Wish Yola used better forum (support) software

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  • Updated 8 years ago
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I wish that Yola would use better forum software than Get Satisfaction. Both IBS and vBulletin are infinitely superior. GS kinda, sorta does the job but it is very limited. Just now I was trying to find something by using the "Search" function but, as usual, it was hopeless. I was looking for a topic that came up just a week or so ago, but almost all the Search results consisted of threads that were a year old. A lot of the utility of the forum is lost when you can't retrieve previous discussions of a given topic. Or of a given poster, for that matter.
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Keara

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Posted 8 years ago

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Sanja, Official Rep

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Hi Keara

Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback. Can I encourage you to post your feedback on the Get Satisfaction forum? They are a great bunch of people who are open to hearing how they can improve their services. Perhaps you can share with them your positive experience through using IBS and vBulletin and particular examples that you feel they have done well and how GS can improve. Here's a link to the GS forum: http://getsatisfaction.com/getsatisfa...

In the meantime, here are a couple of things that might help:

One thing that will help to improve the searchability is for our forum users to ensure that they use tags when posting topics to the forum.

If you know that you have responded to a thread and you're trying to find it, you could go to your dashboard and look for the particular thread there. It may not be the ideal situation but hopefully it will give you another avenue by which to search for something.

Keep those ideas and feedback coming. We always appreciate having to hear what our users have to say!
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SilverX

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Hi Keara,
sometimes Google has what you was looking for.

Site:forum.yola.com keyword

will show all results from Yola forum.
If you couldn't find it, give a try to advanced search's full features.

Sanja,
vBulletin(or phpBB,MyBB, SMF , etc) is greater than GS(as I'm feeling).
If Yola can integrate single sign-in with Yep,Forum and blog, it most people will join Yola's everything.
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Keara

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Those are good suggestions, Ayesh. They cannot take the place of really good forum software, but they are helpful. Thank you.
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Keara

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Sanja, I appreciate your reply. As far as urging me to post at the GS forum, I don't feel that's an entirely fair response. First, I have already posted here because of the serious deficiencies of the GS software. I have also made various suggestions for improvements in Yola. I really can't get involved with improving another software package. (I kind of think that is Yola's job, you know?) Second, the difference between a GS forum and a really good forum, such as IPB or vB offer, is like the difference between a junior high baseball player and a major leaguer. There is just no comparison. GS has obviously made a decision not to be among the better forum packages. I'm sorry that Yola is not more open-minded on this subject. It would be great to have a really good search function. As things are now, a great deal of knowledge is lost.
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Keara

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Here is an example of a really good forum layout, with great features: Elements Village. The difference between this and GS is enormous.
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John Bravado

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I do not get what you are after- post your question - These Yola people are fantastic

... If this forum does not suit your needs there are many others to choose from.

- most people get what they need right here - why not you?

You should be playing pro ball
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Keara

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There is no need to come down on me, John. I am a big supporter of Yola and of the Yola team. That is obvious from my many comments and replies. However, this Get Satisfaction software that Yola uses is definitely sub-standard. That's all I was saying. I wish Yola would upgrade. Everyone would benefit, including the Yola staff.
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SilverX

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Yes.
webhostingtalk.com is an another site using vB.

vB license costs nearly $ 300(life time).

Yola uses GS for more than 2 years.
So Yola has already paid GS more than $ 300.

vB has plugins to aggregate another forum software's topics. So I think Yola will never miss anything.
Yola has a great set of engineers. If they changed vB includes to match Yola's SQL tabels and cookie algorithm, that should solve all the problems.
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Keara

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Yes, it would make a big difference to have better forum software. GS is really poor compared to vBulletin. IBS also has an excellent package. If I were going to buy a forum software package, I would probably purchase IBS.
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Keara

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Correction -- each time I said IBS, I should have said IPB. IPB and vB are considered the best. vB was probably the clear leader until they moved to their version 4.0, which has some problems. IPB has, in the meantime, probably moved into the lead position. GS is way behind them.
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John Bravado

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Hello? - I am not coming down on you - that is what you are doing to Yola.

maybe post a suggestion? or ask a question? I am sure someone will answer.

This Forum seems to be working for most everyone - it really is the Yola employees that help the Yola users big time, and this forum seems to be doing the job.

I never see a question go unanswered - everyone else is just contributing a little bit.
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Keara

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Yola is using substandard forum software. Everyone will be served better if it moves to a better forum package.
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John Bravado

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I kind of see your point - your demands must be higher than mine

Yola is working for me
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Keara

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John, thank you. If you had experience with better forum software, I'm sure you would agree with Ayesh and me. There's a very big difference between what is possible and what GS offers.
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Keara

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Sanja, I'm sorry if I was not as courteous to you as I should have been. I do think that you and your colleagues are wonderful, and I very much appreciate everything you do for us. My life would be much poorer without Yola and all of you!
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Boomer, Champion

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I actually quite like the layout, look and simpleness of the GS forum.
I think it matches the whole feel of Yola and its site builder. That's possibly why a lot of people mistake GS and Yola as one offering? I visit loads of forums daily in my searches and find them all a bit confusing to navigate. This one is so easy to use and find answers. I've never had a problem with the "search" function either.

