doesn't help that for months, I basically couldn't use the forums because even logging in would take 10 minutes...

J.Ja
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Hello Robert,

Think there are multiple reasons why people don't visit the forum, some which I think that is the reason:

- The 'Invite Friends and Get Free Stuff' program, it's nice but it mostly get people who comes here just ones,
- There are always people who don't post questions/answers at a forum,
- Sometimes works get to busy so you don't have the time to post something.

And there are so much more reasons (OS which has an unlimited user licence so they don't have to delete users or make them inactive :) ). Do you really think it's bad there not that many users on the forum? I think it's better and it also keep the forum more 'clean'.

Kind regards,
Evert

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Perhpas it's more easier... the tool is just great and you don't need help? :)
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I believe it's not a matter of "why people come (or don't)".
To quote Robert: "can we be more social here?"

I believe we would all profit from a little more activity from everyone, and not just to ask/answer questions.
It's always cool to read what people are up to, what are their expectations from the platform or how they are using it to whatever they're doing.

I know sometimes a developer's work load doesn't allow much interaction outside the IDE, but I believe this community isn't something to be looked at as "work" but rather a social tool where you can communicate with people working with the same tools (the Agile Platform) and therefor obtain insight on how other people handle different situations or spend their days, so it shouldn't be accessed only during work hours.

Currently the community seems accessed mostly by developers (due to the Q&A nature it seems to have gained), but it is my belief that everyone else working in some way with the platform (engagement and project managers for eg.) should be using it to provide/obtain insight about how they handle their day to day challenges, as there is a lot to be said about the Agile Methodology.

It is a community after all, it's goal is to bring people with the same interests together, not just Q&A. :-)
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Hi guys,

This is a very interesting thread, and one of particular interest to me for obvious reasons.

The way I see it we have an amazing community here, where questions – from the simple to the laborious – get invariably answered rapidly and very well. Also, we get thousands and thousands of visits to the forums every month and lots of thread reads, meaning that every question answered is actually benefitting lots of other people, not just the original poster.

This makes me incredibly happy and proud of what we accomplish each day!

The only thing that I wish I could “crack” is to motivate the lurkers to get more involved. I have a keen interest on psychology and how different people react to different environments, and how to some people certain communities and interactions feel a lot more hostile than others. This impacts on how much contributing (and, specifically, interacting) falls outside the comfort zone to each person, and this in turn limits the diversity of the posters.

Case in point: everyone that has thus far posted on this thread are already some of the people I can always count on to share their knowledge. We do it because we get a great buzz from putting something back, even if sometimes our answers may not be 100% correct. And we know that somewhere out there, there’s another fellow forum dweller that could have answered better than we did and we were deprived of his or her knowledge because somehow we’re not coming across as a friendly enough bunch. :(

This actually just screams for a blog post, so I’ll try to write one this week. In the meantime I’d be happy to hear any ideas from ANYONE. Don’t hold back! This is a friendly brainstorm and don’t assume that your idea is so simple we must have already considered it! Sometimes you are so close to the problem you just can’t see it!

Here’s my pledge:

if we get a couple of FIRST POST posters here, I will post a silly picture of me on this thread!

so get cracking, EVERYONE: Let me embarrass myself for your sake! :)


Miguel
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António , Miguel,

If you want the forum to be a more social place, why is it developt as an Q&A. The thing is, in my vision, a forum needs to be categories so you can go to the 'place' you want to go. So with questions to the Q&A category, for agile to the agile category, for social to the social category, for other developer stuff (trends?) to the other developer stuff category and for fun to the coffee corner. Some thing I would like would be some 'code' sharing on how you solved a 'difficult' problem.

Another idea would be making country cantegories. Where people can speak in there own language to each other (just an idea, I understand it's not helpfull if someone in Brasil needs to start reading dutch to solve his problem :) ).

On this way the user can find what he want or be in the place where he want to be.


The other part is that it's all being public. Everybody can read the question being ask/answerd (even the customer). I can imagine that for several subjects it's not something what you would like to do.

Kind regards,
Evert
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So...I'm a first post poster and i'm a woman. It should count as two! :D

I'm Engagement Manager, and by having one of the greatest technology evangelists in my team, I come here a lot to read a few threads. But, it's just that, read.

Having this in mind, I totaly agree with Evert. There should exist more categories for (strange) people that don't eat C# cereals at breakfast, like me! :)

Cheers,

Vera
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I agree that having our problems publicly exposed may not be good for business. While with a more common technology someone with our name making a newbie question may pass unnoticed, when we speak about OS everyone is here and everyone sees who the user is. But again, no one should be ashamed of asking to the best to quickly overcome a difficulty.

