dcsimg
A Flash Developer Resource Site

Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Macromedia needs your help

  1. #1
    Flash Product Manager
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    140

    Macromedia needs your help

    We are working on a new series of online seminars designed for our customers and I'd like your feedback.

    The format of these seminars will be similar to that of Jeremy Allaire's <a href="http://www.macromedia.com/software/mx/presentation/">Executive Presentation</a> (definitely check it out if you haven't already!), which is powered by Flash Communication Server MX. They will be delivered "on demand" just like the exec preso.

    Please give me your thoughts on the following topics:
    1) Do you watch online seminars? Why or why not?
    2) What topics would you find most interesting?
    3) How long are you willing to sit and watch an online seminar?
    4) What can we add to the presentation that will make it more interesting to you? Customer testimonials? Humor? Detailed how-to walk-throughs?
    5) Most importantly, please send me any other ideas that you might have - no matter how strange or unusual!

    The goal of these seminars is to engage new and existing customers and show them what our technologies can do, not necessarily to provide intensive training - we have other venues dedicated to that.

    Some of our initial ideas for topics are: "Rich Internet Applications", "ColdFusion MX for J2EE", "Managing Web Content with Macromedia Contribute", "Application Framework and Design Patterns with Flash MX" - but we are very open to suggestions...

    To share your thoughts you can either reply to this thread or email me directly at mdowney@macromedia.com.

    I look forward to your suggestions. I really want to provide the community with a memorable experience and, fortunately, our great Flash technologies give me the tools to do so.

    Cheers,
    MD
    Last edited by MikeDowney; 01-03-2003 at 07:28 AM.

  2. #2
    Flash Developer on a break
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    1,370
    I would be honoured to help you.

    1) Do you watch online seminars? Why or why not?
    Sometimes. Depends on where I am.(internet connection at home is very slow) It also depends on the content.

    2) What topics would you find most interesting?
    Game Development?

    3) How long are you willing to sit and watch an online seminar?
    30 minutes max. Maybe if it's very interesting a bit longer, but not longer then an hour.

    4) What can we add to the presentation that will make it more interesting to you? Customer testimonials? Humor? Detailed how-to walk-throughs?
    How-to's would be good. Hmm.. Try to make the text not boring to listen to , but more diverse.

    5) Most importantly, please send me any other ideas that you might have - no matter how strange or unusual!
    I have always thought that doing it yourself is better, and you would learn more from it. You could make a box in the seminar window that is like a dynamic and more interactive examples area. So while the presentator is talking, you can see/do it yourself as well.

    Hope that helps you.

    Jeroen

    | "Keep Flashing!"-Jeroen
    PHP multiplayer? Check this thread: PHPgateway

  3. #3
    FK's Geezer Mod Ask The Geezer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Out In The Pasture
    Posts
    20,490
    Hey Mike.

    First, the exec presentation is only the second or third seminar I have seen. If something like this had come along a couple years ago, the web would be a far different place. I would much rather see something like this, than a static web page.

    1) Do you watch online seminars? Why or why not?
    I haven't, till now, because there just aren't that many around, yet.

    2) What topics would you find most interesting?
    I would like to see more of what's behind MX, and makes it work, like the communications server. Also, more on commercial apps, like shopping carts, what macromedia is doing to come in line with search engine optimization as it is today, less well known ways to get the most out of the flash players while developing in MX, and of course, how to make a seminar movie.

    3) How long are you willing to sit and watch an online seminar?
    Essentialy, as long as it takes. It would be nice to be able to pause or have them in two or more parts if they are long, or to even be able to download them for offline playback. Maybe add in an opt in mailing list for future presentations.

