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> A Little Help Over Here, - Improving GMC: Question and Response Feature
Question and Response Feature
Should we develop this feature?
Yes [ 10 ] ** [66.67%]
No [ 3 ] ** [20.00%]
Maybe, I have a suggestion first! [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
I don't understand [ 0 ] ** [0.00%]
Sorry, I was to busy shredding on my guitar. Can you repeat that? [ 2 ] ** [13.33%]
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Justin Myrick
post Feb 16 2011, 04:00 PM
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As part of an ongoing process to develop the site Kris and I are constantly discussing features. One feature that we would like your opinion about is the "Quick Question and Response". We know that many of you members out there have questions and need answers.

This feature is a small text box that would replace the large yellow "SEARCH" button in the upper right hand corner of your screen (The search feature will still remain and will function the exact same way as it does now). It would allow questions regarding lessons, site navigation, music theory, and many other guitar related issues to be posted within it. The question would then be reviewed and replied to urgently. Our goal is to have feedback to the members as quickly as possible.

Now that you've heard the idea, please let us know what you think:


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dark dude
post Feb 16 2011, 04:12 PM
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Don't the forums already provide this?


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Chris Evans
post Feb 16 2011, 04:19 PM
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yes sounds like a good idea to me smile.gif

I think also you may get some future development ideas from questions being asked, depending on the demand of a particular subject it may highlight areas needing more coverage etc

sounds good cool.gif

QUOTE (dark dude @ Feb 16 2011, 03:12 PM) *
Don't the forums already provide this?


at first I thought this myself, but thinking about it, often more simple questions are asked on the forum which recieve many replies of the same answer, sometimes a quick single response is all thats required, I`m guessing this feature would provide just that?

This post has been edited by Chris Evans: Feb 16 2011, 04:19 PM


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Bogdan Radovic
post Feb 16 2011, 04:26 PM
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QUOTE (dark dude @ Feb 16 2011, 04:12 PM) *
Don't the forums already provide this?


Very good point. My thoughts are that not all GMC members are using the forum or know how to use it. A lot of my friends just don't know how to use forums online or they seem to complicated to them. I think this would be a cool feature for any member to quickly ask ANY question and get a prompt answer.


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Justin Myrick
post Feb 16 2011, 04:32 PM
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QUOTE (Bogdan Radovic @ Feb 16 2011, 04:26 PM) *
Very good point. My thoughts are that not all GMC members are using the forum or know how to use it. A lot of my friends just don't know how to use forums online or they seem to complicated to them. I think this would be a cool feature for any member to quickly ask ANY question and get a prompt answer.



This is precisely why we are considering this feature. smile.gif


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Sollesnes
post Feb 16 2011, 04:37 PM
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I think it would be a good feature for those who don't frequent the forum very often. But however, it is an easy feature to forget about in the coming years. If it eventually starts taking a long time to get an answer, people will feel discouraged, and the feature would be more negative than positive.

If, however, it's well taken care of, I'm sure it would be a very smart move to implement it. smile.gif
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dark dude
post Feb 16 2011, 04:44 PM
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*I suppose it depends how you define a simple/quick question. New players don't tend to have enough knowledge to predict whether there's a short answer to their query (within reason).

*How are you going to return the answers? Is it going to be sent via PM? Or perhaps posted on a special questions page? If the user is unable to work something as simple as the forums, then they'll struggle to access the inbox or page on which their answer will be.

*There's a lot of emphasis on a quick reply here. That'd involve people dedicated to keeping track of new questions and answering, regardless of timezone (much like customer support at a big company, 24/7 hotlines). What a lot of users tend to do is post the question in the morning and come back to check in the evening, or even the next day. There's no need for a quick reply there.

Hypothetically, if you answered every question within 15 min (good luck with that tongue.gif), the chances of that user coming back a few hours/a day later to check for replies is still high. This is what the forums currently offer, no system is needed, and the manpower used to answer those questions quickly would be wasted.

If people don't know how to use the forums or deem them too complex, perhaps you should think about restructuring the forums?


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thefireball
post Feb 16 2011, 04:59 PM
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Even though I'm not sure about the workings of it all, I have faith in GMC to create such a feature. I said yes. But I might still use the forums a lot. I like a lot of different responses from people most of the time to weigh all the options. However, I'm not opposed to the idea. So long as the search function will still exist (in which you said it would) I'm fine with GMC developing this feature. Good luck!


