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BitsDuJour Suggestions

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Expand All You can also Post on Facebook, and we'll answer it there!

S B Many times I've wondered what people thought of the Bits du Jour items after they've bought licenses (I'm sure that the BdJ team has, too). Especailly for things I've passed on (perhaps unintentionally).

Consider ways to capture buyers perspectives on the items and their usefulness, the whether they were described adequately, the need for support, the amount of learning time, whether they'd readily consider other products from the same vendor.

Some examples:

1) have a public feedback forum with posting ability limited to those who've bought the item from BdJ
You can email buyers codes to distinguish them as a buyer of a particular product (e.g., "buyer # 346 of Magic Pen Software")
2) encourage by email the purchasers to re-visit the comments section of the products they've bought to leave post-buying-evaluations.
3) send a questionaire to all buyers after a period of time, asking for evaluations, perhaps offering a chance at a (further) discount on their next BdJ purchase.
4) sample the buyers of each item asking for feedback, perhaps also offering an incentive
        Jul 27 2009 at 8:03am
Vanessa N I'll add on to this to say what would be really nice is the site had a forum to discuss the various kinds of software out there, and what's available in those genres. Sort of a spring board from the Suggest area (where we often get ideas for what kind of software is out there that we've never heard of before, whether or not Bits is able to offer it or not.

So, for those who like mindmapping or other creative applications (for writing, creativity, productivity, etc), a discussion could be the various software apps we've seen, (whether or not they've been featured in Bits, and if they have, whether they're likely to again, plus feedback if indeed they've been offered, as you said), and the applicable merits to each.....Another discussion on Office software, Timer software, photo software.....that we've seen, tried, bought, etc.....

Might be a good place for Bits admins to get ideas if not already in the Suggest area.

Maybe there's a site like this on the web where software users/addicts can discuss these things? And even ideas for software wants that don't exist in entirety yet.
        Jul 27 2009 at 9:03am
Nico Westerdale Hi Vanessa,

Thanks for the comments! I guess I'm not totally following you as to what you're asking for. The 'Suggest' area is an open discussion, and we also have the comments on the deals themselves. What are we missing?
        Jul 29 2009 at 5:06am
Hi, Nico.

While the "Suggest" area may allow open discussion, I suspect that most people perceive it as being a place just for *suggesting* things rather than *discussing* things...I know that's how I thought of it until rather recently. However, a "Forum" area such as Vanessa is talking about (and which I have also several times thought you could use) would be perceived as the *proper* place to go to discuss things (pros/cons of a particular program, compare different programs of a particular type), look for recommendations (as in "I'm looking for such-and-such, anyone know of a program that will do that?") , etc. The comments area of each deal isn't really suitable for discussions either, particularly since every comment is e-mailed to the particular company...while that's great for getting info about licensing restrictions, upgrade policies and the like, I'm sure a company doesn't particularly want its' inbox to be filled with a bunch of messages in a back-and-forth discussion as to the relative merits of a particular type of software.

Personally, though, I prefer Usenet-style newsgroups rather than forum software such as phpBB, etc., but I realize the latter is far more popular with web sites. I just don't particularly like the small boxes you have to type your message/comment in...there's no way to know what it's going to look like until *after* it's posted, there's no spell-checking (granted, a 'thing' with me that obviously most people don't have grin) and, worst of all, most of the boxes have a limit to the number of characters that can be typed but no mention of what that limit is until the message/comment is posted and only half of what was typed is there :-(

Anyway, my $.05 (inflation, you know grin) on the subject.
        Jul 30 2009 at 10:45am
Nico Westerdale Hi Rick,

Fair comment, I know what you're saying. We do have discussions on our new Facebook page, it's just getting started so we'll have to see if it's a useful place for that. I'll keep in mind what you say, and thanks for the continued support.
        Aug 10 2009 at 6:15pm
Sigh. Not to mention that with Usenet-style newsgroups, *all* text-based emotion/expression indicators post properly :-(
        Jul 30 2009 at 10:50am
Vanessa N Thanks, Rick, for adding on to this; you got my gist exactly.

What I was going to say is that the "Suggest" and "item reply" areas are really "one-way" conversations...where sometimes you get a reply, and sometimes you don't at all.

The Suggest area is really a comment to the Bits admins, who often don't reply (I had a Suggest question about a piece of software that went unanswered, for example.
Even a complimentary "contact form" also went unanswered), and not so much conducive for encouraging site visitors to discuss back and forth with each other, since the Suggest moniker does suggest it's an email to the admins and not much else.

And as you said, replying to the Item Comments sends a note to the vendors, and sometimes that's not necessary.

I think a goodly number of people here have all sorts of software needs and are from all walks of life; writers, photographers, office mavens, IT people, hobbyists, etc...who probably have tried or seen all kinds of software that others may not have heard of, and it would be good to know/have discussion on their user experiences. It would be nice to have a "one-stop" shop to discuss features/find ideas for software, rather than seeking specific websites and forums dedicated to photography, writing, productivity, accounting. Since Bits offers a variety of software all year around, and many people here often use and would be interested in 2-3 other software beyond their primary interest, it would be a good place to see what other people have tried (and perhaps, bought here).

This may also increase the number and variety of "suggestions" for products to the admins (who could surf the forums looking for good ideas) looking for good fodder.
        Jul 31 2009 at 5:21am
Nico Westerdale We do read all the posts here, although it may take us a while to respond we try and not let anything pressing go unanswered. With the suggestions we originally had the section called "Discuss" and it got very few comments at all. Changing the name helped that a lot, and now we regularly get posts here which we really value.

We do have a few ideas for an expanded suggestions area, allowing people to search and enter in suggestions and vote on which suggestions they want on the site, which would be an ordered list of software titles that people want.

When we have that then the discussions would change to being more open chat about software. The backend of Bits is at our sister site, which we run for developers whcih has a forum on it here: Let us know if that's what you want and we'll make it happen here too.
        Aug 10 2009 at 6:21pm
Nico Westerdale Thanks so much for posting, some great ideas here.

The problem with capturing buyers details, and we run into this all the time, is that we don't handle the final sale. We simply pass you on the the vendor's shopping cart with a discount, so we don't actually know exactly who purchased. Although we do have a lot of tracking we integrate with so many different shopping carts that having a solution that encompasses everything is very problematic.

I really wish we could, but for now it's just not technically possible.
        Jul 29 2009 at 5:05am
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