    4) What can we add to the presentation that will make it more interesting to you? Customer testimonials? Humor? Detailed how-to walk-throughs?
    Testimonials never impressed me, I like to form my own opinions. Light humor would be good, but generally I am totally immersed in the subject, and don't like having my train of thought sidetracked. How to's would be nice, but possibly have a list of links at the end that lead to static demos and tuts, as I could work thru them more at my own leasure, without rushing or missing something crucial. Most importantly, edit and edit them again. There are already far too many books and other media flooding the market with bogus info or simple mistakes that makes anything that came before useless. I am talking about books for MX that include CD's or workfiles that can't be found or have stupid mistakes in them. Better to get it right than shove it out the door unfinished.
    Last edited by iaskwhy; 01-03-2003 at 12:06 PM.

  4. #4
    Flash Product Manager
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    140
    I like the ideas so far - thanks!

    Any ideas on features that I could add to the presentations that would allow viewers to interact with one another without distracting them from the content? How about a system for submitting questions. It's logistically impossible for us to have a support person available 24/7 to answer questions, but I do feel that it is important to allow viewers to submit their questions in some fashion. Ideas?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    304

    my 2 cents

    1. online seminars: i like em..... although like iaskwhy said, there are not too many out there so my opinion is limited. i would watch them and even listen to them on my portable if the information is both timely and informative....

    2. topics: i like learning stuff... i like to learn various applications and it is really easy when they are designed properly to follow a walkthrough of various procedures.

    3. willing to sit: i would only sit as long as it took to get the information and shorter than the time it would take me to find the information elsewhere...

    4. for me the interesting thing is that i will ALWAYS have the ability to do something if i have access to a seminar... change your flat? sure... hang on while i load up the tutorial....

    as to the interaction: as a person who has taught at the university level i can see no possible benefit in having student/student interaction while the seminar is occurring.... its a lecture, not a converstion... but thats just me... i guess one-touch access to a user forum would be the best way to develop an informed client base that can assist others.... like flashkit...

    finally... i'm not sure that it is "logistically impossible" to have support 24/7... expensive sure but not impossible.... i would think that it would be your goal to design these seminars so that there would be NO need for further assistance...

    have a nice day,

    michael

  6. #6
    Flash Product Manager
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    140

    Re: my 2 cents

    Originally posted by chattyboy
    i would think that it would be your goal to design these seminars so that there would be NO need for further assistance...
    Well, I understand your point, however, I would be a little concerned if the delivery of informational content for the purposes of informing a customer about a product/solution left that person without any questions. I see it as a goal to engage the customer in such a powerful and memorable way that they leave the seminar thinking, "Wow, I really need to learn more about that fascinating technology!" Now, bare in mind, that the purpose of these seminars is - like I said in my original post - to engage our customers and potentials, not necessarily to train them. Macromedia has a ton of great avenues for training - like our Authorized Training Partners, the Macromedia Press, the Macromedia eLearning Center, etc. A seminar should engage a customer and get them excited about learning more.

    That said, I'd really love to get more feedback on the questions in my post. Especially regarding topics. Even look at them at a higher-level, such as "Innovation on the Web", "Designing better user interfaces", etc, etc.

    Thanks again for all of the feedback, please keep it coming!

    Cheers,
    MD

  7. #7
    Flash Developer on a break
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    1,370
    Originally posted by MikeDowney
    How about a system for submitting questions. It's logistically impossible for us to have a support person available 24/7 to answer questions, but I do feel that it is important to allow viewers to submit their questions in some fashion. Ideas?
    Hmm.. The only logical answer to that would be a somekind searchable Questions & Answers system.

    Make for each Q&A some keyword and then let a search box search through these keywords.

    Also give a support email adress so if its not in the Q&A, they can email you. Then you can put that question in the FAQ.

    Hope that helps. =/

    | "Keep Flashing!"-Jeroen
    PHP multiplayer? Check this thread: PHPgateway

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sir Yendor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Over here
    Posts
    1,140
    1. Yes, I watch on-line seminars.

    2. I too like learning stuff. On-line seminars that are detailed with step by step instructions that I can pause, reverse ot fast forward allow me to go at my own pace. If I'm learning something for Flash MX for example, I can make sure I fully understand each step before going on to the next.

