How about a free basic support group for Anahita
Hello, I have been thinking of creating a basic support group for the free tribe members who would like to install and configure Anahita Social Networking Engine.
You can download Anahita for free and some people may experience issues during the installation process. It would only make sense for them to have a place to ask their questions and receive some basic support or helping hand.
This group will mainly a place for the tribe members to help each other out, however Ash and Myself will also participate once we make sure all the questions in the Premium groups are answered first.
Would you be interested to join and participate?
I would help, too if I can.
But there is no guarantee that the tribe will help.
Then everyone who needed support will swear that Anahitapolis has the worst support. Thats not good for the business.
I'm still coming along on the learning curve but I can probably help with some of the basics.
I'm willing to help where I can.
You guys are great thank you!
@james I believe in our community. I'm sure the Anahita free support group followers will be appreciative and understanding too. In worse case scenario if the idea didn't worked out we can always close the group. We give it 4 months, how about that?
Just a few more responses here will seal the deal to get the free group started.
I'll join it and will try and help out from time to time...
Perhaps the emphasis when introducing the free members should be on support being provided for specific Anahita issues - one risk with a group like that might be that it ends up being extensive installation/environment hand-holding, and Joomla issues that can be researched elsewhere?
@rastin, you should resist this temptation. Do not offer free support.
The usual progression is to offer free support, and then to realize what a sinkhole it is, and then eventually pull the plug on it.
Akeebabackup.com is a great case study on this. First offering free support. Then rationing it. Then giving up on it. Here's the recent article: https://www.akeebabackup.com/home/item/1190-discontinuing-free-support.html
David is the AEC subscription component. He sells his component via site subscription. However, part of the cost includes consulting/personal installation, because it's a complex component. I was thinking of this when I read the post about Anahitapolis.com subscriptions now include a consulting element.
I very much like the idea that I belong to a paid Club. There is a definite difference in the support that is given. In fact, the whole tone is better, more respectful.
The pressure to offer Club support to the freebie support forum will be hot and instant. Support will morph into consulting faster than you can say "Meet me at White Spot". People will use all manner of techniques to extract as much freebie consulting from you as they can.
Rastin and Ash take care of people in their Club. The Club is the line in the sand. You're in, you're taken care of. You're out, you're out.
I'm taking this tact for my own Club (using Anahita of course). It's a great way to go.
Tienda has a "community forum" that I participate in, to show some visibility, and to see what people are posting. Many times, posters are referred to the paid support by the moderators. I should not find this distasteful that the free support forum is used to get people stair-stepping into the $100/month support? Or that a free support forum is a great way to get other people to create fresh content laced with long-tail keywords?
You absolutely cannot count on me to offer support in your free support forum. It's a different story inside Anahitapolis, where I make a point of checking in and participating (such that it is!).
Having said that, I am thinking that it would be a good thing for the public to learn how to program with The Anahita Framework, which is free GPL software. It would be good to see a lot of Anahita based extensions being released. However, you should stick to your guns! Originally, if someone wanted to work with Anahita, they had to pay up. This was the original Partnership program. I think this was a gutsy position to take, and in retrospect a good position to take. The code does not come out of thin air, does it? Also, taking care of people within your Club conserves your energies.
I guess the pressure is to broaden Anahita's use. That more people start developing with Anahita. So, how to do it? Just offer "free support". If you do that, why not create a course and offer Anahita certification? Anahita has its own lexicon. Anahita uses "Domains", where Nooku uses "Rows". You don't want to explain this ad nauseum in your free suport forum. You could charge for Anahita certification (to program with it), those in your Club that are considering hiring devs for Anahita work would have more confidence in those who profess Anahita programming competence.
Whew... better get back to it...
I'd be more than willing to help out when and where I can if this happens, but I think Bob makes some excellent points here.
I've been using Joomla for some time and there have been a number of different components / dev companies that I've used (including some paid ones) where support is offered and doesn't meet the level I expect.
Valanx and YooTheme are the two opposite ends of the scale. Valanx offer some free support as part of the subscription, and additional paid support if required. They get back to you pretty fast and although they're not particularly personal, they get the job done.
YooTheme on the other hand produce some excellent components, templates, tools and much more. We've used them for a long time, I've grown to love Zoo because I took the time to learn about it, and the YooTools (now depreciated) have been essential for most our projects. Their support however, is AWFUL. You pay to get support, and then it takes days / weeks / many complaints to get answers.
The problem for me all comes down to expectations - most users expect support quickly and to a very high standard. Most users aren't that technical and Anahita definitely requires a degree of technical knowlesdge to really get the best out of it. We get that here as Premium members and to be frank, you guys have some of the best support that I've ever encountered but what you're trying to do is different - build a community and use that community to help build the framework.