About the more social component of the forum, with people from all over the world and different time zones it's not easy to create a community.
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A couple of points here:

* For socialization, I think that Facebook does an outstanding job. What I saw at TechRepublic was that a few years ago it was FILLED with off-topic, socialization type posts, but that's almost all moved to Facebook. Many of my readers have looked me up on Facebook and we've become close enough to the point where we send each other Christmas cards.

* The forum system here is really aimed at Q&A, but that's mostly wording in a few sections.

* The forum system here is not well set up for socialization in comparison to social networks like Facebook and Google+.

Unless someone is proposing that the forum get reworked to be like Facebook, or moved to something like Ning, I wouldn't expect to see much off-topic socialization here. Feel free to look me up on Facebook though. :D

J.Ja
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You guys have a point with the categories.

My sugestion, besides the creation of a few more (including some sort of lounge (cmon' I wanna make use of internet memes randomly :P)), would be that the "recent activity" page should have the recent activity for each category.

Meaning:
If you click on the community tab, you are taken to the "Recent activity" page. This page will invariably be filled with more technical stuff (because it will always be the most active section), taking visibility from every other category.

If the recent activity page is split into two levels, all categories would have the same visibility. For each category, the second level would show the last N posts for that section. :-)

(If that isn't clear enough, I can post a screenshot where that can be seen)
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Imho the idea is right, just the execution is a bit old-skool.

I wish it would be more like stackoverflow:

1. proper Q&A
2. you choose the right answer
3. there are tags to be added, for example 5.0, 5.1, 6.0, integration, service studio etc.
4. better up/down voting (you had that question as well)

there would be more activity and fun to question and answer.

 
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I'm really enjoying this thread, guys (and gals),

FYI, we have a few minor improvements (quick wins) to the forums to be rolled out soon that will try to address some of the points raised, namely making it faster to navigate and reply to a thread and bringing greater visibility to the Thumbs Up (and add the Thumbs down – though we really don’t need it that often) functionality.

The former intents on bringing down the "cost" of replying to something (every click counts) so hopefully we'll get more spontaneous, off-the-cuff replies. The latter is meant to foment participation from the silent majority (i.e. even if you don’t post, you can secretly validate other peoples’ post qualities – that also helps immensely).

I am also going to add one or two more forums to allow for better thread organization: namely allow for slightly off-topic discussions: certain people aren’t very good at writing exceedingly technical  posts, but are great socialisers and embody the feel-good we want in a community in their more informal posts.

Further down the line, we have developments that will bridge some of the other limitations mentioned here, but you’ll have to wait a little while longer to know about these...

@Vera: Good to have you onboard... but you still count as only one so for now, I'm safe. :) I know it was Chinita that put you up for this – he’s really keen on embarrassing me, you see. I will need to have a word with him sometime lol

Everyone, many thanks and keep this thread on the Recent Activity window!


Miguel
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Miguel, sounds good.

Vera, your 1st post and Nuno 6th post!

It's good to have you posting! :)

@Miguel, Nuno mentioned some users are affraid to ask silly questions under their real name, you might want to consider display/name alias to solve this issue (like most forums)




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@Miguel, *evil grin* :P

The stackoverflow (like) ideas are pretty good to the Q&A nature of the forum (and would be highly apreciated by everyone), however I was actually talking about giving visibility to the other possible not-so-technical sections of the forum, so people like Vera can come and have a say much more often. :)
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I don't agree with the alias idea. Be aware that having real names is an advantage. It shows your certifications, your projects, it shows you! And when answering it must be with real name to get credits for it.
Maybe a rating system evaluating the question and the answer so we could get credits for good posts.


The problem is that nowadays we have too many places to be social. Work forums can't compete against them, they shoud stick with work issues.


(I don't post a lot because I don't OutSystem as much as I'd like to. It will change soon.)
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"I was actually talking about giving visibility to the other possible not-so-technical sections of the forum, so people like Vera can come and have a say much more often. :)"


Agree!



What do you think about these forums?

Open Discussion - General Issues and comments

Product Functionality - Help and comments on agile platform functionality 

Components & Extensions - Develop extensions or components 

User Experience - GUI design, usability and visual design discussion

Guides & How-tos

News & Articles

Questions - Open questions for all
 

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That are too many forums.

The number of forums we have now is actually too much, since 2 of those are really rarely used now.

we have been on this road before, if you have too many forums you create an visually empty  site where in each forum nothing is posted.
who decides if stuff are gui design or product functionality? instead of creating 9 posts in the technical forum, you have 1 or 2 posts in each forum per day...

