Building the Greatest Custom Social Network Platform — Internal and Customer Priorities

SocialEngine - Community Software

Hello everyone,
We’ve been spending time this past week talking and emailing with a number of you. We greatly appreciate those of you who reached out to us and everyone’s willingness to spend time providing feedback. It is clear our development and customer community cares about SocialEngine.
Jason and I have a motto we’ve always lived by and that is if we ask for feedback, we better be prepared to do something with it. So here we go with the transparency.
After having discussions with our development and customer service team, and diving into the current business model to review allocation of time/resources we believe these are the immediate, prioritized issues to tackle:
Customer Need: Setting up a Bug Tracker/Forum

Reasoning: It’s our first customer priority because this has been consistent feedback from the conversations we’ve been having, in addition to comments posted on the blog. A bug tracker/forum is a much more efficient way to handle this form of communication than through support tickets. So this also helps our top internal priority of stemming customer support tickets (see below). Straight from the blog comments: setup a bug reporting system, so we can submit bugs and improvement suggestions for it. Often we have a situation when there is a bug in SE core that’s already fixed. So all we need is a proper way to submit the patch to be included in the next release.
Ideation for Bug Tracker/Forum: We are currently looking into bug tracking software. It’s a tug of war right now because we like nice design and we have a need for speed. So if anyone has suggestions about a platform with a great UI/UX don’t be shy to recommend it. We’re thinking about leveraging Redmine.
Internal Need: Stem the flow of support tickets. 
Reasoning: This is priority number one internally because it limits our ability to work on developing our products. Yes, we have a role in why these support tickets exist, but we also have the ability to get to the root of the problem (instead of reacting to the same problems over and over).
Situation: A majority of our dev tickets are for PHP, and while some of those are for legitimate bugs (Customer Need above), a majority stem from two issues. (1) Installs and (2) Performance.
Installs: Support tickets are coming from individuals who choose not to purchase the Install Service, and must later come to us seeking support (credit matthew). We even have support tickets for individuals trying to install the free trial versions — a total operational loss for us. We’re thinking of ways to fix that too.
Performance: Support requests around performance are typically related to the impact of 3rd party apps or poor hosting environments.
Ideation for Installs: For installs we will need to address this two-fold. Our process will address both current customers who have already downloaded PHP, and future PHP download customers. We are currently mulling a number of ideas on how to best address and roll out a new process.
Ideation for Performance: We are looking at ways we can provide 3rd party app certification, in addition to providing managed hosting services. We will have more to discuss about this at a later time, but don’t hesitate to give us your feedback. Many of the best ideas to date were given to us by the community, so keep it coming.
We’ll get more updates to you next week. Again, don’t hesitate to email either Jason, or myself with any follow up ideas.
With appreciation,
James, Co-President and CEO

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