Toad World® Forums

New team member

I suppose directly after she sent her mobile number to the entire world is as
good a time as any to introduce our newest team member to you, Donna Buskirk.
(Don’t go looking, I’ve already deleted the messages from the Quest & Yahoo
archives).

Donna is our new Content Developer and has taken over Melanie’s
responsibilities. She’s a great sport and we like her well enough so far that
we’ve (I’ve) been pretty comfortable teasing her though I’m sure she has her
limits. I intend to find them, even if it takes going public to do so.

There are a lot of new directions we’d like to take what we rather blandly refer
to as “Content” (“Knowledge,” “Training” and so on). We see the old style MS
Help systems as becoming a bit archaic and largely supplanted by sophisticated
search engines such as Google. Personally I’m a fan of short, poignant videos if
they are very well done.

On the other hand, many of you say that you get a lot out of our Help system.
And this does vary, according to demographics and country. We only have so many
resources to go around, and we do have some legal obligations to continue to
produce the older style docs. Is there a more effective way to release ‘Content’
and ‘Knowledge’ so that it helps people more? Are videos more accessible than
linear Help system pages? Is it worth trying to unbury content out in AskToad,
ToadWorld, the Yahoo Groups, the Quest Support/KnowledgeBase and so on, or are
people in this age much more likely to seek stream of consciousness solutions
which are more timely and relevant? Are there newer, more effective ways to
develop and get you the Help you need, in a more efficient manner? What can the
new media offer, and is there potential in giving users easier ways to provide
more direct Content to the Toad Community?

These and more are the questions we’ve tasked Donna with exploring in the months
and years ahead. We think she’s up to the challenge.

Mark

Mark wrote:

Donna is our new Content Developer and has taken over Melanie’s
responsibilities. She’s a great sport and we like her well enough so far
that we’ve (I’ve) been pretty comfortable teasing her though I’m sure she
has her limits. I intend to find them, even if it takes going public to do
so.

Yay! Welcome Donna! I promise not to prank call your cell. Much…

Rich – [TeamT]

Disclaimer: I have no recollection of those events, Senator.

Welcome, Donna!

Our condolences to you, too. :wink:

Couldn’t you just package up all that content in a syringe and give us a
poke in the arm like a flu shot (or maybe in the glutes?)?

Dan

Daniel B Madvig
Campus Technologies

Northwestern College & Northwestern Media
3003 Snelling Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55113
www.nwc.edu

651.631.5323

On the other hand, many of you say that you get a lot out of our Help system.
And this does vary, according to demographics and country. We only have so many
resources to go around, and we do have some legal obligations to continue to
produce the older style docs. Is there a more effective way to release ‘Content’
and ‘Knowledge’ so that it helps people more? Are videos more accessible than
linear Help system pages? Is it worth trying to unbury content out in AskToad,
ToadWorld, the Yahoo Groups, the Quest Support/KnowledgeBase and so on, or are
people in this age much more likely to seek stream of consciousness solutions
which are more timely and relevant? Are there newer, more effective ways to
develop and get you the Help you need, in a more efficient manner? What can the
new media offer, and is there potential in giving users easier ways to provide
more direct Content to the Toad Community?
image001.jpeg

Pictures?

In the past several pictures of the team were on the forum, so those are now
outdated.

Groetjes,
Wim

2012/2/1 Madvig, Daniel B

Welcome, Donna! 

 

Our condolences to you, too. ;-)

 

Couldn’t you just package up all that content in a syringe and give us a
poke in the arm like a flu shot (or maybe in the glutes?)?

