Do competitors post on each others forums?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Ade 1, Apr 20, 2009.

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  1. Ade 1

    Ade 1 Registered Member

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    Hi there.

    Something that has been nagging at me for sometime is do (you think) competitors post on other competitors' forums?

    I mean, a lot of support forums (e.g. Acronis, Eset) usually contain posts of ppl who have problems with their products and/or just absolutely hate the product so much they have to post to "warn" all others posters/viewers/potential customers that if they install the software their computer will never boot again...period.

    Support forums can create an extremely negative image for a company particularly if filled with posts citing problems with the software and it is for this reason I am asking this question. If a competitor can create various accounts and post on a competitors' forum a load of problems/issues etc. with their product isn't this a way in which they can create bad publicity/reputation for their competitors? And then there's the readers reviews of products bought, for example, on Amazon. How many negative comments do you see on there? Are there competitors writing negative comments to rubbish their competitors' name?

    It maybe that the rest of the world lives in perfect harmony with each other and for me to even suggest what I am here maybe seen are outrageous and far fetched!

    But at the end of the day, business is business and I guess businesses will do whatever is necessary (within reason) to get ahead and take away customers from their competitors.

    Would be really good to hear what you guys think about this matter and whether you think I'm being paranoid or not.

    Cheers.
     
  2. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    Whether competitors on post on each others forums or not, users should make up there own mind on software.

    It all comes down to each users experience with the programs.
     
  3. Ade 1

    Ade 1 Registered Member

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    I do agree with you but surely some people are pursuaded by support forums and their posts as well as what people say in their reviews of software on such sites as Amazon for example. This was the whole point of my post in that the power of reviews etc. cannot be underestimated in making people decide to actually try the software or not.
     
  4. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    That is probably the true in some cases. However, they still don't know what they have until they try it, be it a car, an oven, or software.

    In other cases, people just don't care what someone thinks of any product. They will use what they want to use.
     
  5. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    How very true. Especially with software. IMO it is more about how the user likes the feel or flow of a program, not so much as if it is the best program.

    Of course, it is also common that a user sees many ads, stating 'super duper anti spymachine can do amazing things' and will install it because of advertising only. That is how they get duped more times than not.

    I think a good software can be told by it's following. Word of mouth, or as in the 'What is your security setup' thread in the Genarl Malware forum here. Seeing 5000+ posts, with a handful of applications such as SB or DW or OA showing up in a large portion, should make anyone looking understand that those softwares are doing something right and are worth looking into.

    I think novice users would be influenced more by this topic than advanced users. Advanced users tend to evaluate based off thier own findings rather than relying totally on others.

    Sul.
     
  6. Page42

    Page42 Registered Member

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    Yes.

    No, I don't think it involves paranoia. I'd say it's a matter of awareness and perception.

    I have a suspicion that there are as many or more "shill" or "ringer" posts emanating from some developers who, instead of posting negative comments on competitor's forums (as you've suggested), pose as "extremely satisfied customers" to post positive comments on their own forums.

    In my opinion, it's not that difficult to envision who might be doing this. They tend to be braggart types who, when posting as themselves, constantly try to pump up their skills and their experience and their product.

    It's in evidence here at Wilders, from what I have seen. And it is quite wearisome. ;)
     
  7. Page42

    Page42 Registered Member

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    Hi Sul. I would add that 5000+ posts on a given software might also indicate controversy and discouragement on behalf of membership... but you are 100% correct about the three examples you cited, no question about it.

    As for the OP's concerns, I say take look at the number of complaints or negative posts on a neutral forum like Wilders, then see if you can find a similar number of negative posts on the software's home forum. If you don't see the same number on the software's home forum, it could be a sign that the developer is deleting posts he doesn't like and feels may be bad for business.
     
  8. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    That's a pretty good capture of how I feel about it.

    I will read reviews and opinions here, on Amazon, and wherever Google leads me, but, hey, it's only the internet, right? I will use what I read as a starting point for my own evaluation, taking what I read with a grain of salt. What I read can impact/steer my focus of evaluation but it certainly won't make up my mind for me.

