Drobo

Censorship

Jennifer, can you please state DRI’s policy on what’s allowed to post on this forum without having them removed?

Indeed particularly as this is supposed to be a general discussion forum.

Please Data Robotics, building a community by removing posts you don’t like is not the way to go. You will always get praise & complaints and, as I said on Twitter, our complaints here are about how this transition was handled. They are not technical issues, hence not posted in the more Technical forums, but they are still valid issues.

Some complaints can be silly (I’d want my HD lights to be Indigo for instance) and some will be real. Good customer service & relations is to take it all, ignore those that you feel are invalid (or post to them & lock them BUT don’t delete them) and respond and encourage those that are valid (like complaints about connectivity options, like lack of Firewire connection on the DroboShare) with discussion.

We like / love our Drobo’s, thats why we are here. Personally I hope that Data Robotics continues to do well, yes I’ve had a few problems with my Drobo & slowness of support at times but in the end the issues where sorted out satisfactorily. I simply have issues with how this transition was handled and what seems like apparent misrepresentation of the facts (3rd party lag time)

I honestly hope you will take the time to read this and not simply delete it. I see from email Jennifer that you did reply yesterday to the other thread but all the messages are now gone

The purpose of the Data Robotics forum is for our users to be able to communicate with one another, share troubleshooting tips, provide feedback and best practices. Posting comments that having nothing to do with answering questions or resolving problems does not benefit anyone in the Data Robotics community forum. For obvious reasons we cannot tolerate foul language, badgering… etc. Data Robotics, as do most of our users find this to be offensive, unproductive and unnecessary. While we understand you may be frustrated with a problem you are experiencing, the goal here is for our users to share resolutions and seek assistance within this community that is open, friendly and not antagonistic. We hope you understand and we want all to benefit by using our forum.

Jennifer, the worst language I have used in posts that you have removed where calling DRI’s handling of the forum switch nasty.
I would not call that foul language or badgering.

If DRI isn’t capable of critic in this forum when the company makes things that doesn’t pleases their customers, how do you expect to learn anything from what should be your most valuable resource, your customers?

And let’s face it, isn’t it better to let us discuss your actions here, in a forum where you have the controll instead of force it out to other sites?

First thank you Jennifer for responding.

I’ve been debating for a little while if I step back into this but in the end I felt I should.

We were communicating with one and other, namely our surprise at the changeover and loss of data, we were providing feedback about the transition & what we perceived as heavy handed censoring and we were asking for clarification from DRI about some of the wording.

I (We) aren’t trying to be antagonistic, far from it, we simply asked for answers / made some complaints and had our posts simply removed. You may feel that its unproductive & unnecessary (offensive tho? you are getting some complaints we are getting posts removed) but see it from the other side.

The forum we knew was suddenly pulled, the history that was there is gone, the first that many of us knew was an email from the old forum owner, we had to register again, at the time there was no offical post on the transition, a few of us where having a discussion about it in the General Discussion forum, we had our thread deleted and then you posted information, we responded & subsequently had those posts removed as well.

If the aim of the forum is to be open then let those complaints stand & choose not to respond to them. They are as valid as someone posting to praise the Drobo, Data Robotics, the support staff or anything else.

You will inevitably get complaints in the days, months, years ahead, it is the nature of the business you, particularly when you are providing protection for peoples data, I would seriously hope that you wouldn’t simply remove any of those posts (cept those that are truly offensive and even those could be snipped / summarized / whatever rather than removed)

Rob

The policy posted at http://www.drobospace.com/forums/member.php?action=register makes no mention of posts “having nothing to do with answering questions or resolving problems.”

For the new Drobo Forums to work, Data Robotics must adhere to its published policy and be perceived to act in good faith.

From the policy:


This is not a complaint forum.

If any of the Administrators or Moderators feel that your post is considered inappropriate for this forum – we reserve the right to delete or edit as we see fit.

By registering on this discussion system you agree that you will not post any material which is knowingly false, inaccurate, abusive, hateful, harassing, sexually orientated, threatening or invasive of a person’s privacy, or any other material which may violate any applicable laws.