    3. My answer is the same as Chatty Boy. As long as it takes, unless I can find the same information somewhere else in less time. Less time is not the final determinar. I would say reliablilty and accuracy of the information is even more important.

    4. I would say detailed How-To-Walk-Throughs would be on the top of my list.

    5. I would like to see customer feedback from those who have used the how-to-walk-throughs. In particular, if they had any challenges and what they did to overcome them.

    I've been part of a few on-line seminars where Chat was an option. Contrary to what Chatty Boy feels, I feel user interaction can be valuable. If mulitple people are watching the seminar at the same time, allowing group chat and/or private chat between 2 users has been helpful. I've even used AOL IM during a seminar once to help someone through a problem understanding a particular point.We both were able to pause the presentation and move forward when the issue was solved. This probably wouldn't work as well if the seminar were live. I do agree with Chatty Boy in that one touch forum access would be nice.

  9. #9
    Retired Mod aversion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    insomnia
    Posts
    7,917

    Re: Macromedia needs your help

    1) Do you watch online seminars? Why or why not?
    I do, though bandwidth issues (even with broadband) still make me suspicious of live seminars, though something along the lines of the exec presentation would be great.

    2) What topics would you find most interesting?
    Personally, anything to do with flash and application development! You already mentioned application framework, and I think that's topic number one for me, not detailed step by step instructions - most projects are far too varied to make use of that - but frameworks and methodologies (like the MVC system), and technologies (such as flash remoting but also others please) would be most welcome.

    I'm also thinking of UI design features (not just component creation and use but also actual layout, which leads into the next one...), usability and all of these related topics.

    3) How long are you willing to sit and watch an online seminar?
    If it is on demand then as long as it is useful for me to watch it. If I can return to the presentation/seminar and skip to the relevant section, as you suggest by comparing it to the exec presentation, then length is not an issue, if it's worth watching then I will.

    In one sitting I think I could focus my concentration for an hour, which is enough time to learn something that I can take away and play with. Longer than that and I'll be playing episodes of futurama in the bg

    4) What can we add to the presentation that will make it more interesting to you? Customer testimonials? Humor? Detailed how-to walk-throughs?
    As I mentioned above, not too interested in detailed walkthroughs as much as overviews, but for some topics, such as physics for game design, they would be relevant. Though, if the purpose of the seminars is to attract new clients to new technologies rather than educate in detail I don't see how detailed how-tos would fit in there.

    How much is promotion a factor compared to education in these presentations? As you said there are other avenues for intensive education. If the idea is more to show developers/clients what flash can do in various applications then I would recommend making sure that this series of presentations is identifiably separate from the 'learning' sections of macromedia.com, and I don't see the point of making them indepth; if they are there to seduce then you want to keep them bouncing along, so to speak

    Given that, these presentations would be interesting to me as a way to gain an overview of an application for flash, whether it's flash apps, content management, combining technologies, etc. I would like to see something that I can show not so web savvy clients as tools of persuasion, as well as subjects aimed at developers.


    5) Most importantly, please send me any other ideas that you might have - no matter how strange or unusual!

    I like the format of the executive presentation, it's clean and you can easily break the topic down into sections and subsections. I think it makes presenting topics more flexible and interactive, and absorbing them more enjoyable. Basically I would like to see it used to train as much as promote, replacing the quicktimes and supplementing the articles in the desdev sections. But maybe that's a subject for a different thread.

  10. #10
    forever depreciated™ aaron.martone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Florida, USA
    Posts
    448

    Re: Macromedia needs your help

    Please give me your thoughts on the following topics:
    1) Do you watch online seminars? Why or why not?
    2) What topics would you find most interesting?
    3) How long are you willing to sit and watch an online seminar?
    4) What can we add to the presentation that will make it more interesting to you? Customer testimonials? Humor? Detailed how-to walk-throughs?
    5) Most importantly, please send me any other ideas that you might have - no matter how strange or unusual!
    1. No, I don't watch online seminars. I find it an inefficient use of my time when it comes to learning actual MX-related work that will improve my skillset.

