Update to Market Listing and Certification Policy

Andrew Boon posted 1st of May 2011 in Boonex News. 60 comments.

While BoonEx Market becomes more and more popular we witness repeating issues, such as incompatibility with latest Dolphin versions, misleading descriptions, incorrect pricing info, etc, etc.

Review of Market products is a labor-intensive process and we can't afford just doing it for free. So, we have "Certification" program that allows Vendors submit their products for BoonEx review for a fee. The program isn't very popular, though. Moreover, even with the payment we often end up exchanging endless recommendation letters with Vendors before issuing a certificate. This has to change.

 

The New Certification Program

We think about offering a simplified certification procedure with a price of about $30 ($20 for listing updates) that includes only a standard set of actions and a guarded certification. The main difference, however, is that no matter the outcome - the certification would be passed, with an appropriate public report.

 

Example

1. MasterX submits his new product for certification for $30.

2. We review it, according to standard set of parameters and publish a report like this:

--------------

- Installation successful. Took about 20 minutes. Installation instructions insufficient - had to request info from Vendor.

- Database error present when ...... .

- Works with Dolphin 7.0.6, as advertised.

- Requires additional software on hosting server, such as ... .

- Screenshots in product description are not accurate. The product doesn't .... .

- Text description is accurate.

--------------

3. The product goes to the main listing with a report and every purchaser is highly recommended to read it.

4. If MasterX fixes bugs or updates the product, he requests a report update and pays $20.

 

As for Free products, we would only ensure they are actually free, or they would have to pass a paid certification program.

 

And here's the kicker!

Market standard listings would be all based on Certified products only. All non-certified products will go into a tab called "Risky" and will all receive a big gaudy header banner with a disclaimer saying "BUYER BEWARE. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT CERTIFIED AND MAY NOT WORK AS EXPECTED OR MAY DAMAGE YOUR SYSTEM" or something equally terrifying.

 

Let us know your opinion and what are your suggestions on specific certification metrics to be included into the review list.

 
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houstonlively
I think you should also certify developers. Give them some sort of badge if they offer good products and actually support their products.
Andrew Boon
Yes, we have "Trusted" badge for that. I think we should be able to give more of those when Certified program takes off and we'd be able to figure out the best way to determine trusted Vendors.
Nathan Paton
What about those products which are not certified, but are still being reported by people as not working as advertised? I understand you're making it clear that products that are not certified could eat your hamster, but truly troublesome ones should be dealt with accordingly.

And then there's the products either left for sale by those no longer around, or inactive for a long period of time.

I think this is an improvement, and a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done.
Andrew Boon
Those that _clearly_ have to be removed should be removed. I think you can hide those as a moderator.
simzebor
Developers should be properly screened and certified to give confidence.. as many of them are either rude or completely do not respond to emails after payment
EagleII
and that's the truth... is not like it used to be in the 80's (BBS era) and early 90's for sure.
Dolphin mod prices are so high and ultimately Developer will ask more from buyer when they need to do the certifications by paying money.

As said by HL, I think you should certify developers and give certified badge.
rhimpr
Sounds like a good move in the right direction.

Making it mandatory for developers to have a support forum for each product would help greatly with issues, as the issues would be in public view with responses or non-responses from developer. On each market product make the Support Forum button big and direct members to read before purchasing .
If theres issues on Support Forum with no response from developer, it shows potential buyers the product support is not there or module has issues and see more also shows Boonex, the module is faulty and lacks support.

Suggestions: Market post should have mandatory;

- Compatibility Versions

- Support Forum* (for certified and others)

- A Live Demo site

- Encrypted module with license or not (if encrypted, module sent to Administration (Boonex) for fail safe release

- Dedicated Support Email

- ?? Day Update Policy (Modules updated to current version within certain amount of days of an official dolphin upgrade release)
houstonlively
I suggested the auto-forum thread a while back, along with automatically subscribing the developer with no unsubscribe button.

One more thing I would add is automatic update notifications to our mail here on unity, whenever the developer updates the product.
Artists_Square
I agree with houstonlively. Automated update notifications to our mail when a product is updated.
wolf2217
I like houstonlively's input on badges, if a dolphin module developer has a site that sells dolphin modules and have been approved by Boonex a badge of approval by Boonex would go a long ways.
This may increase sales for the developer but may also drive interest to checking out more modules on Boonex.com.