By continuing with the sign up process you agree to the above rules and any others that the Administrator specifies.

It was believed by this moderator that the threads that were deleted were not productive to the community as a whole.
Some information was inaccurate, some posts did contain hateful and abusive wording. It was deemed necessary to delete the thread as whole instead of editing each post.

Please remember this is a moderated community forum for informational purposes only. There is no need for this. Let’s get back to helping each other with our Drobos, DroboShares and DroboPros. The real reason for this community.

If you have any further questions or concerns you can Private Message me.

All the more reason there should be a Drobo Community ran forum. The dictatorship that Data Robotics rules with is a bit ridiculous and extreme.

This post will probably get deleted because I don’t agree. Just because someone doesn’t disagree doesn’t mean that things can’t be kept civil.

How do you expect DRI to gain anything from this forum if we, your customers, isn’t allowed to tell you when we think you do something that we, your customers, don’t think is good?

Naturally, it is your forum.

In all the removed threads I can’t see that any of these things was present, with reservation for the few messages that I only saw the first lines from in the update-email before the threads where removed.

[list]
[]knowingly false
[
]inaccurate
[/list]

These two has been impossible for us to breach, since we have requested information, and haven’t known the facts in this case.
The only knowingly false and inaccurate information in this thread this far to my knowledge is some of the stated reasons for why DRI didn’t want to continue use the old forum. (Lag-time etc.) But attempts to question that where removed and the thread locked.

[list]
[]abusive
[
]hateful
[*]harassing
[/list]

Our language have been reasonable, we have however stated that we didn’t appreciate DRI’s handling of this and where concerned, but how this can be concidered abusive I can’t see.

[list]
[]sexually orientated
[
]threatening or invasive of a person’s privacy
[/list]

No person have been mentioned, so sex and privacy wasn’t mentioned at all.

[list]
[*]any other material which may violate any applicable laws.
[/list]

I can absolutely see no law violations in the removed threads and posts.

I think we have the whole problem right here. We think that a sane discussion about DRI’s actions in the general discussion section is productive for the community.

How can a question be inaccurate?

[quote] some posts did contain hateful and abusive wording. It was deemed necessary to delete the thread as whole instead of editing each post.
[/quote]

The worst wording in at least one of the threads you removed was my use of the word “nasty” to describe DRI’s handling of the forum switch. Hardly hateful or abusive wording.

You make it sound like what you want is a DRI-regulated FAQ and not a community, that makes us worried and we want to discuss this with you.

I once again respectfully disagree with you. There is a need for a community where we, your customers, can voice our concern about what you do that we, your customers, don’t think is right.

For example, in the old community there where a rather heated debate regarding your demand for a current support-contract to get access to critical firmware updates. After we, your customers, had convinced you that this was a really bad thing you changed this, and this was something that absolutely was good for DRI as a company.

I sincerely hope that DRI will reconsider it’s handling of this forum, since it doesn’t really seem to be in touch with how customer relations should be handled in this day and age.

To assure that this isn’t just once again buried and censored like previous attempts I will send this thread to DRI and a number of bloggers/podcasters.

Please don’t take that as a threat, but as an opportunity for you to improve on your customer relations. It’s still a new forum with a new management, so if you reconsider and change your handling of this forum we all can say that this was some startup-problems, forget this and move on.

I will however not hide this debate in closed PM’s. This is something that concern all of the community.

Please, think of the old saying “The customer is always right.” and on how you can apply this here.

There already is a community run forum:

http://groups.google.com/group/drobo-talk?hl=en

It looks like mostly linux users have discovered it, but everyone is welcome!

A google group is not a traditional forum – it’s more like a poorly structured mailing list. I find them incredibly poorly laid out navigation wise (which is a bit of a surprise as google usually does better than this). By tomorrow there will be a proper drobo users forum setup, link information to follow.

