How *not* to help your users

I got an email this afternoon from "VMWare Communities."  You've seen emails like this, I'm sure -- here's your status, and some stuff you might be interested in, and so on.  Emails like this are generally intended to strengthen a connect with customers, which is great -- normally.

In this case, though, there was a section of the email entitled "Your Content":

Activity around content you've created or contributed to

When I saw this, I was pretty excited, because I'd forgotten (for the time being) about both of these issues.  I'd posted questions in VMWare's forums for a couple of issues, and I hadn't recalled seeing solutions for either of them.   According to the newsletter, though, there were updates available on both questions.  Happy day!

Until I went and read the forum topics.

It turns out that VMWare's little newsletter-writer counting tool was counting *all* views and *all* replies, so in both cases, it turns out that my post was the last one in the topic.  Worse, yet, my posts were six and nine months old, respectively (no wonder I'd forgotten about them).  So instead of reaching out and building ties with me, in this case, VMWare merely succeeded in reminding me that their open issues aren't being fixed, and that their support forums are effectively dead.

"You break back in six months."