Something to indicate "This modules has not been certified by Boonex" is a good idea but having a message that incourages the buyer not to buy the module could hurt the developer.
If see more someone learns the module structure and can build boonex approved modules may not have the money to submit it for certification, especially if there are bugs and they need to submit a additional $20 for re-review.
What if you guys made a priority list, put the top well known developers at a higher priority and new and unheard of developers on a lower priority list without charging for the first 1 or 2 submissions.
It may take longer to be certified but it atleast gives them a chance to earn a few bucks towards future mods that would be submitted with a fee.

Just a suggestion, explain if and where i'm wrong.
~Wolf~
houstonlively
The $30 certification fee might not sound like much, but take a developer like modzzz, who has 86 products listed... and just about all of them have a five star rating. He has a support thread for every one of his mods, and supports his customers well. Under the new system, he either forks over $2580 in certification fees, or his mods get thrown into the "Risky" category. Bad, bad idea.

I'd rather see developers themselves, in the 'Risky" category rather than products. There see more are developers here whose products I would buy without any reservations whatsoever. Other developers that I feel should be avoided, and that belong in a 'risky' category, actually have some of their products listed as a "Staff Pick".

Certify developers, not products. Certified developers could pay a fee for the certification, which would simply mean that they had to meet certain criteria. 1. They have a good history of product ratings. 2. They create support forums for all their products. 3. They resolve issues as they arise, and not let them linger for months at a time. 4. They have been a member of Unity for at least 1 year. ...etc..

There are some developers that already meet this criteria (Deano, ilbellodelweb, modzzz, ... just to name a few) That list could grow quickly if some of the devs would just create support threads. (Yes... even Rayz and AntonLV should have to create support threads for their products... no free passes) Others have a bit of work to do.

You could even make those 'Certified Developer Badges' progressive. The more happy customers you have, and the longer you keep customers happy, the better your certification badge gets. Make them different colors, with silver and gold being tops.
Andrew Boon
I wouldn't rule our a possibility of batch-certification and discounts, or even some automated process for "trusted" Vendors, but putting vendor into "risky" is likely to just make them re-launch their profile with renewed listings. Also some products are good and trouble-less despite poor support. We have "Certified" for products and "Trusted" for developers. Another possibility to determine "Trusted" is to do public nominations like we did with see more "Pundits" before.
houstonlively
Ummm.... you're the one that came up with the 'Risky' category... not me.

I wouldn't use the public nominations for 'Pundits' as an example. Do you not remember all the nut jobs that became "pundits"? You can't go completely public with something like that. You don't need a bunch of clueless voters making choices.....just look what happens in the US when Democrats vote.

Just come up with a review panel made up of a few boonex staff members, and some community members. I still see more believe there should be several levels of 'Trusted' badges.
I agree $30 sounds a lot for certification, but consider the time someone has to spend to review your software, an hour is gone quick.
I'm sure after a few sales you have recovered your certification fee, and a certified product will give security to potential customers and should result in a higer turnover.
It shoiuld also weed out those hacker programmers which have no idea or don't care about good programming techniques.
I know what I'm taking about I have been design authority for some major see more IT and Software Projects
tomakali
Beautiful...
Now Boonex can have "Quality" apps
btw, any good thing like
http://www.facebook.com/developers/createapp.php
is it correct that at the moment noone can order market posts and i aslo cannot order anything?

the links don´t work:

http://www.boonex.com/paymentprovider/cart

http://www.boonex.com/paymentprovider/orders
Andrew Boon
It was a temporary issue caused by cache server update. Fixed now.
stellaradmin
This is an excellent step for for the community. I have purchased many product and plan on purchasing a lot more. This will definitely cut down on the time that I have to use investigating ambiguous small print statements that some developers confuse you with.

My only question is will boonex moderate are warn us about third party license agreement on the mod being sold? I don't mind complying to a third party agree to use the mod but this is something all buyers should be aware of since this see more is open source.
Andrew Boon
We could add license review to the list, but generally it's all about pointing attention to it. We can't really dig down deep into licensing terms.
stellaradmin
Thanks Sir.
I can see that becoming a chore but I think it would be a value-centered approach as boonex grows. I remember when joomla started everything was free, then a few paid extensions appearred, and now everywhere you look there is another license requirement to manage ;)