Have to disagree with you there... sorry Keara ;-)
I think Yola have done their homework.
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Keara

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Sometimes people are just against making things better. It's puzzling, but it's true.
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Monique, VP of Customer Support

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No we are not against making things better. It is what we are all about! But I just need some compelling reasons to make me consider a switch, especially when we have invested a great deal in Get Satisfaction and had a stunning return on that investment.
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Monique, VP of Customer Support

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Hi All

I would like to make a few comments on this thread:

@Keara: thanks for sharing your views on our choice of forum software. We definitely do not take offense at this at all, and welcome the feedback. I do not think you were discourteous in your comments, so there is nothing to apologize for. However, I would like to probe you a little more. You have mentioned a number of times that GS is inferior to other software and given some examples of software you prefer. The one specific feature you call out as lacking in GS is their "search" functionality. I generally find exactly what I am looking for using the GS search box, but I agree that search is a critical feature that needs to be as good as possible. Are there any other features you feel are substandard about Get Satisfaction?

@John Bravado: thanks for your very positive feedback about the help provided by our Get Satisfaction forum. However, I am quite happy to hear Keara's viewpoints as well. Thank you for being flexible and acknowledging her perspective, I really appreciate it!

@Boomer: thanks for your feedback and for being one of the people who have helped build this community. Always appreciated!

Just a few words about Get Satisfaction:

Yola LOVES Get Satisfaction! We selected them after evaluating many other solutions and we found them to be the best for our needs. We also feel that our success with Get Satisfaction has been nothing short of spectacular (if we say so ourselves!) I can also let you in on a secret and tell you that we have splashed out on GS's most expensive package and included some awesome add-on features (such as the Facebook integration: http://www.facebook.com/Yola#!/Yola?v..., so we definitely aren't compromising on software because of cost. Our engagement with our customer community is one of our top priorities and we want nothing less than the best. We genuinely believe that this is what we have. However, we have not closed our minds on this point and would be willing to evaluate other alternatives. I have looked at IPB and vBulletin but would be happy to look again based on Keara's strong recommendation. I would also be more than happy to hear from anyone else who has opinions on this topic.
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Margie

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Thanks, Keara for posting this suggestion.

I'm popping in to add to your recommendation of a vBulletin forum for Yola users. If you ever used one, it's very doubtful you would ever consider another. The cost is very low (approximately $200), set up pretty straightforward and support (seldom needed) through their forum is excellent.

While I am very impressed with Yola's dedicattion to improving their site builder and feature offerings, a vBulletin Yola forum would make both users and Reps lives much easier.
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Monique, VP of Customer Support

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Can you tell me how it would make the lives of users and reps easier? You could well be right, but you are going to have to "sell" me a bit more here :) I am exceedingly fond of Get Satisfaction - love the user interface, love all the integrations they offer with our back office systems and love the responsive support they provide on the rare occasions we have needed it. So tell someone who hasn't actually used vBulletin (but has evaluated it) why they should switch?
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Keara

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Margie, thank you so much for your supportive comments. As a longtime IPB and vBulletin user, I find that Get Satisfaction just seems very third-rate and unsatisfactory. I'm glad that you have had good experience with vB and can appreciate the difference.
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miz_ginevra

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Hi all - I'm the community manager with Get Satisfaction, and I wanted to weigh in on this topic.

To address the original poster's issue with search, I understand and agree that Get Satisfaction needs to improve there - it's a fundamental improvement we're working on, but it's "non-trivial" as they say in engineering parlance.

That said, I think there's a lot of value that communities add versus forums. Communities can help make really essential, valuable, human connections to help people (and companies!) understand each other at a different level. It's more of a collaborative effort, and one that I think is essential to success for everyone.

I recently wrote up a quick blog post with the parallels between working in a restaurant and working as a community manager. It's http://bit.ly/orderup">s...well, Satisfied!
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John McCarthy

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Well everyone i thinks its great to have a post form GS, The get satisfaction network must be closely knitted if the GS staff come and keep us updated on the problems they find in their own product.Thanks miz_ginevra :)
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miz_ginevra

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you bet, John! :)
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diane

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Hi folks, I'm on the road but I can't resist putting in my two cents. I agree with Keara that the search leaves something to be desired--it would help if more recent threads would show up first or have more filtering functions. I have sometimes waded through years worth of stuff knowing that I had seen something in particular but not being able to find it--and I usually know the approximate time length. I have seen other v bulletin type forums and they do have a certain organization that is helpful. On the other hand, the community aspect of the GS forum is as they say "priceless." On other forums, I usually get to know the administrators but not the other users. The GS format is much more conducive for getting to know the other users in my opinion. So I say stick with GS and hopefully they will improve things like search, etc.
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miz_ginevra

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We're working on the search - it's a high priority of ours here at Get Satisfaction. We've got to change search technologies altogether, so it's a big task, but it's top-of-mind and top-of-list. Thanks for your insight and feedback. :)
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Margie

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I am an admin of a vBulletin stand-alone forum, meaning it's not associated or part of another website but a message board. I am also a member of several business related forums that use vBulletin. They are definitely communities who get to know each other on a professional and sometime personal level.