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Justin Myrick
post Feb 16 2011, 07:08 PM
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QUOTE (dark dude @ Feb 16 2011, 04:44 PM) *
*I suppose it depends how you define a simple/quick question. New players don't tend to have enough knowledge to predict whether there's a short answer to their query (within reason).

*How are you going to return the answers? Is it going to be sent via PM? Or perhaps posted on a special questions page? If the user is unable to work something as simple as the forums, then they'll struggle to access the inbox or page on which their answer will be.

*There's a lot of emphasis on a quick reply here. That'd involve people dedicated to keeping track of new questions and answering, regardless of timezone (much like customer support at a big company, 24/7 hotlines). What a lot of users tend to do is post the question in the morning and come back to check in the evening, or even the next day. There's no need for a quick reply there.

Hypothetically, if you answered every question within 15 min (good luck with that tongue.gif), the chances of that user coming back a few hours/a day later to check for replies is still high. This is what the forums currently offer, no system is needed, and the manpower used to answer those questions quickly would be wasted.

If people don't know how to use the forums or deem them too complex, perhaps you should think about restructuring the forums?



First and foremost, thanks for all the good feedback. All of this is great for us to consider. Secondly, yeah, there are many factors involved on how to execute the feature proficiently.

Although nothing is set in stone we do appreciate all of the feedback. smile.gif

QUOTE (thefireball @ Feb 16 2011, 04:59 PM) *
Even though I'm not sure about the workings of it all, I have faith in GMC to create such a feature. I said yes. But I might still use the forums a lot. I like a lot of different responses from people most of the time to weigh all the options. However, I'm not opposed to the idea. So long as the search function will still exist (in which you said it would) I'm fine with GMC developing this feature. Good luck!


Thanks for the kind words. We do not want to take anything away from the forum by possibly creating something such as this. Our main objective is create a simplified way to ask a question, and receive an answer. wink.gif


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ruben_mcn
post Feb 16 2011, 08:18 PM
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I'm with Dark Dude one this one.. I think I would be an unnecessary feature..


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Sollesnes
post Feb 17 2011, 01:53 AM
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QUOTE (ruben_mcn @ Feb 16 2011, 08:18 PM) *
I'm with Dark Dude one this one.. I think I would be an unnecessary feature..


But do you really want the forum to be overloaded with the same questions?
Remember this is a community where most members pay expensive fees to be here (or have).

I am more worried about it being held active, and not forgotten.

This post has been edited by Sollesnes: Feb 17 2011, 02:00 AM
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dark dude
post Feb 17 2011, 03:07 AM
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QUOTE (Sollesnes @ Feb 17 2011, 12:53 AM) *
But do you really want the forum to be overloaded with the same questions?
Remember this is a community where most members pay expensive fees to be here (or have).

I am more worried about it being held active, and not forgotten.

I wouldn't worry about an overload. To illustrate this, most of the questions are asked in this section (GMC, Lessons and Practicing), and the topic at the bottom of the first page was last replied to nearly 2 weeks ago.

If there still is concern over having too many of the same questions asked over and over, a (stickied) topic containing the most common questions and their respective answers could be worth a shot.


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Sollesnes
post Feb 17 2011, 09:53 AM
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Many people don't really check stickied topics, and if you check the sticky topics here, many of them are far outdated.
But we do have -many- questions repeated again and again. Besides, most people who are not already posting on the forum, would not make a topic asking a question they know is silly. I know I wouldn't...
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Justin Myrick
post Feb 17 2011, 09:57 AM
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QUOTE (Sollesnes @ Feb 17 2011, 09:53 AM) *
Many people don't really check stickied topics, and if you check the sticky topics here, many of them are far outdated.
But we do have -many- questions repeated again and again. Besides, most people who are not already posting on the forum, would not make a topic asking a question they know is silly. I know I wouldn't...



This provides yet another good reason for this feature. smile.gif


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Fran
post Feb 17 2011, 10:58 AM
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Interesting.

I guess anything that makes GMCers experience better is worth adding. At first I thought the boards contain all the answers, but you guys have a point that there are many that don't use them, so I say go for it! smile.gif

On a side note, if this feature sees the light, I'll be glad to add any frequent questions received, and their answers, to my ongoing Wiki_FAQ here:
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/wiki/inde...he_GMC_Universe



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Kristofer Dahl
post Feb 17 2011, 11:23 AM
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Very interesting discussion. Another alternative would be to use this "Quick Question" feature as a super fast way to post a forum topic question (without having to go to the forum, decide which board to post on, find the new topic button, preview, mess with bb code etc etc)

The downside is that we might get a lot more repeated and low quality topics. (we could have a new board just for this though)

The good side is that we might get a boost in forum activity.

