01-02-14 04:17 AM
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  1. KermEd's Avatar
    If you value your personal info so little then might as well post your real name and address in your CB user profile....

    Posted via CB10
    I know your not quoting me but...

    My real name, address, phone number, resume its all online already. It's not about valuing your identity IMO. (it has no value).

    I just think it's funny we would give someone 3.99 for an app - that can be used to collect all kinds of personal data with no permissions required.

    But as a customer, providing a private email to contact you when you post a negative review to resolve it is considered overboard.

    I'm not disagreeing with your opinion. Just think it's an odd twisted view that we all seem to have these days. Especially when you consider an email address is free and has spam blocking.

    Mind you I'm not a secretive person. I think my email addy is even sitting on 100 odd websites over the years too.

    Posted via CB10
    05-09-13 11:06 PM
  2. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    I
    I'm not disagreeing with your opinion. Just think it's an odd twisted view that we all seem to have these days. Especially when you consider an email address is free and has spam blocking.

    Mind you I'm not a secretive person. I think my email addy is even sitting on 100 odd websites over the years too.

    Posted via CB10
    One developer was suggesting that BBRY should give us customers' home addresses and phone numbers in addition to an email address. My take on it is that we shouldn't go out our way to antagonize potential customers. It's true that my real identity is easy to discover with a few mouse clicks but my decision to participate in a public forum is based on my own willingness to balance risk versus potential benefit. It's different with respect to a virtual store though. I want people to buy my app without having to worry that BBRY is "secretly" sharing their private information with the me. It's noise that I would prefer to live without. .
    05-10-13 06:25 AM
  3. KermEd's Avatar
    Holy yeah. I would totally be uncomfortable with that. Good point buzz!!

    Posted via CB10
    05-10-13 06:37 AM
  4. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    Holy yeah. I would totally be uncomfortable with that. Good point buzz!!

    Posted via CB10
    I don't even thinks we should be having email discussions with our customers at all. There have been many requests for support that wound up in my spam folder. In order to get support, a customer has to reveal her email address. Whether or not it's justified, some people are uncomfortable starting a conversation with me. It's just not an efficient communications method for complete strangers.

    I think it would be far better if BBRY stepped outside the box and set up an anonymous mechanism so that a "support ticket" is created for each incident. I see no reason to make a distinction between writing a review and asking for help with a specific problem. Customers often ask for support via a review or send me an email praising (or complaining about) my work. Many negative reviews ask for features that are impossible to implement or have already been included in the app. Many positive reviews praise me for things that are not praiseworthy or are really hard to understand. It's a real crap-shoot and it's just not working

    It would be nice to be able to discuss these things without having to exchange personal information. Coupled with an ability for customers to edit reviews based on rational discussions, this approach would reduce frustration for everyone concerned.
    05-10-13 07:13 AM
  5. shimh's Avatar
    That's why all negative comments on those garage TV apps from one dev disappeared. They were all telling the very fact of those apps: it is merely a collection of bookmarks of TV program websites.

    Posted via CB10
    05-10-13 08:24 AM
  6. Omnitech's Avatar
    I don't care if this is an "old issue", it's still a problem.

    I also don't care if "other places suffer from the same problem" - I care about THIS place.

    Yeah, lots of online reviews are rigged. Yelp's now-exposed policy of giving vendors who pay them money special privileges to make reviews they don't like invisible is just one high-profile example.

    And while I sympathize with devs over the problem of "junk" reviews, I also think those arguing the dev's point of view reveal their own bias when they criticize the junk negative reviews as ruining the credibility of the marketplace, but don't say a peep about the junk POSITIVE reviews. I'm guessing there's no shortage of shill reviews by a dev's buddies or family-members as well.

    And while I sympathize to some extent with devs over matters outside their control, I also think that to a great extent when you adopt a platform you hitch your fortunes to it, and if the platform has a problem that reflects badly on you, you need to take it up with the platform-owner, not demonize the customers who can't get something working through no fault of their own.

    If the reason a user has a bad experience is because of a bug in the OS or a flaw in BBW, that doesn't magically negate their bad experience or magically make the money they spent worthwhile, nor does it magically take away the risk that many more unwitting users may follow in their footsteps and waste time/money on an app that doesn't work or worse, does something destructive. And all of those avoidable subsequent bad experiences WILL ultimately affect devs ability to make money down the road, as well as the platform's credibility and reputation going forward.

    Any modification or manipulation of reviews needs to be transparent. If there's nothing to hide, then don't hide it. Make "hidden" reviews visible to those who wish to see them, make stats available when reviews are hidden or removed ("109 reviews, 7 hidden, 3 removed") etc.
    05-10-13 09:53 AM
  7. goster48's Avatar
    I don't care if this is an "old issue", it's still a problem.

    I also don't care if "other places suffer from the same problem" - I care about THIS place.

    Yeah, lots of online reviews are rigged. Yelp's now-exposed policy of giving vendors who pay them money special privileges to make reviews they don't like invisible is just one high-profile example.

