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scottwills Envato team says

An official response would be great from Envato about this. But NOT the copy-paste one, please. We need concrete things like “A new homepage is coming, expect it in January 3, 2014” OR “We don’t want to replace design, maybe 2 years later when the pipeline is clear”. At least we’d know what to expect.

Hello, TP! I noticed you don’t have any information on your author profile page. You’re missing out on some great SEO opportunities if you don’t mind me pointing that out. Take a look at how some/most of the top authors on all our Marketplaces prepare their profile page for existing and potential customers. :)

So back to your question. Here’s the deal: We’re a business. And our business is based on our community of authors and buyers. Because we’re a business with competitors, we can’t always share exactly what we’re doing and when it will be released. So we always have to ride that line between, answering all your questions, letting you know what’s coming, but also protecting ourselves from not laying all our cards on the table so that competitors can see where we are heading.

Look at Apple. Do Apple give a specific date with a full list of specs for their new hardware or operating systems 12-months ahead of time? No. Do we, as authors, tell everyone about what our items are going to look like and the functionality they will have 6 months before they are released? No. Why? Because as an individual or a company of multiple people, it’s common-sense not to play all your cards in business too early, if at all. You want to give as little insight to your competitors as possible. But you do want to try to announce something is coming closer to time if/when possible, there are definite advantages to that.

So when we have the Marketplace General Manager come into the forums like Helen did earlier in this thread to say “we’re listening”, that’s not a copy and paste response. That’s actually a positive statement of intent from someone at the top of the chain here at the Envato Marketplaces that we’re committed to listening to everyone’s feedback in our forums, via e-mail, via Support, via Social Media, and via our Community Meetups and so forth. If anyone still hasn’t seen it, you can see/hear more about what we’re doing and how we’re constantly listening in our latest Marketplace Update video. It’s also a clue that things are being worked on to address these questions and concerns and even if someone doesn’t think that we’re working on anything or does not immediately see changes, it doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

Maybe this is a poor analogy, but hopefully it helps convey the point I’m trying to make here: Just because there hasn’t been a nuclear war yet, doesn’t mean people aren’t building nuclear weapons.

So we have some people saying, “The Marketplaces are ‘broken’, what’s Envato doing to fix them?” and then we have Envato saying, “We’re listening, and we’re working on improvements all the time.” The disjoint is this: Perhaps the community are not seeing everything that we are doing, what we have done and what we will be doing. Again, we may not always be able to reveal explicitly what we are currently working on. But the solution to this issue might be something along the lines of a dedicated page where we show you recent improvements/changes (that have already addressed what some of you have been asking for), projects currently in progress, and planned projects.

So if we did something more along those lines, may I ask if you think this would be at least a reasonable start to helping put all the pieces together to help convey what’s going on around here? Because with insider knowledge, I see a lot of changes occurring already and a lot of short term projects about to be completed and a lot of longer term projects already in the works.

So in the context of ThemePrince’s point, the summary here is:

  • “We’re listening” is not avoiding your questions. It’s letting you know we hear what is being said, it may have been brought to our attention in the past too, and it’s mostly likely that we already have plans in progress to address these issues.
  • It’s frank but it’s the truth, we can’t always specify what we’re working on. Sometimes, yes, but not always. Likewise, release dates. We know internally when something is planned to be released, but what if something comes up (as can invariably happen in Web development as you may know) and the release date changes? There’s a balance there about timing announcements for guaranteed wins/projects and sometimes the reality is just announcing once it’s done/released.
  • Pick-up clues around the forums to see what we are proactively communicating with you. e.g. Search. It’s at the top of our agenda. It’s being worked on. Changes are already being made. But these are just some short term changes and longer term changes are planned and are part of a much bigger project.
  • You should already have started to notice that more and more teams and individuals at Envato are more openly sharing info with the community and asking for feedback on projects behind the scenes. We hope you like this small, but useful step/direction. The feedback from our community is hugely important and shapes everything we do here. Sincerely, please don’t think that comments and feedback are overlooked. Good or bad, we see it, we read it, we hear it, we note it, we always try to address it in everything we do.
  • Let us know what you think about the idea of improving the way we communicate what we are sharing with you. e.g. A possible/potential page to pull all the information together to better convey recent improvements + share projects we’re actually working on.
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scottwills Envato team says

Because top authors use their own advertising, Envato should reduce the focus of top author / top files and increase the focus on new authors / new files.

