Spotify recently soft-launched a new community forum at community.spotify.com. Built on the Lithium platform, this Official Spotify Community is a forum for Spotify users to help each other out, but it’s also frequented by several Spotify staffers keen to point users in the right direction. Community Manager Rorey says the forum’s goal is “to give folks a place to collaborate and support each other when using Spotify, as well as discuss their favorite music. It’s a place where we all help each other, whether we work for Spotify or not.”
Of course, the first question you’ll have is whether this new community is a replacement for the established official support forum on getsatisfaction. A cynic might say this is just an attempt to offload support from official channels onto “power” users. Incentives such as User Kudos, Founder Status for superfans and callouts to Top Kudoed Authors do seem to bear this up. Concern has also been raised that this new community will somehow reset the 3-year archive of requests logged on getsatisfaction. But this new community is clearly tagged “Beta” and as Moderator David says, “We are just trying to get into the swing of getting posts in the right place.” Along with bona fide bug fix and feature requests, the getsatisfaction forum is full of “how do I do X” queries than can easily be answered by anyone with a bit of Spotify experience. I’d much rather the Spotify support team concentrate on helping users with legitimate issues rather than be distracted by all this low-hanging fruit. And superfans love to help each other out so why not give a proper platform to do this?
The new Spotify Community has been extensively branded with the Spotify look-and-feel and is packed full of user features and customization options. You login with your regular Spotify details so there’s no need to create yet another account. You can easily track and subscribe to posts (either by email or RSS) and “reward” good posts or ideas with the in-built voting system. There’s extensive tagging and intelligent search, user image galleries and the ability to embed links and graphics in your posts.
The overall structure is split into three main areas: Spotify Community, Help Forums and Music Forums. The Spotify Community area also has a couple of Idea Exchange sections, with tabs for Hot, New and Top Ideas. This does seem to be a direct copy of the “Share an Idea” section on getsatisfaction, so I expect there will a fair bit of duplication here.
The new community makes the getsatisfaction forum seem a bit dated and bland, although it is of course empty compared to getsatisfaction’s three-plus year archive. Content has not been moved across automatically, so you or someone else will need to restart a discussion thread manually if it’s still relevant. In an announcement back on getsatisfaction Spotify say:
We will no longer use the GetSatisfaction forum as our main channel of Community support, we hope you’ll help move some of the salient issues and feature requests over to the new Community. If you’ve previously created or joined any threads in this forum, please feel free to help us start the same discussions in our new Community.
Whether this means the getsatisfaction forum will be phased out completely remains to be seen. The new community forum has already been added to the navbar on the main Spotify website (making the Spotify blog a bit harder to find!), but the getsatisfaction forum remains linked in from the Help pages. Hopefully the confusion around which to use will naturally sort itself out once the new community comes out of beta.