I agree that it’s in the community’s best interest to move away from the DRI controlled “community” forum. If the community is being censored then it’s not much of a “community” forum. If this is not an official means of support from DRI and they are in fact censoring comments from the community then this area is pretty much pointless. The old forum had a fair amount of information in it (some of which I researched before I purchased) and now, poof, it’s gone. That’s really not the way this type of forum should be run.

Well, let’s be somewhat patient and see how DRI will handle this new forum before we stop using it.
I do hope that the old forum will be brought back to life in some way, so that we can access all the compund knowledge, but this forum will probably still be the only forum that DRI will actively support with their own official answers.

However, the outcome from this thread is most crucial for my own support for this community.

I have pretty much zero tolerance when a large community resource is summarily nuked without a trace by a vendor. If it was all of DRI’s documents that they decided were no longer useful, then sure, by all means, nuke away, but instead it’s quite a slap to the face of the community that empowers their business to just nuke and pave such an active community and all it’s resources as it did.

To quote Trinity in the Matrix: “You’ve been down this road before. You know exactly where it ends.” And I can say that I have been down this road before with several hardware retailers in the past, and it never ends well. It’s a liability for them to allow people voicing negative opinions on something hosted on their site – and they have now taken steps to ensure that it won’t happen again. People’s opinions are just that, opinions, and in a “community” forum they should not be policed by big brother. I agree that there’s a line to be drawn (downright libel and slander should not be tolerated), but if someone voices a reasonable opinion then it should not be removed. And again, never, ever, ever, should a company do what DRI did to the (formerly large and useful) resource that this forum used to be.

In order to have something that is a “community” forum it really needs to be run by the community. Just MHO. As for official answers, if you want official answers take up your concerns with support directly, or read the KB. Official and community rarely mix well.

I agree on your statement regarding the nuked community resources, but right now I don’t see that we have the information to decide if DRI or Capable Networks that was the guilty part.
It is still possible that Capable did demand something outrageous for DRI to continue using their solution, but I don’t think so.
The censorship could be some poor management from DRI’s side with new untrained staff, but I don’t think so.

So I’m willing to give DRI the benefit of a doubt and prove us wrong.
That however doesn’t deminish the need of a community run community.

Seems my posts keep disappearing …

I have not broken any of the terms of using this forum and I am not trying to compete with DRI in providing users support and have no agenda in providing a community based forum. What I am doing is trying to provide a venue for users of DRI products to have the ability to participate in a community run forum – specifically where things like what just happened to me won’t occur.

My posts were seemingly removed because I posted a link to the forum I just started up for this community – which is at http://www.drobousers.com for anyone interested.

Why don’t you folks create some content instead of just complaining about dAta Robotics. Or, better yet, tell us if you are pressuring the folks at Capable Networks LLC to release the content that they have locked up.

From what I see, DR is offering support just like they were at the other place. PLUS this new forum is, IMHO, prettier and easier to read. The black theme Capable had was horrible. And their pages were filled up with all sorts of javascript crap so that the site was slow. Capable was obviously tracking and monetizing everything. Is that better? No!

I can easily imagine what went down. DR want to make changes and Capable threw a hissy fit. Did you all receive that email from them? What a bunch of clowns. Their execs are acting like children. Maybe we should email it to their other clients, as a sort of warning about the business maturity the management at Capable has if they ever want to make a change.

My advice to Data Robotics: make this an open forum all can read. Its ok to limit posting rights to customers. If you do that, these renegade sites will whither away. Just like that other one over at google groups.

@TheRealSwitcher: I’m working on creating content here, just search my messages and you will see. (At this time you have only created this single post, is that creative?).
An sure, I’m also trying to convince Capable Networks to release the content in any form. Unfortunately, the messages regarding this I previously created urging others to do the same was removed by DRI…

Yes, DRI is offering support here, and I totally agree that this forum software is better.
Regarding your statement about Capable Networks monetizing the old forum, you obviously have more information than I do. If Capable Networks where making big bucks from the forum, why isn’t it online today?