    As far as shills' & competitors' posts - I tend to discount extremes of opinion and experience reports more heavily than what I believe to be more moderate or balanced reports. It comes down to judgment developed through your own experiences/mistakes, like anything in life.

    I don't make up my mind until I've tried it. At that, it doesn't come down to all performance by someone else's standard or 1st ranking versus 5th ranking at some test lab either. It will come down to how it fits with my own mental set and the way I can "operate" the software in my and my family's own context and setup.

    EDIT: Sorry, I rambled. I guess as far as OP's question, my answer is: maybe competitors do it, maybe they don't - I don't dwell on the question as a regular part of my evaluations, BUT you'd better believe that if I saw what I "judged" was good evidence that a developer/vendor did that to mislead me, I certainly would weigh that negatively on whether I would stay with or choose their products.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  9. norky

    norky Registered Member

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    remember, these are support forums. people aren't usually going to post here if they don't have a problem with something.
     
  10. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    maybe we need happy users sub forum?
    when you buy the product online or boxed have a link to the happy users sub forum and the happy users post if it works well on there system?
    it would work to a certain extent.
     
  11. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    I have always thought the same. Doesn't SB have a subforum like that? Some large product does if my brain still works correctly.

    Sul.
     
  12. Page42

    Page42 Registered Member

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    That would create a fantastic venue for the software developer who from time to time poses as an "extremely satisfied customer" and posts positive comments in his own forum. In fact, now that you've mentioned it, don't be surprised if you soon see a happy users sub forum crop up someplace. :)
     
  13. Ade 1

    Ade 1 Registered Member

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    Thanks for all your comments and thoughts. I hadn't thought about the "positive" posts on their own forums by the way.

    I agree that it is down to the end user at the end of the day whether they're happy with the software they are using but feel the power of reviews etc. does have an influence on whether some users will buy/trial the product or not.

    When it comes to forums whether Wilders or the specific software vendor's forums I guess one thing is that when you see any negative/problem posts, if you compare those numbers to the actual number of people who have bought the product it is probably very small percentages who have problems. But when you do visit a forum and see so many problems/negative posts it must have some detrimental effect for that vendor and their sales.

    People tend to post mainly if they need help/have a problem rather than stating how happy they are with a product. An example of this personally was with the 2.4 patch that came out for Company of Heroes where it had a bug which corrupted save games. I started a thread on Relics forums to highlight this fact and it wasn't long before numerous people posted the same. Since the 2.5 patch was released this bug has been fixed and other than a post from me to say everything was ok again I won't be visiting/posting on that forum anymore unless another problem arises.

    Finally, I think the idea of a "happy user" forum is a very good one! :thumb:
     
  14. bonedriven

    bonedriven Registered Member

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    I've seen tons of ill posts by competitors in my country,especially on those hardware information websites.

    But they are either too dumb or too lazy to make a decent post. I skipped those posts only by a glance.:cautious:
     
  15. Page42

    Page42 Registered Member

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    Completely disagree. Many, many, many posts - and in fact entire threads - here on Wilders are best described as discussion oriented as opposed to problem oriented. The two get inevitably interlaced here and there, but suffice it to say that I read daily a ton of messages here that are NOT people posting because of a problem. :)
     
  16. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    In most any product specific forum, users with problems can be expected to have made most postings.

    Heck, except for a few forums in which I may be willing to help others, I'm sure not gonna spend time elsewhere to post positive responses to counter negative feedback.

    If one monitors particular forums, one can ordinarily detect those who know not what they speaketh, or just have a hate to express, or may be shills for other products.

    In lots of cases, folkes post without having adequate knowledge, or just express unfounded opinions.

    Situation is far worse in internet newsgroups, and in forums in which registration is not required.
     
  17. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    Good idea, except it would attract fanboys and folks who just sprung for a software they like, and want to sing it's praises in response to the fanboy comments. Not a really accurate assessment. :)
     
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