    And while I sympathize with devs over the problem of "junk" reviews, I also think those arguing the dev's point of view reveal their own bias when they criticize the junk negative reviews as ruining the credibility of the marketplace, but don't say a peep about the junk POSITIVE reviews. I'm guessing there's no shortage of shill reviews by a dev's buddies or family-members as well.

    And while I sympathize to some extent with devs over matters outside their control, I also think that to a great extent when you adopt a platform you hitch your fortunes to it, and if the platform has a problem that reflects badly on you, you need to take it up with the platform-owner, not demonize the customers who can't get something working through no fault of their own.

    If the reason a user has a bad experience is because of a bug in the OS or a flaw in BBW, that doesn't magically negate their bad experience or magically make the money they spent worthwhile, nor does it magically take away the risk that many more unwitting users may follow in their footsteps and waste time/money on an app that doesn't work or worse, does something destructive. And all of those avoidable subsequent bad experiences WILL ultimately affect devs ability to make money down the road, as well as the platform's credibility and reputation going forward.

    Any modification or manipulation of reviews needs to be transparent. If there's nothing to hide, then don't hide it. Make "hidden" reviews visible to those who wish to see them, make stats available when reviews are hidden or removed ("109 reviews, 7 hidden, 3 removed") etc.
    What an incredibly thoughtful commentary! Enough said..........................
    05-10-13 10:10 AM
  8. madx80h's Avatar

    And while I sympathize with devs over the problem of "junk" reviews, I also think those arguing the dev's point of view reveal their own bias when they criticize the junk negative reviews as ruining the credibility of the marketplace, but don't say a peep about the junk POSITIVE reviews. I'm guessing there's no shortage of shill reviews by a dev's buddies or family-members as well.
    Or the dev themselves?




    Rim lets developers pull reviews they do not like!  This has to stop!-air_20130510_00001.jpg

    Posted via CB10
    05-10-13 10:16 AM
  9. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    What an incredibly thoughtful commentary! Enough said..........................
    The only thing I would add is the developers who are participating in this thread are probably abusing the system. I am a good citizen so I know that the reviews for my app accurately reflect my customers' opinions. I don't need to seed my reviews with false positives or delete honest negatives but on rare occasions I do ask for problematic reviews to be hidden. I work very hard to gain your trust and it disgusts me that some devs decide to take shortcuts. The reputable vendors honestly want something done about this serious problem. Everybody suffers when cheaters game the system and we don't like it any more than you do..

    The real problem is that BBRY has let this situation get totally out of hand. We pay BBRY 30% of our income to police the store and maintain a level playing field. They are failing us and making you angry in the process. If they actually vetted requests from developers who ask for reviews to be hidden, valid negative reviews would stand and we wouldn't be having this discussion.
    05-10-13 11:08 AM
  10. Omnitech's Avatar
    I actually considered going to Blackberry and offering to take over managing their app store. Because not only does it suffer many of the same problems that all the mobile app stores suffer from, but they have this issue with garbage apps that sooner or later is going to bite them in the *ss if they don't get a handle on it before they end up the target of some lawsuits. (In particular due to all the un-sanctioned ports that seem to show up there, or so-called apps that amount to a web or RSS link to some online content that uses the content-owner's name or logo without their permission)

    In addition to the review thing and the garbage apps thing, my top gripe - and most of the competition suffers from the same problem so I have to assume that somewhere along the line, "marketing" thinks its a "good" idea - is the inability to find things I am looking for. When you have 100,000+ apps, you need more than 30 frigging categories. It's ridiculous.

    I can only assume that either one or both of the following is to blame:

    1. Marketing thinks it's "cool" because it makes it seem like the store has "limitless choices"
    2. There just is not enough manpower assigned to actually do the groundwork necessary to clean things up



    Sorry for the off-topic rant but I get infuriated almost every single time I try to find something in BBW that I do not already know the specific name of.
    05-10-13 06:13 PM
  11. papped's Avatar
    The only thing I would add is the developers who are participating in this thread are probably abusing the system.
    There's barely and devs in this thread at all...

    Here's the basic point. If this thread is going to do nothing more than the last 50+ threads exactly like this have in the last several years, you might as well stop.

    So either pony up something to actually "do" or it's just another useless tirade to be buried and resurrected again later.

    Posted via CB10
    05-10-13 06:22 PM
  12. UberschallSamsara's Avatar
    And while I sympathize with devs over the problem of "junk" reviews, I also think those arguing the dev's point of view reveal their own bias when they criticize the junk negative reviews as ruining the credibility of the marketplace, but don't say a peep about the junk POSITIVE reviews. I'm guessing there's no shortage of shill reviews by a dev's buddies or family-members as well.
    Totally valid point, but there is a subtle and important difference. An otherwise useful app polluted with junk negative reviews will tend to sink in the rankings so that users don't even see it in search results (something that benefits no one). An app polluted with junk positive reviews will show up in search results, but at that point the prospective buyers are then reading the reviews and can decide for themselves whether they sound like shilling. And the devs who are shilling their own app are often quite obvious. That's really the key point of this whole discussion - junk negative reviews can make apps that otherwise meet users' needs invisible, because nobody is looking for low rated apps. And yes, you are guessing, and yes why would a user or a dev not have a bias?

