Some Constructive Criticism

Yesterday I posted an article titled “AutoCAD on Mac“; to which Ralph Grabowski (of WorldCAD Access) posted a comment which implied a nexus between Autodesk and Microsoft; to which Shaan Hurley (of Autodesk) posted a clarification which denied the nexus and went on to explain why Autodesk was not offering AutoCAD for Mac. Excellent!! I like this kind of a discussion.

But what about the poor guy who asked the question on the Autodesk Discussion Group? Nobody from Autodesk has bothered to answer him. And this is not a one off case. I have been monitoring and posting on the Autodesk Discussion Groups for many years now, and have seen this happen over and over again. People ask a question or post wrong information about Autodesk and its products. Almost always Autodesk doesn’t bother to reply or clarify.

I understand that the Autodesk Discussion Groups are peer-to-peer support groups, which effectively means users helping users. While this is a good thing, I think it serve Autodesk’s interest to get a bit proactive on their groups, especially in cases like this one.

If what Shaan said is indeed true, then this explains why rumours get created in the first place. Because nobody bothers to clarify or rectify false statements. There is one thing I know about rumours. You let one go around for too long and people will make it a fact.

I hope someone at Autodesk takes this as constructive criticism and does something about it.

  • Stefan Boeykens

    As a contributor on the ArchiCAD-talk discussion forum, I notice a similar trend: this is a peer-to-peer network. There are posts there by Graphisoft employees and there have even been some posts of the current CEO, but by and large, this is the territory of end users.

  • Stefan Boeykens

    As a contributor on the ArchiCAD-talk discussion forum, I notice a similar trend: this is a peer-to-peer network. There are posts there by Graphisoft employees and there have even been some posts of the current CEO, but by and large, this is the territory of end users.

  • Scott

    As a frequenter of the Autodesk discussion groups, I can tell you that members of our department, the guys who bring you DWF, Buzzsaw, and Constructware, are active in the applicable discussion groups. According to my perl script, we posted about 1900 responses last year alone.

  • Scott

    As a frequenter of the Autodesk discussion groups, I can tell you that members of our department, the guys who bring you DWF, Buzzsaw, and Constructware, are active in the applicable discussion groups. According to my perl script, we posted about 1900 responses last year alone.

  • Deelip Menezes

    Scott, it’s really nice to know that your department takes interest in the Autodesk Discussion Groups related to your field of work. I cannot say the same about the other groups. The last time I checked, nobody from Autodesk had replied to the question I mentioned in my article. That’s three days and counting.

  • Deelip Menezes

    Scott, it’s really nice to know that your department takes interest in the Autodesk Discussion Groups related to your field of work. I cannot say the same about the other groups. The last time I checked, nobody from Autodesk had replied to the question I mentioned in my article. That’s three days and counting.

  • Melanie (Stone) Perry

    Now, I’m lucky in that I work in a small discipline, so there aren’t that many questions and answers and many of them do receive the attention of an autodesk employee…

    But, I think it is just MIND-WOBBLING to think of how many posts are made in that discussion group per day? How many are repetitive posts that have been asked before?

    If I *really* need to know an answer that isn’t in the help file, I would go to my reseller or contact subscription support, not ask on a peer to peer discussion forum. There are more appropriate avenues for serious discussions.

    I think Autodesk would have to employ like a dozen people full time to go through and just READ all of the posts let alone answer them.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to see employee participation in there when I do, I just don’t think it’s realistic to *expect* it when there are appropriate avenues already available.

    Good topic for discussion. 🙂

  • Melanie (Stone) Perry

    Now, I’m lucky in that I work in a small discipline, so there aren’t that many questions and answers and many of them do receive the attention of an autodesk employee…But, I think it is just MIND-WOBBLING to think of how many posts are made in that discussion group per day? How many are repetitive posts that have been asked before?If I *really* need to know an answer that isn’t in the help file, I would go to my reseller or contact subscription support, not ask on a peer to peer discussion forum. There are more appropriate avenues for serious discussions. I think Autodesk would have to employ like a dozen people full time to go through and just READ all of the posts let alone answer them.Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to see employee participation in there when I do, I just don’t think it’s realistic to *expect* it when there are appropriate avenues already available.Good topic for discussion. 🙂

  • Ed Aiken

    I have also used the discussion groups in the past with limited success. I have been working with AutoCAD for many years for a consulting engineering company that does not have any internal support nor do they contract with anyone for support. Note: We are not a small company (8000 employees) but the trend in the business is to eliminate overhead and CAD support is considered unnecessary.

    Therefore, I am often on my own to find answers when I run into trouble with my AutoCAD. When I go to the discussion groups I more often find that my question is too difficult to answer for most people in the group (Architectural Desktop). Typically, no one answers my question. On occasion, someone kindly makes an attempt but I find myself going in the wrong direction. I have heard that AutoDesk monitors the discussion groups but I have not personally received any direct help from AutoDesk. Scott reports 1900 responses last year. My guess is that 1900 responses represents less than 1% of the millions of issues present on the discussion groups. It appears that AutoDesk also considers this kind of support as too expensive to maintain.

  • Ed Aiken

    I have also used the discussion groups in the past with limited success. I have been working with AutoCAD for many years for a consulting engineering company that does not have any internal support nor do they contract with anyone for support. Note: We are not a small company (8000 employees) but the trend in the business is to eliminate overhead and CAD support is considered unnecessary.Therefore, I am often on my own to find answers when I run into trouble with my AutoCAD. When I go to the discussion groups I more often find that my question is too difficult to answer for most people in the group (Architectural Desktop). Typically, no one answers my question. On occasion, someone kindly makes an attempt but I find myself going in the wrong direction. I have heard that AutoDesk monitors the discussion groups but I have not personally received any direct help from AutoDesk. Scott reports 1900 responses last year. My guess is that 1900 responses represents less than 1% of the millions of issues present on the discussion groups. It appears that AutoDesk also considers this kind of support as too expensive to maintain.