December 2023 AMA?

What are that chances that we are going to get a December 2023 AMA?


  • Elijustrying-INGElijustrying-ING Posts: 5,339 Ambassador

    what follows is just me thinking about this ……. So a bit of a brain dump. (😂I wonder how that translates)

    I haven’t been a fan of AMAs - and that was before I became an ambassador. I do not feel they are a useful communication tool.

    I see 2 different things here. Last time we had a section for Niantic and a question for Ambassadors.

    I thought it was useful for the Ambassadors to answer questions. We need to be accountable but we also need to communicate what we have been doing and give an opportunity for all wayfinders to raise new issues or follow up on points. The AMA resulted in the “list” of what we have been up to. That does take time, but it should be something that is important.

    I think we are good at picking up issues - but I don’t know if that impression is shared by the wider community? I don’t think we are as good at communicating progress. But then some changes just happen and other times the wheels of Niantic move very slowly. So I’d be interested to know more as to how we close that loop.

    Then there is the Wayfarer Team side. There are questions wayfinders have so what would work best, is there a value in the AMA style?

    Over to you.

  • Dlofirt-INGDlofirt-ING Posts: 7 ✭✭

    Ok. So I see all the above points as valid, but the alternative is that we get nothing.

    I see the AMA as an imperfect way of having an expectation of a semi-regular response (albeit maybe not to the level desired) to a range of questions.

    I felt it was a nice addition to get the Ambassador perspective in the last installment.

    I would be happy to see all questions answered in a reasonable time with some more detail, but that is clearly not happening at this time.

    Maybe a 3, 4, 6 month update/common questions answered comes some way to compromising both parties expectations.

    Allows the opportunity to do what's needed without being tied up with answering questions at times while going some way to meeting the expectation of communication.

    It would just be nice to expect something rather than having an expectation of nothing.

  • HaramDingo-INGHaramDingo-ING Posts: 1,725 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The amount of time worked into organising the AMAs, monitoring the AMAs, administering the AMAs and responding the AMAs could be used to work on more important things. Like actually putting Contributions Management as the Wayfarer emails have said we could check the details of for almost two years now. Or changing the email to remove that line.

    It is an excuse to inflate community engagement which is used to leave even more people confused after rather than going into the AMAs. Do what the roadmap says. Apart from Tintino who says that he's reviewed with his non-work account on Wayfarer and another Niantic staff member who actually did nominate something only to have to rejected, I don't feel Niantic is particularly cognisant of how the product actually works. The fact that many appeals (a rather loud minority) that should have been universally accepted and/or AIs rejecting things incorrectly being met with radio silence is also annoying. And routes... I honestly do hope things were said.

    We will get nothing (much) from the AMA, but we will continue to get nothing. Ambassadors are doing a great job, but that credit is being dampened to an old man in a wetsuit in the desert.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 3,429 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One of the benefits of an AMA that comes from Niantic is that it is ex officio, in that it is Niantic speaking for itself. There is some ambiguity about whether AMA answers constitute an official change to criteria or just Niantic offering an opinion, but the opinions in an AMA carry more weight than anything written by someone who isn't an employee.

    Ambassadors answering questions can also be useful but their answers do not carry the same weight as someone speaking on behalf of Niantic.

  • The26thDoctor-PGOThe26thDoctor-PGO Posts: 4,675 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Really, really love an Ama....Personally I've gained more insight and clarity from the Ambassadors posting on here over the last yearish then I have from any ama.

    Niantic should reach out to the ambassadors and leverage a robust solution before their blue sky thinking is misaligned with Niantic's core values.

    Maybe not immediately but if a contemporary reimagining of their functional transitional concepts is to be realised then definitely maybe in the near future or soon before those Ambassadors get too big for their boots!

  • TWVer-INGTWVer-ING Posts: 777 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The last AMA was a joke really. When they released the answers, my first thought was "great, we have a roadmap, now when do we get the answers?", and we still don't have the answers. Not a single criteria question was answered. It felt like an excuse to say "See, we DO communicate with you". Communication has only gotten worse, not better.

