Exetel User Help Forum - Only For Exetel Users

Open discussion regarding technological or telecommunication issues
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Exetel User Help Forum - Only For Exetel Users

Post by ForumAdmin » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:42 pm

Exetel started this forum the day we put up our web site in early January 2004.

For a while I was the sole "Exetel person" providing answers to mainly prospective customer's questions.

However six years have past and times change.

Having thought about it for a very long time we have decided to restrict access to this forum to Exetel Users only.

Shortly, you will need to input your user name and password to gain access.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you - hopefully almost none.

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Gidget
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Re: Exetel User Help Forum - Only For Exetel Users

Post by Gidget » Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:41 pm

It will be a pain if the username/password times out at frequent intervals (necessitating a re-login), especially for people who spend a lot of time on the Forum, so I hope this will be considered during any reconfiguration.

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Dazzled
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Re: Exetel User Help Forum - Only For Exetel Users

Post by Dazzled » Sat Apr 24, 2010 3:49 pm

That's unfortunate. The site attracts little trolling. There is a lot of useful information here that anyone can find with Google and utilise, which builds a positive attitude to the company in the market place. You really need to differentiate the company from the Bigponds and Optuses in as many ways as possible, and a positive distinction is that Exetel has an open forum that isn't bound to a Microsoft desktop.

Some of the posters are people seeking information before they commit to Exetel. Many of these questions may be better addressed by other users than by the sales staff.

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Re: Exetel User Help Forum - Only For Exetel Users

Post by David R » Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:55 pm

John Linton's blog" did not accept my username and password and AFAIK I am an Exetel customer ?
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Re: Exetel User Help Forum - Only For Exetel Users

Post by Old Flame » Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:15 pm

David R wrote:John Linton's blog" did not accept my username and password and AFAIK I am an Exetel customer ?
Try just your service number alone and your members area password.

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Re: Exetel User Help Forum - Only For Exetel Users

Post by Old Flame » Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:18 pm

Gidget wrote:It will be a pain if the username/password times out at frequent intervals (necessitating a re-login), especially for people who spend a lot of time on the Forum, so I hope this will be considered during any reconfiguration.

Gidget

+1 That sorrta peeves me a bit about the members area now as well. 1 hour would be fine, one would think.

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Re: Exetel User Help Forum - Only For Exetel Users

Post by jubba » Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:59 pm

is there any reason for this. Because as dazzled pointed out. I don't see much trolling occuring. The forums seem to be working pretty well from my POV. Or maybe its just that the admins are pretty fast at getting rid of bad content :).

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Re: Exetel User Help Forum - Only For Exetel Users

Post by David R » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:12 pm

Old Flame wrote:
David R wrote:John Linton's blog" did not accept my username and password and AFAIK I am an Exetel customer ?
Try just your service number alone and your members area password.
Ty, yes, that works.
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Gidget
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Re: Exetel User Help Forum - Only For Exetel Users

Post by Gidget » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:12 pm

Agreed - trolling is fairly rare, and dealt with promptly by the admins if it does occur.

Spam (and other unsavory) registrations from overseas are a much bigger concern, but we have processes in place to stop them at the door so Forum users aren't even aware of the effort put into keeping the spammers out.

Gidget
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Munka
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Re: Exetel User Help Forum - Only For Exetel Users

Post by Munka » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:52 pm

I probably wouldn't have joined exetel had there not been access to this forum, a busker told me about exetel and google brought me here.
I find this a fairly positive and supportive place, a good recommendation in it's self.

Edit: just O/T, I can log into John's blog, but for some reason the CAPTCHA image doesn't display. Tried 3 different browsers same result.
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Re: Exetel User Help Forum - Only For Exetel Users

Post by ForumAdmin » Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:35 am

Gidget wrote:It will be a pain if the username/password times out at frequent intervals (necessitating a re-login), especially for people who spend a lot of time on the Forum, so I hope this will be considered during any reconfiguration.

Gidget
Can you send this problem to Andrew? I hadn't realised it was happening but it must be easy to fix.

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Re: Exetel User Help Forum - Only For Exetel Users

Post by ForumAdmin » Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:38 am

jubba wrote:is there any reason for this. Because as dazzled pointed out. I don't see much trolling occuring. The forums seem to be working pretty well from my POV. Or maybe its just that the admins are pretty fast at getting rid of bad content :).
The major reason is that so much of the 'useful' material here ends up being copied to, literally, dozens of other forum/help sites both in Australia and in other countries.

We get no trolling so that has no bearing on the decision.

Spamming does cause a lot of effort and time to keep it at the spam free look you and other users expect to see.

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Dazzled
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Re: Exetel User Help Forum - Only For Exetel Users

Post by Dazzled » Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:14 pm

The major reason is that so much of the 'useful' material here ends up being copied to, literally, dozens of other forum/help sites both in Australia and in other countries.
That is sufficient indication of its worth. It's a virtue, rather than something to prevent. I have never hesitated to link to other sites in my contributions. Exetel's computer systems are built on open source software.

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Re: Exetel User Help Forum - Only For Exetel Users

Post by cubic » Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:35 am

Your decision, of course, but if you're interested in user opinions I agree with Munka and Dazzled - this would be a bad move, because:
  • this forum gives potential new clients a much better impression of the Exetel experience than other sources would (eg. Whingepool).
  • sharing information freely is generally the rule on the web, and even if it's copied a lot without attribution it will also be linked-to, gaining you SEO benefit from the incoming links.
  • you've got a good community working here with answers coming from clients as well as staff / volunteer mods. Making it a private club could discourage some people from posting / helping.
The mods do a fine job dealing with any spam / trolling issues so as long as they're happy to continue as-is I'd suggest leaving well alone.
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Re: Exetel User Help Forum - Only For Exetel Users

Post by CoreyPlover » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:13 pm

cubic wrote:sharing information freely is generally the rule on the web, and even if it's copied a lot without attribution it will also be linked-to, gaining you SEO benefit from the incoming links.
This statement is not true. The information is often not linked to, but completely duplicated on a different page (I've seen this happen on a number of sites. They trawl random related forums and copy the posts across to make it look like their forums are popular in order to get advertising revenue. Besides which, lots of links from crappy sites actually penalises your search ranking.

I agree, that locking the forum makes it harder for new users to get information about Exetel, but I think well over 95%+ of posts are related to current user issues and concerns and Exetel gets the majority of its sales from general word of mouth and price competitiveness, so the implications will probably be very minor.

It does have material benefits too: no need to moderate user registrations, linking forum accounts to user accounts means that support staff will be able to link tickets and service numbers to users, no issues of users accidentally posting their service numbers to the forum, locations of all users could be consistently filled in (and potentially in more detail such as getting automatically populated with the name of their exchange) to help identify geographical or exchange issues.
I am a volunteer moderator and not an Exetel staff member. As with all forum posts, mine do not constitute any "official" Exetel position. Support tickets may be logged via https://helpdesk.exetel.com.au or residentialsupport@exetel.com.au

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