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28
Ian_JorgensenIan_Jorgensen Wellington, New ZealandPosts: 600
edited October 2021 in General Discussion

It's been really lovely to see, over the past month I've had several users email or message me checking that we're OK as they've noticed an absence from social media.

We're great! Just a little busy. I thought perhaps I could explain why we haven't been online much recently.

If you've been paying close attention, you might have noticed that recently we advertised for a couple of temporary staff. We've been struggling to keep up with demand for the Deluge most of this year - many new users would have noticed this, had you purchased one in the past six months there may have been a note on the site asking you to expect a few days delay before shipping - we've been playing catchup for most of the year, including being in 'lockdown’ and unable to manufacture for a some of that time.

There are now nine of us working fulltime for Synthstrom Audible, this is almost double just 18 months ago, let alone when it was just Rohan and I in the beginning.

Around a year ago, so he could focus on software dev, Rohan handed over day-to-day administration and management to me – this was the biggest change our company had made to date and meant that rather than me simply spending my days surfing the net sharing posts and hanging out with you all, I now had to do some serious work and manage a growing team.

We don't really envision getting much bigger and we're really happy with this size team, so, haha, I've actually been refraining from sharing much stuff online as a way to slow down sales. I know, this seems ridiculous to slow down sales, but we prefer our staff to be chill and happy and our production manager to not be stressed, so when sales get too high, I pull back on any sort of online promotion of the brand so they can catch up. Too popular. First world probs. :)

Another reason why personally I've been online less is looking after my mental health. Not just getting offline more in general, but it got to the point where I couldn't post anywhere on any platform without someone taking the opportunity to pester or grumble about our next update and it was getting to me. It does bum us out how long this update has taken and we accept it’s been far too long - I really Behringered those tease's and should have considered Rohan a bit more when he said it was too early to share those.

I've been holding off on lots of community stuff, including the community newsletter as I wanted to wait until there was substantive progress on that, ie: in beta. It sucks that I'm currently anxious about being in our own public spaces, but people tend to be politer when emailing me than when commenting indiscriminately and anonymously online.

We're all flat out here including Rohan who has actually been working on the next software update at the same time as the one you're all waiting on. We will not be teasing anything from that, not until its ready to go. Don't worry, THAT following update won't be a year after the next, we expect more like 3-6 months following the upcoming update - much of the work is already done.

Unsure what to do with these forums. I spent a bit of time building a new forum using Discourse but struggled with porting all the existing conversations here, and these forums have become a great resource. I didn't want to just have this become some weird archive, and I guess in all honesty, haha, I've just been hoping that an answer would fall from the sky...that FB would die or some amazing new platform which combined the immediacy and fun of Facebook with the permanence and rigidity of classic forum structure would just exist. I also didn't want to step on anyones toes. I love that others have started communities on other platforms, and why would I create a separate Dischord channel or Reddit etc, when those are going just fine? If we invested a bunch of time in a platform here, it would only really succeed at the expense of other platforms, and I don't mind the community being spread out.

These forums are primarily for us a way of offering a help service and for people to come when seeking answers, we know they kinda suck as far as discussion goes...but there are so many other places people can also go for that. I know everybody thinks they have the answer for this: ”use ___ because this particular forum I use uses that and it works well!". Unfortunately, we are in a unique place, we have a really fragmented community on many platforms – I guess we wanted to try consolidate that and have it in one place, but I've come to learn that people want what they want and want to be on the platform they enjoy the most. I for one enjoy Instagram probably the most, even though it sucks for discussion, but it rules for sharing and discovering Deluge content – and that’s what I love most. We can't provide a platform that is Insta meets FB meets Discord meets Reddit and I don't know if I'd want to.

