Fighting the App Store Attitude, or: how to get users to “ask for help” again.

This week, in my post What happened to “asking for help”?, I wondered about a trend I was seeing regarding the user attitude in case of software problems. A short summary:

10 years ago, when users ran into a software problem, they just contacted the developer for help, resulting in a useful conversation where the user got his problem solved and the developer got useful information about possible bugs.

However, nowadays a user is more likely to just complain about the problem in a public place like Facebook, Twitter, the App Store or the Android Market. No request for help, no conversation and therefore: no solution. Continue reading

What happened to “asking for help”?

In the early days, when a user of my program ran into a problem, he/she just contacted me to ask for help. Resulting in a nice and friendly conversation, where I would ask questions, and the user would provide more detailed information.
Ultimately, in most cases, resulting in a satisfying outcome, either me helping the user use the software, or the user helping me fix a bug. Nice, fruitful, effective …

However, here’s what we’re seeing more and more nowadays, especially for our mobile apps, but it’s becoming more common for our desktop apps too:

A user runs into a problem, and instead of asking for help, immediately jumps to complaining about it in a public place like the App Store, the Android Market, Facebook or Twitter. Just stating the problem… no request for help, no conversation and therefore in most cases: no solution. Continue reading

Web-applications : first thoughts

connectTwo months ago I posted about the launch of our first web application and our reasons for diving into online apps. Last week we launched our second web-app for cataloging books, so I figured I’d let you know my first thoughts about doing online software.
Tip: For the full story, attend my Web-Apps presentation at the ESWC conference in Berlin. Continue reading is hiring

At, we have multiple people doing customer support. Most of the first and second line support is handled by AJ and he’s doing a great job.
But we recently found out that AJ is even better at creating cool promotional videos for our software. Check out the vids he did for Movie Collector here.

We decided that AJ should spend more time creating videos and that we should start looking for an extra customer support employee.
Continue reading