 

Dan

Daniel B Madvig
Campus Technologies

 

Northwestern College & Northwestern Media
3003 Snelling Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55113
www.nwc.edu

651.631.5323

 

On the other hand, many of you say that you get a lot out of our Help
system. And this does vary, according to demographics and country. We only
have so many resources to go around, and we do have some legal obligations
to continue to produce the older style docs.  Is there a more effective way
to release 'Content' and 'Knowledge' so that it helps people
more? Are videos more accessible than linear Help system pages? Is it worth
trying to unbury content out in AskToad, ToadWorld, the Yahoo Groups, the
Quest Support/KnowledgeBase and so on, or are people in this age much more
likely to seek stream of consciousness solutions which are more timely and
relevant? Are there newer, more effective ways to develop and get you the
Help you need, in a more efficient manner? What can the new media offer, and
is there potential in giving users easier ways to provide more direct
Content to the Toad Community?

image001.jpeg

Morning Mark, Donna,

On 01/02/12 20:25, Mark Lerch wrote:

I suppose directly after she sent her mobile number to the entire world
Oops! I think that ranks alongside my own famous “cd somewhere” followed
by “rm -Rf *” when “somewhere” was spelt incorrectly. Major oops!

is as good a time as any to introduce our newest team member to you,
Donna Buskirk. (Don’t go looking, I’ve already deleted the messages from
the Quest & Yahoo archives).
Welcome to the dark side Donna.

Donna is our new Content Developer and has taken over Melanie’s
responsibilities.
Did someone leave a door open and Melanie got out? :wink:

On the other hand, many of you say that you get a lot out of our Help
system. And this does vary, according to demographics and country. We
only have so many resources to go around, and we do have some legal
obligations to continue to produce the older style docs. Is there a more
effective way to release ‘Content’ and ‘Knowledge’ so that it helps
people more? Are videos more accessible than linear Help system pages?
Help pages are great, they are part of the application and local to the
install. Videos are also great - a picture and a thousand words etc -
but usually they are large and hosted non-locally. So if I’m having a
problem, I like to be as self contained as possible as I’m not always
able to Google or access the internet for advice. (Unless I use my
“smart” phone of course - assuming I get a 3G signal of course!)

Is it worth trying to unbury content out in AskToad, ToadWorld, the
Yahoo Groups, the Quest Support/KnowledgeBase and so on, or are people
in this age much more likely to seek stream of consciousness solutions
which are more timely and relevant?
In an ideal world, yes. In the real world, people never read the FAQ,
they never read the docs and they always come here and ask - sometimes
the same questions over and over and over … remember when the Free
Toad exe file changed it’s name? That was fun!

And don’t forget how many times Bert has directed people to the
write-ups on “why is Toad running so slowly after I upgraded Oracle to 10g”.

And the “I installed 64 bit Oracle client and Toad says it can’t find my
oci.dll file”.

Ok, I’ve probably laboured the point here, I’ll stop now!

Are there newer, more effective ways
to develop and get you the Help you need, in a more efficient manner?
Every one who buys a copy of Toad gets a full set of developers
delivered with the CD?

Although I suspect cloning technology isn’t all that great yet. But
always remember, clones are people two! :wink:

What can the new media offer, and is there potential in giving users
easier ways to provide more direct Content to the Toad Community?
New media can offer a lot. It’s usually better explained in words and
actions while watching and seeing, rather than reading and understanding
what the words mean - not what they may say!

Unfortunately you have to deal with old world people. See above for a
list of what can go wrong!

These and more are the questions we’ve tasked Donna with exploring in
the months and years ahead. We think she’s up to the challenge.
Good luck Donna!


Cheers,
Norm. [TeamT]

followed by “rm -Rf *” when
“somewhere” was spelt incorrectly

ROFL - I love reading these :slight_smile:

I’m sure I’ll get just as big a laugh out of it if’n I ever make that kind of mistake myself :slight_smile:

Roger S.

This communication, including any attached documentation, is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed, and may contain confidential, personal and/or privileged information. Any unauthorized disclosure, copying, or taking action on the contents is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please contact us immediately so we may correct our records. Please then delete or destroy the original transmission and any subsequent reply.

Hi - Thanks for the welcomes!

It’s cool to be creating content for a tool where the developers and users
interact! (As Mark said, please let me know what instructions/demos you need
most.)

I inherited some well-done content. I look forward to creating more (written,
demos, maybe podcasts if they’re helpful).

And I promise to get right to the point – I know you’re busy!

(You’re right – we’ll have to get a new team photo but no
promises – I’m not sure yet who here is camera-shy. As for the
syringe knowledge-transfer idea, we’ll see.)