    The absolutist/extremist the title of this thread is a sledgehammer approach that creates problems of its own. In any situation where two groups have interests that are not completely aligned, there will be bad apples in each group, and extremist "solutions" amount to collective punishment of the non bad apples in one group. You can't just say that "collective punishment is not ok for me, but it's ok for you".

    And while I sympathize to some extent with devs over matters outside their control, I also think that to a great extent when you adopt a platform you hitch your fortunes to it, and if the platform has a problem that reflects badly on you, you need to take it up with the platform-owner, not demonize the customers who can't get something working through no fault of their own.
    Maybe some app users in this thread didn't catch this when it was (quite clearly) mentioned, but the OS bug that is causing fail on launch for some apps is RANDOM. That means that there is NOTHING that devs can do in their code to mitigate it. If a given user installs/uninstalls/reinstalls a large number of apps a large number of times, they will probably see the randomness. And why would you think that devs haven't taken it up with the platform owner? We've been screaming bloody murder about it for some time now. Back to the collective punishment thing - it's no more ok for users to demonize devs than it is for devs to demonize users over something that is a third party's fault.

    If the reason a user has a bad experience is because of a bug in the OS or a flaw in BBW, that doesn't magically negate their bad experience or magically make the money they spent worthwhile, nor does it magically take away the risk that many more unwitting users may follow in their footsteps and waste time/money on an app that doesn't work or worse, does something destructive. And all of those avoidable subsequent bad experiences WILL ultimately affect devs ability to make money down the road, as well as the platform's credibility and reputation going forward.
    Again: the OS bug is random - that means that warnings to other prospective users don't belong with the app. It's like insisting on warning other players at a casino that you lost one roll at a particular craps table. Other comments in this thread say that "reviews are not there to sell the app". That's true - the reviews are not there for the dev to manipulate in order to sell the app. But, reviews are actually what do sell the app - another subtle but important difference. And again, low ranked apps are invisible. Some of them deserve to be invisible. Some of them don't.

    Any modification or manipulation of reviews needs to be transparent. If there's nothing to hide, then don't hide it. Make "hidden" reviews visible to those who wish to see them, make stats available when reviews are hidden or removed ("109 reviews, 7 hidden, 3 removed") etc.
    This is an excellent idea. If devs can negate the unwarranted search ranking damage from junk reviews, but users can see the hidden/removed reviews and judge for themselves, that will expose the dirty devs who are suppressing geniunely substantive negative feedback, *without* the non-"solution" of making the apps that have been vandalized by the 1-star "sux" poo-flingers invisible.

    Overall, a much more constructive response than the wildly irrational comments about "meal tickets" and "dictatorships". I realize there are dirty devs in the marketplace - I'm not one of them, baseless cheap shots notwithstanding. My perspective is that a transparent truthful market grows the pie and is good for everyone - I'm a free market guy like I said. BTW all my apps are free at the moment, but between piracy, patent trolls, dirty devs who steal app assets/code/etc, and some of the user attitudes I see in this thread, I have to wonder if it's worth it to even bother with paid apps creating robust full featured apps worth charging for.

    And lastly, for anyone sensing they're about to blow a gasket, laughter is the best medicine:

    Last edited by UberschallSamsara; 05-10-13 at 08:26 PM.
    Zedi Master likes this.
    05-10-13 06:46 PM
  13. MasterOfBinary's Avatar
    Overall, a much more constructive response than the wildly irrational comments about "meal tickets" and "dictatorships". I realize there are dirty devs in the marketplace - I'm not one of them, baseless cheap shots notwithstanding. My perspective is that a transparent truthful market grows the pie and is good for everyone - I'm a free market guy like I said. BTW all my apps are free at the moment, but between piracy, patent trolls, dirty devs who steal app assets/code/etc, and some of the user attitudes I see in this thread, I have to wonder if it's worth it to even bother with paid apps.
    You aren't the only one.
    05-10-13 07:26 PM
  14. papped's Avatar
    BTW all my apps are free at the moment, but between piracy, patent trolls, dirty devs who steal app assets/code/etc, and some of the user attitudes I see in this thread, I have to wonder if it's worth it to even bother with paid apps.
    Yeah, it's not. I wouldn't even bother...
    05-10-13 07:45 PM
  15. Omnitech's Avatar
    Totally valid point, but there is a subtle and important difference. An otherwise useful app polluted with junk negative reviews will tend to sink in the rankings so that users don't even see it in search results (something that benefits no one). An app polluted with junk positive reviews will show up in search results, but at that point the prospective buyers are then reading the reviews and can decide for themselves whether they sound like shilling.

    It is not my understanding that BBW sorts apps by rating by default, I believe you have to explicitly choose to do this when viewing categories. And as far as I can tell, at least on the device, there is NO way to sort by rating when doing a text-string search.

    In addition, I think it's far easier to spot a fake negative review than a fake positive review. Consider the following 2 examples:

    A) "App is garbage!"
    B) "App is wonderful, how did I do without this for so long?!?"