One idea is to really streamline these forums and just focus 100% on what they do best:

  • Deluge Help
  • Sharing of presets/samples, tips & tricks
  • Third Party content
  • Beta testing
  • General discussion/news. (it doesn't do this so well, but would seem odd to remove)

And we actually make more of an effort to point people to other platforms to spend time on. We currently point people to these other places as soon as they make a purchase (https://synthstrom.com/links/), but we could give those spaces an even greater presence on our own site. I'm not precious about being in control of where people chat, we just want the best experience, and I'm OK with that being on another platform.

Thoughts?

A note on Synthstrom TV

I loved doing the TV station but it took a serious toll on me, all those early mornings and late nights trying to be live in times most convenient to those around the world along with the stress of keeping the stream running. Without dedicated servers it’s a real challenge and I would have constant dropouts. The final straw for me came when I was taking a short holiday for a few days and the stream broke almost immediately as I set off, but I couldn't fix till got home, but rather than just be chill and enjoy my break, I agonised over it the whole time, haha, you know, that stupid anxiety when you know it's silly to be concerned but you can't stop thinking about it. Anyway, I got home and decided to not kick it back on and instead take a pause.

I love doing it though...as some may have saw me mention a little while ago, I do plan to bring back Synthstrom TV in December, as I do miss hanging with ya'll in that environment, but yeah, haha, maybe it will be offline lots because I'm trying not to get hung up about that. I've been collating a whole bunch of cool videos to have on the playlist when it relaunches and just plan to programme timings that suit me a little more :)

TLDR:
Sorry I'm not online much at the moment. Don't worry we're hard at work and not going anywhere. Maybe these forums need a gigantic overhaul (and that doesn't just mean using a new platform). What do you think?

Post edited by Ian_Jorgensen on

Comments

  • 5
    icymulberryicymulberry CanadaBeta Tester Posts: 17
    edited October 2021

    Hey man, good to hear from you. I want to say that I'm glad you are taking the space you need and I think you should keep doing so..forever. I really enjoyed your previous update re: the removal of the feature request forum.. I think the Deluge is your guys' baby and you really should just do what you want with it. Don't let other people dilute your artistic vision too much, y'know?

    Keep up the excellent work at whatever pace you damn feel like. If people can't learn patience during a pandemic...they're hopeless! All good things take time, people!

    I think the platforms are fine as they are. The updated forums seem perfectly functional, the discord is excellent (really, people should come check it out if they need help/wanna chat), and there are still plenty of people chatting on FB. I think you're right when you say that people want what they want and you could waste an unlimited amount of time trying to draw everyone into one community together...when you clearly don't need to (as sales are showing).
    That being said, I would definitely spend more time on the forums if there was a more focused presence here.

    The Deluge is awesome the way it is now, the Deluge will become more awesome as you guys add to it. People will find the way to spread the good word.

    Cheers, take care from Canada <3

    Post edited by icymulberry on
  • 2
    sleeptotemsleeptotem Beta Tester Posts: 20

    Thanks for such a long and detailed update post!
    Great to hear that synthstrom is doing well, take all the time you guys need.
    <3

  • 8
    HeptagenHeptagen Posts: 270

    @Ian_Jorgensen First and foremost: Thank you for giving us some insight on what is going on behind the scenes! I didn't know whether you were doing exceptionally great or bad (and I was not the only one to wonder about that), so this cleares things up big time.
    Oh yeah and congrats on your popularity and success! I totally get where you're coming from when trying to slow down the sales. It's still funny. I kinda like it that it's such a human response instead of going full business mode. Such an Ian thing to do. ;) I hope that you find a way to deal with the "too much work" problem in a way that sits right with your team, yourself and your customers alike.

    Here are my two cents on the communication: To me little signs of life every few days are more valuable than long periods of total silence followed by a wall of text. At my job I have to communicate with customers and the thing I've noticed is that projects are allowed to take waaaay longer and people are far more patient if they get a message every once in a while - it doesn't even matter that much what it says. A small question or stating that we're on it and making progress, stuff like that.
    In my opinion, you could take social media way lighter than you do atm. Stream is down and you're on vacation? Small tweet / IG post: "Stream is having technical difficulties, will be back on in two weeks." And not worry about it anymore. Things happen. To know that you're aware takes all tension out of it.
    I'd love it if you posted on instagram every once in a while, just some lighthearted and mundane things. A pic of the place where deluges get repaired. Show us your workshop pet. Some (mildly) interesting facts about the company or the deluge. Just don't sweat it, it's not about polished PR but to show that you're still alive and well. Would emphasize that synthstrom is a collective of humans, not just a faceless business.