Go Team!

Donna

Toad for Oracle Content Developer (and proud of it)
image001.jpeg

Ho Roger,

ROFL - I love reading these :slight_smile:

I’m sure I’ll get just as big a laugh out of it if’n I ever make that
kind of mistake myself :slight_smile:
Your day will come!

These days I do this instead:

cd somewhere
pwd
pwd
ls
pwd
rm -Rf *

or,

cd somewhere && rm -Rf *

It’s better that way.


Cheers,
Norm. [TeamT]

Hi Norm,

In reviewing your email for a separate purpose, I wanted to make a comment:

In the real world, people never read the FAQ, they never read the docs and they always come here and ask - sometimes the same questions over and over and over

I think about that often, and I think it’s human nature. Some people want to connect in this manner, and no matter how many times they are shown the FAQ or how to type “how to use Google” they will just always prefer emailing others. I only say that because:

don’t forget how many times Bert has directed people to the write-ups on “why is Toad running so slowly after I upgraded Oracle to 10g”

So if we have the right content, and available online, we’ll at least always be able to point people to it.

That’s my only remark, made mostly for my own clarification

  1. discover the most needed content
  2. put it online
  3. accept that we’ll always be manually pointing people to it, and not necessarily take that as a sign that we’re failing

There are discussions in Quest regarding ToadWorld as well as the future of Help. It all seems to be merging. So many companies are seeking the best way.

Mark

In the real world, people never read the FAQ, they never read the docs and they always come here and ask

I try to catch myself and others when making these blanket statements (“people never…”)

A large number of people read the FAQ’s, a huge number of people read the docs. As a percentage of overall Toad users, very few come here to the boards and ask.

I can’t find it in the FAQ; what frying pan did you jump out of? :wink:

Daniel B Madvig
Campus Technologies

Northwestern College & Northwestern Media
3003 Snelling Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55113
www.nwc.edu

651.631.5323
image001.jpeg

Morning Mark,

On 06/02/12 15:29, Mark Lerch wrote:

I try to catch myself and others when making these blanket statements
(“people never…”)
Ok, how to dig myself out of this one? Let’s try … When I said people
it didn’t mean the set of all people, just a subset of same.

For example, at the SuperBowl thingy I believe you guys had the other
day. There were “lots” of people there but let’s say a group iof 20 or
so decided to have a BBQ. Someone may have said “look at those people
having a BBQ over there”.

(I’ll stop now - it’s not working!)

A large number of people read the FAQ’s, a huge number of people read
the docs. As a percentage of overall Toad users, very few come here to
the boards and ask.
You obviously have better customers than the ones I’m used to. My lot -
since around the early eighties when I first moved into Tech Support -
never read anything, even when spoon fed information in Tech Notices
etc, they always picked up the phone and called me. My best one was on
an ICL mainframe, from a senior analyst:

SA: What does “Error 31501 required object could not be found” mean?
Me; What were you trying to do?
SA: Edit a file.
Me: It means the file you tried to edit is not there.
SA: Hangs up.

(How sad is it that I still remember the error number after all these
years?)

I’m afraid that my experience of people is simple, we are lazy and would
much prefer someone else to do our thinking for us. Not everyone, I
admit, but it seems much more common to pick up the phone or email for
instant gratification that trying to work it out. Or is that just me?

But I agree, on the whole, avoid sweeping generalisations.


Cheers,
Norm. [TeamT]

Hi Mark,

On 06/02/12 15:24, Mark Lerch wrote:

  1. discover the most needed content
  2. put it online
  3. accept that we’ll always be manually pointing people to it, and not
    necessarily take that as a sign that we’re failing

That makes perfect sense. If I may add to point 2, put it online but
make sure it’s also available for offline use?


Cheers,
Norm. [TeamT]

Hi Norm-

I read an interesting article recently about how lazy the brain is. Given the chance it will avoid doing all kinds of things, including remember things if it knows the data is available elsewhere (day planner, e.g.). I think one of the theories is that because it consumes such a great percentage of our metabolism for its weight (2 percent of total body weight but consuming around 20 percent of cardiac/oxygen output) it avoids being a greater resource hog given the chance.

