My thoughts: Unity and Boonex

Kingphish posted 6th of March 2011 in Community Voice. 7 comments.

Ok, these are my thoughts, so I hope I don't get hate mail.

 

The word "Unity" has a number of definitions that without clarification, can be misleading; no one understands that more than me since joining Unity in December 2010. If nothing more, this experience has been as interesting as it is frustrating.

 

Some developers in Unity are personable and approachable while others, not so much. Truth is, Unity is more of a jail than a community of developers. A jail in the sense that most of the people here understand that they have been thrown together in the same place because of their Boonex affiliation and investment in Dolphin, which makes it difficult to exit (for reasons of their own). The jail is crappy but it could be better. The food is not bad but there enough fellow Boonex inmates to make life hell.

 

A member buys a product in the seedy Market, which should resemble any honest capitalistic market, but instead it does not. There is no disclosure, "Buy At Your Own Risk", but there should be. There should be. This market makes the Internet a scarier place, unfortunately. The Market, I believe, lacks integrity and the appropriate oversight, and therefore, new members are/will not be confident about purchases. I think the lack of certainty around purchases impacts developer sales and ultimately the quality of products and services offered, which is evidence by some of the current product and service offerings in the Market.

 

I've read the complaints online of Dolphin and the complaints about products in the Market, and they are not good. Even the good press isn't really that good, but the similar emphasis in both the good press and bad press is that the community of developers are not willing to answer the most basis questions. Of course, developers don't have to say anything, it is their  prerogative, but they don't make the community better. Their inactivity actually makes the community worse because they have the answers or responses to the basic questions as well as the Dolphin experience(s), but for reasons of their own, they are unwilling to share them.

 

In truth, I will not buy from a developer who has NOT answered basic questions. I urge no new member to purchase from any developer who is not answering basic questions in Unity regularly.

 

Boonex (including its director, Andrew) is the equivalent of a deadbeat parent. They are so estranged. How can they say, "we (Boonex) created this community for you (Developers) and we wont get involved in transactions that occur within the Boonex Community (we created) BUT you have to follow our (Boonex) rules?" They own the community, financially benefit from the community, created rules for the community, but claim little or no responsibility for the community?

 

The software could be better if some restrictions were lifted. For example, Boonex should make it easier to access certain features across various parts of the Dolphin site; that is, for example, the page blocks, whether created by Boonex or for Dolphin by a developer should be available to every page. There are at least 50 of those types of recommendations that I've come across since December, but I'm not going to give to a company and community that gives close to nothing in return.

 

As is, I wouldn't recommend Boonex and Unity to anyone I like.

 
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silverado350
You said "I will not buy from a developer who has NOT answered basic questions."

I have to agree with you. I also have noticed there are several developers here that have shown they are only here for the money, And they have no interest in helping people unless it pertains to a mod that they sold them.
I refuse to buy any more mods from ilbellodelweb for this and few other reasons.
Kingphish
Thanks silverado350 for voicing your opinion. Nice pic (btw).

We should be able to flag certain vendors and require that they do better or stop selling products. The world is filled with people who can do and others who cannot. Not everyone should make mods or offer products if they are unwilling to fix or achieve community standards when it comes to products and services they offer in the Market.

Also, basic questions are easy questions. There is no reason for experienced Dolphin developers see more and programmers to refrain from easy questions. Hard questions require thought, so refraining to respond to hard or complex questions is understandable. This community will never be better until each member requires more from one another. Members should be talking about what "more" is and "more" should be reasonable and not burdensome.
Andrew Boon
As it is now, Unity is a large "submarket" that has twice (if not more) the BoonEx turnover. It's largely unregulated and we are trying to change whatever is bad about it. As we speak, we are preparing a large site update, that will include more prominent disclaimers, buyer-protection tool, and most importantly - we're working on sorting that should favorite vendors with higher satisfaction rates.

It's not all that gloomy, really. Most of the transactions/dealing end up with both sites' see more satisfaction. Unfortunately, failed deals produce more vocal reaction. If you look at the comments to best-rated vendors - you'd see many happy clients and normally only a few unhappy ones.

Again, we hear you and we're not estranged at all. Unity, and Market in particular is a huge money-maker, but is a prominent "feature" of the Dolphin package. We recognize that and take it as a #1 priority now to make Market experience safer and more effective for everyone. Any specific suggestion are very welcome and WILL be duly processed.


re:"but claim little or no responsibility for the community"

In most cases we're not involved in the deals, we do not get commission and do not process payments. We can't verify claim effectively. In every single case, when we could get more or less verifiable information we reacted and mediated the disputes.

As we see it now - the only way it to "warn and encourage". Warn buyers to research well before buying and encourage sellers to support their products (or stay without sales).
Kingphish
Without splitting hairs, "submarket" is still a market; you're saying that it is market within a market; it’s still a market. Even a submarket should still abide by the rules of the greater market unless the submarket is a "black market". This community should at least meet minimal standards of the greater market. "I don't care..." or "I don't have anything to do with the transaction" shouldn't be a message or standard set by Boonex even if it is factual. see more Expectations don't cost anything.

