A few days back, Roy asked to create a survey asking our readers their opinion of what we are doing here at UTB. I jumped at the opportunity to hear from our readers. A few days in to the survey results, we have had some great responses which will hopefully help us create a better home for BlackBerry fans. I am trying to determine how to collate these results to share with our readers, in such a way that won’t leave out any responses. In the meantime, there were a few comments I wanted to respond to. Before we get started though, the survey is still up and running. If you haven’t responded yet, please do! It’s important to us, and I can assure you we are reading all responses, and taking them to heart. Well, all except one. Click here for Roy’s original post and to take the survey.
For this post I want to focus on those questions that are specifically about the site, by question.
Are you registered to UTB? If not why?
65% have responded that they have registered for the site. Many of the answers as to why people have not registered would seem to fall under apathy, or perhaps procrastination, such as;
“No good awnser to why not”
“I dont feel the need to register”
“Too lazy to join, just a lurker!”
“I’m not sure, I will register later.”
A few I’d like to respond to;
“UTB is a bunch of older guys with nothing better to do.”
Listen up you little whipper snapper. There is a wide range of ages at UTB. Now, you may have clicked on the podcast and seen Dave and myself racing to see who could have the most grey hair, but there are more people working on the site than just those that you see on blog cast. As far as having nothing better to do, UTB is a labor of love. Everyone here is volunteer, and everyone has lives outside of UTB, it just so happens that many of us are going through a busy period right now, which is why there is less content on the site. For those that are keeping us going while others cannot, I can’t thank them enough.
“I don’t see why I should. What is that going to do for me?”
I really don’t know what it would do for you, but I wish you would. You may be a novice to BlackBerry, in which case you may have a question that others may be able to answer. You may be an extremely knowledgeable BlackBerry user that could help those others that have questions. Either which way, your input and involvement would be a welcome addition, and would help to grow the community of BlackBerry users here. Also, it’s reader’s comments and interaction that keeps our bloggers motivated.
Are you registered for UTB Forums? If not why?
52% of respondents stated that they are, leaving a whopping 48% not registered. This is something I would really like to improve. One of our primary goals at UTB is to build a community where BlackBerry fans can enjoy discussion of BlackBerry without the negative backlash we often get at other places around the web. A community needs community members. A few of the reasons:
“Too much hassle registering”
I completely understand this. For far too long we had issues with our registration. There was a period of time where we were unaware people were unable to register. Not to mention that we had separate registrations for the blog site and forums. This last part is somewhat fixed. If a user registers on forums, they’re automatically registered for the blog site. The reverse of this is not true. If someone registers on the blog site, they are not registered for forums. We considered removing the blog site registration and only using the forum registration, but there are many out there that wish to comment on posts that have no interest in forums, so we left both registrations working. The registration process should be much simpler now than it was before, however, if you have tried to register and have issues, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you registered.
“I find them kind of confusing, not very good at navigating it”
I understand people get used to forums which they frequent, and change can be difficult. A lot of thought went in to what kind of forum we would use. The original UTB bunch used to frequent two different BlackBerry focused sites with two very different forums. We aimed to find a forum that would provide the functionality we were used to, and would be an easy combination of the two. Our site admin Robert has worked extremely hard on the forums to get them to the point they are now. There are multiple ways to access our forums.
1) Web browser: There is a full desktop version, and a mobile version. The desktop version is much more attractive, however the mobile version is much simpler, and works great on your BlackBerry phone. Robert added a notification system to the forums last week to make it easier for users to see when someone has replied to them in a thread or commented in a thread that they have created.
2) UTB App: You can find the UTB app in BlackBerry World. The app uses our mobile forums, and will keep you signed in when you return.
3) Tapatalk: Our forums are Tapatalk ready. Tapatalk will give you options you are used to from our neighbors on the web, such as subscribed threads and participated threads.
What do you think we could do better?
This is, of course, the most important question, and we will be going over each response to determine what we are able.
“Get more people participating. Don’t know how to get this to happen though.”
