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Products promoted on the forum...

 
Stu Thompson
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Hi all,

I have a question/comment about the JavaRanch.com promotions. While I thought it was a good thing for both the site, the users and the products�I now have a serious qualm about the practice�specifically the quality of the products and the impact it has on ranch users.

Recently, after seeing a ranch promotion of the Whizlabs SCJA Exam Simulator (early July?) on the SCJA forum, I bought the product. Two months later and�well�I am not a happy ranch hand. (scja forum post) My expectations of a forum linked software product were higher.

Books and software and such promoted through JavaRanch benefit from the forum�s brand authority. Therefore they should meet a certain level of quality�and maybe even undergo a more formal approval process.

Hmmm�that was all comment. Now for a question�.

Do I need to be concerned about the quality of other products advertised on JavaRanch? Or was this just a one-off thing?

Thanks,

Stu

PS: Other than that, I love and cherish the site and the forums�so please don�t hate me for my critique!
[ September 19, 2006: Message edited by: Stu Thompson ]
 
Gregg Bolinger
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Stu,

Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Books and software and such promoted through JavaRanch benefit from the forum�s brand authority. Therefore they should meet a certain level of quality�and maybe even undergo a more formal approval process.

That is good in theory. In reality, however, it's just not very feasible for a volunteer based operation to do. I'd also like to note that while there will be a lot of times the mass majority will like or dislike a product, opinions are still subjective. One person's trash is another person's treasure. We'd like to think that every bit of content hosted on JavaRanch is of superb quality and everyone likes it, but that's a pipe dream.

And lastly, JavaRanch doesn't brand products with our approval. We allow authors of books and software to use JavaRanch as a means to promote their product. JavaRanch mearly provides the audience and her facilities.

A good analogy might be, if you went to a music concert at an auditorium and you disliked the concert, would you blame the auditorium or would you blame the musician?
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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Originally posted by Gregg Bolinger:

A good analogy might be, if you went to a music concert at an auditorium and you disliked the concert, would you blame the auditorium or would you blame the musician?


Or even better: if you buy a product because you see a commercial during your favorite TV show, and you turn out not to like the product, do you blame the TV show?
 
Stu Thompson
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Hi,

That is good in theory. In reality, however, it's just not very feasible for a volunteer based operation to do.

Fair enough. Maybe solicit feedback and consider avoiding certain vendors? (Not that I think Whizlabs deserves such a fate at this point...I have no idea what their other products are like.) I don�t know�no perfect answers� The software really is that bad. �A float is�64 bits.�

Please remember that I am not �blaming� JavaRanch. I�ve not ask JavaRanch for my money back. I never said the product was branded JavaRanch�and have in fact been clear it was a Whizlab product. But the forum does play a role in the situation. That is why I posted.

To spin your analogies back at ya�

* Would a music lover not write a letter to a major venue with normally quality acts to complain about letting in the crappy little off tune band?
* Would a CNBC Squawk Box viewer not write in to complain about commercial for a Ponzi Scheme?

These things do happen. People do complain. Television networks and auditoriums do take notice. JavaRanch should too.

(Since my experience, I have been reading what other people have written about other products out of curiosity. One product was a complete scam�a $25 2-page PDF document. Flat out theft. If that particular �product� had been promoted by JavaRanch there surely would have been a deluge of complaints.)

I am disappointed with your seemingly dismissive attitudes, guys. I�ll not pester you all anymore on the subject in hopes that the pillars of the community talk about it amongst yourselves.

Regardless, thanks for listening.

Stu
 
paul wheaton
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Stu,

I own the site.

Your words have a great deal of weight with me.

The giveaway stuff was set up as an opportunity for publishers to get the word out about books and for folks to hob nob with the authors. Once in a while, products were tossed in too. We even did this with some exam vouchers a long time ago where some of the exam authors came online and visited with folks.

We'll spend some time re-evaluating the wizlabs stuff in our promotions.
 
Carol Murphy
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I am currently evaluating Whizlabs' SCJP 5.0 exam simulator. So far, it seems to me like a good product. Now granted, I was given the kit at no cost to myself, I have never taken the SCJP exam, so I have no experience with the actual thing to use as a comparison, and at this time I have no plans to take the real exam. However, it seems to perform as advertised. If the real thing is anything like the practice exams, I think it would be a worthwhile investment. Especially if one's study time is at a premium. Identifying the areas where your knowledge is iffy or weak makes it easier to figure out what to spend the most time on.
Perhaps not every product from Whizlabs is good, but word of mouth ( or hearing about something while hangin' out at the ranch ) seems like a fairly good indicator of the worthiness of a product.
Did the product you purchased come with any kind of money-back guarantee?
The one I'm evaluating states that it does. Perhaps if you contact Whizlabs and tell them of your disappointment with their product, they'll consider giving you a refund.
And on a final note, I think the integrity of the people who make JavaRanch what it is will keep any kind of payola crap from happening.
 
Stu Thompson
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Paul: Good to hear

I feel bad complaining and such because I very much value JR and apperciate effort that goes behind the scenes. Thanks for listening.

Carol: We are sorta going off topic here chatting about the tool...I'll write you a pm
[ September 25, 2006: Message edited by: Stu Thompson ]
 
Pradeep Chopra
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Dear Stu,

Firstly, I apologize on behalf of Whizlabs for your experience. Although, we've had a great success with our SCJA product over the last 7 months, I've passed on your feedback to the Author for immediate action.

I would appreciate if you can mention the question numbers in which you feel errors/bugs are present to me at p.chopra@whizlabs.com. Your feedback is highy valuable and I can promise you that we will take an appropriate action, including refunding your money.

Best wishes,
Pradeep
 
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