    About the platforms: Everyone has their own preferred platform and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. It's impossible to make everyone use one platform. That said, your move away from facebook to this forum was absolutely correct, very necessary and so so good! This works so much better as an archive and a knowledge base. That's something that fb, discord, and ig can't offer. If someone wants more immediacy and the freedom to get off topic, join the discord. (Though I REALLY wouldn't mind if you found a way to switch the forum to discourse, I love that software!)

    people tend to be politer when emailing me than when commenting indiscriminately and anonymously online

    Please don't let it get to you what people on the internet say. A lot of times there are just some misunderstandings or someone just had a bad day or was drunk posting. I'm happy for you that you realize when you get stressed and react accordingly. Nobody benefits from it if you snap or burn out. Maybe you could pass the day to day social media stuff to someone else in your crew? Just a thought. I think it could help.

    I'm wishing you and rohan and the rest of your team all the very best and I'm excited for the months to come! Stay strong and have fun!

  • 4
    Ian_JorgensenIan_Jorgensen Wellington, New ZealandPosts: 600

    :) thanks for the reminder to post more bts stuff on Insta. I'd turned it into a platform for sharing users work and i'm so chuffed we can help get more eyeballs on some amazing work from our creators, hahaha, I forget that people are actually curious in what we do also. :D

  • 2
    BertoBerto GermanyPosts: 15

    All respect to you and the crew….

    With love……from Germany

  • 1
    BugahBugah Posts: 25

    Thanks for the update!

    I loved the online festival stream you did. Have you thought to throw an online party every couple of months and record the events instead of doing a 24 hour TV stream? We could all chill in chat, watch people play live or recorded, then post a sign up sheet at the end for the next event. Could be the same result of hanging out with all the 'lugers without all the headaches of servers and maintenance. Just a thought, Synthstrom TV is also super cool.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demoscene#Parties

    Delugeparty? :)

  • 1
    MarkMosherMarkMosher Boulder, CO USAPosts: 5

    Thanks for the update. All this makes a lot of sense for long-term health of the team and the Deluge.

  • 1
    SjonSjineSjonSjine NederlandPosts: 22

    Thanks for the update Ian! Don't worry about us, we are using, playing and learning the Deluge every day and oh man what a posdibilities. I get your concern about social platforms, and also I don't like facebook but its a nice platform to take a short update look at, people with music, questions, etc. Just 1 view and there it is. The forums like this is so oldschool. Searching through maps, I started 20/ 25 years ago this way. But I don't have a real solution. Maybe discord could do a lot, check some pro discord guy...

    One thing I really really like, haven't seen it yet with the Deluge, is the Twitter Spaces and the Clubhouse conversations. Anyone can start a topic, invite people, and start a conversation. This works very well and like to hear different people talking, discussing, helping...
    A tip!

    Ian take care man. Be safe! Be healthy!
    ----- > Chill Bill 😏

    Freddy (linktr.ee/sjonsjine)

  • 0
    Ian_JorgensenIan_Jorgensen Wellington, New ZealandPosts: 600

    Have you thought to throw an online party every couple of months

    That's how it started :) I really love the TV format and ridiculousness of it, I think I'll just aim to do it for a few months, then take a few months off, rinse and repeat, and yeah, perhaps do the live broadcasts at times more suiting me :)

  • 0
    rephazerrephazer hollandPosts: 24

    Glad to read you guys are doing okay @Ian_Jorgensen Respect!

