Beta Feedback should be much easier

Feedback in the form of BETA bug reporting and feature requesting should be EASY on all BETA sites. Everything is BETA and a work in progress when it is first released. One thing I continually notice as I register and try site after site is the lack of continuity in methods to give feedback.

It should be easy to fill out a bug report or feature request. Lately I have found it simply difficult to find any help or documentation. Ok granted if it is in private beta sometimes the web app is just beyond proof of concept. However if the application wishes to ever move beyond its current state feedback from its user base is a must.

For example, on FriendFeed the other day I found a problem with the feed updating correctly. I looked around on the FriendFeed site and could NOT easily find a place for feedback. (There is a link in an older post on the FriendFeed blog.) I opened a second tab and googled “FriendFeed Feedback” and quickly found the google Discussion group.

The point is that was too hard. Way to hard. If I have to search for the place to give feedback I probably will not give any. Unless I just love the app I will not go that far. In this case I blog posted “Are feeds broken on FriendFeed?” and Louis Gray quickly responded to my post and eventually found the answer.

But I am not picking on FriendFeed. It seems that in the haste to bring out a web app that is the next big thing startups forget the basics. Contact information and Feedback should be no brainers and mandatory.

Toluu another favorite new app of mine is just the same. No clear feedback point.

The point is any new web app public beta, private beta, or even alpha should make feedback quick and easy. I suggest a link at the bottom of each page. At the very least a prominently placed permanent link on the App’s blog to the feedback system.

This may seem like a small detail but should be demanded by users.

Well this user demands it.

Who does this well? Who doesn’t?

Review: Visual Studio 2008 or not

Logo of MicrosoftImage via Wikipedia

This was going to be a review of Visual Studio 2008. I went to a Launch event today in Charlotte, NC. Microsoft launched Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2008, and Home Server 2008.

Before I tell you about the day. Let me start by saying I like Microsoft technology. The .Net development platform is AWESOME. Plenty of Microsoft haters exist but I am not one of them. I go to MSDN events very frequently. I went to the VS 2005 launch event. Visual Studio is a great environment. The .NET framework is well thought out and extremely powerful. Silverlight is AWESOME.

Today’s event was TERRIBLE. I mean awful. I spent the afternoon and should have learned all about the 3 new products. I sat through 3 sessions and a 4 minute keynote. I have no idea what is new in Visual Studio 2008.

The powerpoint slides were terrible as well. The whole afternoon was a train wreck.

The first Session was about tighter LINQ integration for ASP.NET. I think?

The second session was about Office development. There was a demo about creating custom ribbons for Office 2007.

The speakers were just plain bad. I know they want to sell software but what is new in Visual Studio 2008? How about 1 non-cluttered powerpoint showing a list of the new features.

I am NOT slamming Microsoft or its products. This was a POORLY designed and implemented developer event designed to market their products. It was a waste of my time.

At all the other events I have been to Glen Gordon has been one of the main speakers. Glen Gordon is a great developer evangelist for Microsoft. He was NOT at todays event and it showed. Wow did it show. The speakers read from a script at times, had no repore with the audience, and presented NO useful information.

I have always enjoyed Microsoft events but will not attend another without some assurance it will be better.

This ends my rant about the WASTE OF FREAKING time event I went to.

Microsoft Mystery & The Intrigue of Innovation

I am intrigued today over Robert Scoble’s latest posting.  He interviewed 2 guys from Microsoft about a new product they are developing.  He was amazed and even shed a tear during the demo.  No details but it should be released by the end of February.  Scoble promised to have a vid up on his new site FastCompany.TV by March 3.

I am not a Microsoft hater and never have been.  If the product is that dramatic as Scoble seems to indicate good for Microsoft.  Despite their faults they have been innovative over the years.  Sometimes that is forgotten.  Scoble points out that a small team created this “mystery project.”

Innovation is exciting and the prospect of something new is intriguing.  Scoble has built my anticipation and I will now daily search Google News for any details.