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Old 01-14-2013, 09:30 AM   #16
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Disclaimer: These are my personal views and do not represent those of my employer
Adding another facet here. What about the impact of this negativity on those who work for Kobo and post on this board, both those who work on the teams being criticized and those who don't?

How would you feel if you saw someone continually twisting the knife about something which you work on, and are possibly trying to resolve, or perhaps cannot due to other extenuating factors, but still the twisting continues.

It'd be somewhat melodramatic to say it's soul destroying, but it certainly isn't pleasant.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:35 PM   #17
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Yes, that would be a terrible thing, the big bad consumers constantly reminding you that you need to get all your crap in one sock, seeing as how your company expected them to pay for the entire product, not just the parts you'd managed to get right. Much better to screw around until they get really annoyed and start voting with their wallets, in the negative. How about a new policy, when you only get 75% of your job right, you only get 75% of your pay?

Here's a wild thought, fix the darned issues -preferably before firmware releases.

If you're not being allowed to fix the issues bring the complaints to those who can make it happen and let them do their jobs and remove the roadblocks. If someone is being an obstacle find a way around or over them, even if it requires an anonymous email or snail mail or three. DO YOUR DARNED JOBS, AND QUIT MAKING EXCUSES. Roadblocks exist to be socially engineered around, over, or through. If you're really engineers you can apply the same disciplined thinking and logic to a problem outside your speciality as inside it -build a tunnel, road, or whatever around the roadblocks. Get the attention of those who can ramrod such actions and they'll make it happen. I guarantee no one at your company wants to see customers complain, but many will turn a blind eye to it because doing something about it risks upsetting the status quo.

I can't believe I actually needed to write any of the above.

To put an even finer point on it, don't release crapware and no one will carp about it being crapware.

Once upon a time the company I'd just become a partner in had a $1600 laser printer fail one month out of warranty. The manufacturer asked me to transport it 35 miles one way, wait a week, and then told me there was nothing they could do. I got annoyed, wrote the VP of Marketing for Panasonic directly(you have to do your homework, took less than an hour pre internet), told him of my problem and mentioned I'd CC'd a copy of the letter to the Pres.& Chairman of the board, and told them that failing a reply and a proper solution to my difficulty in the next week my next complaint would go to the letters pages of Byte Magazine & The Computer Shopper... Took 'em less than five days to get back to me(pretty good for snail mail) and send a guy from two states over who happily resolved our issue. When the carrot won't work you have to be willing to employ the stick.

If you're going to eat the carrot(take my money), then you better pull the cart(provide me with expected value), or prepare to get the stick(figure it out)... You don't like those rules? Maybe you're not cut out to just be a donkey pulling a cart. Maybe you need to be something better. If you weren't better than that anything said against your work wouldn't bother you. So go, become something better and stop asking those who have a right to expect what they pay for to live up to reasonable expectations to be quiet when it doesn't.

As a member of your company ask yourself what you're doing to resolve the issues the people who pay your salary(the consumers) are having. The people roadblocking you may sign the checks, but they don't pay your salary. Become better at what you do and find a way through.

Last edited by TechniSol; 01-14-2013 at 08:58 PM. Reason: wasn't done flapping my gums...
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:50 PM   #18
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TechniSol: Who are you talking to? As far as I know, none of the participants in this thread are from Kobo. We are not the people who can do any of the things you're suggesting. We are regular, unpaid people who like to spend some of our free time helping other Kobo users use their device, whether their problems are of their own making, through misunderstanding, or through issues with bugs.

The key point is this: that constant content-free repetitive whinging is "driving regulars who come here and like to help others solve their problems away from this forum." The more constant content-free repetitive whinging there is (CCRW: we need a better acronym) there is, the less likely it is that people having solvable problems will get help and be able to get on with reading.

If you're someone who's engaging in CCRW, then it's about you. If you're not, then it isn't. As you yourself said, "negativity for the sake of negativity is a bad thing". That is exactly what this thread is about.

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Old 01-14-2013, 09:51 PM   #19
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meeera,

Rather obviously, I should think, I was replying to Sharkus, specifically in the post directly above my own as I did not address it to someone else.

When someone starts off with the disclaimer: "Disclaimer: These are my personal views and do not represent those of my employer" and writes as Siharkus did, one might reasonably assume they have some skin in the game. Either way my statements stand.

There was no negativity for the sake of negativity expressed in my post. There was negativity expressed for the purpose of negative feedback. Are you in any way familiar with the science of cybernetics? A system which employs positive feedback cannot self correct, only one which employs negative feedback. Telling every child they are a winner does not lead to a group or society of winners, but it does promote self delusion.

According to Sharkus, we should be more concerned with not hurting the feelings of the Kobo developers than concerned with them correcting their mistakes. That is exactly the sort of thinking that allows for mediocrity in life and product development.

People and companies need to be held accountable and that was what I was expressing. More importantly I was encouraging anyone that felt themselves roadblocked to employ their skills to find a way around it. Part of one's job in a company always needs to be doing what's best, even when it's hard.