That’s partly true, DS, but a very good point nonetheless that we’re constantly wanting to improve: Help increase the focus on new, high quality content from new authors. Not just promote the best-selling content, which is important, but only half of the equation. There are lots of ways we could do this and have discussed this a lot internally. I can’t personally comment on the specifics, priorities or dates of what’s being done to address these issues (that would be for our Product team to consider discussing publicly when they deem the time is right), but I definitely want to acknowledge that this is not being overlooked as the future shape of the Marketplaces are defined.

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VF says

@scottwills, a sincere request: Short answers please! :D

Would be great if your replies speak about forthcoming upgrades / fixes that deals issues mentioned here. Otherwise, we all know that staffs are always working on something! ;)

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scottwills Envato team says

@scottwills, a sincere request: Short answers please! :D Would be great if your replies speak about forthcoming upgrades / fixes that deals issues mentioned here.

Ha, ha, I’m all for short answers, VF. How’s this one? ;)

Regarding specific upgrades/fixes that deal with the issues mentioned in this thread, I’m already in the process of finding out what more we can share with you. I will need to resolve that dilemma before I can report back, but already on it. I saw your questions here, great summary, thank you. :)

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vamtam says

@scottwills, a sincere request: Short answers please! :D Would be great if your replies speak about forthcoming upgrades / fixes that deals issues mentioned here. Otherwise, we all know that staffs are always working on something! ;)

It may turn out to be a corporate secret :)

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QBKL says

Hi Scott, good to finally have you among us.

There’s been an immense activity and hugely valuable feedback on this topic for you guys to listen to and take to heart.

I’m sorry if I can’t fully agree with your Apple comparison, although I get where it’s coming from. But why it ain’t really valid? Because Apple built everything itself, behind closed doors. Like the iPhone came out from behind the big steel door where only Jobs and Ivy had access. This does not apply to Envato. Envato exists because it was an idea that authors loved and promoted and created content for. It’s a business based largely on this community, without which Envato wouldn’t be a business anymore.

So, the level of communication between Envato and the community should be much bigger than that of Apple with its USERS (not content creators) community.

The whole deal with home-page exposure from my point of view is overrated and it’s not where the real issues is. The real issue is with how the current items are being “shoved” into buyers faced, which doesn’t really always work in an impartial way and unfortunately most times works on the system “the rich are getting richer”. Something that people all over the world tend to hate.

We do get that we need to put effort into it. Very few people don’t understand that. But those few, after releasing an item get booted off the marketplace cursing it doesn’t see their brilliance. Everyone else does the best they can. And that’s the problem. That authors don’t really feel like “Envato does the best they can”.

We know for sure some of the changes we’re asking for are at the finger tip of any decent developer and UI designer. We know for sure the income is there. What we can’t understand is why does it take you guys so long to see it too. The market place is growing so darn fast and changes that happen are – at least to the public eye – minimal. It seems like this growth is stampeding over you.

And some of the changes the community asks for are not really hush-hush material. Most of Envato’s competition already has them implemented and people love them. But we love Envato too. We want OUR ENVATO to work well. Not jump ship.

While the dream of becoming “power elite” is really cool and appealing to many, most authors want to at least have a shot at making a decent income. Wouldn’t that be amazing for everyone? Wouldn’t Envato’s income be even greater with a better balance market where product discovery is encouraged?

Please don’t compare TF with AJ. The competition here is fierce. The money here is huge. And we don’t and can’t create bundles. :)

Anyways, I said it before, I’ll say it again since you’re here now:
  • Drop the new items from home. We don’t really need them and the bigger the market becomes, the more obsolete that section becomes.
  • Get on with that search and push it on home. Encourage buyers to discover content. Add filters.
  • Lose the star rating. You obviously can’t ask for people to comment if they give a bad rating, no one will waste the time and they’ll just leave comments like “This sucks.” Useless. Give us a “heart” system. You either like it or leave it alone. Simple.
  • Lose the sales number. Make it private, a statistic. This way QUALITY will always prevail. If you want to count popularity, let buyers check out the number of comments and what the commentators say.
  • Update the popular lists everyday, so that they always reflect the last 7 days (Wed->Tue, Thu->Wed). And maybe, a “Trending new items” list would shed some spotlight on GOOD qualitative new items.

