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Re: Wolfram | Alpha: Acres per square mile? (oddities)
On 6/28/09 at 11:27 PM, siegman at stanford.edu (AES) wrote: >In article <h27fg7$coc$1 at smc.vnet.net>, >Bill Rowe <readnews at sbcglobal.net> wrote: >>What do you see as going "out of your way"? There is an input box >>and send button right on the page that returns results. Surely, it >>is no more effort to type comments in that box which ensures they >>will be looked at by those interested in fixing bugs than to make a >>post here. >Take your points, stick by mine. I'm spending my time participating >in c.s-s.m.m, not serving as a bug reporter for WIA; and am quite >often not sure whether what I'm commenting on is a bug or inadequate >understanding on my part. I am sure the set of intended users for W|A includes considerably more than then the set of Mathematica users. A direct consequence of this is I would expect those in charge of W|A are not only interested in classic bugs (things not working as intended) but are also interested in problems with the user interface (things working as designed but causing confusion to users). So, I very much suspect they are interested in feed back regardless of whether the problem is a true bug or not. >If WIA were to assign some knowledgeable staff member to do a quick >scan of c.s-s.m.m every morning, looking not only for bugs but other >feedback on glitches, misunderstandings, confusions on >documentation, and the like -- well, I think that would be useful >feedback to WIA; would show whether a problem of any type was >widespread; and would show whether there were multiple or threaded >reports on a problem. The problem is this group is intended primarily for discussion of Mathematica, not W|A. My guess is only some fraction of the people who post here also use W|A. So, there won't be many posts here useful to the W|A team. And since there is no standard clearly identifying posts commenting on W|A distinctly from many more posts dealing with Mathematica, there is no simple way to just scan the posts and extract the few that deal with W|A. The only sure way would be brute force, i.e. read all of the posts. That is from the perspective of the W|A team, scanning posts here is a very inefficient way to get useful feed back on W|A. >Some companies spend big bucks on surveys, focus groups, product >testing exercises to get precisely that kind of feedback. If WIA >wants to ignore this free source of such info (and from a generally >knowledgeable group of users) If the set of intended users were identical to the set of Mathematica users, it would be a good idea for the W|A team to seek comments from posters in this group. But I cannot believe the set of intended users for W|A is the same as the set of Mathematica users. I believe the set of users is intended to be far more general. Consequently, I think the W|A team would want more feed back from more general users than the set of knowledgeable users who post here. The bottom line is, if you want to increase your chance of changing W|A for the better from your perspective, posting in this group is very unlikely to be the best place to make comments. You are far more likely to have an impact by posting comments in the place intended for feedback on W|A.