Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Autodesk Seek and Content

Since I wrote about managing content yesterday I might as well follow up with another content related tale. I was hunting for air terminal families yesterday. I visited Autodesk Seek and downloaded this:

Trox USA: DID300 Series Active Chilled Beams, One or Two-Way Discharge, Ideal for Use in Shallow Ceiling Cavities

It's a minor defect but it has a masking region that does not properly maintain its size when a different type is chosen. The 4x4 type works but the others; 6x6,8x8 & 10x10 result in a very large masking region that would hide more than intended. I believe it is intended to mask the pipe connections to clean up the plan view appearance. It isn't hard to fix but it is extra work.

Which brings me to my reason for posting. If the Seek site offered a way to rate or comment on a family page I could have put my observations where others would find it useful to help decide if they want to try to use it, instead of writing about it here.

I also visited the Price website to check out their Revit content, specifically for air terminals. I discovered that most, if not all, of their face-based content is built upside-down. Unfortunately when you place them on a face they end up pointing up into the plenum instead of down into the room. A simple comparison between working air terminals from Autodesk and theirs (Price) will reveal the inconsistency.

To Price's credit, I sent them an email about the face-based issue and I got a response within an hour asking about my issue. I've passed on my concerns and it appears that older content is suffering this malady while newer content isn't. I used their Download All option so I wasn't able to differentiate from old/new. Suffice it to say that for now they are working on it!


Steve Bennett said...

Yes, that's a big ticket item you mentioned about Autodesk Seek. There should be both a rating and a comment feedback box. It would also be helpful for Autodesk to enforce the Seek guidelines they developed for everyone, not just certified ACN developers.

Blue Jay said...

I find it to be quite a clandestine procedure as to how to get content on seek. Does anyone have any secret maps as to how we can post content? Their documentation is obtuse. "In 3 easy steps..."

Ben May said...

I agree with the previous comment, and to add to that where the content is actually coming from is not very transparent on seek

But there is a lot of content on seek but how useful any of it is out of the box is very miss with a few random HITs, they now have analytics for the suppliers and manufacturers which you would think you Autodesk are charging for. So I guess a user rating system will ruffle feathers on the content creation side.

Unknown said...

I'm the Seek product manager at Autodesk- useful post and comments for me. We've heard and talked about enabling user comments, though frankly I normally associated this ability with "This is a good/bad product" -type comments, not on the quality of the Revit model per se.
Interesting if there were a crowd-source method of monitoring model content quality.

As to Ben's comment that this might ruffle the manufacturers' feathers- yeah it might and yes I admit to worrying about that (not ALL comments are thoughtful and unbiased) but on the other hand we do tout to them the advantages of putting quality content up there, and if we could figure out how to do it right it would be great if the community elevated quality content and created an incentive for them to please the community.

Let me ask you: what if we required a Seek User account before we allowed you to comment like this, and required you listed your professional role and company? What I'm driving for is if someone does give a big thumbs-down on an item, he/she has to take minimal steps to identify her identity and point of view...

Steve said...

That would work for me.

Blue Jay said...

I'm okay with the login.

Noah, would you care to elaborate as to how someone gets their content onto Seek?
(and don't link me to the Seek site, it's not clear.)

Unknown said...


As in submitting user-generated content that all others can use? There's not a way to do that now. Our previous attempts didn't work too well in terms of number of people submitting and quality of content, and we're looking at different ways of doing this.

Is that the use case you were talking about?

Blue Jay said...

I wondering how to submit content. There must be a way since there is content on Seek. How exactly did the content on Seek get onto Seek?