The answer is to manage expectations properly, but that relies on people reading what you write to try and manage their expectations. All web developers know how little people actually read on the web!
After following Anahita the first year as a free member, I signed up as a premium member, having great pleasure to be in the tribe of something I sense is very special and worth spending time on.
I have to admit that since I do not have developer’s skills (at the time being), I find it sometimes difficult to progress, and even if Rastin and Ash, as well as the total community within Anahita, is very polite and helpful – I find a steep learning curve ahead of me. There have been questions that I have not got any answer on, and I have not followed up on those questions again just because I guessed the question perhaps has been to stupid for anyone to bother.
I do believe that one should be paid for services, and I am also ready to pay for services according to my ability. After reading through Bob´s interesting input, my suggestion on the way to go, rather could be to establish a “School of Anahita” or “Anahitapolis Academy”, and even if Anahitapolis will allow an “open” installation course for free (teaser) – I do believe the standard of the operation would be better if this is a paid service – and maybe more tutors could be involved along the way.
I am aware that there is a new membership system now – with some new aspects about consulting, but I am already paying for a membership, witch I could utilize a lot better if my skills where better.
I believe the ultimate both for me and Anahita would be a scenario where there where 3 educational elements with the ability to play together with the individual engagement in own projects:
- The Anahitapolis community - as it has been until now (free and members area)
- The possibility to buy out consultancy if needed – as in the new membership system
- “AnahitapolisAcademy” or “Shool of Anahita”
Even if I am not a developer, I would claim that the synergy of those 3 parts playing together – according to the individual users need – could make a significant impact of the future development, promotion and world liberation.
I am sure I am not the only one, who could turn into a “player” if my skills where boosted in the right direction, but at the moment there are a steep learning curve, and I do not believe that the initiative mention in this topic, would solve the challenge for any of us.
A school of Anahita, would play well together with the community and the consulting, and I know the core architects of Anahita is both already very capable people within the context of education and e-learning. Anahitapolis is claiming that Anahita is well suited for E- learning (E-learning is an extremely expanding market at the moment), and the paradigm of E-learning goes very clearly towards “Social” with big letters.
I believe the Anahitapolis policy is to mainly focus on developing apps that could be used in the Anahitapolis community and development of the environment at Anahitapolis. Maybe this could be an encouragement to make an Anahita e-learning app for the Anahitapolis vision and community? The best E-learning app, on the best social engine, used in our own community !
The moment I have learned enough myself, I would of course share…..and maybe in the future even make my own apps, but first I could need some more basic schooling (alongside working with my own projects of course) than I can expect from the community only – and I am willing to pay for this service – and to add up with some consultancy along the way - could be relevant, but I must probably learn more basic stuff to be able to utilize consultancy, and even if I have to take the responsibility myself to learn – an Anahita learning app and a fee based learning program would be greatly welcomed to support my own experience and progress to become a useful Anahita person.
First of all, thank you so much for offering to help. That means a great deal to us. You guys are amazing.
I must say after reading your comments and listening to the @BobBloom's podcast, @James, @Andy, @Bob Bloom, @Jon Martin, and @Bent put a very compelling argument and we're glad that we shared the idea with you in advance.
Basically a free support will never measure up to the Premium support so why bother. True it could even hurt the reputation of Anahita project too. When we make a commitment, there will be expectations, even if the commitment is free.
In the mean time I would have really liked to see some feedback from the free tribe saying: "yeah! I could really use a service like that, thank you, etc." none what so ever so far!
One thing that I found interesting in the @Bob Bloom's podcast was the fact that the Akeeba folks were receiving donations mainly from already paying customers. Those who were so happy with the services who wanted to contribute more to their favorite project! @Bob let me add to that, we also have received donations tens of times more than the basic Premium fee from the existing First tribe and Premium tribe members.
Providing support is very costly. It is actually more costly than writing software. Going through this topic and the experiences shared, it only makes sense that we put our focus and resources where it matters and appreciated most. On those who cared and made a commitment to us.
So we don't see a reason that we should create a free support group. Instead we are going to focus on creating more value for the existing Premium Tribe.
ps: @Bent I really liked the idea of Anahitapolis being an online learning environment. I'd in fact like Anahitapolis to become a one stop place for startups where creative and ambitious people get their toolbox, knowledge, and support to launch a successful business idea.
Thank you @all
I think I can offer some help, configuration, some usability etc as I am actually using it live. But maybe not so much on the programming elements.
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