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  • Jan Dembowski 10:58 pm on March 12, 2015 Permalink |  

    Support meetup summary for March 12th 

    Item discussed at today’s support team meetup:

    Requests for editing forum posts

    Occasionally someone will request a post is edited to remove a link to a member’s site. The majority of the time it’s because they’re concerned about search engine hits.

    When there is something in a post that is sensitive (email, phone numbers, street addresses, passwords, whole copies of wp-config.php etc.) then that’s a legitimate request.

    Posts that are harassment, stalking or contains other abusive behavior should also be edited or deleted. Those fall under the “extreme case”.

    But search engine hits? No. That is never a good reason and there are a lot of links in the forums. Requests like those should be politely declined. If the OP continues then please close the topic.

    There was more talk about defining and documenting what an extreme case is but the consensus was that doing that would lead to whole discussions about The Rules and Policy™ and that would not be a productive conversation.

    The Forum Welcome section will be updated with this inserted into it:

    Forum topics will only be edited or deleted at the discretion of the moderators if they represent a valid legal, security or safety concern.

    Don’t post things you aren’t 100% okay with being public. We’ll delete them if we agree it’s a big enough deal, but ‘My SEO!’ is never an acceptable reason.

    There was also some discussion about short links. It’s not really a problem and sometimes short links can be useful. I don’t like them because it obscures the real link and where you are going. Also they’ve been used in the past for affiliate links and those are not allowed in the forums.

    View the meetup transcript in the Slack archives (A Slack account is required)

  • Jan Dembowski 11:28 pm on March 9, 2015 Permalink |  

    Agenda for Thursday March 12th support meetup 

    Please Note: DST is upon us and the meetup will be moved to 16:00 UTC. That’s 12:00 noon EDT and 9:00 AM Pacific. Please refer to this handy link to determine the time in your region.

    Item for discussion:

    • Editing links from posts – Generally, that only done in extreme cases and search engine hits is never an extreme case. Defining that verbiage more clearly in the Forum Welcome may be helpful and prevent some of those requests.

    Please post in the comments any items you’d  like considered for discussion. Or bring them to Thursday’s meetup, we are an easy going crowd. 😉

    • James Huff (MacManX) 11:17 pm on March 11, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I won’t be able to attend this week, so I’m just dropping off a requested agenda item:

      We really need to clearly define, “In extreme circumstances” from our deletion policy, because really everyone rightfully thinks they’re an extreme circumstance. In the .com forums, our guidelines state “Forum topics will only be deleted at the discretion of Staff if they represent a valid security or personal safety concern.” It’s much harder for folks to claim a “valid security or personal safety concern” if none exists, and really I think this is what we shoot for in the .org forums anyway.

      @anevins would also like to add to the policy these specific points:

      • What extreme circumstances are (specifically spell them out)
      • What does a public forum entail
      • How it is none of our business what search engines index (for the guy who asked for us to remove old threads from Google)
      • Saying that mods may turn shortlinks into actual links if they see them
      • Reinforcing that if you cannot share information publicly then you will struggle to get support from the forum
  • Marius (Clorith) 4:07 am on March 8, 2015 Permalink |  

    Support meetup summary for March 5th 

    View the meetup transcript in the Slack archives (A Slack account is required)

    The no-replies default view for the forums has been cut down to 21 days, as mentioned in the agenda, this makes for a more maintainable list of relevant and timely questions, which can also easily be extended if there’s a need for it by manually supplying a URL attribute (For example to view the past 30 days you would use the URL https://wordpress.org/support/view/no-replies?days=30)

    This was a sought after enhancement to the forums that was brought up last week, so kudos to the meta team for the swift modifications there!


    Second item up was the labeling on the profiles compared to the labeling used when actually modifying the profiles (this is regarding a view only available to forum moderators and administrators on wordpress.org), and how they are pretty inconsistent.

    It turns out they are a bit more unclear than what we had first thought, and we have suggestions for relabeling on the forum side for two of the three states as it stands.

    • Bozo relabeled as Modwatch
    • Akismet Never Trust remains for now, at least until we’ve thought up a more sane label (it might remain as is, as it does what it says it does)
    • Blocked (the user role) relabeled as Banned

    See Meta ticket #916 – Profiles show incorrect flagged statuses for the discussion on this topic so far.

    As a side note, the Bozo flag also prevents e-mail notifications from going out when a tagged user makes a reply to any thread.


    The third item of the evening was profile badges for support members.

    These badges are currently a manual process, where the badge is manually added to each profile, this can be a bit tedious, and it’s quite easy to miss somebody because they might not be as active on Slack as many of us are etc, and we really don’t want that, we want the ones that give of their time to know that we really appreciate the effort they put forth.

    @samuelsidler suggested utilizing the two badge formats (the badges come in two variants, one with a background color fill and one without) and using one for contributors and one for the “team” members, the ones that are moderators or similar. This appeared to be a much appreciated suggestions that we will follow up on.

