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Hospital or a kindergarten ??

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I can't decide whether this forum has become a hospital or kindergarten !!
We are seeing more and more of the same type of posts from newbies. Lost my photos, can't import, cant do this cant do that.
Now of course I was a newby once as well and am sure I posted similar questions but at least I did a lot of my own research first before, during and after. It seems to me that many of the posters with problems are just not doing that. There is no excuse for this, particularly as there is so much more information available out there now than when I was a newby !! Has anyone else noticed this ? I don't want to put anyone off posting newby questions but I really do suggest that they do a bit of research first. If they find out for themselves then it is a much better learning experience than just asking and getting the answer here.
Ok rant over. I feel a bit better now :)
 

Brad Snyder

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I'm guessing the $79 price point has dramatically changed the target market, and our 'customers' as well.

Personally, I've been asking myself for a number of years, what kind of software product/user interface has this number of issues? (Obviously our audience is self-selecting, we generally only meet folks with some sort of problem or puzzlement).

Jerry Pournelle, noted author of fiction and non, and Computer/Tech columnist used to refer to a category of product he called 'infuriatingly excellent'. I'm trying to decide if the shoe fits here, and whether it's the adverb, the adjective or both.

On the third hand (sci-fi fans will get the joke), here in the US, there's a famous public golf course (the Black course at Bethpage), out on Long Island, in the exurbs of New York City, which has the following sign on the first tee.
Bethpage-Black-Warning-Sign1.jpg

I often think something like this should be Lr's splash screen.
 
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I'm sure Brad's right about the price tag changing the userbase significantly. It's put LR within reach of photographers who were previously using iPhoto, Picasa, and suchlike, and many of those users aren't as computer-literate either (or google-literate.)

I don't have an issue with the newbie questions though. In many ways they're a bit light relief after digging people out of complex issues, and we've all been newbies at one stage.

If it's bothering our more experienced users, then we'll consider what we can do about splitting them out into a separate section, but I wouldn't be in a hurry to do that. I think that it'll settle down a bit, as some of the more irritating LR4 bugs are settled.
 
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Jerry Pournelle, noted author of fiction and non, and Computer/Tech columnist used to refer to a category of product he called 'infuriatingly excellent'. I'm trying to decide if the shoe fits here, and whether it's the adverb, the adjective or both.
I think that this is a good description of Lightroom and, to some degree, Adobe. As wonderful as LR is, it is not intuitive to somebody who has not worked with Adobe's imaging products before. I sometimes call it "Adobe logic". There is a part of me that thinks that folks new to LR should "learn the lay of the land", and there is another part of me that says that Adobe needs to completely overhaul its interface. For example, if almost "everybody" who is new and unfamiliar with LR does not understand that the program does not back up a user's images, who needs to make the "adjustment" - the user, Adobe's engineers, or both? Worse yet, Adobe's "backup" is somewhat confusing as the folders do not carry the same names. And that is one reason that I prefer ImageIngester at the front end of my workflow. Adobe could not find a way to offer and incorporate a reliable "mirror" of images that get imported into a catalog?

To matters more practical to our forum, I suggest two things. First, expand the beginners kit to include more information about the probelms that people are frequently encountering and posting about. I know that my attention would be aroused if I saw a big link that said something to the effect of, "Lightroom lost your images? Click here for help.".

Second, we could place more emphasis on techniques. We created "Developing your Photos" as a subforum, but perhaps we could highlight some related posts? The forum at mu-43.com runs similar BB software, but their front page allows them to highlight specific posts. It's a great way to call attention to topics of interest. I appreciate that our forum is a repository for problem-solving, as we all run into problems from time to time, beginner or otherwise, but it is also be a place where we can discuss the more artistic issues we face when using LR. In short, this issue does not have to have an either/or solution. I think we fill a niche for many users that Adobe's forums cannot. We have a large knowledgebase, and I see no reason that we cannot expand on it. Any thoughts?

--Ken
 

Chris_M

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Or at least, the first of Ken's ideas sounds good to me, not too sure about the second though.

