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Date:May 7th, 2004 08:16 pm (UTC)

Re: Yes, it is a bit laughable isn't it?

(Answer, part 2)

The past has proven that the editors are not reliable in this area as witnessed by the repeat out cry by your members for so long.

--I'm not sure this is quite right--we DO answer all the questions we get. One tip: please don't write to us from Hotmail accounts. Because Hotmail boxes tend to be full, and to use the SPEWS spam filter which deletes mail from a lot of domains, we may not be able to reply to Hotmail addresses. Same goes for a lot of the major freemail services, and we are not responsible for that.

With regards to your earlier comment about inactive editors, all inactive editors have been removed from the roster as of last month, so you should not be getting ignored by anyone. Chad and Mark are not editors, and probably can't answer rejection-related queries.

What reassurances will they receive that this will solve the problem?

--We will never be able to make absolutely everyone happy, unfortunately, but most of the feedback we've been getting about the improvements we HAVE made has been very good. The better the site in general becomes, the more resources we'll have, and the faster we'll be able to tackle new problems.

Obtaining feedback whether you like what that feedback represents or not and working to meet a consensus on the issues satisfactory to both sides is the true mark of professionalism.

--Epilogue agrees with this statement, and we're always glad to follow up on suggestions. However, our forums aren't there for that purpose--we ask respectfully that you take your concerns to us via e-mail. You may not see instant results, but you should see the length of the discussions we have based on your suggestions! We really do have some great plans in place...but, again, just the one programmer.

We do take stop-gap measures to resolve immediate concerns, but a major overhaul of the editorial process is going to take a complete restructuring of the backend. To give you an idea of what's involved, as best I can (sorry--I'm not a programmer), our current system is designed in such a way that reject messages and acceptance states are attached to images. Removing, altering, or otherwise tampering with that system is very difficult, because it would cause "objects" (your images) to become misplaced. I'm not sure what the exact result would be, but it would involve Epilogue crashing. Thus, in order to implement things like multiple-editor approvals, custom notes assigned to rejections, et cetera, the entire architecture of the site would need to be rewritten, and then all the current database would need to be converted. Because it is a custom database (man, I'm so out of my depth, here), I believe we would also need a custom conversion tool. So, while these things have been discussed, our current projects need to be dealt with before we can think of getting to these issues (which are, although they may seem old, comparatively new).

With regards to the Epilogue suggestion forum, I think the problem was a lack of manpower. I'm taking the time to answer this because I do believe it's important that you get an answer, but we simply don't have enough people to answer every single concern personally, especially if many of them are simply rephrasings of the same thing. If we were officially supporting a suggestions journal, we'd pretty much HAVE to reply to absolutely every thread, and at the moment, it would be very difficult.

The best I can do for now is to promise to keep checking in on your LJ occasionally (and you can e-mail me if there's an issue you particularly want looked at), and answer any e-mails you want to send me. I can also discuss anything with Chad and the other editors that you want me to, but I absolutely can't guarantee instantaneous results, unfortunately.
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Date:May 7th, 2004 09:45 pm (UTC)

Re: Yes, it is a bit laughable isn't it?

I'd like to thank you Socar for your time and patience in responding and giving the explanitions/answers for my questions. It does sound like Epi is attempting, if a bit slowly, to make changes. We will be anxiously waiting to see the outcomes of your planned interventions in the future.

I'd like to add that in all who I have talked to and read their comments regarding Epi staff, you of all editors seem the favorite of your membership due to your level headed and reasonable approach to problems. You do have a real knack with customer service and I for one applaud that. For this reason if I ever have need to contact the Epi staff in the future, you can be sure to hear from me.

It is also reassuring to know that someone like you will be keeping an eye on activities here in this forum. Have you ever given thought to becoming the public relations coordinator for Epi? I think you would make an excellent person for this job. We welcome your input and look forward to hearing from you again soon. Thank you.
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