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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: User support: beyond forums or lists
Date Wed, 24 Aug 2011 17:14:57 GMT
On Wed, Aug 24, 2011 at 11:01 AM, Dennis E. Hamilton
<> wrote:
> It looks to me as if we need to be following the tag on StackOverflow.
 They have over 1200 items, and there is an tag/category although it is not
always used.
> Of course, if for some reason we care whether the platform source is available, there
are these to explore: <>.
> Sounds like a different incubator if you want one with ALv2.

Hijacking this thread and putting this continuation under the "beyond
forums or lists" thread.

A while back I looked into what was required to set up a Stack
Exchange hosted site.  The info is posted at
Although we don't necessarily need to use this solution, it is
interesting to read their guidelines for a successful Q&A site.  The
have something very like incubation for new sites.

If you look at sites that successfully launched (like our graduation)
you get a sense of the commitment.  For example, a WordPress support
site recently launched [2].

27 questions/day
90% of questions answered
118 avid users/ 3115 total users
2.0 answer/question ratio
3463 visits/day

A little math suggests they have 27 + 27*2.0 = total 81 posts/day.
This sounds doable for us.

An interest fact they state is that 90% of the visits should
eventually come from search engine traffic.  That shows that the SEO
aspect of this is critical, the tagging, etc.  That is how you answer
a user's question without requiring them to post it.  The thing we
need to acknowledge is that the Google (and Bing) search pages are in
fact the most-used support sites around.  More users get answers from
Google than probably anywhere else.

So let's do a little test.  Do a search for a random support issue,
say "OpenOffice won't uninstall".  This just came up on the user
mailing list recently.  But what are the top search engine results?

1. (in other words, a totally different support forum
that none of us are talking about)

2. (the OOo phpBB support forum)

3. (happens to
have a discussion thread on uninstall)

(our wiki)

The first hit for the mailing list archives is on page 3 of the search
results..  Note that a page rated higher!

So I'm not sure that the user discussion list is giving us what we
want here, compared to the forum and wiki.  Even if the list had the
right answers, if they are not easily findable via search, then are
irrelevant.  That is why I urge us to consider the information value
of having a single repository of questions and answers, a single
knowledge base and treat it as more than just a dump of list traffic.


>  - Dennis
> -----Original Message-----
> From: drew []
> Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 02:26
> To:
> Subject: Re: [Was: Re: [Discussion]]
> On Wed, 2011-08-24 at 18:00 +0900, Kazunari Hirano wrote:
>> Hi Mathias and all,
>> On Wed, Aug 24, 2011 at 4:05 PM, Mathias Bauer <> wrote:
>> > 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.
>> Sounds good.  I would like to see it.
>> Do you know an instance of such next-gen support media or the stack
>> overflow web site?
> A different application, similar approach and FOSS (GNU Affero license)
> and
> //drew

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