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From drew <>
Subject Re: User support: beyond forums or lists
Date Wed, 24 Aug 2011 01:30:10 GMT
On Wed, 2011-08-24 at 09:05 +1000, Jean Weber wrote:
> I've started a new thread, because I think Rob Weir's very important point has got lost
in the discussions about forums and lists. Rob wrote:
> > Support is important. The question is
> > how best to do it.  If all we're doing is considering the merits of
> > different access methods to support, without looking at the
> > implications of fragmenting the repositories and the resulting
> > knowledge base, then we are doing a poor job at thinking this through.
> > Remember the best support site is the one that allows the user to
> > answer their own question, without signing up for a mailing list or
> > posting to a forum. We should be looking at how we can prevent user
> > support questions.
> This ties in closely with end-user documentation and how it is delivered, so I am very
interested in this topic. Later today I'll go through the archives of this list to find the
earlier discussions, which I believe occurred while I was traveling and thus weren't given
enough of my attention at the time. Or, have ideas and suggestions, perhaps examples of good
practice, been posted to the wiki? Apple is IMO a brilliant example, but they have a lot of
> It's clear to me that we need to do better than we have in the user support area, if
we can do so. Not only will that benefit users and improve our reputation, it will allow us
to work smarter, not harder. I will pursue this, along with other interested people. It's
something valuable that I can do while the techies are moving websites and working with code
> Setting up a suitable system and populating it with suitable information will be a big
task and take quite awhile, especially if we don't have enough skilled people to do it. (I'm
referring to content, not infrastructure.) All the more reason to get started now with planning
what we want to do, so we can start doing it ASAP. 
> BTW, the Docs mailing list at OOo gets quite a few enquiries from people wanting to contribute,
and a few of them sound like they have relevant experience and skills. I don't want to lose
them. Yes, we point them to this list as well as ODFAuthors, but I don't know how many have
actually joined. If we're actively discussing topics of interest to documenters, perhaps more
people can be persuaded to get involved.

Hi Jean,

Before I let another thread slide away from view - I agree completely
with approaching this with a unified view of user support, not just
stove pipes for different delivery vehicles.


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