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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: [WWW] Feedback/"contact us" about the website link needed...
Date Fri, 10 Feb 2012 21:42:17 GMT
On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 3:30 PM, Dennis E. Hamilton
<> wrote:
> I agree with Kay that one reason someone may want to contact us is because there is a
problem with the web site itself.  I also think that going directly to the mailing list page
is perhaps too abrupt.  Some free analysis from the top of orcmid's head:

And remember, giving the list address only helps them go directly to
the list moderator's inbox. ;-)

> For issues about the site(s) itself, I think a bottom-of-page link is fine.  It might
go to another web page that refines the contact based on particular cases (two that should
always be prominent and straightforward are for the site and for anything to do with security
concerns -- but not directly to ooo-security.).
> With user issues, taking people directly to bugzilla is effectively a giant FU for ordinary
users.  A bullet item that links to how to file a bug and also links directly to bugzilla
is good, so experts don't have to do the drill-down.  (Might need a branch for those needing
a bugzilla account too.) [Something like this might help refine the security case as well.]

I think it is just as much a big FU if we send them to the list
moderator's inbox, have their question get past on to ooo-dev 12 hours
later, where it is either ignored or responded to without cc'ing the
original author, because everyone assumes the person is subscribed to
ooo-dev.  Ditto if we convince users to subscribe to ooo-dev.  We've
already seen how they freak out when they see all the extraneous
discussions filling their inboxes.

IMHO, there are only two ways to handle support questions from general
users, in a way that will scale to this project's user base:

1) Support forums

2) Bugzilla

Both have two critical qualities:

A) User can focus on only their issues.  They are not forced to listen
to the Cosmic Weltgeist of AOO discussions just to get their question

B) There is a good-enough workflow set up to see if an issue is
resolved or not, and to be notified when the status changes

C) The user is put in contact with other, related information, that
they can search through.

Asking someone to send a note to ooo-dev does none of this.

But I do agree that BZ is overwhelming for most users.  Maybe we can
improve on this?  For example, would it be possible to add a "report
an error on this page" to the footer of each page and have that then:

1) Verify that the user has a BZ login cookie.  If not ask for login
or for new registration

2) Populate a BZ bug report, with context taken from the page their
were already on (URL and title) and take them directly to the relevant
BZ product ("www") and component ("website").

If we do that, then reporting bugs on a page would be very easy.  This
would even be easier for the user than doing this as an email to
ooo-dev.  And it is more valuable for us because of the workflow.  So
a win-win solution.   But is it technically feasible?  I'm assuming BZ
has some documented REST API or at least some form POST params we can
figure out.


> Then I think there can be explanation that all other support is peer support from other
users and developer volunteers, with some indication about the options (wiki, forums, web
site, mailing-list subscriptions, and bugzilla) and how to search/explore/choose among them.
 This would probably be right after something about web site issues and security concerns.
> Third tier on some of these might be FAQ that provide more detail and help users address
common concerns.  (I.e., what to do when an AV product says their download is infected, what
the project does to ensure the integrity of binaries and how to find those to be confident
in them, how to check their authenticity, etc.  That's been going around lately.)
> Finally, of course, there is always the welcoming of those who might want to themselves
contribute to an aspect that is a concern or interest for them.
> I suppose I should put myself in this last category, although I am not prepared to figure
out how to work on such a page [set]. Sorry.
>  - Dennis
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Kay Schenk []
> Sent: Friday, February 10, 2012 09:43
> To:
> Subject: Re: [WWW] Feedback/"contact us" about the website link needed...
> On Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 4:46 PM, Rob Weir <> wrote:
> [ ... ]
>> Another way to think of it:  99.99% of the time, if a user actually
>> needs to contact us, then the website has failed its purpose.  We can
>> only handle 100 million users if, for the vast majority of cases, they
>> can self-support themselves via the website's navigation and find what
>> they want.  So the challenge here is to handle the exceptional 0.01%
>> of cases, without becoming the path of least resistance for the other
>> 99.99%.
>> -Rob
> Rob--
> I understand what you're saying, believe me. I guess I feel we should
> provide an easier avenue for people to report problems with the site
> itself. I'm also aware that if I just put in a simple link with a "mailto"
> tag, many folks won't be able to deal with that because they won't have a
> "default" e-mail client.
> How about a "Contact Us" link that directs them to our existing "Mailing
> List" page --
> We could add a bit more description to the "Development Mailing List" to
> indicate that it would be used for submitting questions/problems about the
> web site.
> Or do you think it would be best to direct them to BZ?
>> > --
>> >
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> > MzK
>> >
>> > "Follow your bliss."
>> >         -- attributed to Joseph Campbell
> --
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> MzK
> "Follow your bliss."
>         -- attributed to Joseph Campbell

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