Frankly, if you want to come right down to it, if you don't like something don't read it, change the channel, etc. Are we not old enough and mentally developed enough to handle reading something we may not agree with? Or should we give up our right to freely express in order to guarantee that no one be offended?

I am not fond of anyone not owning a Kobo coming in and stirring the pot, but if we are not to be hypocrites we must not be afraid to call a spade a spade, a shovel a shovel, etc. and be free to express disappointment or displeasure as may be in order that the company's attention might be brought to their user's problems.

Concerning Kobo directly, I have easily given as much praise as negative comment, probably more. Just the other day I paid them the ultimate compliment a consumer can and bought another of their products. Lying concerning my occasional displeasure would serve no one except those daft enough to want quiet for the sake of quiet.

I hope I've answered well.

Last edited by TechniSol; 01-15-2013 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:56 PM   #20
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There was no negativity for the sake of negativity expressed in my post.

Then this thread is not about you. Do you see?

Robko was not calling for all sweetness, light, and blowing smoke up people's arses. He called for people who are being negative for the sake of being negative to please consider the effect they're having on those who are here to help.

That is all.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:06 PM   #21
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Well, gee, thanks for pointing out to me which posts I should, and should not reply to... Whatever would I do without your gentle guidance?

BTW, as I thought I recalled, Sharkus is on Kobo's Mobile Reading Apps Team for iOS below. Wish I could have pointed directly to the post, but here's a quote:

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Quote: Originally Posted by Kobo-Robin Please understand, we were not told by our managers to come into the forums and engage with our users.

I am here because I want to be. As I'm sure you can imagine we are all very busy with the upcoming holiday season coming.

I can't speak for the other teams nor do I want to.

I hate being so vague but I can only play in the smaller sandbox.

I'm in the same position as Robin, here because I want to be, not because I was told to be, and the same points he makes are also valid for myself (I'm on the Mobile Reading Apps Team, more specifically the iOS side of things)
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:06 PM   #22
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Well, gee, thanks for pointing out to me which posts I should, and should not reply to... Whatever would I do without your gentle guidance?
....and I'm out.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:01 AM   #23
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As a member of your company ask yourself what you're doing to resolve the issues the people who pay your salary(the consumers) are having. The people roadblocking you may sign the checks, but they don't pay your salary. Become better at what you do and find a way through.
If it's an issue that falls within my domain, I will attempt to reproduce the issue, pass on the details to the devs to get it fixed and then verify that the issue is fixed. I have done this on a few occasions with issues found by users on here.

I'm not asking we should be spared anything, it was more that constant snide remarks, moreso when it's on a thread that has nothing to do with the remark being made, are not helping anyone, and might cause those who try to help - not specifically those working for Kobo, a lot of other users on here are very knowledgeable - to decide to stop helping out, which would be to the detriment of everyone.

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Old 01-15-2013, 10:48 AM   #24
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The truth hurts? Kobo defense force working hard... ridiculous.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:44 AM   #25
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Sharkus,

What I said was not intended as a personal attack, but when a Kobo team member starts posting about how negativity affects performance, etc. it is bound to annoy people. If anyone has a right to be annoyed and express that annoyance it is consumers dealing with frustrating situations. You're extremely lucky to just take a few barbs here and there rather than just being passed over at the sales counter. Your company and the development team have EARNED any truthful criticism you get. Many of us would consider that motivation enough to get our collective ducks in a row very damn quickly.

In my book, you're very lucky as a company that you produce hardware with software innovations of sufficient merit that the consumer will purchase despite bugs that are sometimes multigenerational in the firmware. I returned a bugfree, near as I could tell, Nook w/ Glowlight because your display hardware on the Glo is better, and because of software features you offer.

Many of us deal with similar issues, but at some point you have to adopt a "coffee is for closers" attitude. Despite any barbs, most of us really want Kobo to succeed and sometimes we're just frustrated at how close you guys are to producing really stellar product.
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:03 PM   #26
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...Many of us deal with similar issues, but at some point you have to adopt a "coffee is for closers" attitude. Despite any barbs, most of us really want Kobo to succeed and sometimes we're just frustrated at how close you guys are to producing really stellar product.
That is exactly how I feel. I know I have been pretty negative on here. Honestly most of that is because Kobo just doesn't seem to be listening to us about the bugs. I have so far bought 2 Kobo Wifi's, 1 Touch and 1 Glo and am considering buying another Glo for the wife although she is happy with the Kobo Touch I gave her (now that I have downgraded the firmware to 2.1.5 because 2.3.1 was crap on her Touch).

I've said this before on other threads, the Kobo eReaders and the desktop app have a lot of potential. Almost every firmware version we see UI changes yet I'm frustrated because there are STILL bugs in the firmware that I was seeing in 1.9.17 and are not only there in 2.3.1 but now have friends.

