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From "M. Fioretti" <>
Subject Re: A moderator's view of this list [was: Re: I Hate Your Product]
Date Sun, 01 Apr 2012 13:17:28 GMT

On Sun, April 1, 2012 1:57 am, Rob Weir wrote:

> Is it purely skill level of the users?  End user versus server products?

yes, that's the only reason we have a problem. An office suite is used by
people who only bought a computer because they can't buy typewriters

For any other product, I'd be saying "just silently discard email from
unsubscribed users". But this is probably the first encounter of many
people with FOSS, so it's surely the skill level is much lower, but those
people can't be ignored.

> Summarizing the analysis of user support via ooo-users mailing list:

I took the liberty to rearrange your cons in another way:

> Users not receiving responses since they are often not subscribed
> Users frustrated by traffic level of list
> Users unable to unsubscribe

The above become non-issues with my autoresponder

> Users [thinking[ they are posting to a private address

write very big in the help pages and in the website that everything posted
to this address stays on the internet forever, and it's not your problem

> Attachments not allowed

this, I confess, remains an issue I don't know how to handle. Though I've
seen it being a problem very few times.

> Not easy to search for previous issses and resolutions
> No ability to categorize issues, update useless subject lines (e.g,,
> "Help!") or mark an issue as resolved.

with the exception of the "mark as resolved" bit, these issues (IF a
mailing list is used, of course) are ONLY the fault of the well meaning,
but clueless SUBSCRIBERS who answer in the wrong way.

If the archives don't look categorized and/or aren't easy to search it is
mainly for two reasons:

1) people fight to death on top vs bottom posting, but none of them ever
cares to TRIM useless text before replying. If they did, not only
top-vs-bottom posting would stop being relevant in 90% of cases, but any
search would return 10 instead of 50 results.

2) Joe Clueless User must be excused if he sends an email with an empty or
totally useless subject like "help" or "openoffice". But the volunteer who
create a custom paragraph style, was "Help with paragraphs") is doing a
disservice open office, because he is filling the archives with messages
that aren't easy to search.

Sure, with forums categorization is (theoretically) much less manual. But
that would matter if we were discussing how to support people who ARE able
to recognize by themselves which category their question belongs to...


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