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OpenVoyce

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Olivier El Mekki
Maker
@oelmekki · maker
Hi guys! We've created OpenVoyce because we wanted something to brainstorm features with our users. Uservoice was what we had in mind, but it was way too pricey for us, especially for side projects, and we didn't need the top notch analytics that were bundled in it. So we decided to build our own product. Fast forward a year and a half, after beta testing it, we decided to open it, because we're probably not the only ones in that case. For people building side projects, good news: you now have a Uservoice-like app for free, if you can manage to stay under 20 posts (which should be plenty enough for side projects), no credit card required. For people more invested in their product, you now have a simpler version of Uservoice for a fraction of the price. There's an other differentiator we built with time (like music composers say : don't be afraid to copy your favorite artists, you won't end up doing the same thing anyway). Uservoice suite is really data centric, it's all about big numbers. To follow the recent years trend on more human support, we decided to focus on communication rather than numbers. We want you to brainstorm with your community, which is a great way for building a community in itself. For this, we focused strongly on making discussions relevant. Rather than having people saying the same thing again and again, and sorting it out through metrics, we added some advanced NLP techniques to make sure there are no duplicates to begin with (or at least, the least possible). We want every word to matter and discussions to be the more human like possible. Let us know your thoughts!
Rick Bannerman@plexkits · PLEXKITS
Glad to see you guys on here! I've been a happy user for about a month now. Love the simplicity of it, I think it's a perfect fit for a lot of small/med companies that just want to implement something like this quickly without the cost of UserVoice. Over the last month, I've seen quite a few new ideas implemented from their own page and had excellent support from Olivier and the team!
Olivier El Mekki
Maker
@oelmekki · maker
@plexkits Thanks Rick, it means a lot :) See you there!
Yaniv Goldenberg@yanivgoldenberg · Growth Strategist @Elemntor
Great idea and great product! Good luck guys.
Chris Wilson@automateiq · VoiceCut CEO
Super cool tool and love using it with my teams and ventures!
Olivier El Mekki
Maker
@oelmekki · maker
@automateiq thanks, glad you like it!
Alec Kinnear@foliovision · Creative Director at Foliovision
Very interesting and lightweight featured voting system unlike the expensive and complicated existing solutions. I'm thrilled to hear de-duplication techniques are in progress. Simple merge of requests by the software owner would be a big help - i.e. we just identify two requests as identical and merge them into one another, with the previous duplicate getting a 301 redirect.
Olivier El Mekki
Maker
@oelmekki · maker
@foliovision Thanks Alec :) Indeed, merging suggestions is becoming a priority, at last. When I created the suggestion, I expected it would gather enough support to be considered the priority by the community. It turned out that what they really wanted first was branding features, with custom domains, styling, those sort of things, so that's what we did first. Now that it's out of the way, we'll be able to focus more on merging (although, being able to translate interface is still a big and recurring request, so we'll do that first). Note that merging requests is a last resort, though : we want to avoid duplicates as much as possible in first place (it's also annoying for the person who took some time to type something, just to be pointed at something already discussed). That's why a core feature from the get go is semantic search. While someone is typing a suggestion, previous suggestions are looked up and presented not only by a strict word match but by semantic proximity (under the hood, for the gory details, we use word embeddings generated by word2vec neural network). This means, for example, that if you try to suggest "organize staff" on our own OpenVoyce, you'll see as first previous suggestion the "allow to manage team members" suggestion, despite its text not containing the word "organize" nor the word "staff". This should reduce duplicates considerably. Obviously, it's not perfect, and it's not enough by itself : some people may not even look at suggestions. So ultimately, merging suggestions is something we will need.
Alec Kinnear@foliovision · Creative Director at Foliovision
@oelmekki You can't rely on users to use or respect automated de-duplication (although it's useful). Without automated merging, a product owner has to just delete mercilessly. Also not good.
Olivier El Mekki
Maker
@oelmekki · maker
@foliovision Yup, basically what I said :)
Alec Kinnear@foliovision · Creative Director at Foliovision
@oelmekki Don't make more of mountain out of this merging than you need to Olivier. Merge should turn the new feature request into a comment(s) on the other feature request, add an upvote(s) to its new location and show a small "merged" indicator below the relocated comment. Anything more complicated is just creating trouble for product owners and your team.
Olivier El Mekki
Maker
@oelmekki · maker
@foliovision Yeah indeed, it brings no value for new readers to know about all the details about merge history anyway : only the person who made the "removed" suggestion needs to know about it. I think we'll still make the action send a mail to that person, though, because they're suddenly part of an existing discussion, and they may find some of their concerns addressed in it - or may want to contribute further given what other people said.