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From Rob Weir <robw...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Response to follow-up e-mails Was Re: Use of Ricardo's Status page.
Date Mon, 29 Apr 2013 12:55:02 GMT
On Sat, Apr 27, 2013 at 12:30 PM, Keith N. McKenna
<keith.mckenna@comcast.net> wrote:
> Dave Barton wrote:
>>
>> -------- Original Message  --------
>> From: Rob Weir <robweir@apache.org>
>> To: doc@openoffice.apache.org
>> Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2013 11:07:53 -0400
>>
>>> On Sat, Mar 23, 2013 at 5:35 AM, Keith N. McKenna
>>> <keith.mckenna@comcast.net> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Rob Weir wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> On Wed, Mar 20, 2013 at 2:47 AM, Keith N. McKenna
>>>>> <keith.mckenna@comcast.net> wrote:
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> RGB ES wrote:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> 2013/3/19 Rob Weir <robweir@apache.org>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> On Sun, Mar 17, 2013 at 6:17 PM, Keith N. McKenna
>>>>>>>> <keith.mckenna@comcast.net> wrote:
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>> RGB ES wrote:
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>> <snip>
>
>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> I think we need more "hand holding" and guidance for new
volunteers.
>>>>>>>> Just pointing them to wiki is not enough.  With QA new volunteers
I
>>>>>>>> gave them specific assignments at first, e.g., review these
10 bug
>>>>>>>> reports.  I know it sounds odd to "assign" tasks to volunteers,
but
>>>>>>>> until they find their way around and self-assign tasks, this
is a
>>>>>>>> good
>>>>>>>> way for them to get started.  In return, with QA, I promised
to
>>>>>>>> review
>>>>>>>> their early work and give them feedback.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> So I wonder if we can come up with set of specific tasks,
of various
>>>>>>>> sizes, from 1 to 8 hours, and specifically asked new volunteers
to
>>>>>>>> pick from that list?  It might work better.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>> It is certainly worth a try. We have hard virtually nothing from
many
>>>>>> of
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> volunteers since there initial contact.
>>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Another thing would be for one of the moderators of the mailing list
>>>>> to cross reference current list subscribers with those who said they
>>>>> wanted to help.  Some of them may not have subscribed to the list.
>>>>> With the QA team I did that and then sent reminders to those who were
>>>>> not yet signed up.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> I am not a moderator but if one can get the list and e-mail it to me I
>>>> will
>>>> do the cross check and send out the reminders.
>>>>
>>>
>>> OK.  I'm not a moderator on this list either.  So who is?
>>>
>>> -Rob
>>>
>>>> Keith
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> Any moderator can request the subscriber list by sending this commend
>>>>> from their moderator email address:   doc-list@openofice.apache.org
>>>>>
>>>>> Although you should not share the list publicly, since it has
>>>>> everyone's email address, it would be interesting to know how many
>>>>> people are subscribed in total.
>>>>>
>>>>> -Rob
>>
>>
>> The list of 63 subscribers has been sent directly to Keith.
>>
>> Dave
>>
> On 2013-04-09 I sent the following reminder to all individuals that had
> expressed interest in working on documentation but had not yet signed up for
> the mailing list:
>
>> You recently expressed interest in working on documentation for
>> ApacheOpenOffice. To date you have not signed up for our mailing list
>> which is
>
> where we discuss everything having to do with documentation for the project.
>>
>>
>> Currently we are concentrating on user guides for Version 4.0 and we
>
> need help of all sorts for these.If you are still interested please
> subscribe to the mailing list by sending a blank e-mail to
> mailto:doc-subscribe@openoffice.apache.org and follow the instructions
> in the return email or for those that prefer using nntp instead set your
> news reader to news.gmane.org and subscribe to
> gmane.comp.apache.openoffice.doc and join us.
>>
>>
>> Regards Keith McKenna
>
>
> To date I have had no replies. If one of our moderators could check and see
> if we have had an increase from the 63 registered users that were on the
> list that Dave Barton sent me on 2013-03-26 it would be greatly appreciated.
>
> It is to say the least disheartening to look at the status page and see the
> same few names as doing all the work both writing (Ricardo) and editing.
>
> As a group we need to work towards finding ways to motivate others to become
> more active and to recruit new members, especially those with knowledge of
> Calc, Impress and Base who can start writing the Guides for those
> applications.
>

Some thoughts on this.

We were successful in getting many offers of help.  We did that by
putting a message on the www.openoffice.org home page, linking to a
blog post, etc.  I don't know if anyone counted, but it seemed like we
had 15 or more people volunteer to help.  But of the offers of help,
not many ultimately contributed.

Why is this so?

Did we call for volunteers too early, before we had enough structure
in the documentation tasks?

Do few people actually know OpenOffice well-enough to author new
documentation topics?

Do we need more hand-holding and feedback for new volunteers as they
get started?

It is very easy for us to renew the call for volunteers.  I'm sure we
could get another 15-20 offers of help.  But before we do that it
would be good to understand what we could do differently.  Otherwise
we'll get similar results, right?

Idea: In the commercial world the people who write the documentation
do not start with product expertise.  They need to learn that.  So new
writers start by taking training classes, reading existing
documentation, etc.  Their training is often similar or identical to
what technical support representatives go through.  Then for new
features they learn about these by interviewing the developers, asking
them questions.  Or in some cases there might be a design
specification they can work from.   I could imagine that talking to
experienced users could also be  helpful.

In other words, if new volunteers do not have the product expertise
that Ricardo has, then we need to suggest some ways that they can
develop that.  Otherwise new volunteers will be limited, at least
initially, to reviewing drafts.

Regards,

-Rob


> Regards
> Keith
>
>
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