Boonex is a well put together community and this decision is proving it.
Adminmysite
I don't understand the need to certify each product, just let each developer become trusted somehow, and all products from a trusted developer are certified automatically. Because I need to become trusted somehow, even though all my products have great reviews, plus many great reviews on my profile,and I need to certify all my products too, even though they all got great reviews and I never had any disputes opened?
Andrew Boon
Yes, we expect some sort of bulk-certification, or at least listing of products from Trusted vendors despite absence of a certificate.
deano92964
Adminmysite - Getting trusted appears to take a lot of effort. I to have high ratings, and a petition to get me trusted (Started by another member) was done a month or so ago and i believe at least one member messaged Andrew Boon about it, and i still am not trusted. It appears to take a lot of effort to get that badge.
freakpower
yeah that was me who initiated that petition. It was signed basicly by all active members in forum and all recommended highly deano to get trusted badge however there was basicly no interest from boonex side :-(
mods4dolphin
By charging the $20 upgrade price, you are basically telling the developers not to post any updates to the products for the customers. Usually developers post frequent updates and most of them for free to help the customers but now by imposing the fee, you are basically trying to stop that...totally DISAGREE to the upgrade price.Just because a few customers have experienced issues with few developers does not mean that everyone should suffer.
Solution:
Here;s our recommended solution. You already see more have a review system in place, just change the market navigation in such a way that the review system is highly respected and the products are shown in that order. Right now, it seems that the order in which products are display take the reviews very lightly.
Andrew Boon
Well, I don't think that update per se should require a new review, but it may be in the best interest of the vendor, since it is likely to improve the review report.
Adminmysite
Please make categories display throughout entire market.. like joomla extensions, so all market pages, module pages, have categories on the side: http://extensions.joomla.org/
Currently few customers complained to me that its impossible to find any mods in the market, very difficult, thanks.
Andrew Boon
Categories are online now. Let me know what you think about this way of representation. Putting them to all pages would be a little too much for navigation, I guess.
Adminmysite
Great! thanks for quick response too.
Profesize
It might be a good idea to recommend that all communication between vendor and buyer to take place via the Boonex Unity internal email system as it will ensure that if anyone has an issue, be they vendor or buyer, that Boonex will have a record of all emails between the two parties thus allowing Boonex to help resolve any issues, similar to the procedure used on eBay for example.

It also provides better value for money for people like Modzzz that have to pay fees to get all their products on the see more market as you can support them when they are having trouble with a customer, and in turn provides better protection for the customer as all communications will be transparent to Boonex staff which will also help with trust certification for members like Adminmysite and Deano92964.
Adminmysite
I like this idea, record all communication, and actually redevelop developers points system, where they receive more points if email is answered within 1 hour too
tomakali
I need a chat system where admins can get quick support from the vendors during crisis
forum is good, but TAT is long enough to rise the pressure.
maybe it can be available for premium members
freakpower
I think there should be also some chance for community to remove really bad sellers - as those sellers still sells here without any problem
newton27
Thanks for finally taking some action.
Zarcon
So does this mean that if a Developer wants to sell his mod and claims that it is compatible with all version of D7 and pays his $30 that Boonex will:

- Install the module on all versions of D7
- Test all functionality of the module with all compatible versions as advertised
- Examine code for any 'hidden' code that may contains link backs or anything else that would be considered a 'threat'

What will happen if Boonex accepts the money, approves the product, and once installed by a purchaser see more they immediately encounter issues. Will the seller be able to fall back on 'Well, BoonEx said it was OK'. Will Boonex actually have the ability and/or man power to accomplish these tasks?

Also, Since most upgrades to products are free, I would also have to disagree that the developer should not have to pay $20 for re-certification everytime they upgrade the product. A perfect example would be that the seller pays and provides the module for certification. Boonex finds errors. Seller fixes and pays another $20 for re-cert. More errors found, Seller fixes and re-submits for $20 more, etc. By the time everything is caught, they may have to sell the product for $100 just to try and get some of the money back from certification.