Our Forum is also vBulletin, and if I recall, the highlight thingy, which I never looked in to, is included in vBulletin.
The only thing I ever saw it used for anywhere though, was for highlighting "hot topics",
meaning one or more topics that are currently recieving a lot of new posts.
 

donoreo

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Having a new user question forum would be a good idea. Of course keeping those questions there will be the trick. You can lead a horse to water....
 
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Having a new user question forum would be a good idea.
We bounced around that idea a while back, and decided against it at the time, because we could imagine the debates over whether something's a newbie question or not. I think we decided it would just end up being a receptacle for everything! I guess we could do something based on post counts, but I already get numerous emails from people asking why they can't post in the read-only forums. Many of our new members come in with more complex issues, and some of the long-term members ask newbie questions, so I'm not sure post count limitations would work. Any suggestions on how a newbie forum could work?


As far as the beginners questions goes, my theory was that the Public Area of my new Members Site would end up being a repository of the most frequently asked questions and eventually include more 'quick start' material too. It's easier to manage and find things than the vBulletin software allows. I need to sort out the banner ads soon - what do you think if I use the banner area to flash up links to those kinds of questions, like your 'Lightroom's lost images' example? Or how would you imagine that working?
 

Colin S

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Can I put the new user, very amateur point of view? I know it must be very annoying and boring for some experts to find, what to them, are simple questions being asked. However, Lightroom is not an intuitive program, there are many illogicalities in the way it functions which, to the new user, can lead to confusion, especially if they have in the past become used to using a more simple, but less powerful program.

There is also a great fear for the beginner that they may lose their precious pictures by making a simple mistake. Don't forget that for most people the thing they save first from a burning building is their irreplaceable photos.

So far for me Lightroom has behaved itself, or at least I haven't made a mess of it, but if I did, before I compounded my errors, I would ask here if there was a solution to my problem. If a powerful resource like this forum is available then it would be foolish to dig yourself deeper into a hole before asking, simply because the question might seem too simple for some.

So there you have it, spend a week or more trying to solve what to you may be a unfathomable question, and maybe compound a problem, or ask here where one of the many experts may be able to solve what could be a common problem in two minutes, bit of a no-brainer really.

A major problem now with most programs is that they come without a printed manual, something which many of us miss very much, a cost decision obviously. I do have the Evening book and Victoria's superb tome, which has saved me more than once. So actually Victoria's book is my first port of call, but the forum would very much be next on the list.

Colin
 
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We bounced around that idea a while back, and decided against it at the time, because we could imagine the debates over whether something's a newbie question or not.


As far as the beginners questions goes, my theory was that the Public Area of my new Members Site would end up being a repository of the most frequently asked questions and eventually include more 'quick start' material too. It's easier to manage and find things than the vBulletin software allows. I need to sort out the banner ads soon - what do you think if I use the banner area to flash up links to those kinds of questions, like your 'Lightroom's lost images' example? Or how would you imagine that working?
I would concur that we do not need a separate sub-forum for the reasosn that you cited. Regarding commonly asked questions, I do not have a problem if they are in Victoria's new site, listed as stickey posts, or are presented in some manner other than in post format. The main thing that I find important is that they are easy to find, and that they contain a description not unlike what people use to describe their posts. The key idea is that we want to make this as easy as possible for anybody to find commonly asked information without needing to post. As long as that is taken into account, I am flexible as to how it appears.

--Ken
 

Chris_M

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Victoria, our vBulletin Forum has a "VaultWiki" Function, which I have turned off.
But would that be an option?

As in, when the answer to a given problem or question has been answered, prune it as necessary and move it to the Wiki...

[EDIT]
Info regarding vaultWiki:
https://www.vaultwiki.org/
 
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Can I put the new user, very amateur point of view?
A new users viewpoint is really helpful, so thanks for chiming in Colin.

Ok, let me see what I can come up with for directly newbies to the knowledgebase, perhaps in their intro email as well as some nice bright links, and we'll see where we go from there.

If you guys have any suggestions on any other must-have questions that are repeated repeatedly, let me know.
 
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Victoria, our vBulletin Forum has a "VaultWiki" Function, which I have turned off.
Hmmmmmm, it might, although I'm trying to limit the number of different locations I'm trying to manage, so let's try this first.
 
