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Chyenn  (Level: 200.8 - Posts: 1332)
Thu, 22nd May '08 7:31 AM


every morning i see more posts discussing problems with Sploofus. the Beta version seems to be wreaking havoc system wide. the editors have asked for our patience as the 'bugs' are being addressed. i'm sure they are as frustrated as we are over these issues.

i've been a member since January 2005 and have weathered many changes on the site. Justin has always managed to make his ideas for Sploofus a reality, and the site has gotten bigger and better. i'm convinced that he will succeed again with the Beta version. all the frustration and aggravation we are experiencing will be worth it.


Slicko  (Level: 223.9 - Posts: 1609)
Thu, 22nd May '08 7:53 AM

Very well said - and I'll second that vote. Most of us who are trying out beta have experienced the bugs - and they can be rather frustrating - but that's the whole point of beta testing. A couple I've experienced include the timer suddenly dropping like a stone on a major wager, getting a "sorry" on WP even though everything is correct, and numerous smaller issues. Even how to handle the new games the best way for all participants - while not necessarily a bug - is being debated. All of this is in the interest of making the site the best for everyone. I think the eds. and Justin are working like crazy to get all of this ironed out- and when they do I think everyone will agree it was well worth it.

Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Thu, 22nd May '08 9:28 AM

You guys summed it up for me pretty well.

Eesusbejesus  (Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3645)
Thu, 22nd May '08 9:33 AM

While I have also been here a while, and have extreme loyalties to this site, I understand and share the frustration of those experiencing problems. When you pay for a service, you expect the service to work, a response to your complaints, and communication regarding when your problem will be fixed. If your internet wasn't working properly, and you called or emailed for support, and no one responded to your report or your response was "thanks, we'll get to it when we can," I suspect most of us would be changing ISP's. For Sploofus right now, the biggest source of support we have is each other. Rather than updated information coming from the top, we tend to rely on each other for trying to understand what's happening with our service.

I don't understand computer programming. I don't understand why it takes months to fix a problem. I don't understand why problem reports go into a black hole and are never heard from again. While I'm not the person who can answer these questions, all I can say to anyone out there who might be listening, is that a little P.R. goes a long way, especially when you have paying customers who are trying their best to be patient and loyal.

Despite the problems, most of us are still here, renewing our memberships, buying memberships for others, in support of this site. I think that says a lot!

Tresgatos  (Level: 201.7 - Posts: 4145)
Thu, 22nd May '08 9:36 AM

Thanks, Cheyenn, for creating this thread! I tried to express similar thoughts in the "timer trouble" thread, but you're right on target, Cheyenn, in that votes of confidence for Justin and Co. deserve their own thread.

Anyway, Cheyenn and Gary, great posts! They reflect my own sentiments.

-- Geri

Kaelin  (Level: 49.2 - Posts: 1685)
Thu, 22nd May '08 9:45 AM

"I don't understand computer programming. I don't understand why it takes months to fix a problem."

It can definitely be hard for non-programmers or internet builders to understand this - many times a fix IS easy - but when dealing with databases and "instant displays" from information in databases (i.e. timed questions etc) - it can be a matter of programming needing to be streamlined to run more efficiently. I know that logic and the how to of building a database - can do that with my eyes closed, but it's up to my programming partner to look at the information in the database - and see what it is that we need to deliver publicly - sometimes if the programming is too bulky, it can get caught in loops and takes a while to find a more direct route - as a real world example - especially for those that live in a smaller town - I know that when I use Mapquest to plot a trip - it ALWAYS takes me the longest route through the nearest larger city. In order to plot in according to what I know to be more efficient - I have to actually plot the initial trip - look at the long way - then plot smaller destination points to cut down time & mileage - usually cutting it by at least 30% - programming often works the same way - and is sometimes takes several "trips" to find the most efficient route to make sure the server isn't taxed to crashing point.