Imho the search is simply lacking in this case. what am I looking for, has it been answered already? Does certain posts resemble my question?


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One thing, I think, is that the OutSystems support is EXCELLENT. Realistically, most users have little need for the forum, most of these questions can be answered by support, will be answered by support, and I bet most paying customers just have support answer their questions instead of coming here, which is a LOT more work than emailing support! I've gotten to know some people here, but only because they post a lot too. Most of the questions you see here are quite obviously someone who just did a download of Community Edition, didn't get any training, didn't watch the tutorials, etc. But it's hard to get to know someone if they only post one item a year, or all they do is ask questions instead of provide answers, you don't really know who they are and what they do.

I also think that allowing fake names is not a great idea. If someone has a question that they don't want shown in public (why? does it show that they have no clue what they are doing and they don't want their boss finding out?) then they can contact the aforementioned excellent support team. :)

J.Ja

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You make a good point Justin. Most users do have little need for the forum, for all the reasons you mentioned.
Also, what you said about reworking the forum and your experience with TechRepublic (avid reader of your posts btw :)) makes perfect sense.

Miguel and the Outsystems team seem to be very aware of all the needs (and respective constraints) we are all mentioning here, judging by his last post. Looking forward to those changes.

This thread is turning into a good discussion on the "status quo" of the community, hehe.

Since I'm here and most of the people that commented/will comment are active users... And I know this seems like a bit of a stretch...
What would you think if people joined efforts here (I know, only the most pro-active users would care to join), every once in a while, to brainstorm (on skype or something) about some cool features that would add value to the platform as a whole and that could be developed in component form, and actually develop them together?
Personally, I would like to have a chance to work with some of the interesting/experienced people here. Little projects like these would give us a chance, that wouldn't exist otherwise, to share experiences with each other.
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@Joost

You are right, too many forums! maybe when the community grows much larger it would be suitable to categorize the forum as such.


@António
What would you think if people joined efforts here (I know, only the most pro-active users would care to join), every once in a while, to brainstorm (on skype or something) about some cool features that would add value to the platform as a whole and that could be developed in component form, and actually develop them together? Personally, I would like to have a chance to work with some of the interesting/experienced people here. Little projects like these would give us a chance, that wouldn't exist otherwise, to share experiences with each other.

I would love to work with you and other community developers :) Ive built some components featured under Swiitch 
http://www.outsystems.com/NetworkMembers/PublicProfile.aspx?Id=7698&Name=Swiitch+Pty+Limited swiitch=largest agile network component contributor? ;)

I could spend 10 hours a week, max, and contribute to the agile network community, alot could be done in 10 hours a week/40hours a month.

I have a few ideas, we should talk! maybe anyone else  interested in developing something great that will help the the agile community! We should talk and build something together! 

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I'm up for that as well (obviously). If I spend the same 10h, that makes 80h/month already. hehe
Let's wait to see whoever replies tomorrow, then gather everyone :)

Used Twitter and JSON from swiitch already. :D
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I wish I had ten hours a month of time to spare... too busy working!

J.Ja
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@António
"Used Twitter and JSON from swiitch already...."

Nice!!


@Justin 
 If you have time watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qo7vUdKTlhk (interesting way to make time for yourself!) :)
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My problem is simply that my household requires more money to run than I can earn in a 40 hour work week, plain and simple. :( I run a house with 3 adults and 2 kids, only one of whom works... single earner house with 4 incomes!

J.Ja
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@Justin

1 Income, 5 people to feed, no GDT will help there! ...It's hard enough to have 2 adults and 1 income , let alone 5 people to feed! :(
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One day not on the forum and 20 post made :O....it's going into the right direction...

I don't think alias names would be a good idea. I think it will be better to make some kind of 'newbie' part where simple or first questions can be asked. I think that people would post a 'newbie' question quicker because of the psychological effect (thats where the newbie part is for :) ).

As for the other idea's I agree with Justin that for the whole social part there are social solutions, but you could consider to make a 'coffeecorner' on the forum where more personal things could be mentioned. But that is the opposite of the idea of Joost (which I also agree) that you don't need to make to many forum parts. I totaly agree with Joost that the use of tags would be a solution (even the newbie part could be a tag). So thats something OS may decide.

To come back on the post of Vera, I do think there must be a part that is more related to DM and EM people. The forum now is more Q&A, so a topic more business related would be a 'strange' one through all the other topics.

Another thing is the WotC....if you asked me it seems that OS has forgotten about this part. Before someone of OS was really busy with this part (replying, merge ideas and so on) but is seem that this has stoped. Only new ideas are still posted and thats is. Even the top ideas are still not implemented in the platform. Let us show that OS is indeed doing something with the ideas.