Another cool thing is that we could build the feature so that it senses from which lesson the question was asked, that way you can quickly ask about a specific lesson you're working on. The thread would then automatically display something like "this question concerns "Whammy bar Phrasing Lesson II")

All questions regarding a specific lesson could then conveniently be accessed from within the lesson (etc etc -once you start brainstorming you cant stop!! biggrin.gif )


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Ben Higgins
post Feb 17 2011, 11:37 AM
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I agree that there could be slightly different features to help users navigate the site and give them confidence in knowing where to look for something. Regards people not really reading through old sticky topics, I think you're probably right.. I tend not to do that myself on sites unless I'm specifically searching for a key subject etc..

What could be helpful is a small drop down menu which already has headings of a few obvious FAQ's that can be clicked on straight away. By having the actual questions written out as headings, there's is no need to search old sticky topics, as you call them. It obviously won't cover all FAQ's but you could implement it along with the proposed question feature. I know that I certainly find drop down menus very helpful when navigating a new site.

One other thing I thought of a while ago is the idea of creating an email which talks a new user through using the site. A lot of what I learnt was through trial and error and I must admit there were loads of things I wasn't aware I could do until I either asked or stumbled across it, so maybe a standard welcome email which tells people how to use the forum, post REC's and interact with the instructor's lesson ie. leave feedback. I know these points might seem obvious to us now but they're not when you haven't done it before.

The only possible downside I could see is that if users choose to post questions using the new feature rather than ask in the forum then the forum won't benefit from the possible interaction. I'm sure most of us don't have a problem with giving advice and talking about something which has already been covered. After all, the more experienced we get about a certain subject the more sure we can be with our advice... I dunno, it's just a thought. I'm definitely open to the new idea.. but I think there are definitely other areas where users need help. I think it needs to be made obviously clear that users can email Justin for help as well, as they might be a bit shy or reluctant to 'bother' a member of staff if you know what I mean ? smile.gif


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dark dude
post Feb 17 2011, 03:02 PM
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QUOTE (Sollesnes @ Feb 17 2011, 08:53 AM) *
Many people don't really check stickied topics

So either:

1) People are ignoring the average internet forum's rules out of choice (this topic is all about customer service, so I checked the apple.com iPhone support forums to see whether they use the sticky idea. They do. Link)
2) It's not clear enough that the stickied topics are a must read.

QUOTE (Sollesnes @ Feb 17 2011, 08:53 AM) *
many of them are far outdated.

Why haven't they been updated for so long?

QUOTE (Sollesnes @ Feb 17 2011, 08:53 AM) *
But we do have -many- questions repeated again and again.

Yes, but there are better ways of attempting to fix this.

QUOTE (Sollesnes @ Feb 17 2011, 08:53 AM) *
Besides, most people who are not already posting on the forum, would not make a topic asking a question they know is silly. I know I wouldn't...

If shyness is a part of it, the quick reply idea wouldn't be any different, unless it was anonymous.

However, the most worrying part is that people are, apparently, too concerned with how they'll look on an internet forum, when asking a "silly" question. Aren't we meant to learn here? Beginners don't know enough to be able to judge whether their question is silly or not. If people feel discouraged to ask questions on a guitar forum (one that's meant to help you learn, of all places), because it might be a silly question, then something needs to be changed to target that.

--
Also, how will funnelling these questions into a separate area increase forum activity? As Ben said, interaction will be lost, which would decrease activity.

I understand that you want to innovate to improve customer service and forum activity, but I think there are better ways of doing this. If you haven't already, re-read Ben's post above, there are some great suggestions (the e-mail, the drop-down FAQ. Also, the last paragraph makes very important points).

EDIT: Just re-read Fran's post.
QUOTE
On a side note, if this feature sees the light, I'll be glad to add any frequent questions received, and their answers, to my ongoing Wiki_FAQ here:
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/wiki/inde...he_GMC_Universe

You're effectively making a sticky there. There's no need to wait for the feature, searches can be done on the forums to figure out the most common questions. If you could link people to Fran's FAQ clearly, then you shouldn't have as many of those questions asked.