    If a developer is looking for reviews to challenge, does anyone truly think that example B is as likely to be challenged as example A? I think there are 2 reasons for that: developers are not surprisingly more averse to negative reviews, and we expect more from a simplistic negative review than we expect from a simplistic positive review for certain reasons.



    And the devs who are shilling their own app are often quite obvious.

    Perhaps only if they are also so stupid as to use basically the same username to submit a review of the app as the name they use as app developer, as per the example madx80h posted.


    Maybe some app users in this thread didn't catch this when it was (quite clearly) mentioned, but the OS bug that is causing fail on launch for some apps is RANDOM. That means that there is NOTHING that devs can do in their code to mitigate it. If a given user installs/uninstalls/reinstalls a large number of apps a large number of times, they will probably see the randomness. And why would you think that devs haven't taken it up with the platform owner? We've been screaming bloody murder about it for some time now. Back to the collective punishment thing - it's no more ok for users to demonize devs than it is for devs to demonize users over something that is a third party's fault.

    You're not going to like my answer, but I don't think it makes any difference.

    Let's say I chose to become a dealer of Audi cars. Let's say Audi suffered from a particularly bad flaw in some of their vehicles, and instead of quickly issuing a recall to fix it, denied the problem at first, hemmed and hawed, and perhaps eventually relented but only after lots of pressure from some regulatory bodies, etc. Then I see a bunch of people giving my dealership negative ratings on Yelp, many of which complaining about how their car had this flaw, but we were not willing to fix it under warranty. (Because we had not been given authorization by Audi to do so at that point.) Would it have been "unfair" for people to have such sentiments directed toward us? I would say NO - this is the responsibility and liability we take on when we choose to associate ourselves with a "business partner" which has as much influence over our customer's perception of our business as those actions which we have direct control over.

    In such a case, I am basically the local representative of that business partner, and the most logical target if things go wrong. If I do not want to suffer from such negative perceptions, it is MY responsibility to choose my business partners carefully. And in cases where I may have influence over my business partner's policies which ultimately impact my business's reputation, I need to put pressure on them to address problems to avoid situations where they could end up ruining my business's reputation.

    Users have a legitimate right to not be lured into spending time/money on products which are unsatisfactory, and should be given the opportunity to share their experiences with others to help them avoid the same fate whenever possible. When a mechanism is provided which is really the only practical method of providing others with information to plan their own buying choices, it shouldn't come as a surprise that customers will use that mechanism to rate the ENTIRE product, not just certain parts of the product that certain entities are responsible for.

    In places in the world where it is common to leave a gratuity for a food server, the size of that gratuity will typically reflect not just the quality of service provided directly by the server themselves, but also the quality of the food itself and experience overall, since that is the only obvious and common mechanism with which to show the customer's appreciation (or lack thereof) for the TOTAL experience. Some might call that unfair - whereas I would say to servers "Don't work for businesses who have a poor quality product, if you expect to be tipped well."
    Pain likes this.
    05-10-13 11:49 PM
  16. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    You're not going to like my answer, but I don't think it makes any difference.

    Let's say I chose to become a dealer of Audi cars. Let's say Audi suffered from a particularly bad flaw in some of their vehicles, etc, etc, etc
    On the contrary I like your answer. I get that consumers do not differentiate between the quality of my work and the quality of the platform that delivers my app's functionality to your screen. If my app doesn't work then I quite expect that you will be angry with me. I am not trying to wiggle out of my responsibilities when I write a post explaining the developers' perspective. I can summarize my point of view regarding the original post as follows:

    1. OP has a completely valid point but may have chosen a bad example to illustrate it. In my view the developer should probably not be characterized as a rogue. OP attempted to punish all developers as a group and I do not think that this attitude is conducive to rational discourse. OP's example, again in my view, is a symptom of a completely different and far greater BBW flaw. Using the "Audio dealership" analogy, random automobiles are being damaged in transit and are then being forced on the unwary consumer as "received in good repair". Unlike in the Audi model, delivery is automatic: the dealer of record (the developer) is not even involved in the delivery and cannot inspect the product to ensure that it is fit for delivery. The only way to avoid delivering dented product is to fix the distribution system and do it fast. The sad fact is that BBRY has taken not weeks but months to fix the BBW installation process. Evidence of the ordeal that developers have experienced in getting closure to this serious problem is here:
    Re: BB10: app not starting, damaged app installati... - Page 17 - BlackBerry Support Community Forums

    2. OP is highlighting a symptom of a much larger problem affecting consumer satisfaction, to wit, BBW is poorly implemented and does not support the "Audi dealership" model or any other rational business model. BBW actually encourages and abets those miscreants who wish to game the system. Simply banning removal of reviews (under any and all circumstances) would not solve the underlying problems and would, in fact, be unfair to developers who play by the "Audi dealership" model of doing business. If someone posts false information in the window of an Audi dealership, it would be taken down in short order. Why doesn't an app developer have the same right (under controlled conditions) in the virtual store window.
    Last edited by BuzzStarField; 05-11-13 at 09:22 AM. Reason: Added link to BBRY support forum thread
    05-11-13 08:07 AM
  17. Omnitech's Avatar
    On the contrary I like your answer.