Kind regards,
Evert
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There are no silly questions, silly answers is another thing ;)


There are 3 types of questions
1. schoolwork questions... Those you can feel that they are just too lazy to do anything, just copy-paste and continue. I will NOT answer those
2. questions with !!!!! URGENT, ASAP, HELP!!!!! in the topic, I ignore those by default.
3. the rest, I will answer them if I even understand the question.

I have trouble of understanding lots of questions because it's often just a comment about an error.

- Give context
- Give OML if possible
- screenshots
- which OS version, Oracle, MSSQL, .Net, Java
etc. etc.
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@Joost Those last bullets are really nice tips on how to explain a problem.

Regardiding stupid questions and stupid answers I like Kathy Sierra's mantra that "Encouraging a 'There Are No Dumb Questions' culture is only part of the solution. What we really need is a 'There are No Dumb Answers' policy." and the infograph on the subject:



included in her excelent excelent article on How to Build a User Community that anyone interested in belonging to online communities should read.

On the subject, and as an OutSystems employee, I would just like to indivuidually thank you all very much for all your contributions. You are the reason I wake up in the morning energized to do event better work.

Cheers,
Tiago Simões
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Nice graphic Tiago,

Just to give some global comment concerning the functional 'fullfillment' of the website (or just my 2 cents, if you like).

The Outsystems main page is great!... for people who visit the site for the very first time and have NEVER
seen the Outsystems platform and want just to know what it is and how 'easaly' they can work with it...

I've known Outsystems as a pretty 'Agile' company (to be using your own marketing terms); changing quickly and adapting to the environment.
The main page is static and for me doesn't really reflect the company, nor it's vision.

I'd expect a main page to be alive.
This page is for sure viewed most but often has the least effort put into it and is changed the least. (WHY?)

You have loads of sessions, projects, modifications, ideas; projecting this in your (main) website is projecting your vision as a company.
On the main page the only thing that actually is interesting for more frequent users and 'frequently' changes is 'stacked' 3 scrolls away; on the bottom part.
(the NEWS)

Things like MyNextstep is something that is way better then it is profiled and should get (way) more attention
in order to keep the community / Outsystems customers 'awake' and to attract prospect.

Nobody wants to look at the same powerpoint presentation (read: static main page) OVER and OVER again because they simply get bored after seeing it twice.

In this first page also the companies that are using Outsystems are shown.
This is a typical 'American marketing' segment for company directors who want their company to 'reflect' to large, well-known and successful companies.
The Agile Platform™ is trusted by many of the world's most respected companies.

Good to put that in on the "About Outsystems" page of the company or to note that whenever a prospect asks about the usage.
I'd think it's kind the same as meeting someone for the first time and introducing yourself by saying:
"Hi, I'm followed by 2000 people on twitter every day and earn $300.000 a year; by the way, my name is Eric"

Concerning the "Company" profile page...
Paolo himself once stated on the NextStep 2011 "It's the Outsystems team who make the company" ; I couldn't agree more.
All I can find is a page with managers of the company and a tiny bit on 'other' employees...
Where's the team? :)

The "Contact Us" tab on the right side of the screen shouldn't have an employee count in there since it wouldn't help the customer.
This give potential customers the idea that their questions aren't taken seriously should they be a small(er) company.
A button like that should be aimed for providing correct information to the requestor.
A predefined subject in order to drop the question on the right desk would have 'added value' for that component.

Hope you're not offended by my 'Dutch directness' in the feedback.

I love the Outsystems company, it's people and I'm a proud member of the community!
The site could reflect and attract above a bit more. ;)

Cheers,

Eric
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Hi Eric!

No worries about your  'Dutch directness' in your feedback. Actually it rocks ;) Thank you for that.

Your feedback was great and I just want to let you know that I will reply to your post as soon as possible. Stay tuned!  
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Thanks for your quick reply and Yes, will do! ;)
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EDIT: Kept it short!


Apart of the problem is....Potential customers do not understand the product

Most of your users sign up and not return; Maybe they are interested in the product at first but over all they just dont know how to use it, don't understand it, too hard to understand this product?

Someone at outsystems needs to talk to all these new potential customers signing up, rather than let them slip away, send them an email hey I am your personal account manager i am here to answer all your questions, or hey we are running a webinar, join us and we will answer all your questions and give you a overview on how our product works,etc...etc. ?

 

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@ Tiago, nice post about the forum. Read the original post and it seem that we need to respond less so the people in the middle are going to respond more, let's try that :).... Maybe you can convince them that you will wake up in the morning for them too:).