    2. A Macromedia MX Magazine!!! Need I say more? Max that bad boy out with information on the latest MX-related articles, new, tutorials, downloads (CD!) and happenings; company seminar info, this and thats. Heck I'd buy a subscription....

    3. Not very long. Seminar's are rather boring for me. I'd rather be DOING that watching. I've yet to find a good resource for video-based training, so I've actually taken up reading Macromedia Training from the Source books (I HATE reading, but these books are very well written!; I'm learning LOTS that way!)

    4. Nekkid Chix! Ok, ok, no chix. Um, what about offering specialty downloads if they watch the entire video?! LOL...

    5. Well I got tons o ideas, but they're not seminar-related. Like (1), Freehand10's vector based capabilities need to be merged with Flash MX2 (Flash MX2 could enable/disable advanced (aka Freehand) vector editing. Dreamweaver MX should come out with expansion packs that are Macromedia-approved .mxp extensions that are VERY useful. Server Behaviors, added scripts for popular features, what not. It's sorta like a game, and wanting the sequel; it's always fun to get goodies after you get the program!

    6. HA HA! Made you look! There is no #6! Anyways, Macromedia r0x0r tha b0x0r! You guys make some excellent programs that are not only functional, but very stable as well. I'm glad I've come since the days of Netscape Composer and moved to Dreamweaver MX; I'll never look back!

    I got the Studio MX deal, and I'm VERY happy I did. The best $400 I ever spent! Maybe Flash MX2 could also have a text/special effects editor (like Swish/Flax, etc) embeded in it next time, eh? Take the time to make the next wave of MX products; I like what I've seen so far.
    (am)™ :: aaron.martone ::
    http://www.aaronmartone.com

    "I see in layers; I think in ActionScript; Life is my animation and animation is my life.... oh, and I like corn dogs."

  11. #11
    Mod cancerinform's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    press the picture...
    Posts
    13,448
    I can only speak for Flash, Fireworks and Freehand.


    1) Do you watch online seminars? Why or why not?
    I never watch them. It's a matter of time. Also I like to read books and try out things by myself.

    2) What topics would you find most interesting?
    I made some tutorials for flashkit. From the interest I can say that slideshows (getting boring now) and database applications had a very high rate of interest. To use flash for tutorials (University, student education) is a potential topic. I am a scientist and that may be the reason for coming up with these ideas.

    3) How long are you willing to sit and watch an online seminar?
    Normally not longer than 45min for a university seminar. Shorter is better.

    4) What can we add to the presentation that will make it more interesting to you?
    Make the presentation as simple as possible with some easy light cartoons (funny? sure). Don't overload people with details.

    5) Indicate how many online forums there are, discussion forums, web sites, which point to the importance of these programs.
    Show how to incorporate other non macromedia programs like photoshop into macromedia applications rather than ignoring or making other applications bad. People are tired of negative politician ads. By this way people feel that the other non macromedia products are not a waste of money.

    Ask the customers what they want to see after showing a seminar and allow questions.
    Last edited by cancerinform; 01-05-2003 at 03:07 AM.
    - The right of the People to create Flash movies shall not be infringed. -
    | www.Flashscript.biz | Flashscript Biz Classes/Components |

  12. #12
    The world goes - hm.. TheCaramella's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Second door on the right, next to the ice bear
    Posts
    642
    I tried the link to the presentation, and got this error message repeatedly:
    *** Security Sandbox Violation ***
    SecurityDomain 'http://www.macromedia.com/software/mx/presentation/minorverdetect.swf?min_dot_version=29' tried to access incompatible context 'slides.swf'
    I only saw this guy on the movie, which I don't think is any reason to use this medium. I'd like to see illustrated what he's talking about. As a non-English first language person I really need to SEE what's the issue.
    I guess there should be some other files loading in around this guy, but it seems that movies with FSCOMMANDS kill my browser, or at least call for security alerts, and don't display what was intended.
    I use Netscape 7.02, and have the latest Flash player here: 6.0 r65. I'm on a win 2 k system.
    I'll answer the questions in a new post, because i'm running out of space here...

