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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: A moderator's view of this list [was: Re: I Hate Your Product]
Date Sat, 31 Mar 2012 21:53:05 GMT
On Sat, Mar 31, 2012 at 4:40 PM, Hagar Delest <>wrote:

> Le Sat, 31 Mar 2012 09:57:48 -0400, Rob Weir <> a écrit
> :
>  A) First, since the original poster is not subscribed to the list, he is
>> not receiving any of the responses, unless he was explicitly copied on the
>> response.
> Well, it's part of the channel. There are ways to spot unsubscribed
> posters (there are some bugs in TB preventing that, I agree) So up to the
> list power users to handle such posters.
> On the former OOo mailing list, users were quite used to CC OP when not
> subscribed IIRC (and at this time TB was doing a good job at spotting the
> headers, ok I'll stop here no TB devs here).
>  B) If the user does subscribe, they will likely soon be frustrated by
>> unrelated questions and answers, but be unable to unsubscribe themselves
>> without assistance.
>> So we all want users to be able to resolve their issues, without
>> unnecessary complications.  I think the support forums are a much better
>> place for users to raise such questions.
>> What do you think?   What is the purpose of this ooo-users list compared
>> to
>> the support forums?  On some project communications we advertise both as
>> equal support avenues for users to raise problems.  Is that what we should
>> be doing?  In other words, what is the purpose of this list and how do we
>> make that clear to users?
> Basically, I'm not sure that redirecting a user to another place (forum
> for example) would help, it doesn't answer the question and it adds
> frustration (he has to register the forum whereas he was expecting a direct
> answer from the list).
Honestly, I think a large percentage of posts from non-subscribers don't
even realize that they are posting to a list.  They think they are sending
an email to a private support list.  In other words, they think it is
similar to how they get support for many other software products.  Although
we say it is a "mailing list" and recently changed that to say "public
mailing list" on the website, I don't think that sinks in.

If they post to the forums, however, this is clear.  The act of
registration, of seeing the other posts already there, this sets the
context and makes it clear what the user is dealing with.  With the mailing
list the user starts with zero context.  It is just an email address.

> What would be the list then? A place for somehow advanced users only? ...
> Just saw your post in the mean time, so yes, that's what you want.
> Then, the solution is quite simple: forbid any non subscribed user.
> But is it really the kind of support the community wants? Some users don't
> want to use forums, does it means that they are on their own?

I think the users want to send to a private support address where they will
receive a personal response with no extraneous emails.

Of course, we don't have that.

So what is better for that kind of user?  Fool them into thinking that
ooo-users is what they want?  Or direct them to the forums?  Neither is
what they really their preference.  But I'm not sure we're really helping
the average user if we direct them to a mailing list like this.

> You're dealing with a low level user base with OOo. The public is not made
> of developers used to mailing lists here, they are standard or low
> knowledge users. The former list was full of duplicates, the same questions
> come again and again, but that's the job.
> We have this kind of eternal September in the forum too. We could just
> reply "RTFM" or "Google is your friend". But we know that if the user asked
> the question, that's because he hasn't RTFM or searched the web or the
> forum. So we give the reply and that's all, that's part of the job (it
> doesn't prevent to add a note inviting to search the next time).
I understand.  Users don't become smarter just because they are using the
forums.  But I think the technology makes it easier for them.   Once they
get beyond the initial registration the experience is quite nice and hard
to mess up.

The other critical thing is that it is very hard for a single user on the
forums to make a miserable situation for all other members.  There is not
the all-to-all message sending.  That alone is a great improvement.
(Noting as well that Marco has an idea for how that could be done with
mailing lists as well).

> Perhaps there are good reasons from our side to be bored with such users
> but their situation is special: they got frustrated about the application
> (from their point of view) and first they are not in their normal state and
> second any reply that doesn't help will be seen as proof that the product
> is not user oriented.
> Hagar
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