@Eric, nice post about the OS website. I don't visit the 'original' website of OS but it is nice to see some idea's about a home page of a company.

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Just letting everybody know that I keep reading this thread with renewed interest, even if I don't reply to every single post. Just a few short comments so far

@Tiago: Very cool graphic and article. Just so everyone knows, I've known and worked with Tiago for maybe 8 years now and he still manages to surprise me with this kind of stuff!

@Robert: No need to abbreviate your posts. I was lucky to have subscribed this thread and have a copy of your original "long" post and there's nothing there that reads like fat to me. Nice one all around!

@Justin: Yeah, OutSystems support rocks! I mean, I would give my left arm to be half as good as some of these guys! Having said that, Support is only meant to help you with installations, maintenance and bug reports. Their remit is not to help on application development doubts (even though they sometimes can't help themselves and help there as well lol);

@Eric: The "main" page is not under my jurisdiction but the "Web Team Collective" keeps an eye on these forums, as proven by Hugo's post. So, by all means, let us know what you feel could be improved there. But understand that the corporate site is a whole different kettle of fish, subject to considerations that we do not (and to an extent should not) have here in the Community. I really want the Community to be developer-friendly and that means keeping some of the more heavy-handed "business" stuff away from this neck of the woods;

@All: Alias are already implemented but they will NOT hide your real identity. You'll just have the option to have your alias appear on your posts and components, if you think it's "kewl" :) but when people follow the link to your profile they will see who you are, your certifications etc.

Keep them coming,


Miguel
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Hi Eric!
 
Thank you for letting us know what you feel could be improved in OutSystems website.
That’s the one thing I love about our community: everyone has great ideas and vision, and you all share it for the benefit of the whole community.
 
I work in the team that looks after the website, so I really appreciate all the great and candid feedback about our website.
 
The homepage is indeed the hardest page to manage on any website. As you say, it needs to tell a great story to newcomers, but at the same time give enough value for returning visitors.
I agree that we do a good job with new visitors, but could improve a lot for returning visitors.
 
One of the main reasons for this is that we do have a community website, and we have always kind of split our web properties in two: we consider that newcomers go to the website to learn about what we have to offer, and once they get engaged, they start using the community as their go-to place to find the latest information.
I agree we need to do a better job in providing the community with more value. In fact, we are in the process of making a lot of changes to the community, to make it much more valuable for you all. Stay tuned for some changes coming to the OutSystems Community site very soon!
 
In terms of the homepage “freshness”, we’re actually working on that as I’m typing (yep I’m multitasking!).
For the past couple of months we’ve been working on a major revamp of the website, which includes some considerable changes to the homepage.
We are pushing that “news&updates” section higher, and include additional information like upcoming bootcamps, local events and webinars.
 
I also understand your comments regarding the logo strip we have there.
The logos were one of the elements we introduced, after a lot of user testing, to increase the trust factor and get those extra seconds from the visitors.
Although OutSystems is growing in awareness worldwide, there are still many people who don’t know the company.
Therefore we need to provide some quick proof that we are for real, that we have many customers, and that those customers are companies they can relate with.
 
I loved your example of the introduction “Hi, I'm followed by 2000 people on twitter…”, by the way!
Unfortunately the homepage is more of a monologue, so what we’re trying to do is to tell our story and try to anticipate the questions our visitors will have, to simulate a dialogue.
-       What do you do?
-       We have this great product to build and manage web applications.
-       Never hear of it! Is anyone using it in the world?
-       Well check these logos, some might be in your industry or country.
-       Ah, ok…and do they like it?
-       See for yourself, here are some video testimonials.
-       …
 
Regarding the Management team page, this is another “trust building” page. The concept behind it is to show that our management team has a large experience in this market, and therefore the company is solid and will be in the market for years to come. OutSystems keeps growing and we’re past the 140 employee mark -having all employee profiles on that page would be a stretch.
However, if you consider my previous comments, the Community website is an extension to our corporate website, and it’s the perfect place where all OutSystems employees should be listed with their bios, interests and contacts.
This is something we’re working on for the next version of the community. We want the community to be the place where people really get to know each other, and the profile page will be a key driver for that goal.
 
Finally, the "Contact Us" tab.
One of our mantras has always been to answer every single question we get, whether it is from a college student or a CIO.
We encourage people to ask questions, since all those questions are direct feedback from the field on what is missing, what is not clear, what is needed.
As I mentioned before, OutSystems is growing fast. Every day we get a growing number of contact requests and questions, from all over the world.
In order to manage this growing demand, we are scaling up our pre-sales and sales teams, and to be effective, we need to set-up ways to automate the routing of these requests to the appropriate people. The days where we could have a couple of people answer all questions are long gone! Therefore, we use several pieces of information to determine who is the best person to respond to a request. The country is an obvious one (to ensure a timely response from the teams that are on the same time-zone). The number of employees is something we added just recently, so we can segment the companies that are contacting us, and hand those contact requests to the right people, since we have people that are focusing on different market segments.
 
