Seeking feedback about the new categories


#1

We’ve been using the new category system for a while, and I’d love to hear what people think. We don’t have any changes planned but it’d be good to hear what people are enjoying and what they’re not.

I’ll leave this open for a few days to collect feedback, then close it so people don’t submit stuff that doesn’t get seen.

Thanks so much for any advice or suggestions!


#2

since I’m the first to post, I will use this new found fame to ask if you can send my “email”

pretty please :rofl:


#3

Not a fan of all the back-and-forth about where people are allowed to post their settings. But I see no way around that one, so hopefully there are just people available to move posts to BTM or EE as needed. I think a move without comment would be better than a request to take down information.

Problems and Support is useful, but I more often have suggestions/requests, rather than problems. And it feels a little wrong to put them in there. Having a Suggestion-centric area would be nice.


#4

Thanks! Put them there for now, but will give that some thought.


#5

Hi Dan,
I’ve seen complaints about how fast something get bump around, Why don’t you just divide everything into two categories official support and general discussion. To clarify everything regarding specifications, machine hardware, and anything legal would be under “official” everything else would fall under a banner of “not official” all the listed categories could be placed under these even if there have the same name one would be official and the other one not so much your staff could then move them between two locations official and not official same or slightly different sub categories. This way its less of a bump and more of a shift.


#6

Got it - thanks! Will put this in the list to consider (and to discuss with the friendly neighborhood lawyers).


#7

A lot of times when I’m posting something thats “Made on a Glowforge” it ends up in the “Everything Else” category because I inevitably have some question or don’t feel its worthy of being a showcase item.

I also consistently forget about the “Tip and Tricks” category. Seems like some stuff that lives in “Tips and Tricks” might be “Beyond the Manual”

“Free Laser Designs” is under utilized and I think that could turn into a tag in the “Made on Glowforge” category. I am more likely to search for something than to open that category up and say ‘hmmm what do I want to make today?..’


#8

this is a great idea. FLD doesn’t strictly need to exist; if posters to MG and EE want to offer up a design they could simply tag their post with ‘fld’ or somesuch.

with that said, the current setup renders it transparent to new users and also allows them to enforce license regs more easily.


#9

The FLD category also imposes a single blanketed CC license for designs posted within it (edit: I know you mentioned that - these are just my thoughts that happen to be in a reply to your post) There is no question about what the usage rights of the included file are. I suppose you could put an equal license file statement in the Made On a Glowforge category, that designs labeled/tagged with FLD are supplied with “this” license but that seems overly complex. Combining the two feels like it would lead to a lot of, “wow! Exquisite! Can you supply the file” statements, which is generally frowned upon or outright against the forum rules. Also, it helps to eliminate the," I posted a design in EE/MF without specifiying how someone can use, they made a million bucks on it and now I want my share" potential.

I vote for FLD to stay around and see how it’s utilized once delivery has been fulfilled to most pre-orders. It could be a good repository, or it could continue to flounder.


#10

I think I agree. It would cause at least a little less clutter.

Maybe call it “Idea Hopper”


#11

Since you asked, I’d probably leave the Free Designs category as it is here in the forum, but I’d also get a free designs section of the Catalog set up ASAP, and duplicate them there. (If it can be set up that way and sectioned out.)

The Free Designs section in the forum is a bit limited in use…it’s hard to find things due to the nature of the forum. (Timeline as opposed to Gallery. Timeline is good for chatty, Gallery is good for shopping.)

Eventually having a large pool of designs created by the customers visible to all but only available for download via access to the catalog (ie: you own a Glowforge) gives another incentive to future customers to choose a Glowforge over any other laser. It becomes a selling point. It will bring in more customers with more shared designs. So everybody benefits. (Wishblade/Thingiverse model.). Maintaining control of it will keep GF viable through the upcoming competitive scramble to take customers away. And it makes sure that other laser users don’t have the ability to just download the shared files from the forum.

For those who don’t have a problem with that, they can keep sharing files on the forum though, so having that option available for the competition is a nice gesture. :wink:

Beginning customers are going to be proud of their creations and want to show them off, if they have easy access to a gallery style format, they’ll be able to do it. And a “free samples” Gallery section would give the pros a venue to showcase their work for their own sales. It builds the pool of available resources for everyone. People who have already purchased will have a continual feed of new files and inspiration. Some might go on to design their own and sell them. And it gives Glowforge first shot at converting the best of what they see into paid designers selling through the catalog. Capture enough of them and you’ll take the field, and keep it. (Silhouette model.)

