From Bluehost

Bryan Petty posted this to the wp-forums list:


I just thought it would be helpful to inform the forum mods here that
Bluehost is working on a large push for customers to get their WP sites
upgraded to the latest version.

We have a list of about 150k customers with WP installations that are
older than 3.3 which we are currently focused on, and have started the
first batch of email notifications for those customers. 30k emails went
out yesterday, and we will likely continue with another 15-25k every day
through next week until everyone has been notified.

Right now this is just a friendly reminder for our customer to upgrade
their own WP installs, but we will be pushing even harder on this in the
coming weeks.

So if you start to see a large increase in support posts, don’t be too
alarmed. We have informed our customers to contact our support team with
any questions or problems of course, and hopefully very few spill over
into the forums here unless they do have very legitimate problems that
should be addressed here so others with the same problem can find the
solution as well.

As a reminder, if you see these posts, make sure they’re tagged ‘bluehost’ 🙂 Anyone can tag any post!

Codex work

We should probably get a conversation going not only about needed Codex work but *how* to approach a better structure and how to get the work done.

I’m leaning towards a re-org and maybe a bit of a division between users docs and programmer notes. A good example of this the Pages page. It starts out as a user doc then jumps right into code.

Things like Handbooks need to be sorted out and linked to as well.

I think if we could sort out the right approach first and focus on specific pages or topics later, then we’d start making big progress. Possible if we even approached it like a WP dev cycle, with clear targets and a deadline.

Possibly a mentorship program as well, wehre we could round up people to help and start handing out assignments and being there to keep people on task and for any questions they have.

All thoughts welcome here. 🙂

#codex, #docs

Copy Pasta vs personal responses

Copy/Pasta vs personal responses.

I was mulling over this on the flight home (because I’m a big old nerd) and it fell into the realm of how people get so frustrated when we just paste a link. Now. I know that we often paste links because it really is the right answer, and the users get mad because we’re not being personal. In many cases, they should RTFM, but also so should we.

I think the main reason people can’t find the answers when searching isn’t so much that search sucks on .org (it does), but that learning the right terminology to get the right answer takes time. So if we go in assuming the new guys don’t speak the lingo very well, would that change some of our standard responses?

The other factor is that different people learn different ways. I detest video training, my wife loves it. I like clear directions, screenshots if needed, a coworker of mine cannot cope without screenshots for all the things ™. How do we take into account different learning methods when triaging support?

Standard responses

In order to get the ball rolling, how about we all chime in with our most-use responses?

Some tools you may wish to use to make answering posts easier/faster:
Lifehacker list of alternatives for Macs

Please feel free to use and adapt these to your own needs. Personally, I find it nicer for the users if each mod has a slightly different phrase. 😉 Otherwise, we’re just support bots. 😀

#advice, #responses

Hello world!

Welcome to This is the new blog for the Support contributor team, made up of support forum moderaters and documentation contributors, as decided on the mailing lists. Anyone helping in the #wordpress IRC channel is included as well. @Ipstenu is the team rep for this group, with @esmi and @andrea_r as the backup reps per the votes we took a while back from members of the two mailing lists. I’ve added them and a couple of other people as editors on this site, and they will be adding the more active contributors in turn.

I think it would be good for us to set up a weekly IRC chat time to get things started, gain some momentum, and round up some new contributors in the process. We can identify some common goals among the more active contributors to focus on at first, and put together a schedule for how to move forward.

I have several goals for this group based on the surveys and feedback from the community that I’d like to see accomplished over the coming months:

  • Create a guide to contributing to WordPress support.
  • Start a mentorship program for potential support volunteers to help them ramp up with confidence.
  • Handbooks! Field Guides! Whatever we call it, discrete, targeted pieces of documentation tied to specific releases and each curated by a single editor for the sake of consistency and accountability (separate from the ongoing wiki that is the Codex), that can be viewed, downloaded, or printed. This will take a lot of discussion, so we should schedule a chat about this sooner rather than later to get started on the one for end users. Other contributor groups will also be tackling handbooks specific to their areas (core contributors, etc.).
  • Start tracking stats around support activities and sharing them with the broader community.
  • Make a plan for improvements to the support forums.
  • Make a plan for how to best bubble up support issues to the core development team.

What are your goals for this group? Introduce yourself so everyone knows who everyone else is, say a little bit about your background and your general activity level as a WP support volunteer, and let us know your goals for the group are and what you think we should focus on first. Also mention your location/time zone, for the sake of being able to set up an IRC chat. Thanks!