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A message from Michael Shaw, Director of Tes Resources - Payment delays and the 'follower' function

Discussion in 'Tes Authors' Group' started by tesAuthorTeam, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. tesAuthorTeam

    tesAuthorTeam Administrator Staff Member TES Authors' forum host

    Good afternoon all,

    Thanks for all the authors who’ve joined in the discussions on here and elsewhere.

    The delay to author payments

    As my colleagues have already said, we’re deeply sorry about the payment delays. We try to provide advanced warning when we’re aware that delays are going to happen for one reason or another (e.g. Bank Holidays). In this case, we discovered the delays too late to notify our authors. These kinds of issues are precisely why our development team has been working on improving our payment processes. We will try to avoid such delays in future, as we are aware of the problems they cause.

    The “follower” functionality

    I’ve heard there’s been some speculation about what the removal of the follower functionality signifies. As the leader of the old team that introduced much of it about four years ago, I’ve actually found it quite nice to know that it was valued by some of you, that you liked it and that you believed it was useful. Unfortunately, while we’ve had ongoing successes with other aspects of our work on profiles, “follow” wasn’t one of the systems that ever really took off.

    If “follow” had helped authors drive significant sales and downloads, obviously we’d keep it - it would be in our interests too! However, only very tiny numbers of users ever actually chose to follow others, use the post feature, or buy or download a resource as a result of it.

    The team in charge of these features is retiring the ‘follow’ function to free up space for new features which use the rich data our systems collect to draw in buyers to your resources in a much more effective way.

    We also always want to guide authors to activities that we know have genuine value. As much as we’d love to be able to show off about our own systems, we have to admit that on this one we’re better advising authors to build up their followers and get posting on Pinterest and Facebook instead.

    The ongoing changes to the site are signs that we continue to want to increase the number of teachers who visit it and buy or download your resources.

    Some of the changes are subtler than others. One that will be going live this afternoon alters how subjects appear in search. This change, based on significant data and user testing, means we’ll no longer be showing “Aboriginal Studies” as the first subject primary teachers in the UK see…. It is the start of a set of improvements designed to ensure there is greater relevance in what we display, not just to teachers in Britain but to those in the US, Australia and all around the world. It’s also an indicator that we remain keen to help you reach an even bigger global audience, and we look forward to sharing more details in the not-too-distant future.

    Michael Shaw, Director of Tes
    MosaiK and Lead_Practitioner like this.
  2. Jane Austen

    Jane Austen New commenter

    The main question has not been answered - when are we going to receive payment?
  3. Lead_Practitioner

    Lead_Practitioner New commenter

    A lot of us have been paid today but it depends on when you made your last withdrawal. Check your account again and if still nothing email TES about it.
  4. nwilkin

    nwilkin Occasional commenter

    I withdrew yesterday and got paid today. All my payments are up to date.
  5. Lead_Practitioner

    Lead_Practitioner New commenter

    That makes more sense, thank you.
    I wish I'd been that lucky!
  6. nwilkin

    nwilkin Occasional commenter

    I thought you got paid today too. Are you still waiting then?
  7. Lead_Practitioner

    Lead_Practitioner New commenter

    I think I misunderstood. I withdrew on Sunday 2nd June and was paid this morning.
    nwilkin likes this.
  8. PrimaryPros

    PrimaryPros New commenter

    Are you able to outline what these new features are?
    If not, is there a timescale for their announcement/introduction?

  9. ClassroomChemist

    ClassroomChemist New commenter

    Still no basket 8 months after it was promised. Is this one of the new features?
  10. tesAuthorTeam

    tesAuthorTeam Administrator Staff Member TES Authors' forum host

    On the first one, what those new features are will depend on what performs well in user testing / what's most practical in the new framework that's being designed for the logged in home page. We're looking forward to seeing more on that, and sharing it when we do.

    Timescale-wise, as I mentioned in another thread, I'm afraid I've had my fingers burned making promises about the timing of what other teams are building for us. External developments, such as the sudden emergence of new hacking approaches or tough deadlines for legislation, means we've sometimes had to push back work that was very close to going live to prioritise more urgent changes. But it would be weird if the logged-in home page of Tes didn't prominently feature resources (as it's the most popular part of the site), and we've got a lot of confidence in the team redesigning it, who've made many signficant changes in the last two months.

    Systems that can push *all* downloaders to relevant new / updated resources will definitely have more value than systems that only did so for the small percentage who chose to click "Follow". That's why we're encouraged by the change.

    We'll share what we can as soon as we can!

    [Michael Shaw, director of Tes Resources]
  11. tesAuthorTeam

    tesAuthorTeam Administrator Staff Member TES Authors' forum host

    Thanks @ClassroomChemist. Yes, that's a good example of being careful about what we announce and when. We were indeed very close to launching a version of the basket at the end of last year, but had to put the work back because the introduction of the new payment integration meant we'd have had to re-do it.

    We've also continued to do user-testing on it. While the earlier research made it look like a certain positive for sellers (and I'm sure there may be authors who think "If Amazon does it, surely it must be good?") further user research has made it more ambiguous about whether it's a sure-fire winner. In some tests we've seen behaviour where the users have put paid resources in baskets - that previously they might have just bought on the spot - then carried on searching, found a free resource, and exited without buying what was in their basket. Though that may just have been because of how the functionality was designed.

    We're still looking at different forms of multi-buy, and may launch a version of the basket. But we won't put anything like that to live fully until the testing shows it's going to help our authors improve their sales.

    [Michael Shaw, director of Tes Resources]
    Lead_Practitioner and nwilkin like this.

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