I would suggest maybe a 'yearly' fee for developers who want their products certified. But at the per module prices you have mentioned above, I doubt many are going to join in on this.
houstonlively
Exactly some of the reasons why developers, not products should be certified.
Of course if your product has problems they have to be fixed...maybe the 20$ will make developers put in the proper testing time to ensure their products are up to scratch before asking us to pay our hard earned $s for them !!! If you get the development right in the first place you will pay once ...problem over.
CALTRADE
Why not just require mod sellers to use their real name and have a working phone number? Any kind of "certification" means you are providing some level of guarantee that it works with Dolphin - are you sure you want to do that? Then you could charge a small fee for "listing only".
tomakali
Boonex buys mods and list in market and admins buy from boonex market - thats cool
support by modders, reviewing the support, the modders can earn grades
tomakali
Strange...
1 likes in FB
and 7 likes in boonex...
boonex rocks!!!
sammie
I think you need to also make sure that anything added to your site, can be removed if the vendor leaves dolphin and stops supporting his products due to ill health, bankruptcy or kidnapped by aliens, there has to be a full uninstall instructions that work and boonex have tested.
Or you'll end up with people frustrated because they are left with broken sites and can not upgrade dolphin anymore.
jerardg
LOL, but seriously sammie, I have had all 3 happen to me while swimming with the boonex dolphin
mihai
For each product the comments should be divided in two categories: general comments and customer comments. In the second category only the persons who have bought product should be allowed to post comments.
If this is not possible at least the comments of people who bought the product should be highlighted.
Artists_Square
How about an opposite approach for the developers instead of "each" product that goes out. Why such a harsh punishment for good developers for the bad products out there. Not only that, the developers would be responsible for modifications to a platform that changes quite often and has bugs/fixes that are constantly being tackled. Why not give an incentive for these developers instead of what's in their pockets. For instance, give them developer levels based on performance and feedback see more - maybe do more brainstorming to get a different approach. The more they get charged the more "we" get charged and it puts us at a different level of a free social networking platform than the rest that are out there. It's hard enough that it almost requires a developer to run a Dolphin site and help with modifications. I know I have paid a few to help me with my bugs and fixes, or modules that were not compatible to another, etc.. There is so much gray in a charging system for each mod. The developers have been more than gracious to me at my time of need, especially because I am not one. And with their hard work, the good developers deserve every penny they get, even if it is sippin on a Pina Colada at Maui w/their ideal person(s) standing on either side of them waving palms....
mods4dolphin
Exactly, I agree 200% to everything you said! Boonex thinks by charging more and more they can resolve the inherent issues with the system which is totally untrue. Like you said, eventually it's an additional cost for the customers. Like we said before if boonex can just differentiate developers properly based on feedback and performance, it will solve all the issues. But instead of improving the system, they are trying to revamp the whole process. Creating workarounds will not resolve the issue see more here. For e.g. go to market and then click "Browse All Products" and then click "hot" or "most popular" and you will see the top products with 8 reviews, 7 reviews, 2 reviews etc. Not sure what algorithm they are using that sorts the products in this fashion. Again, fix your system and nothing else is required.

Sincere opinion from a dolphin mod developer.

thanks
Armaan
EagleII
Great idea. We "tried" to install a set of admin tools that were not certified, and short of reprogramming the mod.. we quit and the site started to act weird after that fact. It added tables to the database that I had to remove manually. When your over 60 and just having fun.. that's a lot of work. (g) http://elections2012.soft-vision.com/ just going up.. a right wing conspiracy site? Well that is an opinion we will leave up to the visiting beholder..( grin ) Dolphin is awesome.. see more even if you never use the BoonEx Media Server (RMS) for those who want to avoid the hassle of (c) laws with video & audio uploads. If folks really want to share - they can upload to youtube or the like and then embed.
One thing that has caught me out is that these add on apps are often marketed as if they come from an established company but actually there is just one guy.
I have lately had a developer tell me that he couldn't get on the net for 5 days!!!!!. This caused me to be annoyed as I am unashamedly building a commercial site and have to answer to my fellow directors.
Perhaps it would be fairer to these guys if it was made plain that they are promoting the apps as a part time addition to another income see more or at least that they are working within the community as community members rather than real businesses or that they are businesses and act as such offering proper customer care and product support in a timely fashion.
It is a shame because this particular person is 99% on the way to producing a great addition to the Boonex software but we have now fallen out as I dealt with him/her as if they were an established business. The 1% of their code that doesn't work is a real pain and has to be fixed. I hope to be mending bridges soon.
There is a confusion between a genuine and commited community working together to produce easily the most exciting community building software in the world and the appearance of it being a business.
I personally have parted with over 2000$ so far and have only just begun to realise that it is more community than business but 2000 bucks is still 2k and so I feel like a customer more than a community member.
I think this is a very important area of confusion. This is free community software one minute and a commercial business the next.
Putting in a ticket for a Dolphin problem when the app in question was bought through the Boonex website and being told that your 1000$s plus free no-hassle start up problem-solving that you purchased with your Prime licence actually doesn't even get a look at is disappointing especially as some of the people that you buy the app from are answering the tickets!!!
That's my insight as a relatively new and devoted Boonexer
It is good to see that this debate is at the real core of an area of great concern for those of us who wish to have Dolphin 7 and the improvements available in Market available so we can build websites that will make a significant impact on the www.
AB definitely on the right track with this one.....If it is sold through Boonex it has to meet certain basic standards that are compatable with the main D7 software. Otherwise they are dragging the rest of the software down. houstonlively..always on track and right on the money...keep it up!!! Thanks... ramble over.
Adminmysite
Is the market section still bring updated? Currently it's terrible and disorganized, it was way better before. Tags and categories look duplicate, everything bunched togetherin 1 paragraph. Maybe make something like joomla extensions, nicely organized market:
http://extensions.joomla.org/
mods4dolphin
Totally agree! Ever since this new design came into place, our sales have dropped 60-70% over the last week or so.... please do something!!! The old design was so much better and easy to navigate.