I don't know that 'having set standards' will guarantee higher satisfaction rates. I don't know that ultimately that satisfaction is an issue. Members (especially new members) would appreciate set standards to reduce [frustration rates]. For instance, I am satisfied with the product that I got from Derartmedia; it’s a cool product; installation came months after my purchase; the back-&-forth correspondence was enough to bury the continents of Africa & Australia in paper; but I can’t complain about the product. I am frustrated (still) by the lack of effective communication & productive cooperation that continues even now with Derartmedia. Don't get me wrong, some issues can't be resolved easily (but my issue isn't one of them), & I acknowledge that.

I appreciate your response; it’s good stuff; the things Boonex is going to do/doing is a step in the right direction. If your goal is to make Boonex great, great things must be done; &, members need to understand that & believe they are part of something great. In a community like Unity, with some very talented people (from what I can tell so far), you have a lot of resources at your disposal if you use them properly. Empower the members to be better & you will see it prosper & grow. Setting standards that control behavior, prosperity & growth is critical to the success of Boonex.

My blog should not be perceived (by any) as doom & gloom; it is more so feedback & frustrations venting.
elsweb
I agree with you Kingphish,

I have spent just over $1,300.00 on mods and modules developed by people who for the most part have been very good at communicating and offers of support. However, there are a few whom after the purchase of their mods only offer one response and that is for me to give them free access to my site without any discussion of the problem (that is if they respond at all). I get very nervous when that is the only answer I get back. I have had some very bad things happen after see more giving access to people I don't know. I don't do that very often anymore.

It has been a surprise to me that a few of the people developing mods and modules for the dolphin script aren't nearly as friendly and helpful after they get my money. There are some great people working together here. But, there are some horrible people as well. Unfortunately, I didn't find that out until after I purchased their software.

We have to take the good with the bad. That is life. I am personally very happy with the overall experience I have been having with Boonex, Dolphin and the people I have dealt with. But as they say, there is always a bad apple. And one bad apple can spoil the whole basket if it isn't removed.

Documentation in most all of the mods and modules is severely lacking. In fact, most cases there is no documentation except for installation instructions which is also not very clear in many cases. What is the problem with taking the time to explain exactly how the mod works? I don't expect anyone to tell me what the coding says. I just expect that a mod should come with clear explanation of what it does and how to make it do what it was designed to do.
There are some who do that. But many don't.

I had no idea I would need to spend so much money to get what I was looking for when I began with Dolphin. But, that is the way things go everywhere. I understand that. But Boonex needs to step up and take some action on some of these "traders" or whatever they are called.
Kingphish
Elsweb -- thanks, and that was a very thoughtful to response.

I have to disagree with you about us having to take the bad. You are right, in life, we have to take the good with the bad because (generally) life is for the most part uncontrollable, but the Market is a controlled environment and the Master of this environment is Boonex and its agents. For example, I post something in the wrong area, I get a spanking. I use the wrong terms as a subject header in a post, I get spanked (rightfully) see more not only by agents of Boonex, but also by members. Unity is a Controlled environment.

In controlled environment, there are rules to control and mitigate undesirable behavior (e.g., production of bad mods). We (members) need to express our discontent in order for Boonex to set product and service standards. Your comment about instructions being inadequate is dead-on. How can instructions not be clear and detailed? How does one produce a product but not reveal how it is suppose to function? How does one provide a service but not explain what they intend to do before they do it and explain the outcome of the service they provide? Explanation isn't a burden; it is part of doing business; an expectation of doing business in the greater Market and should be in this market or sub-market. Even toothpaste comes with clear instructions and a 1-800 if you have questions. Toothpaste.

Andrew Boon has stated (above) that Boonex is taking the necessary precautions to address important issues as a first step. I take him at his word. I think you (and all members) should take him at his word as well. But, we all MUST hold him to it.
elsweb
In this situation, after spending the money and finding out what I have found out. I have no real control over the quality of product being offered. And I can't know until I purchase it. Many people don't leave any feedback so it is hard to determine what the value of the product is. If they do leave feedback, it is vague.

Boonex does nothing to assist in assuring the quality of products offered. Very few products show they are certified as working with Dolphin. While I did see where Andrew took see more a swipe at the subject with "As we see it now - the only way it to "warn and encourage". Warn buyers to research well before buying and encourage sellers to support their products (or stay without sales).", it really isn't an answer.

Those of us who have spent money on these mods know to try to research, but that brings us back to the original thing I said. Until you do business with one of these people, you don't know. And Boonex does little to give much confidence. The contributors are premium members. That means they pay to be in the position they are in. Do you really think Andrew or anyone else is going to do more than "encourage" them to provide better documentation or support? I don't really believe they will. They will put it back on us and continue to say "do your research". So, we continue to take the good with the bad. WE have little to no control over the situation except to leave and find something else. This is still the best software I have found. I will stay.
 
 
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