Facebook “Help” Groups for Software

I’ve watched a few software providers create Facebook “help” groups with the intent of having users sign up, and then provide assistance to newer users on questions.

It depends on the software’s user base and activity, but in general, I have to say that if the software provider itself is not aggressively monitoring and responding to posts, this becomes a pit of disinformation. And if I join and this happens, I bail, because I don’t see the point of it.

Recently a Facebook “page” that I subscribed to had somebody post a basic question on the software that has an answer prominent IN THEIR ONLINE HELP GUIDE. We already knew the answer, we’ve used this software for over 8 years, and like I said, it was a basic usage question.

Okay, not everyone knows how to use an online help guide I guess, so I took a look at the responses.

They have been terrible. None of the respondents used the help guide either. They all seem new, and the answers were mostly the typical “throw crap at the wall and see what sticks” variety.

And no response from the software company, either.

So, I copied and pasted the answer from the online help guide – which is accurate – figuring that would be it.

NO. The posts that have followed mostly are still wrong, or suggest testing the software in a way that isn’t necessary. In general, for anyone uncertain who to believe, this would be a Facebook entry with many comments that is only going to ADD work for the person trying to accomplish the original basic task.

This is a design flaw in the communications model. First of all, it is open to ANYONE that joins the group – there’s no standard, such as having an active software license.

Then, there is no measurement of credibility and activity. I’d rather listen to somebody that has been judged to be helpful by other users, and been active in the help group – functions that are available in custom help group software, but not on Facebook.

Finally – too much inactivity by the software provider.  Two days, no response from the software provider.  They have established a vehicle for disinformation about their product.  What is the point in that?