Thanks
Adminmysite
see moreSales dropped here too, and it's obvious why. You click on the market, all you see is several latest popular mods, and featured, and latest mods. Other mods are pretty much invisible, user clicks on categories, and sees a paragraph with categories bunched up, impossible to find anything, nobody ever clicks on tags, that should be removed alltogether. Just make categories display throughout entire market.. like joomla extensions, so all market pages, module pages, have categories on the side: http://extensions.joomla.org/
Adminmysite
Looks like categories are fixed and looking better now..good job boonex!
Adminmysite
see moreHi, please add static links, to users account page. Static links for all items, that are displayed, when you hover over the account page.. Because with an iphone, its pretty much impossible to hover over the account button, and you end up clicking it.. taking you to account page, with no links to "order", "my posts" etc..
you get like 1 second to click any of those links, before automatically being taken to the account page, which has no links to any of those items.

Thanks.
peteralan72
It sure is refreshing to see Boonex hard at work on this. Thanks so much! Over the last few years I have seen some great improvement with Dolphin software and also with the structure of everything. I have also seen great improvement in how the moderators and the agents are taking care of things. Dolphin surely is a worthwhile investment. Thanks for the great peace of mind!
DeanMonte
I love Dolphin, but i don't understand why am i having problems with video chatting, uploading videos in groups, chat room not loading, google clock not working, different members stay logged in at the log in module, and much more? Is it the hosting? website is QueLoQuePasa.com please advise. thank you!
DeanMonte
you can email me at wymte@yahoo.com
Andrew Boon
Great comments and feedback, thank you! We've changed the initial plan a bit , but will soon come up with changes that should work nicely for everyone. Instead of obligatory certification we'll be looking towards a list of information about the product that should be completed and published, and will be used for verificationa and gradual entitlement to "trusted" status.
Great Idea, since most guys charge for there addons it would give potential users security and build trust in the Dophin platform
DosDawg
Andrew,
I must say, this is a great idea to some extent. you are dealing with two different entities here:

Trusted Developers

and

Certified Functional Modules

Trusted Developers should be easy, and there have been as mentioned petitions requesting certain developers be granted Trusted Status. though fallen on a deaf ear, or the 'change' didnt ching-a-ling loud enough, so there was no effort put forth. You know without a doubt who the Trusted Developers are, and who deserves being granted see more the Trusted Badge.

Certifying the modules, thats a tough one. should there be a cost incurred 'absolutely' thats part of doing business. but exactly what method or procedure would be performed to determine if the module is certifiable? because as we all know, there are many parts of Dolphin as released that does not function, thus how could it be determined from the very ones who wrote the half-baked source that doesnt work, if something is compatible or not compatible?

i do like your idea of both establishing yourself as a Trusted Developer, and further for having each module certified. though this brings up another catch, what about the FREE modules? i dont think they should be admonished from offering open source, and cant see where it would be beneficial to someone like Deano who offers his Deano's Tools for free, to pay $30.00, nor do i think he would pay $30.00 for having the module certified. how would you manage that perspective?

the price for providing updates is stiff, because most of these developers do not charge for their updates, i cant see the logic in charging for providing updates. i think that part of ongoing certification would involve some type of follow up from the boonex staff, and yes, its time consuming, but its the nature of the beast, or the way it was put to me:

thats the way it has been, and the way it will be: :)

so charging the $30 one time certification fee is something that would require boonex to continue to monitor the market, and if you are not going to monitor the market, then the market should be closed.

something has to be done, and you are making steps in the correct direction, and i can only hope the best in the choices that are made, and to pray that its not monetary compensation that drives the train, leaving out the consideration for the developer and unity member?
Stuart038
If Boonex receives commission per mod sold plus a fee for a member to be able to sell there mods via Unity, charging a fee to certify that mod strikes me as being very greedy...
Please tell me I've got this wrong?
 
 
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