  13. #13
    The world goes - hm.. TheCaramella's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Second door on the right, next to the ice bear
    Posts
    642
    1) Do you watch online seminars? Why or why not?
    2) What topics would you find most interesting?

    I love learning!
    Anything that I can learn from, is interesting.
    What bores me, and causes me to leave a page, is PR, directly or in-.
    I think that if one's products are so good (as I think most of Macromedia's are), it's enough showing/explaining what and how you use them, and for what.
    I'd like to see live tutorials showing me ways of solving my tasks (f. i. creating slide shows, pies in Flash etc), tips, tricks, shortcuts. (This is what made me finally dive into Photoshop - there where so extremely many sites with tips and tricks and tutorials, well presented, both static html pages, and online videos. And I didn't like Photoshop at all in the beginning, because I thought the program was really lousy compared with what I was used to.)

    3) How long are you willing to sit and watch an online seminar?
    That depends. We can't concentrate more than 20 min. at the time, so I think that would be a good maximum.
    It might be an idea that we can pause the movie (anchors in Flash!), bookmark it, and see the rest or more of it later. It's important with not taking to long time, so people don't feel overwhelmed, and not having time to see the entire show.

    4) What can we add to the presentation that will make it more interesting to you?
    Customer testimonials?
    NO! NO! No!
    Humor? Yes (How does boy get girl? Make her laugh!)
    Detailed how-to walk-throughs? Yes, yes, yes, and also show us how to use programs together with the Macromedia ones, f.i. Word, Excel, Photoshop, those programs that people use(, not necessarily because they want to, but because they're employed somewhere, and their employers tell them what programs to use. A regular combo is Word, Excel, Photoshop, Front Page - and Flash...).

    5) Most importantly, please send me any other ideas that you might have - no matter how strange or unusual!
    I teach Macromedia Flash and Dreamweaver. I recommend Macromedia's products for many reasons (I mean, FLash is just Flash == unique..!! ).
    What I want to compliment Macromedia for, is the ALWAYS good tutorials provided!
    This is one of the reasons why I prefer Macromedia products, because you get up and running in no time, and it gives a good impression not being forced to spend extra money (and time!) on buying books.
    But, what I'd want more of, is as mentioned before, tutorials on how to use Macromedia products in companion with the before mentioned programs, and more on Macromedia products cooperiation between each other. Useful tutorials!
    I loved the new tutorial videos on Macromedia's site, big compliment on them, even though one of them didn't work correctly. I also got very impressed when the necessary files where provided, for both PC and Mac.
    I get soooo positive when big companies GIVE us something for free. I mean, I spend a lot of money each year on the products, and it feels so nice, and like if I'm worth more than just the money I leave behind, when I get f. i. tutorials for free.
    For me, a programming addict (but not a wizard - yet) it would be great with white papers on Action Script/core Java script like what Netscape provides on java script. (A cooperation would be nice, I like companies being able to cooperate.)

    And more movie tutorials! An example: I've been really scared of Components in Flash. I followed along a video, and suddenly I had used two of them. That was inspiring.
    It gets so much easier when watching.
    Also the Macromedia University (ElementK) is very fine, when learning the programs in the GUI.
    What's a problem with that, is that updates for new programs are always late. There's still no Action script class there, and no classroom studies on other MX-products than Flash and - Freehand.
    I'd think it would be better if more of the tutorials from there where put out on the web - for free.
    Two peticular tutorials I'd like to see, is how to use Flash instead of Power Point! I've created my own versions for introducing my students to the GUI of both Flash and Dreamweaver, but it's so time consuming.
    The other tutorial is: how to implement Flash in Power Point presentations.
    People are sooo tired of watching the static Power Point presentations, and then it would be so cool having small Flash animations playing - like clowns in circus. People need to laugh, then they remember better, when the little unexpected figure showed up and made fun at the instructor who was with her back to it, or the slide where the text suddenly started melting and was gone the next time the instructor turned to reference to it - or ...
    This got far too long, but hope that some of my suggestions can be useful!

