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From Mathias Bauer <>
Subject Re: [Was: Re: [Discussion]]
Date Wed, 24 Aug 2011 07:05:42 GMT
Am 23.08.2011 23:40, schrieb Jean Weber:

> Idle curiosity: I wonder how many people who offer support do it in
> both places: mailing list and forum, or more or exclusively in one or
> the other.
> Personal observation (not intended as a generalization): my
> preferences vary with whether I'm a consumer or a provider of support
> services. As a consumer, I generally prefer a forum, but as a
> provider I prefer an email list. Perhaps I'm just weird, or set in my
> ways... :-)

No, I think that you are just representative for the situation we are
facing: deep in our hearts we know that the average user of would prefer forums for support, but as most of us are
quite "old style", we prefer mail for our own communication (I also do).
But IMHO we should acknowledge the fact that the worm should taste good
for the fish, not for the fisherman.

My personal take on that: if users obviously prefer forums for support
to a large degree (denying that IMHO is self-deception), we should
account for that. OTOH discouraging power users from participating in
the support is also not what we want, so we should analyse what stands
in the way of people who actually want to give support in web forums.

>From my own perspective there is one major PITA in web forums - it's
their unreliable systems to mark threads or posts as "read". I'm using
several forums, mainly about photographic topics, by myself, but I
didn't find a single one that has a reliable way of telling me which
posts I have read already. If I was participating there mainly to answer
questions, I would like to get that fixed.

Perhaps echoing posts in a mailing list can help. This would allow the
supporters to track the forum via mail. If possible, it would be even
great to be able to send answers to the forum via mail too, but for me
that wouldn't be a necessity.

Besides that: IMHO we should discuss Rob's proposal to think about
next-gen support media (I really like the "stack overflow" web site and
similar sites). Rating and credit systems are a wonderful way to
increase the value of support media as a support database.


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