We need more interaction with the community
Should've known it, but this got way longer than intended, so bear with me:
Over the years I've been using Soundtrap now, I've noticed that the community only very sparsely gets updated on what the Soundtrap team is currently doing, like for example the current feature and development roadmap or where Soundtrap is aiming to be in the near future.
I think it'd be really helpful if we could get a regular update over at In The Loop, which, frankly, demonstrates my point quite well with the most recent post being 8 months old. I can hardly believe there has not been a single significant update to the studio we could've been told about.
If we can't get it the Community here, we should get these kinds of updates with the monthly newsletter. The only stuff we get to see in there are basically promotions for the newly released content packs, but I think a lot more than making new content is going on over at Soundtrap and I'd really like to know about that, too.
Lastly, I wanted to mention that the Feature Requests are in dire need of some active moderation and also lack a lot of interaction on behalf of the Soundtrap team. This section has multiple severe problems: First and foremost is the nearly complete absense of any responses by a Soundtrap representative. Basically, nobody ever gets to know whether or not their feature request is even taken into consideration, has been approved, and will be done at some point.
The next problem I see a lot is that people put all of their (maybe completely unrelated) feature requests into a single post. However, doing so will never ever be leading to a successful review and approval process for feature requests as it's very tedious to disseminate long posts with potentially lots of unrelated information into several individual topics.
However, as I said before, the problem here is definitely not within the users, but the lack of moderation that would be able to split these posts up into several distinct requests. This gets me to the final problem about the feature requests, which is the mass amount of duplicates.
Users don't generally search if something has been suggested before, simply because users are gonna be users and that's what users do, and simply create a new post and write what they want (possibly even 10 different ideas). This results in a lot of requests requesting (at least partially) the exact same thing, each voted for by the person who wrote it.
In the end, we'll have 50 requests with a single vote each instead of a single request with a total of 50 votes. I don't think we need to talk about which of these two situations gets the request to be approved faster. Not only does the double-posting distort the impression of the "relative importance" of feature requests, but it also distorts the impression of how many distinct features are actually requested in total. Given the situations above, the first might at a glance look like there's a whopping 50 things to do, whereas, in reality, it's only a single topic, whereas the second situation makes this fact extremely clear.
To sum this up, moderation in feature requests should:
- provide feedback on progress of requests
- split up multi-posts into individual requests(or at least discourage them in the sticky in that forum)
- merge duplicate requests into a single one, also merging the votes in the progress
To give you an idea of what I am talking about, there is this nifty little app called Nolt, which is designed for the very purpose of tracking and managing feature requests and (with according to moderation) would benefit both, the community, and the Soundtrap dev team.
I think addressing these points would greatly increase the attractiveness of participating in the Community at all, because according to the post that announced the removal of the Discover feature, Soundtrap wants this process to be more community-driven. What I understand by this is that Soundtrap wants people to go onto these forums, promote themselves and find collaborators to work with. However, this is never going to work with a forum that when looked at seems almost dead. Especially not, when the company itself hasn't been posting meaningful stuff for weeks or months.
So sorry for the rant-ish post but I really had to say that. I love Soundtrap as software so much that I really want it to grow, so this is not out of hate but out of genuine concern for the well-being of this company. I'd love to get some feedback on what I've written here, not only from Soundtrap staff, but also from the community. Thanks for reading and stay healthy.
Thank you so much for this post! This is super valuable feedback, and I’ll bring up all of your suggestions with the rest of the team. I’m so happy that you reached out to share your thoughts on the community, the feature request process and our product updates - your ideas on how we can improve this experience for you is worth a lot to us!
For anyone else reading this post that has feedback on the community, please feel free to leave your comments below and we’ll make sure to include that feedback in our discussions too.
Again Kvist, thanks so much for reaching out about this! We really love to hear from you :)
Take care and stay tuned!
Thanks for hearing me, Ella, I hope I didn't come off as rude or anything, and I'm already looking forward to seeing if and how things might change :)
Regarding the idea for the Feature Requests: should you, at some point, need help in doing moderation stuff, I'd be happy to lend a hand^^ While I'm not familiar with your internal decision making process, I'm sure that at least the part of merging, splitting, and keeping stuff tidy can be easily done by community members. This would then let the team focus entirely on review and approval or rejection of features.
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