  • 0
    Ian_JorgensenIan_Jorgensen Wellington, New ZealandPosts: 600

    @rephazer said:
    Glad to read you guys are doing okay @Ian_Jorgensen Respect!

    Doing real good :) In no small part due to all the amazing stuff you've shared with your Deluge.

  • 0
    rephazerrephazer hollandPosts: 24

    @Ian_Jorgensen Thank you so much and it's always my pleasure! You guys created such an awesome instrument :)

  • 11
    percussijanpercussijan GermanyBeta Tester Posts: 49

    Ian_Jorgensen
  • 0
    Alder_DiceAlder_Dice UKBeta Tester Posts: 128

    @percussijan said:

    +1

  • 0
    miaouxmiaouxmiaouxmiaoux ScotlandBeta Tester Posts: 66

    Great to hear from you and glad you're doing well! Sounds like you're prioritising the right things. No point running your own synthesizer business if you can't enjoy it :)

  • 0
    TomSTomS Santa MonicaPosts: 4

    Another reason why personally I've been online less is looking after my mental health. Not just getting offline more in general, but it got to the point where I couldn't post anywhere on any platform without someone taking the opportunity to pester or grumble about our next update and it was getting to me. It does bum us out how long this update has taken and we accept it’s been far too long - I really Behringered those tease's and should have considered Rohan a bit more when he said it was too early to share those.

    Just wanted to say I appreciated those teases + info you shared on the price increase. That info helped me pull the trigger and buy a deluge and I don’t regret it. Not every company is a cool as you guys to give a glimpse into the future like that. Also thanks for sharing this post too! So glad to hear your doing well.

    My thoughts for the platforms, I tend to think where the info is … people will follow: maybe ya could release more short sized videos on current things ya can do with the deluge? Highlighting features like menu diving/folder structure, shortcuts etc. Like tips and tricks videos? Maybe it would work for instagram too… but I’m not on any social media so I have no idea, lol.

  • 0
    sven_blobsven_blob France Beta Tester Posts: 119

    thanks for the message Ian, it's good to have some news from the crew and you !

    first of all i have to say i feel almost annoyed by the harassment you must have endured over the past months about the update, this blind will by some to have it all right away ..
    you are in a way victims of your success but I think that the choices of your team, your philosophy, must be imposed and not bend under the will of the users who owe you respect and do not have the right to forget the factor human in this adventure with all that that implies for each of us ...

    in short, there would be a lot to say but you already know all this ... so here it is, I will not spread my point of view too much here and know that you have my respect and support.

    take care of yourself and see you soon !

    (Thx to my translator too.. :smiley:

  • 0
    SchinowatzSchinowatz AustriaPosts: 2

    Thank you for a sign of life! A little distance from digital media is good for everyone - this is a good way to draw strength for new activities! I am definitely looking forward to every news from you!
    Greetings from Austria!

  • 0
    acidbasementacidbasement CanadaBeta Tester Posts: 3

    I've got nothing but love and gratitude for everyone at Synthstrom. Take care of yourselves, and don't sweat the details.
    Cheers from Canada :smile:

  • 0
    workergrayworkergray Gulfport, FloridaBeta Tester Posts: 220

    Thanks for the update. I'm happy you're expanding the team, that everybody's OK and that you caught some breathing room for yourselves. I'm also pleased that the NEXT/NEXT update won't take as long as this one has--- but I noticed a distinct LACK of a timeframe for the current upcoming update, which makes the subsequent timeframe meaningless in context.
    I am not ashamed to say that was the news I was waiting on.

  • 0
    oneANToneANT ɹǝpun uʍop puɐlPosts: 37
    edited October 2021

    @workergray said:
    I am not ashamed to say that was the news I was waiting on.

    The important part of an 'egg & spoon' race is the 'finish'. What you 'ideally' want is to be as fast as you can ..but not so fast that you lose your egg.

    ant

    Post edited by oneANT on
  • 0
    IkloosharIklooshar Uk norfolkBeta Tester Posts: 10

    Thanks for the update on your busy lives running the Company ! Loving the Deluge and being part of the community too - take care.