    OK, but I was commenting on someone else's post.


    I get that consumers do not differentiate between the quality of my work and the quality of the platform that delivers my app's functionality to your screen. [...]

    If someone posts false information in the window of an Audi dealership, it would be taken down in short order. Why doesn't an app developer have the same right (under controlled conditions) in the virtual store window.

    Because those are among the unique attributes of this sort of business partnership, just like there are unique attributes of any business partnership.

    For example, a McDonalds franchise. The franchisee is technically an independent business, but many aspects of the business (including the design/construction of the restaurant, the source of the food, the way the food is supposed to be prepared, the way the restaurant is marketed and advertised etc) are controlled by the franchisor. In such a case, for all practical purposes, that franchisee-owned business IS "McDonalds" in every sense of the word, to a customer.
    05-11-13 10:11 AM
  18. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    For example, a McDonalds franchise. The franchisee is technically an independent business, but many aspects of the business (including the design/construction of the restaurant, the source of the food, the way the food is supposed to be prepared, the way the restaurant is marketed and advertised etc) are controlled by the franchisor. In such a case, for all practical purposes, that franchisee-owned business IS "McDonalds" in every sense of the word, to a customer.
    I think this is the problem with the BBW store - it's poorly designed and badkly constructed. The franchiser (BBRY) allows franchisees (developers) to put up a virtual kiosk in order to sell their products (apps). The franchisees also have access to a virtual help desk which comprises two ways to get feedback from their clients. One of these tools is a support email address which the majority of clients avoid like the plague because it is inconvenient. The other feedback mechanism is a virtual public bulletin board where customers can post reviews.

    Clients love to use this tool because is very convenient and and gives them the sense that they are killing two birds with one stone. The can provide a public service and offer other potential clients free advice about the quality of the franchisee's work. In addition, the reviewer is also gratified that he/she has given the franchisee value information that can be used to improve the product.

    You would think that this is a good thing but unfortunately, BBRY did not design the most-used feedback mechanism (the review process) as a two-way medium. This means that if a client makes outrageous claims or makes or writes erroneous complaints or requests help with using an app, the franchisee has no way to follow up. The franchisee finds himself in an untenable situation: He does not want the problematic review to deter future customers, so he is sorely tempted to click the "deny" button that BBRY so thoughtfully built into the virtual store. On the other hand, a wise developer knows that it is not generally smart to pi$$ off customers, so most of them resist the temptation unless the review is particularly egregious.

    You know the rest. Since the "deny" button exists without controls and BBRY did not bother building a proper vetting process to monitor abuse, some franchisees decide to make use of it whenever they see a review that they don't like. To compound the problem, these miscreant franchisees can salt the virtual bulletin with favourable reviews in the hope that they can increase sales. Lack of policing has led to a bit of a wild-west situation.

    The OP thinks that removing the "deny" button will fix everything. I humbly disagree. Making the review process a two-way channel and monitoring it for abuse are required to set things right. In other words if BBRY wants developers to support their customers (and also behave themselves) the franchiser has to finish constructing the virtual store. As noted previously, we are trying our best to see the job completed:

    Re: BB10: app not starting, damaged app installati... - Page 17 - BlackBerry Support Community Forums
    05-11-13 04:10 PM
  19. Joel Hill's Avatar
    The thing is, consumers are terrible at writing reviews and have the potential to seriously damage the success of an app. I'm totally ok with developers having the freedom to appeal and remove inaccurate or malicious reviews.

    Posted via CB10
    UberschallSamsara likes this.
    05-11-13 08:35 PM
  20. MasterOfBinary's Avatar
    Clients love to use this tool because is very convenient and and gives them the sense that they are killing two birds with one stone. The can provide a public service and offer other potential clients free advice about the quality of the franchisee's work. In addition, the reviewer is also gratified that he/she has given the franchisee value information that can be used to improve the product.
    I'd like to add one more thing: the user thinks he/she is more or less anonymous (about as anonymous as a public forum, but whatever). So they don't care what they say because nobody's going to call them out.
    UberschallSamsara likes this.
    05-11-13 11:09 PM
  21. UberschallSamsara's Avatar
    It is not my understanding that BBW sorts apps by rating by default, I believe you have to explicitly choose to do this when viewing categories. And as far as I can tell, at least on the device, there is NO way to sort by rating when doing a text-string search.
    This is a distinction without a difference. Regardless of what order the apps show up on my phone from a string search, I'm going to look at the 5 star ones before I look at the 3 star ones. Whether the 3 star ones are 3 stars because they deserve to be or because of vandalism makes no difference to my purchase decision, because like anyone, I have a finite amount of time to look. I'm not gonna read every single review on every single app, just to be a hero and make sure I buy from someone whose app has gotten an undeserved bad rap from people who can't write anything intelligent. Not gonna happen.


    In addition, I think it's far easier to spot a fake negative review than a fake positive review. Consider the following 2 examples:

    A) "App is garbage!"
    B) "App is wonderful, how did I do without this for so long?!?"


