How to respond at negative remarks about the platform


(Rob Bosch) #1

In our Nethserver community we see a few members that are not ultimately happy with the platform chosen. We have discourse running and the criticism is that the forums are too much ‘Facebook like’ and they feel it is not ‘professional’ to talk about non technical subjects (like the community itself, or just general chitchat in separate sub forums)
My question is: How to deal with such critisism? Personally I want to stimulate giving likes by other members, since this is (one of) the pat on the shoulder that keeps members motivated to keep posting. It also will make clear what ‘the community’ thinks are valuable posts and posters. This is IMO an important thing to know for the team that runs the community.

Changing platform is not an option and as said, there are (VERY!) few members that have this complaint, but the members with this complaint are very active members that use NethServer in a more or less professional way.

What do you guys think?


(rhogroupee) #2

After 17 years, I have a few strategies that I use to try to deflect this type of comment…first, I always recommend against having a forum dedicated to “the platform” (I don’t know if you’ve got this or not). Any compliments or complaints about the platform should be directed behind the scenes, because by providing a place for complaints, you will get them and they can turn into a “feeding frenzy.”

Second, I like to reach out privately to the big complainers and explain that the platform isn’t changing, but constructive ideas that relate to the platform are welcome.

Third, if that fails, I stop responding to their public complaints and wait for them to get bored and stop posting them (they always do eventually). If you are providing value to them, they will go back to the normal business of the community and make peace with the platform choice.


(Rob Bosch) #3

Thnx for your response. We do not have a ‘platform discussion’ subforum. However, there has been a discussion to ask opinions from the members about the platform. But the latest remarks are not because of that discussion.

I think you are right by saying that contacting them privately will be the first thing we need to do. We already did some suggestions on how the a member can adjust the board settings to filter out certain subforums and advised them to make a shortcut to the ‘categories’ landing page instead of our default ‘latest discussions’ landing page.

Ultimately we will ignore their complaints to death… :smile:

Any other suggestions?


(Sarah Hawk) #4

Is that a platform criticism, or a culture issue? Would they be ok with non-technical (or unprofessional) discussions if you were on another platform?


(Richard Millington) #5

Ignore what members say, focus on what they do. It’s a little ironic that it’s the most active members who complain about the platform.

If it’s a big issue, then

  1. Validate the complaint.
    Create a poll and see what the broader group thinks. Be careful not to prime the answer. It’s tough for the minority to argue with a clear majority.

  2. Work with them to develop a solution.
    I’m not a big fan of this idea, but I’ve seen it work. Set the parameters (i.e. not changing the platform without a lot more money) and work with them to develop a solution. They’re usually onboard with directly engagement.

  3. Avoid arguing.
    They’ve already decided they don’t like it. They can’t publicly change their mind. They will quiet down after some time if they know their complaints make little different.