That’s how I see it working. Maybe others share my views or have better options to give, but hell, we really need these changes to happen. Soon.

Cheers and sorry for the extensive and expansive answer. Hope I made sense in its whole.

Alex

PS: Communication and feedback wise, I have a topic in “Feedback” we’re I’ve at least 4 times asked for an official reply. 3 weeks now. I see that as a failure in communication.

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digitalscience says

Anyways, I said it before, I’ll say it again since you’re here now:
  • Drop the new items from home. We don’t really need them and the bigger the market becomes, the more obsolete that section becomes.
Ouch, just because the home has become less of an exposure area doesn’t mean new items section should be removed. How about the simple solution, increase the exposure window.

  • Get on with that search and push it on home. Encourage buyers to discover content. Add filters.
  • This makes sense, have a more intuitive search on home – make it more of a feature, like just above new files.

  • Lose the star rating. You obviously can’t ask for people to comment if they give a bad rating, no one will waste the time and they’ll just leave comments like “This sucks.” Useless. Give us a “heart” system. You either like it or leave it alone. Simple.
  • Ratings are good, and over time they are a true reflection of the rating, – numerous improvements have been made to the rating system and I believe its a pretty fair system.

  • Lose the sales number. Make it private, a statistic. This way QUALITY will always prevail. If you want to count popularity, let buyers check out the number of comments and what the commentators say.
  • Nope – showing sales is key to the success of this marketplace – otherwise we’ll just seem like we all work for Envato behind the scenes, showing sales sets up the competitive spirit. Comments can’t be a true reflection on anything – and this takes a lot of time for someone to scan through comments to get a feel if the product is good or not – sales and ratings is a very good indicator.

  • Update the popular lists everyday, so that they always reflect the last 7 days (Wed->Tue, Thu->Wed). And maybe, a “Trending new items” list would shed some spotlight on GOOD qualitative new items.
  • Agreed!

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    QBKL says

    @digitalscience, you can’t keep exposure equal or fair in an ever growing market on home. If you really think that’s needed, although I believe it’s more of a habit, I’d still take it out and only give it a tiny corner or button somewhere in the interface. It doesn’t deserve the spotlight it has now, particularly if focus needs to change to item discovery through search.

    Ratings now they are neither invaluable nor a true reflection of anything. In any case, not more than a simply and fair “like” based system. If it works for the billion users Facebook has, and works on Instagram, Foursquare, would work here too and would be just as valid.

    Showing sales is key to whose success? To those who are already playing in the major league. It’s still a factor that pulls buyers to the top sellers and that creates an imbalance. Regular buyers, casual buyer, who most surely form the biggest number of buyers on TF don’t waste time discovering. Sort by sales, pick out of the first few cause the sales vouch for the item and good bye discovery. No big market gives a crap about displaying the sales number. Just sales trends. Does Amazon do it? No. Does anyone complain about it? No. It’s a broken system to start with. Let quality prevail and let buyers judge that quality.

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    digitalscience says

    ^ So your solution is have “zero” new items on the home and you can only find files based on the entire library of the marketplace. How does that help new authors? If anything it would just drive more sales to older files, by filtering by sales… so it would be like having a popular files page on the home.. I think that would make things worse

    You can’t have a marketplace and not show any new items on the home page, that’s just not logical. Does any store you walk into, show their old products at the front, and new products at the back?

    The sales number do two things 1) It shows how popular a file is 2) It gives the marketplace some direction in what items sell – otherwise we’ll just be guessing. Only if we were employed by Envato and they gave us inside information on what was selling or stock they were lacking in, would that work. But everything on this site is public, from sales.. to reward systems to fill niches – that’s what makes this marketplace “cool”.

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    Kriesi says

    Ratings now they are neither invaluable nor a true reflection of anything. In any case, not more than a simply and fair “like” based system. If it works for the billion users Facebook has, and works on Instagram, Foursquare, would work here too and would be just as valid.

    Likes are a very bad way to rate a product since they will always favor older products which had more time to get more likes (unless you implement a complicated solution with items losing likes over time). Likes are nice to push someones ego on facebook or instagram but thats about it…

    In general I agree with the latest post from DS, especially the sales/comments part. I am neutral on removing the front page items. I can see that authors want them but it will probably soon be similar to audiojungle which in turn will cause more complaining…

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