And the appetite for free files, and inexpensive easy to personalize files is going to be insatiable.

(Chuckle! There you go…my very amateur opinion on how to build a craft related business in two short paragraphs.) :smile:

Other than that, the categories seem to be working pretty well. (Sorry for the slight detour.)


#12

@dan,

Everything @Jules said above. I’ll just add that some of what is there is just kind of thrown there and it might be worth it to a staff member to ask the original poster if they can clean it up for inclusion in the catalog. You could even make it where if an owner has several designs in the free area that might pull a little bit of weight toward getting something into the paid area.

That brings us to being slightly off topic but related. A way to submit designs and guidelines need to be in place sooner than later. Deliveries are ramping up and people who have never designed anything and may never do so will be getting their units. Free and less expensive designs in the catalog would be a great way to keep a lot of people happy with their new :glowforge:.


#13

I like it with the caveat that the designs are up to the standard of the Glowforge catalog in terms of proven, directions provided, etc. Even surrounded by amazing designs, the weak link is the one that sets the ultimate reputation / bad news travels further than good.

That might be a good beginning/beta to the user inclusion process in the catalog.


#14

actually, i’m hoping the free section of the design catalogue - assuming that’s in the plans - doesn’t just accept blind submissions from owners; i’m hoping to see some curation to allow for quality control / prevent copies of designs from filling up the place.


#15

Oh, also…

The Problems and Support category is actually one of the most interesting forum sections to read in my eyes. Seeing resolutions both satisfies my curiosity of potential issues but also acts as a solid knowledgebank being built for the future. It’s also nice to some degree to be able to troubleshoot for others and get them rolling. The following is somewhat frustrating:

  • when both an email and a topic are created the topic is locked in favor of the email correspondence and we never see a resolution. I know it’s being handled by GF CS, but you lose the aspect of a knowledgebank being built. On the flip side, I have no suggestions that could be implemented here other than if both methods of contact are made, favor is given to the forum ticket so that we can all expand our knowledge. Maybe it’s more trouble for the GF to provide support in a forum as opposed to through email, but in the long-run, members could actually lessen the workload of the CS team.

  • topics being pushed immediately to Beyond the Manual from Problems and Support. While some stuff may definitely be “beyond the manual”, non-PG material shouldn’t immediately exclude an issue from being deemed a problem to be addressed in Problems and Support. I don’t know if a process has been developed for the CS team yet, but a flow chart might be a good idea to see if the root of the problem is potentially a proper support issue.


#16

It’s going to need slightly laxer standards than the current catalog offerings I’m afraid. Those are so pristine I’m reconsidering my decision to submit designs. (Again.)

I understand why theirs have to be - they have standards to maintain. But documenting the assembly process for some designs is going to add as much time to the process as the original design takes. Or longer. That’s not a problem for a designer intending to sell their work, but for beginners, it will be a bottle-neck and a block to submitting designs.

Which is the reason for having a clearly defined separate section, so that folks realize that Glowforge is not necessarily advocating the use of them or guaranteeing results.

Good points though, there need to be some standards. Clear explanations if it’s difficult to assemble. And photographs of the finished build.


#17

One other consideration is that going through that process will ultimately make people better designers in all of their projects. Self-critique is both the easiest and the hardest thing to do (many people are overly self-critical) - putting “pen to paper” so to speak creates an environment for a more analytical critique.


#18

I think it would be great to have a way to post in Made on a Glowforge and also link directly to that design in the store, whether it is free or not.

Also a link from the design in the store to the discussion in MoaGF. This would allow for dialogue about how to assemble, or how to paramerterise a design.


#19

This!

Perfect. A resolution to the issue, though not one that anyone hoped for, posted. Y’all rock :slight_smile:


#20

It feels like things posted in support get locked very quickly, whether the problem is solved or not. Many times theer’s some valuable discussion going on and then a support person pops in and says “closing this, if it happens again, contact us”. This kills the discussion.