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digitalscience says

I’ve been an author here for quite some time now and remember when we did not have the comment facility on the file pages. We still sold files, if buyers had a question they would mail you. If you got a lot of emails about a bug, you would update the file and problem solved.

Then the comment facility was added which was great at first because buyers could get answerers from previous comments. But the problem is that the comments are broken up into pages and a lot of previously solved problems are not read by buyers so they ask the same questions over and over again.

Now the biggest issue with the comments is you can upload a file which runs perfectly ‘as is’, it can have a well documented help file and comments in the ActionScript but if you do not answer your comments for longer than a week, you will still start getting negative comments which can actually effect sales on the file. So answering comments has became a very repetitive and time consuming thing. I spend a lot more time answering the same comments and emails than making new files. So if we could minimise the repetitiveness of the support queries we could actually spend more time making files and making more money.

Surely the documentation alone should be enough support, if they do not know how to use Flash at all do we need to explain step by step instructions on Flash basics? If they modify the file heavily and break the file in the process, do we need to sit and figure out where they went wrong and tell them how to fix it? I think alot of buyers are under the impression that if they buy a file, the author will modify it for them the way they want which is not always possible if you are selling a lot of files every month.

The purpose of this site should be to sell the template ‘as is’, they can use the file ‘as is’ and everything is covered in the documentation. If they want to modify the template and change the way it works, that should be where the support ends, because it’s no longer your file, it’s they’re version of it. It can very difficult sometimes to help someone fix a file when they’ve changed the code or edited movieclip symbols because the smallest change could break the file completely and most of the time the only way to debug is to see their version of the file which can be time consuming.

If the comment facility could be removed completely, it would remove a lot of clutter on files pages, because right now anyone can say what the want on a file page which can effect sales on the file. Instead of file comments, all we need is a message box where buyers can send an email message to the author, in the subject line it will have the file name and author can respond to the question. Then on the file page there can be a description page, which explains all the features of the file. Then a tab for the help file where authors can update on a regular basis, and then another tab for an FAQ where the author can post solutions to common problems which keep being asked in our emails.

Without the comment facility I think files could be sold more efficiently and buyers can get the answers they need via email or on the File FAQ /Help file. So if you are a first time buyer and you look through the files here, you won’t see a mass of comments, just a well organised page with a detailed description, you can browse through the help file which is regularly updated and if you have a question, you can have a look through the FAQ or just email the author directly. Clean and simple.

What do you guys think?

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Chuckanucka says

I think removing them would never happen and some buyers would probably stop buying if they were.

comments could be improved in 3 easy ways:

1) put them away from the file page so it does not influence sales so much

2) have an faq help tab

3) make it VERY clear that support is not required, but is a goodwill gesture from the author.

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michelsteege says

+.5

Not +1 why? i think the comments has some positive sides to,

-You can keep flashden and your email seperate -People who want to buy your file can get some extra information from the comments (also positive comments are posted) -Not all buyers ignore older pages with solutions

But i agree that it is to easy to make a file or person look bad that don’t deserve it right now. hope someone comes up with a great idea :)

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CypherScience says

Well, comments can still be useful. The problem now is that a lot of comments aren’t comments, they’re complaints or requests for help. I think the solution is to keep comments as that, comments or discussion about the file, and have a separate mechanism for handling problems/help etc.

As you say, a simple field to directly email the author for help would be very useful and would save everybody time. Similarly, if the author could attach an FAQ , a lot of problems could be avoided. When an item has hundreds of comments, the same questions are inevitably going to be asked because nobody wants to read through 7 pages of comments on the off-chance that their problem may be addressed somewhere.

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ParkerAndKent says

DS,

I think you’re perfectly right, I totally agree.

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Chuckanucka says

imagine getting every comment to your email account, you would be answering the same stuff all the time, no thanks.

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CypherScience says
imagine getting every comment to your email account, you would be answering the same stuff all the time, no thanks.

Good point. Maybe FD needs to set up an internal message system. Although if there was an FAQ to take care of the most common problems, hopefully there wouldn’t be as many queries anyway.

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CypherScience says
3) make it VERY clear that support is not required, but is a goodwill gesture from the author.

As a (hopefully) soon-to-be author, I have to agree with this one. Based on my browsing around the file comments, there are some buyers who expect free customization as part of the deal. I can imagine how customization requests could be a nightmare.

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skyplugins says

Comments should be deletable by the author. That’s it. Let us decide what to put there. Authors are responsible for every small detail about a file and so we should also be responsible to manage our own file pages.

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digitalscience says

Ok think about 5 years down the line when you have 500 files uploaded, how would you handle all the comments? You won’t be able to answer every single comment and then negative comments would start effecting sales and would tarnish your reputation. It doesn’t matter how perfect your file is or how good the documentation is, as long as buyers are making changes to your file, they will run into issues and will leave a comment. Why should every individual question be publicly viewable, it creates clutter and these could be answered via email. General questions can be answered on the FAQ so authors don’t have to answer them in emails.

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