    If a developer is looking for reviews to challenge, does anyone truly think that example B is as likely to be challenged as example A? I think there are 2 reasons for that: developers are not surprisingly more averse to negative reviews, and we expect more from a simplistic negative review than we expect from a simplistic positive review for certain reasons.
    Three star vandalized apps are invisible. You're going to look at the five star apps, some of which will by hyped by dirty devs. And once your eyeballs are on those reviews, it will be painfully obvious whether anyone who says the app is "awesome" is substantiating that with any relevant, verifiable points, or just spewing superlatives.

    I'm puzzled as to why you are still defending the OP's extremist views - you proposed a pretty good idea for better, fairer transparency. Done right, if the star rating system purges junk star ratings from reviews flagged by the dev for vandalism, but BB World lets users drill down into stats and hidden reviews for apps w/suspicious looking stats, your valid concerns are covered, as best I can tell.

    You're not going to like my answer, but I don't think it makes any difference.
    Liking your answer is irrelevant; it's just that I don't buy your logic.

    Let's say I chose to become a dealer of Audi cars.
    Ok, just a quick aside here. I don't buy your analogy on its own merits, for reasons I'll explain below.

    But, wow. Just, wow. We're talking about paying coffee money to run an app on a phone. The strained analogies to food safety and auto safety are beyond comical - I feel like I'm watching a bad episode of Consumer Martyrdom Theater. I've been abundantly clear that I don't support dirty devs hiding relevant derogs on their work. But as just a matter of perspective, none of the many phones I've owned, and none of the apps I've run on them, have ever made me puke, or broken my bones, spilled my blood, or even made me feel like crying. And I and everyone I know has at least $100 worth of clothes in their wardrobe that they've never worn and never will wear, and has thrown out at least $20 of spoiled produce in the last year. And I never wake up in a cold sweat thinking about "that damn shirt" hanging in my closet, taunting me to wear it so I can get my money's worth. You write really well, and I have to give you five stars on propaganda skills, because it's just classic to take a widely accepted and non controversial proposition (markets should be fair, and consumers deserve to be warned of defective products) and conflate it with costs and risks way out of proportion with the activity in question. For anyone reading this and scratching their heads, just watch the Louis C.K. clip I posted earlier in this thread. Once you've laughed at yourself, even if it was just a snicker you sneaked in when nobody could hear you, you'll be right as rain.

    And in case anyone has already forgetten what I just wrote 5 or 6 sentences ago about not supporting dirty devs: the relatively low risk of running an app on your phone doesn't make it ok for you to get duped - I'm just saying that a bad app experience isn't something I'd blow a gasket over. But that's just me. (But on a much more serious note - malware and trojans are a completely different story. That's torch and pitchfork material in my book.)

    Let's say Audi suffered from a particularly bad flaw in some of their vehicles, and instead of quickly issuing a recall to fix it, denied the problem at first, hemmed and hawed,
    etc. So if I read this as you intended, it, Audi=RIM here, and they build the product, and somebody else distributes it?
    If so, that's already backwards or at least mixed up, or not even the same situation. There are at least two products here - a platform (RIM's part - the phone and OS), and an app, and RIM distributes both of them.


    and perhaps eventually relented but only after lots of pressure from some regulatory bodies, etc. Then I see a bunch of people giving my dealership negative ratings on Yelp, many of which complaining about how their car had this flaw, but we were not willing to fix it under warranty.
    And so hopefully I'm following this correctly that the devs are the product distributors, peddling someone else's flawed product that they don't have control over, but are hoping to sell anyway and cross their fingers that nobody dies? Since the auto dealer in your story deserves the heat, I'm assuming you're equating them to BB10 devs, but already that makes no sense. The devs' products are being distributed by RIM, through RIM's platform.

    (Because we had not been given authorization by Audi to do so at that point.) Would it have been "unfair" for people to have such sentiments directed toward us? I would say NO - this is the responsibility and liability we take on when we choose to associate ourselves with a "business partner" which has as much influence over our customer's perception of our business as those actions which we have direct control over.
    So, this analogy is already hopelessly muddled. Let me just cut to the chase with a different analogy, and comments about business partners.

    How about this: RIM is your local department store, and devs are makers of products that are sold there. The department store and the product makers are business partners. The department store shelves have some sharp edges, and when consumers buy the products, some of them are damaged at random, and when the consumer gets them home, they don't work, and their top concern is rightfully not whose fault it is, but the fact that they spent money on a broken product. They post negative reviews about random products, and sales of those products are harmed, perhaps to the point where the product developer has to shut down. (Probably those that know they can get a refund will do so.) The department store has many competing business priorities - financing, labor, advertising, etc. They can't just drop everything and fix the sharp edges on the store shelves immediately, but it does go on their task list. The product makers scream bloody murder, but that's about all they can do since they have no decision making authority in the department store's org chart. What should the product developers do at this point? Disassociate completely with the department store and leave the customers w/no product to buy (and in the case of mobile apps, redesign the products perhaps from scratch in order to sell them elsewhere)? Suppose further that the department store's fix for the sharp edged shelves has to be approved by a national over arching regulatory body (the carriers) that basically answers to no one (i.e. the regulatory capture enjoyed by the wireless telcos). What should the product developers do about this obstructionism? The regulatory body is the product developers' indirect business partner but there is nobody else to switch to. It's like the consumers expecting the product developers to storm Fort Knox with pea shooters and prevail on their behalf.