To list a few of the features available:

1) Searches can be narrowed down to keywords in title or topic, tags, user and/or date range. That is huge in a support forum where people are have questions.

2) Private messaging between members and/or and administrators or moderators.

3) Forums are separated into topics, such as some that might be used on Yola, like, Review My Site Requests, Domain Names, Graphics, HTML, CSS, SEO Tips, Non-Profits, Marketing, Small Business Tips and even social chit chat sectons.

4) Admins and mods (in this case, Yola Reps and Employees) have access and post responses just as they do here.

5) Posts are in consecutive order, so there are no confusing posts like I see on GS.

6) Users can mark a forum topic "read" so they aren't going back to reread a thread they really don't care to reread. (I do that often here.)

7) One of my favorite features is the ability to click on "New Posts" and see a list of only those that are new since my last visit.

There are way too many to mention, but those are a few.

Monique, as an admin, vBulletin does make your life easier. As far as support, the vBulletin forum is a free membership where there are several thousand members willing to help with problems. The one I work on seldom needs to ask for help. The software is a fairly easy set up and has a lot of built in help available.

Sorry for the long post. I didn't intend to turn it into a vB commercial, but I hope Yola will at least consider it as a future possibility.
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Laurynas Savickis

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Well,I see a lot of sh*t down here and mostly people who know the technical part of it.I didnt see any users going against present forum setup.I find it easy to use and totaly different from other forums.In some way its just atractive to me.I totaly dissagree with Margie: I have seen a bunch of forums splited in to the topics,well thats a headache to the user.If i have a question and I`ll put it "somewhere" where no one will find it- this is it, I will get the answere next year.Its happening in almost every forum ,cos they are getting so complicated to use.All the questions here are related to the same thing - site building. No one here will beat you if you will ask the question even if it was asked and answered a day ago (well ,thats a first!!!) I didn`t find any foolish or spam related topics,so I am reading nearly every one finding something for my own knowledge aswell.Well,I can write a book down here about how good and unique this forum is.I am happy the way it works.
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Keara

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I do not understand why Yola permits posts using this vocabulary. It should have been removed due to the first sentence alone.
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miz_ginevra

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I've edited this post for language.
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Keara

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Thank you to Diane and Margie for pointing out the benefits of using truly professional forum software such as IPB or vBulletin. (Although vBulletin used to be the market leader, I think that IPB might now be better.)

I must add a few words about the "community" aspect of forum software. If you have ever been a part of an IPB or vBulletin community, you will know that GS is actually terrible in terms of "community." The possibilities of truly getting to know people, and really working on something together, are greatly enhanced in a good software program. The idea that GS somehow fosters "community" is a joke to those of us who have used other software packages.
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Laurynas Savickis

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To Keara:
And why would anyone here like to know each other?For what reason?We are not a pet lovers or fans of Michael Jackson. The only reason people are here is technical problems they have.If someone is looking for relationship there is plenty of dating websites and forums.Sorry if the post looks too edgy :)
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Keara

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Laurynas, I think that your question says everything about you. And there is therefore no reason for me to answer it.
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Monique, VP of Customer Support

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While we are happy for this discussion to continue I would like to respectfully request that we keep it friendly and polite. While we not only accept, but encourage, dissenting points of view there is absolutely no reason to be unkind to one another in the way that we express ourselves.

Laurynas: I am glad you are getting value out of this forum and finding helpful information. That is exactly what we are hoping for! However, please keep your language clean and family friendly and avoid personal attacks on other participants. Thanks!

Margie: thanks for your detailed description of the features you miss in Get Satisfaction - that is very helpful.

Keara: Well done for not engaging with an offensive comment - very wise and much appreciated. However, I think that people are really starting to struggle with your posts on this thread, which is why you could be picking up some negative reactions. You have used a lot of emotive words to describe Get Satisfaction: "poor", "substandard", "third-rate", "unsatisfactory", "terrible" etc but with very limited specific information to back this up. People tend to leap to the defense of the brands they love, or the services that have been valuable to them.

I have done my best to be non-defensive and open to your points of view - apologies if I haven't succeeded. However, I also encourage you to express your views as constructively and factually as possible.