I hope I clarified some of the rationale behind the decisions we need to make on a daily basis for our website… it’s not an easy job but that’s why I love being part of this team: constant challenges!
 
I think you’ll be pleased with what’s coming soon for the website and community, and will love to get your feedback as these changes get released.
 
Cheers
Hugo
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Can't wait to see the new changes! Now for my input ...

I would love to see more content for all the "other" people (speaking as one of the "other" people). Before I discovered OutSystems, I was doing web design (no developing), and before that graphic design. But I dove in, and I'm loving it! However, because I don't have the background that most people in the community do, I get lost a lot. I'm trying really hard to catch up, but until then, it would be nice if there were more topics that people like me could contribute to. I'm pretty sure everything I've posted so far has been a question, and it would feel GREAT if I could actually start giving some answers or ideas. I'm guessing there's plenty of people out there who feel the same.

Even though a lot of those things may not be specific to the Agile Platform only, and there are plenty of other resources outside of this communtiy, I think it would help create more conversation among the newbies and it would remind the others of things they may not think about on a daily basis - like writing for example. There's unlimited resources for how to write, how to choose words, etc. and it's used everywhere, but I think a discussion about that would be a good reminder for everyone in the community that the words you use in interafaces affect usability ... Things like that. I have lots of other ideas! Or maybe I'm wrong and no one ever forgets. ;)

Another thought - I've noticed I spend a lot of time on here when I'm working on a project in the platform, but when I'm not, I don't check in very often. Maybe it's just me, in which case you can ignore this. I'd like to have some incentive to be on more often. Not sure what could be done, but just thought I'd mention that. Maybe it's just because I'm still a beginner.

So far, the community has been by far the greatest resource for me to learn more about the platform. I read old posts a lot. It's really helpful to hear how others overcame obstacles and see the methods of other users. Plus, it's a little confidence boost to see I'm not the only one who has things go wrong sometimes. ;)
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Hi Hugo,

Thanks for your complete reply.

I understand the dialog approach but I think you could simplify that.
The Agile Platform Video however gives a pretty good idea for techies I think.

For the 'business side' I'm not sure if the picture about the Outsystems Platform is clear and if you're actually
convincing someone with a list of large companies or their logo's.
When I look at default 'hoax' E-mailings all larger companies (Microsoft / Apple / Norton etc.) are named
and to me they create more of a suspicion than a confirmation. (But hey; I'm not everyone; perhaps this really works for some.)

I'd think if you could create a video demo picturing a companies need for rich (web)applications,
change management and a 'dramatic' result would be more convincing to 'demo your product' for everyone.

Think of the great show you guys gave when introducing the new features of version 6.
(Showing the placeholder functionalities and making a huge change in a matter of seconds)
Everyone could follow that; the message was clear and simple and the show was really enjoyable by itself.
Another great example of making a message clear in a simple way:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8Xg_C2YmG0

Something that might need some attention is the great support you guys give; this actually is part of your product but actually not noted anywhere.
Aftersales are important. :)
I've NEVER EVER experienced that kind of support with any company.
My idea would be to instead of showing the 'Contact us' button is to use a tiny popup "Chat" functionality.
There are few companies that have such a functionality but the web-user's experience of it is awesome.

I'm aiming for the weekend now so I'll drop the pen here. (or rather keyboard/mouse)

Thanks for your reply (you too Evert and Miguel) and have a great weekend!
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@Miguel

 

Will keep it detailed if you like :)

 

What I mentioned early was...maybe your customer just don't understand what on earth is the agile platform all about and/or how it benefits his business.

 

First time user, would visit the homepage, watches the introduction video, reads about the agile platform, maybe registers on the forum and download the product. If lucky he/she discovers that there are training video available. 

 

You have many potential customers leave, and never come back because they don't really know what the product is all about or how to use it. 

 

Why not send each new registered user an email to see if they are doing ok and not lost somewhere?

"Hi <Name>,

 

Just wanted to check in to see how everything is going!

 

I wanted to make sure that Outsystems has been a good experience for you so far. Let me know if you need any help with anything or if you have any questions. I'm always in the office, so send me an email or give me a call anytime! :)"

 

In addition to this welcome email, run a weekly webinar, invite every agile network community member to join your webinar. In your webinar, outsystems will build real life applications, demonstrating the capability of the agile platform and answer any questions from the agile network community.