  • smantz0rZ-PGOsmantz0rZ-PGO Posts: 349 ✭✭✭✭

    AMAs provide some avenue for communication and accountability, albeit a very little one. It's much better to have some communication than none. The Community knows Niantic needs to do better in a lot of ways and deserves to have their voice heard, and Niantic can provide updates on a lot of their initiatives to improve the user experience.

  • auntergoafa-PGOauntergoafa-PGO Posts: 100 ✭✭✭

    For example, the review flow that was scheduled to be improved in early September will get a lot of attention, but if the Wayfarer team announces the current status in advance, we will not have to post silly questions about when it will be improved.

    This is not just a report, but communication with us. Now, who will point out the Wayfarer team's lack of communication in the next AMA?

  • Gazzas89-PGOGazzas89-PGO Posts: 2,600 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like amas when they were done right, like how they were originally or when there was categories with 5 questions in each. But I'd like to change the categories slightly to

    Criteria guidance (keep this the same)

    Road map questions (things we already know about that are (supposedly) coming but we want more info on)

    Feature requests (I k ow these will mostly be "we will take this on board" but sometimes a good idea can be heard and implemented)

    General question (ones thay dont fit the other 3 categories)

    I can even think of a questions for these

    1. Can we finally get some good criteria for restaurants, not the generic and vague "they can meet, but need local news articles or something"

    2. Can someone give a rough estimate when we will finally be removing the 3 pointless categories we vote on (historical/social importance, safety, visual uniqueness)

    3. Can we get a tracker to let us know when our next appeal will be due

    4. (Possibly could be classed as a feature request). With the backlog of appeals being caught up quite a bit now, could we look at having an option to get an extra appeal at the same time as, or instead of, upgrades?

  • rufoushumming-PGOrufoushumming-PGO Posts: 1,381 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2023

    Effort versus return

    Who is getting what out of it? Is it also branding exercise - be seen to engage. Also we don't know how feedback is collated. Then how prioritised. Against what other priorities. And if there is a weighted index for prioriies what that looks like. This means - no matter - how good feedback is - there will be an internal organisational process that goes we have other stuff we need to do. Such as the stuff that makes money, fix data/privacy, regulatory/compliance obligations, technical integrity fixes (how to EOL (end of life) soon to be deprecated code) etc etc.... But the engagement process can improve your product with sound new improved features.

    I know I use similar processes where I work to improve our products and services. But we make it very very clear that as good as the information we collect is there is no guarantee any idea will be implemented.

    My key bug bear is the criteria bit. We in these forums operate in our vacuum. We interact with a larger subset of users who come here and read/ask questions. Many of the users here are part of other non Niantic groups that communicate. But the vast vast vast majority of users never come here.

    So while we get the criteria and use it and or disseminate it to be interpreted by others in the non Niantic groups.

    In the mean time the vast majority of nominators/reviewers are oblivious.

    The onboarding process does not take into account the criteria clarifications. The Criteria section is rarely updated - Niantic Wayfarer ( - there is little re-education (not in the Russian meaning) of existing nominators.let alone reviewers. The showcase landing section is just an appalling idea that often legitimises poor nominations as it showcases nominations that should not be there. Nor is there any realy practical ongoing process (well there maybe but I have not seen it).

    The process should be - we have new guidelines/clarifications. Update. Criteria pages. Update tests. Send email to reviewers/nominators that there are updated criteria/clarifications with link to section. Release post to forum of new criteria.

    At the same time WHILE improving onboarding, introducing regular re-education of both nominators and reviewers. With more Honey traps. And seriously consider reducing number of nominations that can be made in a day/month or something by one person. Quality v quantity. Because there are way more nominators than reviewers.

    Don't do criteria if you are not going to do all the other work that is required to support it.

    Regarding don't do AMA when there are so many issues to resolve. I get peoples opinions on that. And I think this view needs to be seen in context as to why people feel that way.

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