    A few ideas on how to automate the distribution of contributor support badges were also discussed, and we think the current limitation code on profile URLs can be leveraged for this purpose as well, and automatically adding a badge to an account if they have 100 or more topic replies within a 2 month period (that’s replies, not topics they’ve started them selves). Automation for IRC isn’t as easy as the forums, as there’s no link between a users IRC name and their wordpress.org profile name, the group will discuss this some more and hopefully involve some more of the IRC team in the discussions here to find a good way to do this.

    The badge discussion was sparked by an interest to award some of the very active IRC contributors with badges and statistics for finding a way to identify contributors over IRC are currently being collected and can be manually generated. @Clorith will have the IRC list generated and the relevant profile names collected manually for this run while we get the ball rolling on the automation aspect of things.

    • Jon (Kenshino) 8:04 am on March 9, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      @clorith How will one look at the list?

      As for IRC, I believe while automation is one issue, as we are not just looking about adding badges, removing badges for inactive people should be thought of. This can quickly become quite an annoying task.

      The other issue is, when do IRC people get the badge? I think it’s easy for forums as topics can be tracked.

      IRC support time can be quite arbitrary. I don’t have a great suggestion yet but perhaps I’ll start off a number – 3 days of support per week for a period of 2 months?

  • Marius (Clorith) 12:30 pm on March 4, 2015 Permalink |  

    Support team meetup agenda for March 5th 2015 

    Not a whole lot to mention this fine day really :)

    • Samuel Sidler 2:54 pm on March 4, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      If you have time, I’d be interested in hearing how we can automate support badges in the future. I’m sure that would be a healthy discussion. :)

      • Marius (Clorith) 7:33 am on March 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Definitely something that can be discussed, we’ve even touched on it slightly at an earlier point so I’m all for that (also saves us accidentally missing out on somebody who’re around but might not be chatty on Slack for example)

    • Jon (Kenshino) 2:28 am on March 5, 2015 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Perhaps we should get some collated feedback from the support team about this ticket?

      By Clorith:

      The profiles of users currently show two flags for users that are b-tagged (bozo-ed in bbPress): modwatched and blocked.
      The blocked keyword should probably be reserved for users where the User Type has been set to Blocked, it is currently tied in to the Akismet Never Trust option.


  • Jan Dembowski 8:13 pm on February 26, 2015 Permalink |  

    Support Team meetup summary for February 26th 

    Topics discussed at today’s meetup:

    Please try to avoid closing topics if possible

    When a user posts to the forums for support of a commercial product or a .COM issue please refer them to the correct place. If you can also reply with some help too. But try to avoid closing the topic. That could lead to an unhappy user and someone else may be able to help them. It’s important that user’s looking for help are not frustrated and sometimes someone can or will assist them.

    That doesn’t mean don’t close topics when they go off the rails. If someone is using their topic to attack others then caution them and put their account in the time out room. If they persist then close the topic as no longer being productive.

    Making “no-replies” a more useful view into the forums

    James proposed some modifications for the no-replies view in the forums in this week’s posted agenda.

    The first idea is to limit how far the no replies go back to something that is useful. For example, replying to a topic more than 3 weeks later doesn’t necessarily help anyone. The second part is to mark older no replies so that they are not indexed via search engines or at least index differently.

    Everyone likes the idea though there was a lot of discussion. 😉 The no-replies view is just a way to look at data (topics). Modifying that view won’t delete the topics but hopefully will put focus on user problems in a timely manner.

    James (@macmanx) has raised two trac tickets per this discussion.

    #887: Limit No Replies Queue to 3 Weeks
    #888: Prepend [Unresolved] to Title Tag of No Reply Threads

    The reviews have been reset and rebuilt

    Previously when someone left a review and it was deleted the count stayed with the plugin or theme. So if a popular plugin was inundated with 10 spam reviews (it happens) those stars remained after the reviews were deleted.

    That’s no longer the case and the stars now reflect the normal reviews. You can read about it in Otto’s forum post. When a moderator deletes a review it will be reflected in the review rollup (stars). It may not happen immediately (caching is always a thing) but it will happen.

    Support LearnUps

    Tim (@tnash) had a Google Hangout today and it went well. Other topics will be considered and more LearnUps will be scheduled. The “when” is and interesting point and perhaps one can be scheduled for a weekend session.

    Read today’s meetup transcript (Slack account required to view).

  • Tim Nash 1:48 pm on February 25, 2015 Permalink |  

    Thursday February 26th LearnUp 

    Our first LearnUp is scheduled for Thursday February 26th at 1600 GMT.

    Just prior to the time a link will be published in the #forum Slack channel to a Google Hangout, so if you intend to join visit the Slack channel first and click the link.