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I came across this thread yesterday.
After a bit of thought about it here are some of my thoughts:
This forum is not unique in the issue raised by the OP.
Other forums that I belong to dealing with broader photographic issues in addition to Lightroom are replete with questions that seem to come up about once overy two to three weeks. The wording is obviously different but the issue isn't.
The only thing to do is for somebody to answer the question.
Sometimes the issues raised do have interesting twists and sometimes the questions raised I know I can find the answer with a bit of digging because I cannot recall all the gory details. Actually this is a good thing because one is forced to do the homework and (re)acquaint oneself with the solution at hand.
It does appear that in the current climate of instant gratification not many people are prepared to the yards with their own research. That is their loss because much more is gained in researching the solution rather than merely posing the question.
I have answered questions on this forum and others where I initially did not know the answer but with a bit of research was able to give an accurate and concise reply.
At the end of the day this forum, and others for that matter, are what one makes of it.
My goal is educational (probably in common with many others) but my approach is to learn by answering questions rather than just by posing them.

My $0.02 worth

Tony Jay
 
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my approach is to learn by answering questions rather than just by posing them.
That's an excellent approach Tony. I learned most of what I know about Lightroom from doing exactly the same, so it is worth it!
 
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It often helps to be forced to explain things simply. I always feel that if you can't express yourself simply and without jargon, you probably don't understand the subject as well as you like to think. You should always answer a decent number of newbie questions.
 
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It often helps to be forced to explain things simply. I always feel that if you can't express yourself simply and without jargon, you probably don't understand the subject as well as you like to think. You should always answer a decent number of newbie questions.
What do you mean there John????:hm:


:D:mad2:
 

Rose Weir

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It often helps to be forced to explain things simply. I always feel that if you can't express yourself simply and without jargon, you probably don't understand the subject as well as you like to think. You should always answer a decent number of newbie questions.
I'm always impressed with the distinct answers that are posted here.
This may LOOK simply but in fact if the question isn't posed 'simply' i.e. in the same line of thought expressed in the quote' explain things simply'....therefore I appreciate the translation of the questions presented as well.
When ever I have presented a question I take the time to arrange the sentences and content; sometimes its difficult to phrase the issue therefore I can have compassion for the novice especially if most are 'doers' rather than 'readers'....as in 'read the manual'. Not all 'newbies' are really newbies in the digital/pixel,bits and pieces world . I'm sure they begin to feel that way when they get maneuvering in the Adobe terminology.

This is one of the better forums for civilized responses so for those who consistently answer questions be aware that there is appreciation; not always expressed directly.
Rose
 
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Aaaaaaaw, that's really good to hear!
 

DaveS

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Perhaps we could add another top level category called quick tips. It would be set so people can't just add questions to that section. But the mods could move a certain set of questions (posts) asked in the other sections to that new section along with the answers. I don't expect you would end up with more than 20 to 30 posts in that section, as by that point you would have all the common things that new users would ask. A nice concise list of the most common new user questions as it were. You might even add one reply to the bottom showcasing Victoria's very good question and answers book The Missing FAQ for people with more questions.
 
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Perhaps we could add another top level category called quick tips. It would be set so people can't just add questions to that section. But the mods could move a certain set of questions (posts) asked in the other sections to that new section along with the answers. I don't expect you would end up with more than 20 to 30 posts in that section, as by that point you would have all the common things that new users would ask. A nice concise list of the most common new user questions as it were. You might even add one reply to the bottom showcasing Victoria's very good question and answers book The Missing FAQ for people with more questions.
Perhaps you've missed this: http://www.lightroomqueen.com/commu...6-Tips-Tricks-amp-The-Starter-Kit-(READ-ONLY) If there are other tips and tricks, perhaps you can suggest them in this thread for consideration.
 
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You might even add one reply to the bottom showcasing Victoria's very good question and answers book The Missing FAQ for people with more questions.
You know how to butter me up, don't you!!!

I'm working on a freebie 'getting started' guide at the moment, should be available in the next few months and will cover the absolute basics.
 

DaveS

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Yup Cletus, I did miss the obvious. I really should have remembered that that topic is right at the top of the forum. I generally enter the forums and jump right in to new topics, so I don't see that section at the top (or more to the point, don't pay attention to the list of forum categories).
 
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