Updates to SmartThings Community

Hi Everyone,

We are excited to announce changes to the SmartThings Community! These include:

  • Design refresh - Pardon our dust while we move things around. Don’t worry if you cannot find a thread right away - nothing will be removed.
  • Staff Support - We have dedicated staff available to help end users and developers. Do not hesitate to mention any of our community staff (like @SamsungZell or @ErickV) if you have any questions.

We look forward to sharing exciting products with you in 2020.

Thanks,

SmartThings Team

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When are these changes taking place?

Some have happened already, the community created code that was previously in the projects section has now been moved into other parts of the forum. And it looks like the developer section is gone, but I’m not sure where those threads got moved to.

And the project reports section got moved into the wiki category, which to be honest, seems really weird to me since it’s almost the opposite of what you would find in a wiki. :face_with_monocle: Because each of those threads is unique to the person who wrote it, you aren’t going to have multiple authors contributing to one thread. So I’m not sure what the thinking was on that one other than that they wanted to get rid of the projects section.

They also got rid of the “meta” section which is unusual when you are using the discourse platform since that has a unified purpose across all discourse clients. So again, I’m not sure what the thinking was there.

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It looks like the meta section is now under wiki
https://community.smartthings.com/c/wiki/meta/3

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Hmmm…but the whole point of the Meta category (or “site feedback“ if you prefer that terminology) is to be an in-your-face top level category that anyone can find very quickly, in part so that meta discussions don’t take over other topics. There’s a reason Discourse makes it one of the three default categories when you set up their software.

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BTW, I do like moving “community contributed smart apps” under “automations” and “community contributed device types” under “devices.” Those seem very logical. :sunglasses:

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OK, that’s it, SmartThings broke my brain. :exploding_head:

They got rid of the UK category. OK.
They added a new tag, “UK_ie_specific“. OK.

But then…

They took everything out of the old UK category, gave it that tag, and put it in the “general discussion“ category.

They didn’t put device threads in the devices category. They didn’t put project threads in the projects category. They didn’t put deals threads into the deals category. They just dumped it all together into “general discussions,” a category that @tgauchat and I spent 4 years defending from total random overflow of topics that belong elsewhere in the forum.

Have fun trying to find something in the future. Or keeping the UK specific threads on topic. Or keeping people from adding threads that should belong elsewhere into the general discussion category, because there’s a nearly identical one already there for the UK.

I give up. :disappointed_relieved:

@SamsungZell @erickv

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@JDRoberts, I am absolutely with you on this. It looks like SmartThings has a new employee who wants to put something on the table on the first week in a middle of a pandemic working from home. This is insane.

Why would you screw up a working community forum with a working system? This is not a “design refresh”…

@Dianoga, what is going on?

I will add one more thought…

When helping people decide what section of the forum to put threads in, I generally try to think ahead about six months and imagine two different groups of people who might find that thread interesting:

  1. someone new to the forum who has a similar issue

  2. one of the experienced people in the forum who wants to help someone with a similar issue by pointing them to the previous discussion

You want the thread to be findable by both those people.

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The new Forums format makes no sense at all.

I visit the site daily and then to remove the UK specific category is insane!

I can’t find anything that I used to rely on.

When everything else in our daily lives is turned upside down, why make these changes now?

Right now, people need stability and reliability.

Please review and revert, at least until the pandemic is over!

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IMO, it was a little strange to have a UK specific section, but not one for other countries/regions since SmartThings is a global platform. With that said, i think it may have been better to add those other regions instead of removing UK :confused:

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At the time the UK section was added, it was the only non-North American region that officially had support.

And the official knowledge base still has only two sections: US or UK.

https://support.smartthings.com/hc/en-gb

So That part (The old organization) makes sense, for now. :sunglasses:

What’s going to happen when they want to add threads for even more countries in the future is, as you point out, potentially very problematic. If you have a question about Fibaro And you live in the US or Canada, the thread will be under ”devices”. If you have a question about Fibaro and you live in the U.K., That thread is now under “general discussion”. And if you have a question about Fibaro and you live in Australia, who knows? :roll_eyes:

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Support seems to be still only US and UK. I haven’t heard any official German or South Korean support lines/email addresses.

The UK section was really useful to differentiate devices sold in the UK/EU. Like many Yale products.

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Absolutely agree with you.

Technically there is support for all regions through the Help section of the new app. Now whether that gets you a generic Samsung person or a SmartThings specialist in all countries, i’m not sure.

Really?

Samsung support is smartthings support. I’m not saying it’s good. It actually sounds downright terrible in Australia.

It was even more than that. :sunglasses:

  1. as you mentioned, available Device selection is different. It is very frustrating for someone from the UK to ask a question about light switches and have Americans responding recommend Zooz or GE when neither is available in the UK.

  2. wiring is different, in some cases very different. This leads to additional confusion.

  3. terminology is different. A “three-way switch“ in the UK would be a “four-way“ in the US. A “lamp“ in the UK would be a “Bulb“ in the US, which again leads to some confusion. “Earth” vs “ground,” “Fitting” vs “fixture,” etc “Pattress.”

  4. forms are different. I know what a “double gang“ is in the US and in the UK, but most people understandably know only one or the other. Knowing which the questioner is probably using can very much affect the answer provided.
    UK: double gang is the same dimensions as a single gang

US: double gang is twice as wide as a single gang

image

  1. local safety codes are very very different. In particular, many things which allowed as DIY in the US have to be professionally done in the UK. But it goes further than that. See the many discussions about whether you have to have a switch connected to the load or not.

having a separate UK section meant that many of those points of confusion were eliminated pretty quickly and we could get back to helping someone find a solution for their particular issue.

So I think this separation served a meaningful purpose which just having the tag will not. We’ll see, I suppose, but don’t expect me to jump in on any “general discussion” threads and point out why confusion is occurring. I don’t have enough spoons. :spoon:. So like I said, I’m done. :dizzy_face:

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It doesn’t seem to get you anybody when used from the UK …

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Exhibit A:

Can't get a 3-position Varilight switch to dim up and down with Fibaro Dimmer 2

This is in the “general discussion” category. It’s obvious to me that the person lives in the UK but I would bet it’s not obvious to many of our US community members. There’s no tag on it.

And the same person (in the U.K.) just posted a different question to the “devices“ category. Not the “general discussion“ category. Not a duplicate thread, these are two different questions.

Controlling two spotlights with a Fibaro relay or dimmer 2

Those who made the decision to get rid of the UK category can now observe what happens with this person’s questions and the quality of the responses that they get.

@SamsungZell @erickv

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