At least that’s a more charitable way of trying to view people than the easier way - that we’re like those lazy little blobs in the movie “Wall-E.”

Anyway, to make it more work relevant:

it seems much more common to pick up the phone or email for instant gratification that trying to work it out. Or is that just me?

I think it’s only perception. We’re only aware of the former people. We never experience the latter. Even so - is it possible to design a Help system good enough that people prefer it over an email? Typing an email and waiting for an answer is often worse than using Google. Yet many still do it. I think it’s because we’re interactive by nature. We wouldn’t have gotten off the Serengeti otherwise. Autonomy is more self-delusion than reality, say the social biologists.

To roll in the other thread:

That makes perfect sense. If I may add to point 2, put it online but make sure it’s also available for offline use?

That’s exactly what I think we need to do.

Thanks much,
Mark

Mark

Have you considered setting up a TOAD specific area on Stack Exchange (http://stackexchange.com/)?

Mike

is it possible to design a Help system good

enough that people prefer it over an email?

Typing an email and waiting for an answer

is often worse than using Google.

Here’s an interesting correlation that may very well say something about
that. Given my own – very limited I admit – experience with Oracle
support I’d rather use any other tool/method to find an answer then
contact them again.

As a result, I think it’s certainly possible to design a help system
people will actively avoid :slight_smile:

Roger S.

[Attachment(s) from Brian T Keegan included below]

I’ll second that.

Regards,
Brian Keegan
Oracle DBA
954-316-5200 Ext: 801-4013
Davie FL Office

“Simoneau, Roger”

         cross.ca> To
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         toad@yahoogroups.
         com cc

                                                               Subject
         2012-02-07 11:32 RE: [toad] New team member

Please respond to
toad@yahoogroups.
com

is it possible to design a Help system good

enough that people prefer it over an email?

Typing an email and waiting for an answer

is often worse than using Google.

Here’s an interesting correlation that may very well say something about
that. Given my own – very limited I admit – experience with Oracle support
I’d rather use any other tool/method to find an answer then contact them
again.

As a result, I think it’s certainly possible to design a help system people
will actively avoid :slight_smile:

Roger S.

This communication, including any attached documentation, is intended only
for the person or entity to which it is addressed, and may contain
confidential, personal and/or privileged information. Any unauthorized
disclosure, copying, or taking action on the contents is strictly
prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please contact us
immediately so we may correct our records. Please then delete or destroy
the original transmission and any subsequent reply.

Attachment(s) from Brian T Keegan:

2 of 2 Photo(s) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/toad/attachments/folder/739848973/item/list
pic11133.gif
pic21740.gif

Lazy? I prefer to call it efficient.

Although Google makes searching much easier these days than it has been in the
past, I often find it faster to ask someone who knows. Why search through all
the clutter for the wheel when my neighbor knows where it is (or how to make
one)?

Thanks for all your help through the years. I hope I haven’t abused the
gift.

Dan

Daniel B Madvig
Campus Technologies

Northwestern College & Northwestern Media
3003 Snelling Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55113
www.nwc.edu

651.631.5323
image001.jpeg

search through all the clutter

Ah… the promise Watson holds…

With how Watson performed for its Jeopardy challenges, it holds great promise
with regards such searching potentials.

I found myself impressed with how it performed.

Roger S.

Norm writes:

That makes perfect sense. If I may add to point 2, put it online but
make sure it’s also available for offline use?

It seems odd to me that this is the way the Angry Birds Google Chrome app
works. I’ve since purchased the “real” A/B PC games – NINE copies: think
about that marketing genius for a moment – so I can’t say how well the
implementation worked. e.g. I don’t remember if I had to wait for new
“offline” content to load before playing or not, but I liked the idea of it.
Perhaps the application is too different to be of interest, but thought it
worth some mention at least.

Rich – [TeamT]

Disclaimer: I NEVER USE GENERALIZATIONS NOR ABSOLUTES! EVER!