I suspect anyone can join our Community, without being a licensed amateur radio operator.......but I have a fundamental problem with non-Flex owners or non-hams voting on or suggesting new feature/functionality items via this venue. I think this type of input serves only to skew the process of legitimate owners helping FRS with prioritization of these items. I'm not suggesting a "closed" Community, but the utilization of a survey (I think this has been mentioned recently several times) that is sent to registered Flex owners. Essentially FRS sends the Flex owner an email with a link to the survey. This process will ensure that only Flex radio owners provide input regarding yet-to-be delivered features/functionality.
There is a PhD thesis each in the differences between push/pull, post-purchase/pre-purchase, randomized/self-selected, identified/anonymous, and other survey bias issues.
FRS has done a very good job of navigating the field on features - including the balancing of the logistics and cost issues which many survey techniques never consider.
Suggest if there is a specific feature you personally would like to see to make that feature know to FRS. Apparently there are less "deal killers" than "deal makers" in the roadmap as it stands.
In certain specific instances there may enough interest in a feature that it becomes worthwhile to do something like what Stu K6TU did in developing his iPad Remote package.
As a perspective we should keep in mind, after we've bought the "Radio Server" we are a software customer and need to reflect that our requests will need to be funded by the eventual renewal fees.
If you want to go through the ideas it will take some time, there are 352 of them in the list currently. And the reporting tools don't allow you to ignore the ones that have already been completed (although that status is shown as you page through them).
The vast majority of the ideas (95% or more) in the list have 15 or fewer votes. Given the number of members in the community this seems like a very low level of interest. With about 800 members, an idea with 20 votes is supported by less than 3% of the community. I suspect the low numbers are partly because the voting process is not clear and the process to review the ideas is cumbersome. For example, the only "like" that adds to the support count is the one at the top of the idea. Adding a comment to the idea or clicking "like" on a comment in the idea does not add to the support count. .
I think it is unlikely that FRS will dedicate someone full time to conduct surveys. My impression is they would prefer to use the community tools for feedback and dedicate their resources to support and development. Even if they decide to take on a surveying effort, it could take months before anything meaningful is available.
In the mean time, if members that have the time (several hours or more) can review the ideas and cast their votes, it should provide a more representative priority picture.
Regards, Al / NN4ZZ
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
This is a thoughtful dialog. Although a survey for 6000 owners would be of considerable value, it is clear that the team at FLEX have a lot of work streams underway. An important underlying issue that has been raised is visibility into the views of actual 6000 owners.
On Newegg.com reviews are tagged as "Verified Owner" if Newegg has a linked record of the reviewer purchasing the item being reviewed. On Amazon.com the tag is "Verified Purchaser." If FLEX 6000 owners are tagged in a data field in their Community record as an owner then for surveys the views of 6000 owners could be appropriately tagged. Both pools of data would be of use to FRS. Owners have a view based on actually using the radio. Community members who have not yet purchased a 6000 would be represented in terms of what they think they would like and this data may reflect their bias in making a buying decision. Both sets of data are of potential value to FRS.
This approach minimizes ongoing workload for the FRS team and would give all of us visibility into the views of owners and non-owners, alike. The obvious question is whether the Community software will support this approach.
Reg "Flex 6700 Owner"
(Remember all the kvetching before the first release? Some of the loudest voices had not actuallly ordered a rig, and Flex knew it. They could also tell that there were others who were very interested, but had not ordered YET! )
I think these folks are smart enough to tell the players apart.
In the world of public opinion, a 1% return is a good response to a survey. And 10% is often spectacular. Also, negative responses are often much more highly represented than positive ones because people with axes to grind are much more motivated to express themselves. (As a church pastor, I live with this every day!) Wise business leaders take all of this into account.
So far I give the folks at Flex high marks. And in cases where our feedback has been misunderstood or misinterpreted, the are constantly listening to the forum in order to get it right. Thanks.
If you bought a Corvette that was a "game changer" in the automobile would ". And that car did not have power steering , reverse gear, a old analog dash and only one door, but since you agreed to be the first to buy it and being part of the experience they promised to get these items to you in 12 months and then your warranty would start, would you feel ok if you did not get the items that were knowingly subpar but were promised to be added in a reasonable time. Would you have the right to ask when will this be done? Also since you gave up backing out of parking places, having your girlfriend slide across the shifter, having to use two hands to turn the car and put up with a dash that many of the cheaper cars surpassed, would the builder not be willing to take suggestions from that type of customer and appreciate the fact he or she bought the car and knew it was not up to running in the lemans race?
At some point the people who feed the bank to allow more radios to be built should be listened to. Not trying to step on toes but being a very early purchaser and staying loyal I feel I have that right. Weither , someone listens or not that is their choice and believe me it will affect the future of this product.
Remember the quote. " we have met the enemy and he is us!"
PS...Steve, could you please work on the NB.
Having said all that, I originally suggested a survey to solicit legitimate owner input regarding future priorities and functionality. However, after reading Reg's post about using an "owners flag" in the community member profile, I feel this is much better approach, requires less FRS resources and could provide FRS with input from owners and also potential owners. I don't think there are many (if any at all) Flex 6000 owners that feel FRS will not deliver as promised......but many of us disagree on which items are more important than others, and of course....the time frame.