Your imagination is also rather different from mine after reading the e-mail that they sent out (which I quoted earlier in a thread that was removed.) They don’t state anything about the reason on why this decision was done from DRI, just that they decided to end it’s support of Capable Networks forum and create it’s own. They also requesting feedback on if we, the users (DRI’s customers) are interested in seeing the old content back online.
I hardly call that throwing a hissy fit.

Also, note that this e-mail wasn’t sent out prior or in direct connection to the shutdown of the old forum, but when DRI have had the opportunity for several weeks to inform us, their customers about this switch.
I can’t see anything in the e-mail that would make me think that they are “a bunch of clowns”, but I guess that is all in the eye of the beholder.
What I do know however is that DRI didn’t inform us at all that this was about to happen.

I have no interest in Capable Networks and my only previous “connection” with them was that I used DroboSpace in it’s old incarnation. I can thus not say anything about their business maturity. I was however satisifed with how the old forum was managed. It was allowed to state criticism without beeing censored, but the forum was moderated and i did not see any spam or purely bashing threads.

I agree that DRI should make this forum as open as possible, and I don’t really see why would-be customers shouldn’t be able to ask questions about Drobo’s, care to explain?

I also don’t see why “renegade sites” is bad for DRI. In the wonderful world of open sites and search engines users with problems will have access to great content from a wide variety of sites, DRI’s official content as published here and possibly in indexed support-cases and user created content, regardless on where it is located.
If DRI however have bad practises however, this will also be visible on the network, regardless if it is on indexed open sites or if it is here, on a site where DRI have the opportunity to respond to the critics instead of just removing them.

Can you please elaborate on why additional content on the web is bad for us Drobo users?

@Dowser,
The “old” drobospace was packed with ads. Excessively so. After receiving that email from those clowns I visited their website. They are in the business of creating community sites. They even named some of them in that email. There are more on their site. I don’t know the details. But I suspect DRI (like others) had to pay $$$ to Capable. It seems DRI cancelled the contract and Capable struck back.

Speaking of which: Capable “owns” the content. They have the mailing list. Why didn’t they tell us all that the site was going to be transitioned. Unless they are complete fools (a possibility, I admit) their contract would have a minimum period for cancellation. This would be at least 30 days, probably 45 or 60.

Looking at the “whois” database history for the drobospace.com domain shows that “Trusted Data” and/or Data Robotics registered it in 2/26/07. It seems to me DRI got the domain and then hired CapableNetworks to manage the site. DRI is a start Anup, they obviously goofed in the deal they made with Capable – they let Capable own the content? WTF? That’s really stupid. Someone else posted that Capable was expensive. I can see them trying to raise rates and DR said no. Thus the change in who operates the site. And then the vindictive email Capable sent. This theory also explains why we all had to re-register. Capable wasn’t sharing any information about members.

You are misreading my post, or projecting your opinions onto me. I never said other community sites would be “bad” for DR. I just expressed my doubt that they would flourish. Look at it this way: most posts deal with support issues. How can a forum with no participation from DR compete with this one which has active DR participation.

@TheRealSwitcher:
That is possible that the old forum was “packed with ads”, I don’t browse the web without an adblocker, so I can’t say anything about that. And frankly, I don’t have any problem with sites that uses ad’s to make income, it is a free market.

But sure, I think that we can interpretate the comment “primary sponsor” to include $$$. But I fail to see how “Capable struck back”.

Capable got 30 days notice, according to DRI, and they didn’t give us a statement until 47 days later. That is sad and something that should reflect bad on Capable. However, I do understand that they didn’t comment on this during the first 30 days until August 1 if they tried to convince DRI to stay on.

However, DRI didn’t either say anything about this until 48 days after they sent the notice to Capable, and I hope that DRI did think this through and know that they would do this long before they sent out the notice.
Why didn’t they post anything on the forum?
Why didn’t they post anything on drobo.com?
Why didn’t they post anything on the new forum until Capable sent their message?
Why did they censor our questions related to the inconsistencies in their statement?

If I’m projecting my oppinions onto you I appologise, that is not my intent.
But you did say “f you do that, these renegade sites will whither away.” I have a hard time seeing that as the same thing that community sites would not flourish.