  • 1
    Bay_MudBay_Mud OntarioBeta Tester Posts: 67

    Glad you are well! If the Deluge never got another firmware update I'd still be more than happy with it, but will gladly help test any new ones that come along when the time comes.

  • 0
    alifeinbinaryalifeinbinary Vancouver, CanadaBeta Tester Posts: 13

    We appreciate everything that you guys do. Thanks for the update. Big hugs from Canada.

  • 0
    NaderNader San FranciscoBeta Tester Posts: 9

    Thank you for everything. I've been a deluge user for a few years now & love it. That is by far the most important thing to me. all these questions of navigating sociaI media considerations honestly sound like a bummer to me, so dont sweat it. all concerned users just remember that you probably have music to make rather than being too caught up in the next update or feature. Im sure there is a lifetime that can already be done with the deluge as is, so dont get anxious over just how imminent the inevitable next update is. There have been so many updates since i got mine that its really just more and more icing on the cake at this point, im getting diabetes.

    I do check in on this forum from time to time to see if beta testing or any interesting news is afoot & I do not have any social media accounts at all, so appreciate that this exists if i want to reach out, I also like that its basic and not too flashy honestly, i dont want to get endlessly caught up in this. I actually had to create a fake facebook account to become a beta tester on there and i did it but it was a bummerand I was so very greatful that you migrated that to here, so that i dont have to have that anymore.

    world peace from San Francisco.
    N

  • 0
    micaelazevedomicaelazevedo portugalBeta Tester Posts: 7

    Hi guys!
    Take your time, take care of yourself, families and friends.

    Thank you for all the effort.

    Micael

  • 0
    PuroMangoPuroMango Mango LandPosts: 3

    Thank you for the update, glad to hear its all okay.
    I think letting discussion happen wherever people enjoy it most is a great idea. I do wish the design of these forums was different and easier to keep track of.
    Regarding Synthstrom TV, I enjoy it but perhaps a set of videos can be curated per month to create like a 45 minute set that comes out every month. I am unsure of the amount of work but this would remove the server/live needs and will still showcase people's creations.
    I am still working up the courage to make a video with one of my tracks but I enjoy seeing people's creativity.
    Cheers and thank you for all your hard work!

  • 0
    OctavianOctavian CanadaPosts: 67

    When Rohan called for aid, did he light the beacons?

  • 0
    hardwarecorehardwarecore wisconsinBeta Tester Posts: 16

    I think it's cool that you keep an old school style forum here, far away from facebook and the like. As you said, there are already some good user groups elsewhere on the internet for those who prefer a busier and more fast paced experience. But I like knowing that I can check in here for the meat and potatoes (i.e. just the important stuff). On all of those other platforms, things just tend to move way too fast and posts are slid down within a few days, generally. But here, I can check in just occasionally for news about updates and for soundsets people have released (one of the greatest things about this forum, imo). And then if I ever want to check out user videos and tracks, there's always those other places.

    I saw the recent post about a beta test group coming here, rather than facebook, and I couldn't be more excited. :) I've completely ditched facebook so this is great news. I've been neglecting my gear in general and just feeling sort of blah and I think a good 'ol Deluge update might be just what the doctor ordered.

    Much love to everyone there at Synthstrom and it's wonderful to hear how well things are going. It's like they always say, build a great product and the world will beat a path to your door.

  • 1
    TsapioTsapio San RafaelBeta Tester Posts: 21

    @Ian_Jorgensen I know the company is as big as you want it to be but my two cents is to hire someone to handle all the social media et al for you. You do NOT need to be spending any time on that garbage. Your time and mental health are MUCH better spent doing what you want to be doing. Paying someone is always better especially when it sounds like demand isn't a problem. ;)
    This instrument is groundbreaking and needs to be in people's hands but shouldn't break you at the same time.

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