 

Do this every week, to build your community base/customer base...yes its tough but its necessary! Your competitive www.ironspeed.com has been doing this for a number of years now and its proven to be effective!

 

---

Partnering with vendors around the world and setting up local outsystems distribution centers around the world; providing local local support to local businesses, will indeed convert potential customers into paying customers. 

 

But what about all that web traffic? all those registered potential customers that register on your site? these potential customers are not being converted into paying customers, they are all lost. 

 

Outsystems customer support is excellent but it needs to extend its hand and become more proactive with newly register users/potential customers.


That is the honest truth. 

 

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In order to build this community, outsystems will need to first build its customer base and naturally this will grow the agile network community.

Do you agree with the following?

An increase in the number of businesses using the agile platform, will create demand for the agile platform, and creates jobs.
With the availablity of jobs, it will attract the interest of professional developers.

So who do you sell to first? businesses or developers?

DEVELOPERS! but ill get to that point later :)
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A quick comment on this intriguing thread is that, the revolution (Agile Platform) needs to be made available to to the masses. Watching the intro videos on the main site shows ease of use of the application/platform to build the apps, but visiting the forum as a newbie is quite "threatening" The topics discussed are at a very very high level (in most part) and anyone learning this tool will feel that maybe this is not for me.
My suggestions are that since majority of the developers here will be developing in-house type applications that can't be shown to the world, then the sample applications build to demo the platform be full case applications that can be put together with the aim of "teaching" new comers without the assumption of prior knowledge.
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Hi,
 
Congratulations to OutSystems for their success and thanks to the entire Community for believing there is a better way to develop high quality applications.
 
Coming from a background of about 10 years of Java development, I'm starting to discover the Agile Platform and would like to contribute positively to its evolution.
 
My suggestions for improving the community social interactions:
 
- Create a place for new members to introduce themselves to the community.
 
- Create a mechanism to browse the community base and do criteria based search (e.g. name, location, certifications, etc).
 
Cheers,
Cláudio Vieira
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Hello Everyone,

First off I would like to thank you all for this thread and your forum contributions. My life would have been a lot harder.

Secondly, please do NOT take any of these remarks personally; I am just offering some open feedback from my side.

My responses are basically to the topic question “Where is everyone?”

·         Small shop, just hired third developer
·         Read the nightly email, and forum, just about every day in 3Q11; been too busy with work since then to even look at the forum once every couple of weeks
·         Basically an introverted person but have responded to a couple of posts
·         Personal opinion: This particular thread seems very intimidating and ‘monopolized’ by quick responses from the ‘core experts’
·         Would contribute more but we are so ‘behind the curve’ that I either do not know how to answer or my questions have already been answered months/years before

What I want/don’t want:

·         With limited time, I don’t want to see a ‘social’ thread mixed in with technical/how-to Q&A
·         Better search engine; e.g. do I search on ‘case’ or ‘cases’; hard to find things sometimes
·         A lot of hard work for someone: Consolidate various similar topic threads
·         Consider an ‘archived’ section for responses not applicable (or performed differently) in newer releases. (In our case ‘newer’ is 5.0 and above.)
·         OutSystems is great for people like me who do NOT do JavaScript, C#, etc. Some responses mention ‘extended methods’, like ‘onblur’.  Sometimes in cannot be helped and that is the only way. Deeper examples on how to code the JS in those cases would really be helpful.
 
As I said, this is only my personal response as to why I am no used the forums (in a contributory manner) more often. I to rely and greatly appreciate all the posters contributions quite often.

Keep up the good work everyone.
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Summary: Case reported by community users:

-Some users prefer not to ask silly questions on a public forum.

-New users find agile network community forum intimidating, no forum for new users (forum discussion maybe too technical for non technical people?). 

-Forum is too slow, forum search feature is broken

-New users, visit website once, new user may not understand purpose of product; user may require additional guidance (ie welcome email from personal account manager, real life application development tutorial and Q&A via weekly webinar etc)

-Outsystems product and support is excellent

-Forum used as Q&A, improvement on UX by designing Q&A section similar to stackoverflow.

1. proper Q&A styled site

2. Able to choose the right answer

3. Tags for products, example Agile Platform 5.0, Agile Platform 5.1, Agile Platform 6.0, integration, service studio etc.

4. Voting system

-Hard for expert to support new users, due to visual development nature of the agile platform. Much easier for expert to support other experts and leave new user support to outsystems.
-Paid customers are less likely to contribute to community disccussion as community support will not be needed, since phone and email support is provided by outsystems.
-Outsystems customer base is small, and as a result the outsystems community base/agile network community is also small.
 

