I know and you know that most of the forum guys don’t rely on magazine and certain websites for information. But a significant amount of population rely on them. If they can’t afford a decent bandwidth (thanks to ISP not giving good enough connection and there’s no healthy alternate), they rely on magazines and those who have and aren’t aware of forums like Techenclave, they rely on such sites. They brag themselves as the most trusted source, they have the manpower and space. That’s good. They deserve it(?)
Archive for February, 2011
“Oh yes, Hardware BBQ! Yeah, we subscribed to the RSS feeds“
“If its ranting, it has to be him!”
Sorcerer: “Mmm…cakes!!” Amey Dalvi: “The cake is a lie!”
((They did have cakes…and chicken!!!)
“Oh!! You’re the Sorcerer???”
“Hey man, you changed a lot since the last time we met”.
“This is Roshan Ashraf, he runs Hardware BBQ!”
“Hey who was that guy asking a lot of questions and not leaving Scott alone.”
“No worries man, we’re here to answer questions- that’s the point of this but you’ve asked many really good questions!”
“AAAaaaah!!! No wonder you know a lot of things happening around!”
“Yeah, you can shoot them in. I love reading emails!!”
Yeah, the conversation about me and few people (chip, tech2 and Techtree) who flew in on the same Mumbai-to-Delhi flight whereas the PC World came from Bangalore. The PC World dude said that “So since we’re in the online publishing as well, I guess we’re fighting for the same space”. I was like “Nah, that’s not how I see things. Besides BBQ is very new and I am the only one handling it for now”. They talked about traffic and about the colourful comments that are put on their site. Friggin’ trolls(?)
I am The Sorcerer. The things I do is for the good of the community.
Many of my readers know the true purpose of me to review. Handful of people know few things I did- not just in techenclave, but in Digit as well. I respect you and the fellow manufacturers but if a line is crossed, that’s where I stop. Also at the same time I respect you so as long as honesty is maintained, I shall do the same. It’s not that we owe each other favours, its just we do what we have to do.
I’ve interacted with many company reps and I am going to Delhi to interact with few Corsair India reps too. Company reps look out for feedbacks so that they can improve on their image. Unfortunately for some “odd” reasons, the usual media has some sort of communication lag between their readers and the writers. Within 1 month, I’ve received few complaints forwarded through me via PM on forums. I’ve put it up with the respected company and here how it goes:
Gigabyte: Availability issues- 880G and 890G boards. When I complained about the availability of 880gma UD2H back in the days I was in Gigabyte India’s 3rd Party PR’s “good books”, the board was available in very few places. There was a communication lag, but it something that was not much of a big deal. Since I’ve stopped being associated with this pr agency because of certain issues, I’ve decided that I’ll just post it on Gigabyte India’s facebook page. It was sort of “seen” but not much. When people wanted 880GMA UD2H, they instead had to deal with 880GM UD2H. When that was over, we saw 880GA UD2H. Both these boards were somewhere in the price of what 880GMA UD2H was in. Not the same southbridge and maybe couple of layout issues/minor features/add-ons. Some have biten the bullet and went for whatever board gigabyte had to offer, whereas some bought a particular board from MSI.
Asus: We all know the horror stories, Asus India is well-aware of it as it eventually affects the reputation despite having their share of making certain good stuffs. But for sometime they’re looking out for feedbacks and judging by the actions, they’re working on it. Its a slow slow process, but it takes time. With whatever feedbacks they have from everyday complaints, power users, gamers, reviewer(s), etc., they started off in a right track. Although its way too early to say if the improvements has come into light in terms of service but judging by the staff I’ve interacted during 2-4 meetings, I am sure their efforts can pay off. Getting the right person to do the right job is a rare item, its best if they don’t let anyone go from their management.
Seagate: One of their rep met me and he was very open with me (which I liked). I don’t know what he was trying to ask, but to a certain extent he wanted to know what kind of writer I am and about monetization. I’ve been frank and told him that Hardware BBQ is more of a community and besides she is still a young project. He has told me that seagate always works on feedbacks so for any reason there is anything to pass on, please do so. I’ve met him twice and its pretty good so far.
Western Digital: Not much. 2 of their staff were on leave for some weeks so its way too early to say anything.
Kingston: Kingston Taiwan are very prompt in whatever feedbacks I’ve forwarded. When I’ve pinged them about clarification about “lifetime warranty” they’ve forwarded the query to manager of technical support and service. This is what they’ve said:
“at Kingston when we say Lifetime warranty we do support the product till it is being manufactured, since the technology is changing at a very rapid pace, we need to keep up with the latest technology, If the module being used by the customer is an EOL (End of Life) product, we do try to repair the same part and make it available to the customer at first, if for some reason the part is non repairable we check with the customer for the motherboard being used by him/her and if we can offer a compatible running SKU similar to the one, if that is not an option we do offer our customer a credit note for the same, irrespective of the number of years under warranty”.
Corsair: There was a case in techenclave where someone’s USB 2.0 port of corsair voyager GT just came off. Judging by the pics, he didn’t break it. According to that thread He is in Delhi. There was another guy brought into my attention from one of the active community moderators who was from Delhi (he bought it from SMC International) and after showing the picture, he said it was exactly the same issue. I’ve forwarded this to Corsair India guys and they’ve forwarded to the higher-ups. I’ll be meeting them this 7th and so far few feedbacks have been forwarded across. Way too early to say anything about their management.
We’re in a country where everyone has access to the internet- forums, facebook, twitter, etc. Trust me when I say- company reps are watching. There’s no denying that there are PR staff looking at forums for feedbacks and/or damage control and/or PR spin. Companies do read comments because they’ve recognised their buyers. But its the people who are posting their issues need to understand that they have to put out the necessary details first. It’s a very small thing, but Iwouldn’t be suprised if Rashi RMA thread in Digit India forums is getting noticed.
When I pinged Chip India‘s community mod/admin Neo Natasha to create a feedback threads, he simply said “why don’t you do it”. No matter what I do, I am still one guy. It is why I am pushing the concept of having company reps in Techenclave forums. Provided its done properly (and I have somewhat confidence in the concept as many international forums are doing it) and provided the rep is not one of those people who don’t reply back or say “please contact Mr XXXX”, everyone is happy. Companies can keep good rapport and handle issues/get feedbacks easily, people’s issues are decreased to a small extent and helps to build the community stronger. Major portion of the issue is resolved. Circling around the forums does not help.
Word of advice, resist the urge of making this as a political battle. I’ve always said that reviews will have be neutral and as long as the promotions are done honestly and all-the-way success, I will support it. If X brand of motherboard is doing something good, I will do so and work with them, same goes for brand Y of motherboard provided they do the same. If one is under the impression I am doing favours, get a job. We already have a publicity stunt artist, so let’ keep that hadcount to number 1.
What we need now is community builders/support personnel. Active and dynamic people. You’re not going to be paid for it and its pretty stressed out. But it improves the community radically. This is what I ask from other moderators- stop making excuses and start being leaders of your community. At the same time, there are some “entities” who have a habit of trolling on other forums on behalf of his forums/dealers. Some mods have told me that sub dealers and such samples “hunt” for n00bs and try to impress them with CPU-Z screenshots (without any benchmarks being done). Some would be impressed, but people know what they see. There are regular PMs being circulated about such samples. If you think you’re doing it right? You fail!! You’re just being a puppet for a dealer and its your credibility that gets damaged. Word of advice- grow up!!! I know you’re doing this for free hardware, but if you’re SO desperate to use media samples for your personal use, open a donation box. You can use it to get a retail.
Be more than moderators. Be a leader of your community.