Maybe that will help a little in the understanding - I'm sure Justin will correct me if that's not a good analogy - but it is how I explain things to my customers in terms that are easier to comprehend.

Salzypat  (Level: 154.4 - Posts: 5295)
Thu, 22nd May '08 9:51 AM

Well said everyone. Leave it to Cheyenn to remind us to be patient and kind while this new site evolves.

The membership has probably doubled in the short time i've been a member, so there must be some things going right on this site. And Lodi, I agree with you, too, a part of that growth and stability in membership is because we rely on one another for support. I know you weren't necessarily meaning that as a good thing, wanting more support from the top. Some sites don't have that communication and support for one another, so we're lucky in that respect. But a weekly update or even a word of appreciation from Justin would be appreciated.

I only do very conservative wagers, like 5,000! but maybe while the testing is going on, those of you who do big wagers should do more conservative wagers until the bugs are worked out of the system. That way you're still helping work out any bugs with the system, but you are also preserving most of your points.

Eesusbejesus  (Level: 75.0 - Posts: 3645)
Thu, 22nd May '08 9:52 AM

Thanks Lorri - I think the most important thing you said was "at least that's how I explain things to my customers....."

Most of us want to be patient and loyal, but it sure would be easier if we were met at least half way with some updated information from time to time. Even when I'm on hold for 20 minutes, I am repeatedly told that my call is important to them........

Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Thu, 22nd May '08 10:08 AM

What Lodi said too.

Tresgatos  (Level: 201.7 - Posts: 4145)
Thu, 22nd May '08 10:48 AM

Yeah, the vote of confidence for Justin doesn't mean I'm not sympathetic to people's frustrations. I do agree that good communication between a provider of a service and customers is very important. For the most part, I think Sploofus does a fine job. At least I personally have never been disappointed when I've submitted a support ticket. OTOH, it seems we're also talking about general complaints voiced here. So, since Justin is probably up to his neck in programming bugs, perhaps an editor or two could be designated as liaisons between Justin and the community to provide reassurance and regular updates.

-- Geri

Smaug  (Level: 140.7 - Posts: 2772)
Thu, 22nd May '08 11:38 AM

I share Easy's frustrations.

I can only guess, but it may be that Sploofus is at a financial tipping point where it will require/merit some resources in addition to Justin, who, correct me if I'm wrong, has a full time gig as well.

Smaug  (Level: 140.7 - Posts: 2772)
Thu, 22nd May '08 11:41 AM

PS to Cheyenn -- platinum members pay 3x what you do, so maybe that adds to the frustration and expectations?

Davidf  (Level: 102.1 - Posts: 746)
Thu, 22nd May '08 11:43 AM

Is it 1969 again, find me a seat for the loving

Alvandy  (Level: 225.6 - Posts: 7525)
Thu, 22nd May '08 12:12 PM

Most have expressed patience and understanding-
if still frustrated?

just remember the words of the famous gap-toothed smiling philosopher
Alfred E. Neuman

Chyenn  (Level: 200.8 - Posts: 1332)
Thu, 22nd May '08 12:23 PM

ahhh Yes Smaug.. i understand the economics of it too.

but money was not the purpose of my post. Loyalty and patience and support for Justin was.


Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Thu, 22nd May '08 12:55 PM

Am I wrong in believing Justin has a job aside from Sploofus?

If he does, I'm guessing that's why the time lapses.

If he doesn't, I can only guess that one can only do as much as one can in the time allotted and keep out of divorce court and still convince your kids you remember their names.

And I don't know squat about programming either, except the little bit I had in college.......which I worked on ridiculous hours until I gave up and programmer hubby stepped in to teach me.

Even though I've played piano now 48 years, I still have trouble playing some songs. Bach Two-Part Invention #10 (nowhere in the league of the really difficult ones) - I played it 28 times in a row once just to see how many times I could play it perfectly. Two times. And I think I have the spirit.