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This is the type of webinar suggested, it looks like outsystems is already on it!
http://www.outsystems.com/company/events/web/agile-platform-60/
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It's probably implicit in what Robert was saying about allowing people to choose the correct solution to a question, but I'd like something that shows unsolved questions building into the forum, so they keep high visibility until they are solved.

Otherwise, you can ask a question, as I did yesterday, and unless I keep posting another comment to bump the question back up to the top of the list (which just feels wrong), it simply drifts away - no-one else realises it's there, and the person who's asked the question is left without an answer.
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Another good reason to use a stackoverflow thing.

you have unanswered option, bounties to help those etc. etc.
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Alright, everybody... seems like we have a couple of 1st Post contributors to this thread. I'm going to stay true to my word and post what is clearly a career-damaging picture of me.

Just so you know the context for this dubious photoshoot, I decided to shave off my beard on New Year’s Eve but rather than doing it the way any sane man would do I decided to have a little fun with it...
 


After this post, I dare ANYONE to feel their particular question is going to be childish or silly and not worth posting. You can only refrain from contributing only if your post is even more nonsense than this!

Ex-bearded regards,
 

Miguel

PS - You'll be happy to hear I have also cut my hair after this.
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Not only you stayed true to your promise, you also provided some comic relief to the whole community!

I couldn't ask for more!
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Hi,

A reactions to what is said:

@Alex: I totaly agree with what you say (A lot of hard work for someone: Consolidate various similar topic threads). Since every people search on a different way (or not at all) there are a lot of 'the same topics it would be nice to see some of them be combined or just one made as the solution for that answer. I think it would also helps a lot when you can exclude older post (since questions answerd in version 4.0 or before are not quite relevant to the current version). But like Alex says: that would be a lot of work!

@Ian and Joost: indeed it would be nice to have some icon or filter to know which questions are still not answerd

@Miquel: :O :).

About the forum: It would be so nice to see the latest topics on top and the oldest one down when doing a reply, Sometimes I read the post again to know what was written and this topic is a nice example that you need to scoll down again to be able to read it. Would be nice if the last post was displayed under the reply box.

Even so, I must say that I read the Q&A more since I use the RSS feed (as an shortcut in firefox). By this I can already make a 'pre-selection') about relavant topics to read/give answer to. The feed is for shure helping me to read/respond more topics then when I don't have it available. So maybe you should promote the RSS more? (The icon is forgotten between the 'Google +, facebook, twitter icons' but it also is made more visible with a text on the recent activity page but it is at the bottom where someone is not looking quickly. I would say bring that link to the top to 'promote' it more).

Kind regards,
Evert


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...Keep...

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.Falling...


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Cannot view picture...
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ROTFLMAO!
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Miguel, awesome :)


I really hope someone can beat this movie :)
A mate and me were at a museum of audio-visual of dutch television. and this was a result of our visit :D

(I am the one in the bucket for the record)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTdmgeZ6IJw
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@Justin  "Also, it doesn't help that for months, I basically couldn't use the forums because even logging in would take 10 minutes..."

The site seems to be quite fast right now, im getting decent performance (at least right now), google page speed test also gave outsystems a decent score of 73/100.
 

https://developers.google.com/pagespeed/#url=http_3A_2F_2Fwww.outsystems.com_2FNetwork_2FNetworkHome.aspx&mobile=false

Is It still slow for you?
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Clicking the link in the notification window, it took 20 seconds to show the message, that's slow. :(

J.Ja
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I've got some issues loggin in through a reply in the forum; seems like the 'ViewTopic' parameter isn't passed.
I've just notified support of this.

The site moved to the Cloud which might have something to do with it.
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So just for fun and to show a little bit personal of me :).

So some information about the picture. It's taken on a germany dance festival (Nature One) where I was awake for way too long (had so much fun I didn't want to go to bed). I fall asleep in a chair in the sun. Some friends decided that it could be a funny moment and added some attributes to me.

Note: the sign say: 'For Sale'



It was strange waking up :-).
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OK, Migule was the first to jump in with his photo.  Evert followed.  

So here I go - I hope everyone else will quit standing on the shore and join the fun!



Sleeping on the beach is not allowed!
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Oh dear... my boss is on this thread: I'm in trouble now. It was great knowing all you guys!

Lol,


Miguel

PS - Mike, I swear it was not my fault. It was like that when I got here. :)
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I believe my profile picture is silly enough, so I'll refrain from posting another picture. :D

Nice pics guys. Hahahaha!
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Quoting Miguel Melo:



The horror... Now my eyes burn! ;)