    In such a case, I am basically the local representative of that business partner, and the most logical target if things go wrong. If I do not want to suffer from such negative perceptions, it is MY responsibility to choose my business partners carefully. And in cases where I may have influence over my business partner's policies which ultimately impact my business's reputation, I need to put pressure on them to address problems to avoid situations where they could end up ruining my business's reputation.
    So who should BB devs choose as business partners? Apple? Google? Microsoft? Where does that leave BB users?

    Users have a legitimate right to not be lured into spending time/money on products which are unsatisfactory, and should be given the opportunity to share their experiences with others to help them avoid the same fate whenever possible.
    Agreed there.

    When a mechanism is provided which is really the only practical method of providing others with information to plan their own buying choices, it shouldn't come as a surprise that customers will use that mechanism to rate the ENTIRE product, not just certain parts of the product that certain entities are responsible for.
    It shouldn't be surprising for consumers to warn off others if they had a bad experience with some business that is necessarily, like most businesses, a composite of several businesses. It also shouldn't be surprising for merchants in that composite business chain to want to undo damage from materially false claims or random defects that were introduced downstream of their product delivery. Your Audi analogy is also completely strained by having just one car manufacturer involved. Devs are competing in an infinite marketplace; the ones who get unjustly sprayed are at risk of simply disappearing. To the app consumer, it's like "hey, not my problem - that guy that disappears will be replaced by ten others, so party on."

    In places in the world where it is common to leave a gratuity for a food server, the size of that gratuity will typically reflect not just the quality of service provided directly by the server themselves, but also the quality of the food itself and experience overall, since that is the only obvious and common mechanism with which to show the customer's appreciation (or lack thereof) for the TOTAL experience. Some might call that unfair - whereas I would say to servers "Don't work for businesses who have a poor quality product, if you expect to be tipped well."
    And how does the size of one patron's gratuity affect the server's future earning ability? If getting stiffed was the fault of the chef, he can have a word with the chef and the manager, and it's a brand new experience with the next customer, not to mention a personal face to face experience, where there is opportunity for the next customer to say "I heard your xyz dish was awful", and the food server gets the chance to say "we fixed that".

    And again, what platform should BB devs switch to developing for, and how does that benefit BB app consumers?

    Lastly, how does the extremist position advocated by the OP play with this situation:

    http://forums.crackberry.com/develop...extgen-803928/

    I have no reason to believe or not believe the dev's story but assuming it's 100% true:

    Under the OP's extremist non-solution, the clean dev can't do anything on his own about the smear campaign being waged. By the time he gets RIM's attention, RIM does an investigation, and decides he is in fact being totally abused by another dev, how much damage has been done to his business? If app consumers all say "not my problem" about the clean dev, and reward the dirty dev by buying the dirty dev's product, because the dirty dev's product is visible and the clean dev's product is invisible, who wins?
    Last edited by UberschallSamsara; 05-12-13 at 05:59 AM. Reason: add missing close quote; add clarifying sentence to last paragraph + emphasis
    05-12-13 04:06 AM
  22. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    I'd like to add one more thing: the user thinks he/she is more or less anonymous (about as anonymous as a public forum, but whatever). So they don't care what they say because nobody's going to call them out.
    For the sake of brevity, I didn't get into the negative aspects of the reviewer's powers to affect the market (much more so that any alleged positive powers). Thanks for underlining the fact that there are "rogue" reviewers who disseminate FUD (whether deliberately or through ignorance).

    In my experience, letting too many of these problematic reviews stand just invites a "feeding frenzy" similar to what you see in threads like this one. It is impossible to avoid people like the OP who love to latch onto a negative meme and never let go.Throw blood into shark-invested waters and you know that the result is not going to be pretty.
    05-12-13 10:36 AM
  23. Stephen C.'s Avatar
    I have this experience before and even now, and the application are all paid version.

    BlackBerry have make a very bad mistake, you know, there are few applications I have purchased BlackBerry World, the application isn't smooth and bugging. But when we write direct to the developers there isn't respond. I pay for that applications, I think I shall post it in twitter and social networks to make the developers awake!!!

    Posted via CB10
    05-12-13 11:03 AM
  24. Omnitech's Avatar
    I think this is the problem with the BBW store - it's poorly designed and badkly constructed.

    I don't disagree that many improvements could be made to the marketplace - but then again, many other smartphone app stores suffer from similiar (if not identical) problems.


    You would think that this is a good thing but unfortunately, BBRY did not design the most-used feedback mechanism (the review process) as a two-way medium.

