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Broken links/loss of support resources to help the community


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The resources we  used to use to support the community are gone. Links posted by Edward to resources in the past 12-18 months no longer work let alone the knowledge we built up over the past 'n' years. We can't help out unless we can access these types of resources. This means you will have to answer every Forum support question yourselves, the community can no longer help others because you've taken away all of the knowledge that we used to use to provide answers.

I just tried to help a user with a crashed S48. I couldn't give him instructions for a bootable USB stick because none of the links that I could find in previous Forum posts work and I've got no clue where I could hope to find the new location of such instructions.

I'm sorry, this is not acceptable. I know Z88 have been through turmoil with business reorganisations but the data we need still exists, you've just restructured your web portal so we can no longer access this data. Come on chaps, this beautiful company is going to sh*t within 3 months of DavidC moving on.

Honestly, I think you need to have a big sit down with your "new" management and decide what sort of company you want to be. Because I'm not liking the outlook.

From a 25 year customer.

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Hi Kevin,

These changes were completed back in November 2020, so any changes to our business in 2021 is completely irrelevant. Absolutely no data was lost, just moved. That update, which was principally initiated by myself – no one else, was directly as a result of having such poor feedback to our previous knowledgebase… which we’ve spoken about previously.

(It’s worth noting that the knowledgebase was only live for a little over three years. The forum contains much more information, spanning multiple decades, than the knowledgebase ever did).

So… I think this is less about us “going to sh*t” and more about some links within some forum topics (which are over one year old) being broken. There’s no doubt that it’s frustrating - equally so for Edward, Keith and I (if not more!). Unfortunately the old knowledgebase was not hosted on our servers, so we had no access to the raw database, data or code, so we could find no automatic solution. We manually updated all the links on our website and documentation. When we find forum articles that have out of date links, we try to update them - but manually reviewing 25,000+ forum posts is not a good use of our time.

To provide some background to our solution, and how to successfully find answers, we invested a lot of time and money into bespoke solutions to put information where customers would find it. The decision was to switch from starting at a central location (with hundreds of unrelated articles) to starting at the relevant product page. If you want information about a specific product, you go to that product's page. For current products, some of the information will be directly there, whilst most will be in the manual (accessible from the product page). For legacy products, this involved creating a page, with downloads and resources, for EVERY product Zero 88 manufactured over our 50 year lifespan - a horrific amount of work, but I'm really proud we chose to do it.

We know from logs and feedback that this is working well for most customers. The issue comes when longer term customers, who were used to previously having a central location, have to get used to the change – we’ve tried our best to communicate that across the forum, social media, etc.

No data in the old knowledgebase was lost - it was split into three categories:

  • For spare parts (eg faders, batteries etc) these are listed on each product’s page, including legacy products. (note: this is the first time we have freely published a full list of spare parts to end users – eg, for FLX, you can see part numbers and descriptions for each part of your console).
  • For features, troubleshooting, maintenance, etc of current products, everything is in the interactive manuals. Feedback to these have been very positive and are far more comprehensive than any manual we’ve had previously. I’m sure there are areas we could improve, but they’ve definitely not gone backwards.
  • For features, troubleshooting, maintenance, etc of legacy products the article is available as a download on that legacy product.

In reviewing the situation for this reply, I have noticed two possible "gotchas" which might be causing some of this pain:

  1. The website-wide search, by default, does not search "manuals" (I had forgotten this!). User feedback was that useful results were just swamped and lost by so many manual results. Therefore, to search manuals, you need to search and then click the "Manuals" filter along the top (or, more easily, use the relevant manual’s specific search).
  2. Regarding the thread you mentioned, software installation instructions (including how to create a USB Bootable drive) are included within the release notes (along with the ZerOS manual). However, in the release notes, there was a typo in the URL. This has been updated for future release notes.

If there are specific suggestions on how we can improve, we'll always try to take those on board. Just last week, two seperate updates were made to our website based on really great suggestions through this forum - both were implemented within 24-48 hours.


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On 10/16/2021 at 8:52 PM, kgallen said:

 I know Z88 have been through turmoil with business reorganisations, Come on chaps, this beautiful company is going to sh*t within 3 months of DavidC moving on.

Honestly, I think you need to have a big sit down with your "new" management and decide what sort of company you want to be.

Wow, I know had my concerns that you where going down the pan and that something must be going on internally. This was only my impression from how I had seen the great standards deplete and the 'not interested' attitude emerge. I had not imagined it was actually the case.

I do sincerely hope that you make it through and return to the customer focused organisation I once loved since my introduction in the early 90s.

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