If you look at the old site, most posts where not by DRI, there wasn’t even DRI involvement in most of the threads. It was a community helping the community. I do however agree that DRI is a crucial part of this forum and that their knowledge and expertise is great.
But if you look at other products it’s rather common that they have both company supported sites and community supported sites, both flourishing.

I don’t see any problems linking to external resources from a support-forum, either if it’s to software downloads, knowledgbases or other support-forums. But DRI have still censored the last category here, and that is something that really worries me. How will they handle future cases if it turns out that there is something wrong with one of their products that puts our data in jepoardy? Hopefully they will allow such postings to stay, but their track-record during the few days the forum have been active isn’t really reassuring.

Coming in as a noob here, but I’ve participated in and moderated forums for 10 years and counting… trying to get out, but keep falling back into it. I’m not sure why… it’s really a thankless job.

While I can’t speak directly for DRI, I know from experience that often times a few things hamper a forum.

  1. Information “dilution.” Excessive off-topic chatter. Pages of “me too” instead of a poll or other less-verbose reporting structure, excessive “for sale” or “check this out” posts that aren’t directly related. This all ends up making huge threads that have diluted information-to-noise ratios. Even thanks can get out of hand.

  2. Misinformation or inaccuracies. Granted, this will happen anywhere, as people trying to help often parrot other things they’ve read or heard, sometimes that parroted information isn’t accurate - or isn’t accurate any more. I still end up having to squash or correct misconceptions that are many years old because someone read it on some outdated site.

  3. Anger/resentment from a false sense of entitlement. At the end of the day, whomever owns/controls the forum can run it the way they see fit. Nobody has a right to be able to post on or participate in a forum, regardless of whether it’s promoted by the manufacturer/vendor or not. The same principle of the restaurant sign “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone” holds online too.

  4. Corporate politics. Often times the corporate structure, noble in its design, simply doesn’t have a means to properly interface forum interaction into the flow. A prime example ends up being technical support. Many times the people monitoring the forum are not the same folks monitoring the support lines, and aren’t the same folks who build, design, or test the products. In an ideal world, everyone would be monitoring the forum traffic, from developers through product managers. In the real world, this is rarely the case. So just because something’s been posted hundreds of times on the forum doesn’t mean anything in terms of whether the phone support people or sales people have any knowledge of it. Follow-up is often left to the corporate moderator to “run with the ball” on behalf of the customer. Which leads to the next pitfall…

  5. Employee/moderator burn-out. Everyone has their limits. Even the kindest and most patient of people will get tired of being caught in the middle - trying to emphasize a customer issue to engineering or product management, when they don’t view it as important or simply don’t understand. The worst is when there’s a random bug that a number of customers encounter but engineering can’t reproduce. If you can’t see the problem, it’s nearly impossible to fix the problem.
    Be patient, don’t shoot the messenger. Better yet, ask them how to better get the “ear” of the people who can make the necessary decisions. Often times a well-written (matter of fact, not angry ranting) letter will get far more traction than the poor “forum person” who keeps pushing the customer issues but has already been “tuned out” by the rest of the company. It’s surprising how much louder an “outside voice” can be compared to one that’s in the building.
    And yes, how you say things does matter. Despite how much people try to shrug it off, nobody likes to get yelled at, and constructive criticism is always taken better than complaints without suggestions on improvement.

There’s always a fine balance between the community discussion and “bash the company” just as there is a fine line between users helping other users solve problems and being an official means of contacting technical support.

Reading the disclaimer at the bottom of the page, I’m not 100% sure what kind of official attention a support post made here would receive. Does it get submitted to technical support, just like if I had submitted it through traditional means, or does it just exist for other users to comment on?
Is there a formal process for suggestions and requests made on the forum to get to engineering and/or product management?

I’m not trying to put anyone from DRI on the spot here - just asking the same questions that plague me in the forums I have dealt with… If DRI has answers for those, then great! If not, please consider them, as I have been in the same hole too many times to count.

Brandon