    Our first LearnUp will be about dealing with spam in the forums and that by it’s nature is oriented for moderators. That said, anyone is welcome to come along and future LearnUps will hopefully cover a wide range of subjects surrounding support. It would be great if some of our more “experienced” moderators can attend and it is just prior to the 1700 GMT Meetup in the Slack channel. Future LearnUps are planned to take place at other times, to make them as accessible as possible to those wishing to attend.

    Thursday February 26th – 15.50 hit the #forums Slack channel click the Hangout link with a 1600 start and finishing a little before 1700 in time for everyone to get a drink for the meetup.

  • James Huff (MacManX) 5:41 pm on February 24, 2015 Permalink |  

    Agenda for Thursday February 26th meetup 

    Item(s) for discussion this Thursday:

    First Item

    Much Ado About No Replies. We’re never going to get through 400+ pages of threads with no replies, sorry folks! How do we go about improving the situation to better represent what we can do and therefore make the queue more useful to us?


    Phase 1: Limit No Replies queue to threads under 1 month, and remove no reply threads marked Resolved. This helps us out a ton, we shouldn’t be expected to do it all, we should only focus on what is current and therefore relevant. If folks still need help, they’ll ask again.

    Phase 2: rel=”noindex” all topics with no reply, removing the rel=”noindex” once a reply is received. This will block (and eventually remove) them from search indexes, thus preventing folks from finding empty threads in their quest for answers.

    If all in favor, we’ll file a meta ticket.

    Second Item

    Ratings now reflect only normal reviews. Non-review star-only ratings have been removed from the ratings total, as have deleted reviews. See https://wordpress.org/support/topic/star-rating-of-our-plugin-has-changed-overnight-1-star-and-5-star-look-switched?replies=2#post-6614350 for details.

    For any other items to add please suggest them in the comments. Or in the meetup itself; the group is pretty flexible. 😉

  • Jan Dembowski 7:20 pm on February 19, 2015 Permalink |  

    Support Team meetup summary for February 19th 

    Item’s discussed at today’s meetup.

    WordPress 4.1.1 maintenance release

    4.1.1 was released yesterday, please keep an eye out for any weird upgrade topics in the forums. Most users will automatically update and get an email notification without any issue.


    A LearnUp will be scheduled for Thursday February 26th at 1600 GMT. Just prior to the time a link will be published in the #forum Slack channel. The first LearnUp will be about dealing with spam in the forums and that is oriented for moderators. That said, it’s all transparent and seeing how spam is dealt with could be informative for regular forum members too.

    New User Experience – NUX

    We discussed NUX and @ipstenu shared the link to the make/flow NUX post for the notes from last week’s meetup. Please contribute feedback via the comments there, the NUX work is important and could impact new WordPress users in a great way.

    This segued into a conversation about the Happiness Bar at WordCamps as a way to help people as opposed to in the forums or via IRC. Helping people in person can lead to some instant gratification when you sort out their problem with them.

    Moderator tools update

    @keesiemeijer updated his forum script to version 3.1 and @macmanx shared the link to an updated Recent Forum Activity page. Both are very useful if you are a forum moderator.

    Read today’s meetup transcript (Slack account required to view).

  • Jan Dembowski 10:23 pm on February 17, 2015 Permalink |  

    Agenda for Thursday February 19th meetup 

    Item’s for discussion this Thursday:

    • LearnUps – How, when and if they can be scheduled.
    • NUX (new user experience) – Ideas that the support team would like to suggest for that workgroup? This is for new users and todays NUX meetup was really interesting.

    For any other items to add please suggest them in the comments. Or in the meetup itself; the group is pretty flexible. 😉

  • Jan Dembowski 10:51 pm on February 12, 2015 Permalink |  

    Support Team meetup summary for February 12th 

    At today’s meetup the following items were discussed.

    Ideas for the NUX working group

    The NUX Working Group was discussed and Drew Jaynes (@drewapicture) joined in. At a later date (not a nag!) Drew will post on the make/flow blog and some of those ideas can be shared there.

    A sub meeting in the #forum channel will also be scheduled next week to gather ideas from the support team. Everyone is encouraged to also participate in the Tuesday 1900 UTC NUX meetup in the Slack #core-flow channel.

    Support LearnUps

    Tim raised the idea of doing support learnups and suggested these topics.

    • A very quick hot to tag
    • How to manage the forum spam queue
    • How to and when to apply the moderation tag and when blocking is the only recourse
    • Sock Puppetry 101

    These are good topics and sometime before the next meetup perhaps a pilot trial will be tried. @tnash was made the point person for this. 😉

    I had already sent some moderators an email explaining how to determine if an account is a sock puppet or not. Everyone agreed that it should go into the moderator section of the handbook. I’ll sanitize the names and IP addresses and get that done.

    Read the transcript of today’s meetup (Slack account required to view).

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