Experiment with New Support Volunteer Orientation

Last summer (June 2017) at Community Summit, we discussed several ideas that could help us as a Team do a better job at orienting new Support Team volunteers and help them find the tools to get started contributing by answering topics in the wordpress.org support forums.

At WCUS Contributor Day today in Nashville, we experimented with a “live” volunteer orientation in our Slack channel. This orientation included new volunteers at Contributor Day in Nashville, but also was announced in the Slack channel over the last week, and included a few folks who attended remotely.

In the orientation, we:

  • Welcomed new volunteers
  • Pointed them toward several of the “get started” parts of our handbook
  • Described how to filter topics in the forum
  • Pointed out one of our important tools, the “Also Viewing” browser script, that allows you to see what other users are currently viewing a specific topic
  • Encouraged volunteers to come to the Slack channel for help in answering topics, and to tag topics with `modlook` when a moderator’s attention is needed
  • Finally, we encouraged new volunteers to join us at our weekly Team meeting

If you would like to read through the Slack archive of this Orientation, you can do that here.

Our next steps:

  1. We are going to refine the items & links, and make the “script” available for our support liaisons for specific language forums outside the international forums if they would like to use it.
  2. We are tentatively planning to offer this “live” orientation on a regular basis in the international forums Slack channel.
  3. We want to encourage the use of this “live” Orientation at other Contributor Days. Support leads for those days could use our script to do their own Orientation, or Support Team moderators might be able to lead this Orientation remotely.