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    304

    my 2 cents after a nights sleep

    Hi Mike,

    After giving it further consideration and reading subsequent posts i would like to focus on the "to engage our customers and potentials, not necessarily to train them" aspect of your post.

    It seems that many, including myself, are focusing on the training potential of the net using the excellent feature inherent in Flash MX. That's understandable coming from this board... we all want to learn our craft better and see the inherent power of Flash to let us do just that. This whole internet "thing" allows us to communicate faster and more efficiently - so its natural for us to think in those terms....

    back to the "engaging" ..... the target market for these presentations is, i gather, those people who make larger decisions regarding application development and not necessarily techies or designers themselves... what would they be looking for?

    from a marketing perspective i guess that i would be looking for a solution that would answer my own questions but also provide executive summaries of your seminars (cole's notes versions) so that i could pass the info higher up the food chain without having those people sit through the whole seminar (make it portable and, damn it all, a paper summary is necessary here (paper-less society my ass)) .... while techies may jump at the chance to sit in front of their computers watching seminars, many of the decision making class would never do so... different culture perhaps but i digress.... the reason why someone would be looking at your seminars is so that they can make a decision about utilizing macromedia's resources to better optimize their business strategy... my job would be to cull information regarding the various alternatives and then make a decision... thats the reason why i get paid the big bucks.... my decision must be vetted and that is where the executive summary and additional documentation comes in... i would not expect my higher-ups to have to watch all of this information - thats why they hired me...

    i would, like i said before, like to click one button to access a user board and get information parsed by "who i am" and "what i do" .... Managing Web Content with Macromedia Contribute" may get the mouth watering of some but if i were an marketing person i only really want to know how this affects me .... let me give an example: one small thing that i love about the new MX versions of your software is that you allow people to choose design or code mode.... we all have various "hats" and want information that fulfills our immediate needs.... a designer certainly approaches the creation of, for example, a web site differently than other members of their work group.... i guess that i would look for something that recognizes that i wear various hats in my organization and knows that the information that i would find important is more dependant on MY role in the organization... whatever that role happens to be on any particular date....

    have a nice day,

    michael

  15. #15
    Flash Product Manager
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    140
    Now <i>that</i>, chattyboy, is some great feedback! Thank you.

    And thank you to all else that took their time to provide us with their ideas. This is such a great illustration of the power of the web. I am actually able to <i>connect</i> with my customers and get their feedback in a very casual format.

    But I'm not done yet. Please keep it coming!

    I would like to emphasize what chattyboy aluded to above - the goal of these seminars is to engage our customers and potentials, not necessarily to train our developers, we have other great venues for that. However, I do want developers to watch these seminars and get the kind of information that <i>they</i> need in order to sell <i>their</i> ideas to their management and decision makers. As an example, I'd like to be able to show a developer what a Rich Internet Application is, what it's strengths and benefits are, and how to articulate those benefits and the <i>tools</i> behind to all those that take part in choosing a solution.

    With that in mind, please continue the feedback. And consider this:

    - What challenges do you face when trying to sell a boss or a client on a Rich Internet Application?

    - What information are you missing?

    - What tools would make your job easier and make it easier for you to draw more business?

    - What would you like to better understand in order to sell these solutions to people?

    I think those questions better address the context of these online seminars.

    Thanks again!

    Cheers,
    MD

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  




Click Here to Expand Forum to Full Width

HTML5 Development Center