I agree! This is the biggest issue which we fight daily, at every level. There is already a large group of people working on the site, but as stated before, everyone here is volunteer. Blogging at UTB is a labor of love, something which we do to support the brand we’re fans of, in the hopes of building a community that is more like the community most of us joined so many years ago. The issue is, we have lives and responsibilities outside of UTB, and there are times that the site suffers because of it. Secondly, as we can see from the percentages of those that are registered to the site and forums, that we are running in to real issues getting participation from those that choose to be readers instead of bloggers. We aim for more participation, the question is how to make this happen? We are open to suggestions.
“Better original content. New writers.”
First of all, ouch! lol. Again, we are a bunch of volunteer fans. None of us claim to be journalists, we are fans. Many people have put a lot of effort in to what they have contributed. Can we get better? Of course! And I think we are getting better. New writers? Do you know any? Because we’re open. If you would like to write for UTB, contact any UTB member or email the admin email address listed above. We are always looking for more bloggers.
“Improve forums and comments in UTB BlackBerry App”
Our current app is on hold at the moment. I can tell you that a new app is currently being worked on, and I can’t wait!
“Separate out out the BlackBerry 10 news and the BlackBerry android news.”
There are categories that should be used for just that. Unfortunately we discovered about three weeks ago, that we were not being consistent. The issue that we discovered at that point, was that some of us were categorizing the Priv as Android, some as BlackBerry, and some as both. We decided to utilize both because the Priv is both. After seeing this comment I’m rethinking that decision. It looks like we will need to make a new category. Give us a week or two to get this resolved.
“You should have a copy editor to edit each blog entry before publication (mostly for grammar and spelling mistakes).”
I agree! There are many issues here. One issue is that we are an international group. We have people that are not primarily English speakers. And those of us that are English speakers find that we speak very different English from each other. You should see the arguments we have about biscuits, chips, boots, and whatnot. It can get ugly. Also, many of us are blogging while mobile, or squeezing in what we can within a few minutes break during the day, or like what I am doing now, which is blogging when I should be in bed. Add to that, many times we are trying to get articles posted as fast as possible. There was a point that we made a specific group of people as editors that could go in and correct those mistakes at any time after a post was posted. It was a great idea! Get the posts out, and editors go back and fix issues as they read the post. Except they never did it. I will attempt to get some of our people that don’t blog as much to edit, and give it another try.
“Don’t stop the Blogcasts”
We’re not. Outside lives forced a break. Look for our return this week, where I’m sure we shall talk more about the survey.
“A meet the team section?”
There are many more comments that deserve a response, and we will get to them. There is one special person out there that I wanted to share, as I’m sure this person thought his responses wouldn’t be shared. We shall share them all.
Are you a BlackBerry user?
If yes, which device are you using?
BlackBerry is dead.
Allow me to add here that this comment was left on my personal channel just this week by someone that had been banned from the UTB channel for trolling. He was subsequently banned from my channel, at which point almost all my posts were reported and I received an email from the user threatening that he was going to write to BlackBerry and tell on me. Reality is much funnier than anything I can make up!
What do you think about BlackBerry going to Android ?
Are you registered at UTB? If not why?
Because UTB does not like free thinkers who don’t follow UTB’s all hail blackberry.
Uhm…. we’re a fansite. Telling fans that they can’t be a fan at a fan site is a free thinker? I don’t believe so.
Are you registered at UTB Forums? If not why?
There’s another place where these idiots come together??
Ok…. that’s actually a funny response. He should have started with “OMG” for a better affect.
For social network he chose BBM channels. Why?
Easier to report
I think it’s safe to say he’s the person that has been reporting my posts. lol!
He didn’t like the theme change. Why?
Because UTB sucks!
What you think we need to do to be better?
Remove yourself from the Internet.
Funny again! Sadly for him though, as long as we have readers and people blogging, I can assure you that’s not going to happen.
Remember, if you haven’t filled out the survey yet, please do so now. It will be up for a short while yet, and we’d like to hear from you.