RE: Follow-up to question about getting feedback from users

Subject: RE: Follow-up to question about getting feedback from users
From: "Sharon Burton" <sharon -at- anthrobytes -dot- com>
To: "'Combs, Richard'" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>, "'Boudreaux, Madelyn \(GE Healthcare, consultant\)'" <MadelynBoudreaux -at- ge -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2009 10:33:21 -0700

There is no "phone home function". You install Feedback on your server
(optionally on a MadCap secure server). You generate reports about what your
users do on your server. MadCap the company doesn't track anything - the
product generates reports about what your users do on your server.

So, if you consider it intrusive that servers gather information about what
happens on the server, and think of that as similar to having people wander
your house, then I don't know what to tell you.

All web servers collect this server activity information. If you host your
docs on your server, this information is already being collected by your
server. Feedback aggregates and reports on what's already happening. You run
reports about your server and your users and see what's going on.

MadCap never sees this info. It's your info about your server and your
server activity. Why would MadCap care about what your users are doing on
your server?

sharon

Sharon Burton
MadCap Software Product Consultant
Managing your content, one topic at a time
www.anthrobytes.com
951-369-8590
IM: sharonvburton -at- yahoo -dot- com
Twitter: sharonburton


-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+sharon=anthrobytes -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+sharon=anthrobytes -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
Behalf Of Combs, Richard
Sent: Friday, September 25, 2009 9:55 AM
To: Boudreaux, Madelyn (GE Healthcare, consultant);
techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Follow-up to question about getting feedback from users

Boudreaux, Madelyn wrote:

> First of all, I imagine that any company tracking user information has
> embedded the approval for doing so in the user agreement you accepted
by
> clicking a button during install, or possibly by breaking a seal on
the
> packaging. <snip>

But the MadCap user agreement that the tech pubs people agree to isn't
the issue. I've never seen a help file that had me accept the HAT's user
agreement before accessing the help.

It's the XYZ Software user agreement that the end user agrees to, which
may or may not mention the "phone home" function in the help file (the
people responsible for that agreement may not even be aware of this
function -- it's not part of their application, and help files are just
taken for granted).

> I know, I know. You read EVERY word of every user license agreement,
and
> you understand them all, in detail. I'm talking about everyone else.

:-)

> More interesting to me is the psychology of this whole kerfuffle*. The
> reality is that Madcap's tracking may be along the lines of those
> traffic counters you see on streets -- the hose-based ones that track
> how many people use a stretch of street. These gather very generic
data
> -- how many people traveled over the stretch, but not what kind of
car,
> which way they were going, or what their spouse's middle name is.
> There's no warning that they're coming up; you just drive over them.

Ah, but issue isn't what happens out on the street. What if someone
_snuck into your house_ and placed invisible traffic counters that
monitored how often you went to the kitchen, the bathroom, opened the
broom closet ... ? That (by all indications, including statements from
the MadCap site) is the better analogy.

> Never mind what kind of information it is, how personal it is (or
> isn't), what will be done with it, how much its collection and use
will
> benefit the users -- people don't like having ANY information taken
from
> them without their agreement. It's all in how you present it, or
whether
> you ask.

Prezactly! Whether you ask. I'll share all kinds of information with
someone who has a good reason and asks nicely. :-)

Freedom of choice is a good thing. So is a Friday kerfuffle. ;-)


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
303-223-5111
------
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
303-777-0436
------






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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control! http://www.helpandmanual.com/

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References:
RE: Follow-up to question about getting feedback from users: From: Combs, Richard
RE: Follow-up to question about getting feedback from users: From: Sharon Burton
RE: Follow-up to question about getting feedback from users: From: Combs, Richard
RE: Follow-up to question about getting feedback from users: From: Boudreaux, Madelyn (GE Healthcare, consultant)
RE: Follow-up to question about getting feedback from users: From: Combs, Richard

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