We are happy to announce that our Facebook fan page for avast! antivirus has reached a whopping 300,000 fans!
From the time I started at AVAST Software, I began hearing the name “Bob” a lot, but never saw the guy, and his handle on the avast! Forum – “bob3160″ – sounded to me like some new industry buzz word, a new kind of machine that would change the way we all live. When I finally asked someone about “Bob,” I was shocked. “He’s one of our biggest fans on the user forum, and he helps us with a lot of stuff in the US.” Bob ranks third on the avast! Forum in terms of post count, with over 15,000 as of this writing (about 4,000 posts ahead of our CTO, Ondrej Vlcek). I began to laugh that the ‘avast! secret weapon’ might be a retiree in the southwestern desert of the USA.
Early in 2011, Bob and some other avast! Forum “Evangelists” came to visit us in Prague, and I think we were all affected in some way by his positive demeanor, charismatic personality, warm heart, and sincerity. It made me think that, yes, it’s “bob3160″ and others like him who are indeed the avast! secret weapons. It was an honor to interview Bob, and we hope he returns soon to visit us in Prague. – Jason Mashak
1. How long have you been using avast! antivirus solutions and how influential would you say avast! Forum members have been in their development?
I first discovered avast! in 2003 while looking for a replacement for Norton, which at that time was using my computer more than I was.
After testing quite a few alternatives, I finally settled on avast! since the protection it offered was excellent and it wasn’t a system hog like the others.
It actually allowed me to gain access to my computer again, something I really had not enjoyed for some time.
2. In terms of innovative practices, can you think of any other product or service that has such a feeling of ‘community’ and user-co-development as that fostered by AVAST?
I honestly can’t – and I do belong to several other forums, even though my involvement with the other forums I frequent isn’t the same as it is with the Avast forum. I consider the Avast Forum my home away from home. Read more…
avast! WebRep combines antivirus software with website ratings from millions of users in the global avast! community – providing users of avast! 6.0 with a community-sourced guide to the safety and/or content of websites. avast! users can thus know – before clicking a link – what to expect in terms of product or service quality, customer service levels, or website safety and reliability. Ratings results are “traffic-light” simple: green = GO… orange = CAUTION… red = STOP!
But we’ve talked about that before. This time, let’s take a look at the website categories… Read more…
When the Marketing/PR department was trying to transition to the company’s new project tracking system, it was difficult explaining how each task in our department can be so unique… but that didn’t phase Lukas, who (like me) was still fairly new at AVAST. He helped us determine an overall scheme, with variously detailed project subcategories that made sense. He suggested solutions that could be more easily optimized in the future. And, in terms of QA, that’s exactly how you want to handle things. –Jason Mashak
1. The “QA” in your title is a bit abstract – what types of projects at AVAST are you responsible for the quality of?
In terms of avast! 6.0, we test the antivirus regularly and report any bugs in new features. As avast! is the most widespread antivirus software, the product also has great community support that includes a group of avast! Forum evangelists who help with the testing of every new Beta release. The community makes good suggestions and their help allows us to verify that avast! works on thousands of different configurations.
There are also other projects being built in AVAST’s offices that we put our hands on, such as testing the upcoming Business Protection and Business Protection Plus (administration console) for small business customers. And Mac users should start looking forward to a new version of avast! for Mac. Read more…
Not long after I started at AVAST, I started hearing about Martin as “the guy” capable of handling almost anything language or support related. We connected quickly, I think, because of similar backgrounds (in music and education) and responsibilities (kids and work). Whenever possible, I try to join him for vegetarian lunches a few minutes from our office, and I’m hoping we’ll soon make it into a recording studio to get some of his tasty (jazzy) Fender Rhodes keyboard riffs added to a couple of my songs-in-progress. –Jason Mashak
1. How does the ability to communicate in roughly half a dozen tongues shape your ‘official’ job function at AVAST?
The fact that I can communicate in several languages means that I can easily fill the ‘holes’ wherever needed. So when someone takes a holiday, I can easily jump in and take over the work in his or her (native) language. I’m not only doing tech support, but also sales and, if really necessary, I can do some work for other departments, like editing datasheets in other languages or dealing with unique customer issues. And of course, a big part of my work consists of translating (mostly technical) documents (where my background as a former physics teacher of course helps a lot concerning the technical aspect). So actually, I’m officially in tech support, but much of the time doing other things.
2. In terms of tech support, what are some of the strangest inquiries that you’ve encountered? Read more…
Friday, March 4, 2011, someone installed avast! Free Antivirus and pushed the “Register” button at JUST the right time: to be the 150 millionth registered user! Read more…
From the time I started working at AVAST, I kept hearing about our avast! Forum “Evangelists” – Community members who have helped us greatly over the years by providing tech support to other users, product feedback (including ideas for improvements), and more. In short, they have been the true heartbeat of AVAST ever since the avast! Forum went LIVE in 2002. As of March, 2011, the top forum evangelist, with almost 55,000 (55 THOUSAND!!!) forum posts, is the Brazil-based user known as “Tech” – known to his family and friends as Lisandro Souza. I was especially interested in interviewing him, as was interested primarily in his motivation for helping AVAST over the years. –Jason Mashak
1. For avast! users who have never visited the avast! Forum, considering that it’s not only a tech-support community, how would you summarize the full range of activity that happens there?
It’s a true Community. We share knowledge, dreams, friendship, professional and leisure readings and thoughts. It’s a very open-minded place, no fanboyism, freedom. There is room for techies and non-techies. You can learn. You can share. You can help and receive help. You can interact with the developers and “interfere” in the future of it in some cases: you really participate. You can rest with some threads about technology and non-avast related. Although, some of us miss the Off Topic forum (sorry Pavel, couldn’t resist…). If you never being in a forum, come, feel the atmosphere!
2. What have been some of the most fulfilling moments for you as an avast! Forum member?
The first troubleshooting with “Vlk” [Ondrej Vlcek, CTO] and Jindrich Kubec [Virus Lab Director]: the professionalism and warm reception caught me! Read more…
In a few days I’ll introduce a new avast! Blog feature, in which I’ll interview various people involved with AVAST Software – team members, volunteer translators, business partners, avast! Forum “evangelists,” etc. –with 5 questions.
This will give you a better look inside AVAST, at the people who make things happen on our end.
The frequency of interview postings will be partly “as inspired” and partly “up to you”… that is, the more you like them, the more they’ll keep coming.
Read interviews here:
The world is getting smaller. At least that’s how the saying goes, and in many ways this is true. This, however, was not at the forefront of my or my colleague Vojtas’ mind after travelling for more than half a day to visit AVAST Software partner iYogi in Delhi, India, this week. Read more…
Customer feedback, with other companies and industries I’ve worked in, had a tendency toward primarily negativity. There was very little balance – complaints greatly outweighed any occasional positive stories we would receive. In each case we would justify the imbalance with generalizations that “people love to complain” or “nobody has time to give positive feedback”… or the cynical “they probably just want a credit” (and, at least in American culture, the last one is unfortunately often the case, as it has become a norm there to take advantage of the adage “the customer is always right” to secure discounts, freebies, etc. – I know, because I myself have emailed restaurants after a bad experience, knowing I would likely receive a voucher along with the standard apology) .
Something is different, however, at AVAST. Read more…