    While there are certainly advantages to making it two-way, that is often abused to favor the profit motivations of the marketplace owner and its vendors too. Case in point: eBay. While some user-friendly improvements have been made over the years, in general eBay has progressively distorted the feedback mechanism on its site so that it is designed primarily to enhance eBay's ability to make money. Combined with other marketplace policies, transparency has been progressively removed over the years and the process weighted in the direction of favoring increasing sales and lowering legal liability, rather than moderating the risk of buyers. This is unfortunately a common trend in online review regimes.


    ...consumers are terrible at writing reviews and have the potential to seriously damage the success of an app.

    Whereas I would argue that app developers have an unprecedented ability to make the lives of users miserable not just by products that don't work as claimed, but ones that do downright malicious things like steal confidential financial details and so on. Both parties in this exchange have responsibilities.


    ...the user thinks he/she is more or less anonymous (about as anonymous as a public forum, but whatever). So they don't care what they say because nobody's going to call them out.

    Google recently addressed this issue by requiring users to identify themselves before allowing them to post reviews. Reviews on Google Play/Android App Store used to be able to be written completely anonymously. If I'm not mistaken, Blackberry has long made this a requirement for their own marketplace.
    05-12-13 04:07 PM
  25. Omnitech's Avatar
    This is a distinction without a difference. [...]

    Regardless of what order the apps show up on my phone from a string search, I'm going to look at the 5 star ones before I look at the 3 star ones. Whether the 3 star ones are 3 stars because they deserve to be or because of vandalism makes no difference to my purchase decision, because like anyone, I have a finite amount of time to look. I'm not gonna read every single review on every single app, just to be a hero and make sure I buy from someone whose app has gotten an undeserved bad rap from people who can't write anything intelligent. Not gonna happen.

    I never suggested reading every review, but these days I think people are not being very wise if they do not at least read a small subset of the actual reviews in order to get a feel for the general weight of comments, because online review regimes these days are frequently highly manipulated. I've learned my own lesson on this over the past few years after allowing myself to trust the ratings on popular sites more than I should have.



    I'm puzzled as to why you are still defending the OP's extremist views

    Whereas I could just as easily state I'm puzzled why you are arguing for overwhelming power for the developers. We have different opinions, that is all. Neither do I think it is accurate or helpful to characterize the OP's views as "extremist". It's also pretty bizarre (and honestly, borderline offensive) to accuse me of being some sort of "propagandist" simply because I have a different view on something and express that view well. (It's also kind of funny to accuse someone whose sympathies lean towards grass-roots individuals rather than any "group" or "business" or "government" or any other sort of organized entity, as being a "propagandist".)


    - you proposed a pretty good idea for better, fairer transparency. Done right, if the star rating system purges junk star ratings from reviews flagged by the dev for vandalism, but BB World lets users drill down into stats and hidden reviews for apps w/suspicious looking stats, your valid concerns are covered, as best I can tell.

    Unless and until that additional transparency is provided, my concerns are not covered. As a general point, my sympathies are generally more with the users because they clearly have less power as an individual, in general, over any particular app's public reputation, than the developer does. As a GROUP of individuals that power grows, but by the same token, the statistical likelihood of a large group of individual customers all simultaneously unfairly criticizing the app developer becomes greatly reduced.


    But, wow. Just, wow. We're talking about paying coffee money to run an app on a phone. The strained analogies to food safety and auto safety are beyond comical - I feel like I'm watching a bad episode of Consumer Martyrdom Theater.
    It's not a strained analogy at all, whether or not you like the analogy. It is an analogy - one of many I have already presented - which compares a commonly-understood and longstanding type of business-relationship (automobile dealer) with a less-commonly-understood and conceptually very new type of business relationship. (online app stores) The fact that the dollar amounts are different do not change the architectural similiarities, the same reason I care not one bit more about some wealthy person who got screwed on their purchase of a Bentley, than a working-class person who got screwed on their purchase of a Skoda.


    ...the relatively low risk of running an app on your phone doesn't make it ok for you to get duped - I'm just saying that a bad app experience isn't something I'd blow a gasket over. But that's just me. (But on a much more serious note - malware and trojans are a completely different story. That's torch and pitchfork material in my book.)

    You contradict yourself by on the one hand claiming that smartphone apps are essentially nothing to get overly worried about, then turning around and describing malware and trojans - something which is solely derived from software unwittingly installed by end-users typically disguised as legimate apps - as "torch and pitchfork material".


    How about this: RIM is your local department store, and devs are makers of products that are sold there.

    The reason *that* analogy is worthless in this context is because the department store is not a "platform" or "product" in any innate sense, only a reseller. The only way that sort of analogy would be remotely applicable in this case were if RIM/Blackberry's sole business activity was operating Blackberry World.


    So who should BB devs choose as business partners? Apple? Google? Microsoft? Where does that leave BB users?

    That's off-topic for this thread, truly. (But for the record, I sincerely doubt that the vast majority of app developers for Blackberry are doing so out of a burning need to do charity work for Blackberry.)

    Regarding intra-developer smear campaigns, the answer is simple: the smeared party asks Blackberry to investigate, and if credible evidence can be found substantiating the claims, Blackberry should have a right to sanction the malicious party in some way. What those sanctions might entail is a matter for a separate discussion.
    05-12-13 04:42 PM
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