This post has been edited by dark dude: Feb 17 2011, 03:06 PM


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Justin Myrick
post Feb 17 2011, 03:31 PM
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QUOTE (Fran @ Feb 17 2011, 10:58 AM) *
Interesting.

I guess anything that makes GMCers experience better is worth adding. At first I thought the boards contain all the answers, but you guys have a point that there are many that don't use them, so I say go for it! smile.gif

On a side note, if this feature sees the light, I'll be glad to add any frequent questions received, and their answers, to my ongoing Wiki_FAQ here:
https://www.guitarmasterclass.net/wiki/inde...he_GMC_Universe


Thanks Fran, that would be very useful. wink.gif

QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Feb 17 2011, 11:37 AM) *
I agree that there could be slightly different features to help users navigate the site and give them confidence in knowing where to look for something. Regards people not really reading through old sticky topics, I think you're probably right.. I tend not to do that myself on sites unless I'm specifically searching for a key subject etc..

What could be helpful is a small drop down menu which already has headings of a few obvious FAQ's that can be clicked on straight away. By having the actual questions written out as headings, there's is no need to search old sticky topics, as you call them. It obviously won't cover all FAQ's but you could implement it along with the proposed question feature. I know that I certainly find drop down menus very helpful when navigating a new site.

One other thing I thought of a while ago is the idea of creating an email which talks a new user through using the site. A lot of what I learnt was through trial and error and I must admit there were loads of things I wasn't aware I could do until I either asked or stumbled across it, so maybe a standard welcome email which tells people how to use the forum, post REC's and interact with the instructor's lesson ie. leave feedback. I know these points might seem obvious to us now but they're not when you haven't done it before.

The only possible downside I could see is that if users choose to post questions using the new feature rather than ask in the forum then the forum won't benefit from the possible interaction. I'm sure most of us don't have a problem with giving advice and talking about something which has already been covered. After all, the more experienced we get about a certain subject the more sure we can be with our advice... I dunno, it's just a thought. I'm definitely open to the new idea.. but I think there are definitely other areas where users need help. I think it needs to be made obviously clear that users can email Justin for help as well, as they might be a bit shy or reluctant to 'bother' a member of staff if you know what I mean ? smile.gif


Thanks Ben, this helps a lot. We don't want to discourage interaction on the forum as I said before. The idea behind this is that if members are able to get the attention they are looking for by using the feature then in theory they would be more willing to use the forums that they might previously have been to "shy" to.

We know that many member are to shy to ask question and possibly uncertain where to ask a question that might be deemed "silly" therefor we are just reviewing options to help them out.

Thanks again for your possible ideas and good feedback. smile.gif

QUOTE (dark dude @ Feb 17 2011, 03:02 PM) *
So either:

1) People are ignoring the average internet forum's rules out of choice (this topic is all about customer service, so I checked the apple.com iPhone support forums to see whether they use the sticky idea. They do. Link)
2) It's not clear enough that the stickied topics are a must read.


Why haven't they been updated for so long?


Yes, but there are better ways of attempting to fix this.


If shyness is a part of it, the quick reply idea wouldn't be any different, unless it was anonymous.

However, the most worrying part is that people are, apparently, too concerned with how they'll look on an internet forum, when asking a "silly" question. Aren't we meant to learn here? Beginners don't know enough to be able to judge whether their question is silly or not. If people feel discouraged to ask questions on a guitar forum (one that's meant to help you learn, of all places), because it might be a silly question, then something needs to be changed to target that.

--
Also, how will funnelling these questions into a separate area increase forum activity? As Ben said, interaction will be lost, which would decrease activity.

I understand that you want to innovate to improve customer service and forum activity, but I think there are better ways of doing this. If you haven't already, re-read Ben's post above, there are some great suggestions (the e-mail, the drop-down FAQ. Also, the last paragraph makes very important points).

EDIT: Just re-read Fran's post.

You're effectively making a sticky there. There's no need to wait for the feature, searches can be done on the forums to figure out the most common questions. If you could link people to Fran's FAQ clearly, then you shouldn't have as many of those questions asked.


We have talked about the option for the question to be "anonymous" or not. The member would be able to decide. This could allow the student to feel at ease when asking.

Once again, thanks for the feedback. It's extremely useful. wink.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Feb 17 2011, 04:11 PM
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I think the anonymous idea is quite good ! smile.gif


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