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From drew <d...@baseanswers.com>
Subject RE: User support - what do others do
Date Wed, 24 Aug 2011 21:05:29 GMT
On Wed, 2011-08-24 at 13:24 -0700, Dennis E. Hamilton wrote:
> Simon,
> 
> There is no doubt violent agreement about forums.  
> 
> I still would prefer to have some list *also* (after all, odf-user@a.i.o is apparently
there already) but I can always satisfy my personal workflow preferences and find lists to
support users on.  Maybe I can scratch my support and QA itch on StackOverflow.  I would especially
want a list for ooo-accessibility@i.a.o once we recognize how that matters.

A couple of things.

Personally I don't have a problem with having both.

I do have a problem with how the user mailing list was run in the past.

That said - there was, in the case of the English speaking lists
actually two active users mailing lists.

The main users at oo.o. This was a catch all for every module in the
suite, less one, Base.

Actually I think each module had a user list but the other module lists
where not active.

In the case of the Base user list (users at dba.oo.o) the list was
active and for myself and some others I saw we would work the forum and
the mailing list as a pair.

So if you wanted to ask a question about say, how to write a SQL select
statement, we would try to get you to the forum and answer the questions
there. But if you had a question that required some deep diving then the
mailing list was available - the mailing list offered another level of
expertise up to  and including talking with the actual developers.

Some folks might recognize this pattern - way back in the stone age I
had a job as manager for a development group producing a couple of apps
for the mortgage banking market and as things happen for the better part
of one year the added role of managing the customer support group. Now
the customer support staff (folks that came from a banking operations
background) could field most issues with the software, first level
support, but from time to some issue needed second level support (a
support engineer, a CS background) or third level, the developers and
often Mo Money :-)

What I was trying to do was to mimic that same pattern between the
forums (1st level) and the mailing list (2nd level) or even 3rd level.
2nd level because there where plenty of working DBAs on the mailing list
that where not about to use the forum, but would help with a question on
the mailing list and then of course it was also the gateway to the
actual developers. (Bugzilla comes into play here also or course..)

I can;t make too much of this because it was never spelled out or formal
in any way, but it was how I tried to do things for myself and I think
it worked quite well, quite often - can we find a way to bring that to a
more general solution - not sure, but it could go a long way to making
the support better - will developers help with support, I think they
will, if people are helping them by taking the true 1st level questions
and then passing thru the questions (and here I mean getting the person
asking to move to the list if possible) that merit a deeper
understanding.

anwyay - long email and I'll stop here.

//drew






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