The following may contain scenes of negativity, view discretion is advised:
Spoiler:
I've asked to be in the beta program. At least then I know what I am potentially getting into. I got no response, period. Not even a no thanks our team slots are full. We've asked for an open beta area, where we can choose to participate or not and post about any bugs we find constructively and NOT negatively, this was never addressed. Not even to say, sorry we can't do that.

I love my Kobo's, from my first Wifi to my Glo. Now I find a firmware version that I like, make sure I have a backup copy of it and only use the Desktop app to load a new firmware version to test it out. If I don't like it due to new bugs, back on goes the firmware I can tolerate. It shouldn't be this way.

While Kobo is not responsible for this forum and is not under any obligation to participate here; one thing being in retail has taught me is good customer service. You don't have to follow through with every customer's suggestion but just making the customer aware that you are listening does wonders even if you can't do anything about it at present.

Here's 2 suggestions: 1) make updates optional, stop forcing them on us and 2) make it easier to rollback a firmware update if the new one is too buggy for us to use.

People are a lot less negative when it doesn't take them all day to try and get their device working after a firmware update crapped out on them.

For some reason when I think about Kobo I get a flash back of the movie Office Space... did you get that memo...

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Old 01-15-2013, 06:03 PM   #27
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Have to agree with you there. I started with the Touch and progressed to the Glo... And we now have 3 kobos in our family. My 73 year old father and his 62 year old wife as well are both in love with their Kobo's.


regards

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Old 01-15-2013, 07:37 PM   #28
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Whilst the unpredictability of the Kobo readers can be irritating, I'm more tolerant of it as it is a more open ereader and it seems the most accessible to user modifications, overriding the firmware etc.

I suppose what comes with this is it's less reliable. Isn't it using a modified Linux build?
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:28 AM   #29
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hmmm...i'm not a power ebooks user. i dont use almost nothing of many features in the ebook readers. i dont care about highlights, annotations, bookmarks, dictionary, browser etc...i'm not using calibre at all...i'm puting some books, reading one, delete it, start another...but even such basic tasks are a nightmare on kobo touch??!! what shall we do? shrug the shoulders and not bother to complain?
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:46 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Sharkus View Post
[...]
How would you feel if you saw someone continually twisting the knife about something which you work on, and are possibly trying to resolve, or perhaps cannot due to other extenuating factors, but still the twisting continues.

It'd be somewhat melodramatic to say it's soul destroying, but it certainly isn't pleasant.
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Yes, that would be a terrible thing, the big bad consumers constantly reminding you that you need to get all your crap in one sock, seeing as how your company expected them to pay for the entire product, not just the parts you'd managed to get right. Much better to screw around until they get really annoyed and start voting with their wallets, in the negative. How about a new policy, when you only get 75% of your job right, you only get 75% of your pay?

Here's a wild thought, fix the darned issues -preferably before firmware releases. [...etc]
TechniSol! I am shocked!! Sharkus tells us how he feels (and I quite understand how heart-wrenching it must be to get constantly verbally attacked while you're doing your best) and you go and be mean again! And in this thread of all threads, where people have been asked to be nice! I understand you are frustrated and that you feel ignored perhaps, and that you just want problems to get solved. And I also understand you have the feeling that you'd organise things differently were you a Kobo employee. We all understand that. But we've also all read your thoughts before and we know you're not satisfied... there is no need to get sarcastic (again). Who knows what's going on internally at Kobo? Who knows why they push firmware updates that still have bugs in? There might be reasons that we cannot guess and that Kobo employees are not free to share with us. And that must be difficult for them too, because we also all know they are actually really kind and generous people trying to get things fixed for us. They're on this forum for crying out loud!

As for non-Kobo employees, how fun do you think it is for the regulars who enjoy helping people with problems to sift through all the repetitive sarcasm?
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Well, gee, thanks for pointing out to me which posts I should, and should not reply to... Whatever would I do without your gentle guidance?
....and I'm out.
… it's pushing people away! And meeera was actually being really, really understanding. More understanding than I am at the moment. And remember taming? No? Well, there you go.


I am also shocked by the harsh discussion that has started in this thread. Maybe people need a reminder about what this thread was for. Here you go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robko View Post
1st off I’ll say that I have no problem with people bringing up problems/issues with Kobo and/or sharing their views and debating positives and negatives about Kobo devices and the firmware on them. That’s all good and healthy and what these forums are about.

What I would like people to think about however, is what purpose adding a post that is strictly a dig at Kobo (i.e. where the ONLY thing in the post is something like “… Kobo just keeps adding new bugs when they kill others” or “… good thing Kobo does thorough testing – not!”) serves when it adds nothing to the thread involved. Yes, we get it, you’re ticked off with Kobo (and with good reason in some cases). We don’t need to re-read that in thread after thread. It serves no purpose. And for some reason over the last few months this is getting more prevalent. You are driving regulars who come here and like to help others solve their problems away from this forum. All I ask is that you think about what purpose you hope to gain before you post something like this.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post, and hopefully thinking about it.

Robert
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