Such programming as required for this site to run makes a Bach Invention look like an amoeba compared to a human. So....I wait. But I would like to try 2.0 before Alzheimer's sets in. (Mine - not Justin's)

Smaug  (Level: 140.7 - Posts: 2772)
Thu, 22nd May '08 2:55 PM

Just curious, but does anyone know how many platinum and how many gold members there are?

Smaug  (Level: 140.7 - Posts: 2772)
Thu, 22nd May '08 3:05 PM

Scanning the player directory and doing some cocktail napkin math, I'd guess there were @100 platinum members and less than a thousand gold members. And I would bet that out of the 43,000 number only maybe ten percent are over, say, level 2, and are active.

So in Justin's defense he isn't pocketing some enormous chunk of change.

I'd be interested to hear if these guesses are right.

Joee  (Level: 154.6 - Posts: 255)
Thu, 22nd May '08 3:07 PM

I'm still here (unlike the three friends I introduced to Sploofus who are long gone) and still being patient. I have to say though, especially for those who are not involved in the testing, that I have absolutely no information at all, no idea what's going on. We just pick up bits and pieces from discussions that the testers have on these posts. I actually find the lack of any sort of information or updates quite bizarre.

Being told to be patient makes us feel like we're being rapped over the knuckles like a naughty child. (in the old days of course) And don't speak until you're spoken to!

Diva305  (Level: 145.8 - Posts: 1641)
Thu, 22nd May '08 3:21 PM

It will ALWAYS be 1969
(In my mind)

ONE of the most memorable moments (days) of my life

Chill Peeps
Hooray for Justin
Thanks for all your hard work.
We'll wait for however long it takes.......

Maurlin  (Level: 211.1 - Posts: 2660)
Thu, 22nd May '08 3:42 PM

While reading the above posts, I've been recalling being told that new Sploofus, once promised by a definite date, was not yet ready, but we could sign up as testers for later. When we had to wait so very long we kept complaining about being able to get in to play and to test. We were told it would be a while longer because the editors were starting their beta testing. We (me included) ranted, raved, moaned and shouted about getting in.

Now that those of us who long ago signed up for beta are in, I can see the reason for our having to wait for so long. Since there are still kinks to work out, it appears to me that we should be part of the solution, making suggestions in Report A Bug where necessary, rather than complaining in Salty Dog and justifying Justin's reason for keeping the beta testers waiting as long as he did.

I certainly do not expect a response from Justin or the editors about a 2.0 problem that would take their time away from getting beta in perfect order or from editing our quizzes and handling the mundane daily work that must go on to keep old Sploofus users (me included) from complaining even louder.

My well more that 2 cents. If this post sounded pissy, maybe it's because David C rather than David A won.

Joee  (Level: 154.6 - Posts: 255)
Thu, 22nd May '08 3:44 PM

One fact that becomes obvious when reading the posts is that there are still plenty of bugs to be fixed, so yes, as you say ... we'll wait for however long it takes.

Alvandy  (Level: 225.6 - Posts: 7525)
Thu, 22nd May '08 5:58 PM

Smaug's cocktail napkins math seems plausible; so Sploofus can't be a "cash cow" from the paid membership perspective.
Advertising revenue is critical- a new 2.0 Sploofus is likely to attract more players [paying?] and additional corporate support.
I think the beta testers need to keep faith and make sure the Island stays afloat.

Sandracam  (Level: 149.3 - Posts: 4190)
Thu, 22nd May '08 6:11 PM

I'm plat cause I love wrs and hate ads. My mom and dad both quit playing for free cause they just liked TQOTD arriving in their mailboxes each day. They're not interested in any fixes they have to do themselves. I'm sure there a lot of folks who are missing out on all those banner ads, though I for one never read them.

Tsk9653  (Level: 113.2 - Posts: 1466)
Thu, 22nd May '08 7:00 PM

I think non-Beta testers may think they are missing out on more than they really are. I may be alone on this, but overall, I actually prefer 1.0 -- not because of technical issues, but because certain features of 1.0 do not exist in 2.0.

Maurlin  (Level: 211.1 - Posts: 2660)
Thu, 22nd May '08 10:01 PM

What Tsk9653 said applies to me too.

Tazmaniac72  (Level: 186.1 - Posts: 213)
Thu, 22nd May '08 10:26 PM

I've been a gold (and at times platinum) member for almost three years. Because of my limited time to be on the site, I found it only worth it to be gold status. I stayed with at least a gold status to be supportive of the site. I've come to know several here on the island, and Justin gives me the impression as someone who has a genuine love of the trivia bug, and created this site to share it with others. Many of us can't get to the local bar/restaurant for the weekly trivia night, and here it's a 24/7 way to feed your love of trivia. Sure 2.0 was a long time coming, and it's got some work to do, but I enjoy coming on and saying hello to those who hang out here, and play some games as well. For a little over $2 a month to be a gold member, you don't even have to pay for gas to get here!

Smokydevil  (Level: 163.0 - Posts: 5381)
Thu, 22nd May '08 10:32 PM

Strange about Smaug's post that we have so few gold members. It amounts to .08 cents a day for a gold membership. I don't even think if I saw .08 cents lying on the ground I'd pick it up!

Smoke20  (Level: 62.6 - Posts: 2815)
Thu, 22nd May '08 10:36 PM

But I bet you could dig a few days out of the sofa or the console of the car.

Rowlanda  (Level: 70.0 - Posts: 2856)
Thu, 22nd May '08 10:36 PM

Going back to Lorri's explanation re. fixing bugs on Beta expeditiously....

I don't know about programming either but was once closely involved in the
installation of a major system change at an international company - as a User.
It seemed to me then that "fixing" the existing problem is relatively easy.
However, many parts of the system are integrated, so a change in one little
thing in one programme can result in unintended changes in other, linked
programmes. The programmer has to remember which parts of the system are
linked and what the effect of any change might be on each of them.

The closest "real life" example I could give of what I just said, is....
if you think of SUDUKO" If you change one number in one of the boxes,
you may end up having to change EVERY box....
Got it....good. Took me way too long to type this up....

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Fri, 23rd May '08 6:59 AM

I'm truly only plat to support the site. I'm here almost every day - so it seemed only right to me to pay for my dinner and help Justin have a tiny bit more to invest into the business.

Kaelin  (Level: 49.2 - Posts: 1685)
Fri, 23rd May '08 8:16 AM

Most of the time when programming is in beta testing, the beta testers are programmers - not (for lack of a better term) "real world people" - that is one of the reasons that giving full information about what you were doing in the system at the time of the error is so important on bug reports - it helps the programmer hone in on the problem possibility - sometimes it can be as simple as a ',' or a ';' or a ')' or a '{" being left out or in the wrong place...which has happened to us in the past. because there are so many lines, it can be difficult to find and when you find it a "duh" moment occurs.

I know that the patience will pay off for everyone - I beta test Jeff's programming all of the time...we are in the middle of updating our content management program for our customers - which looks amazingly simple on their end - our end makes my eyes cross - and errors look much like what people called the gobbeldy gook that occured on those times where Sploofus was not connecting to the databases - those errors look like junk to the non-programmer - but actually tell the programmer where to look for the problem.

I don't explain these to my customers because they just tell me "can you ungeek that for me Lorri?" - I just tell them we are working on it and to keep letting us know if they have any more that's the best we can do

Rowlanda  (Level: 70.0 - Posts: 2856)
Sat, 24th May '08 12:08 AM

"I just tell them we are working on it and to let us know if they have issues"
Does anyone else seem to remember hearing those same words somewhere????

Mandy226  (Level: 77.2 - Posts: 128)
Sat, 24th May '08 9:13 AM


Maurlin, I stayed away from the Idol thread as obviously here in the UK we get after you.
It shows today and I would have been watching it later on tonight, but now I know the outcome!

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