Scaling Support: Dip the Data Bucket Every Day – Workshop on January 22, 2018

We’re pleased to announce the third workshop in a series aimed at sharing best practices in support. The workshops are geared to boosting support skills among all those who support core, plugins, themes, or anything else in the WordPress ecosphere. (Check out the two previous workshops here.) The support team welcomes your ideas for other workshop topics or speakers; feel free to comment here, or give us a ping in Slack.

The workshop

Scaling Support: Dip the Data Bucket Every Day

The best way to provide high-quality support is to have enough well trained and skilled technicians to provide that support. That’s only possible if you know how heavy your support load is and how rapidly its increasing — if at all. The presentation will walk you through my personal strategy of understanding my support team’s support load and how data influences our week-to-week decisions for hiring new support.

Host

Matt Cromwell is Head of Support and Community Outreach at GiveWP.com and WordImpress.com. He is the author of several popular free plugins, and the Lead Organizer of the Advanced WordPress San Diego Meetup and AWP Facebook group, which boasts over 29K members. He’s a popular blogger at his personal site mattcromwell.com, wordimpress.com, givewp.com, and mediatemple.net.

When is it?

Monday, January 22, 2018, 18:00 UTC, it will last for about an hour and includes Q&A.

A link to the Zoom teleconference will be provided in the #forums Slack channel about 10 minutes before the session begins.

How do I join?

The session will be run via videoconference. Please download the free Zoom app ahead of time. You can run Zoom on most desktop and mobile devices. Can’t make it? The session will be recorded and the video posted later – keep your eye on this P2.

November 16th Support Team Meeting Summary

WordPress 4.9

WordPress 4.9 is out, and as is customary a new Master List has been put up on the forums.

As new bugs, gotcha’s and plugin/theme conflicts are discovered we’ll be updating the thread, so keep an eye on it for any new items.

Remember to keep general chatter in #forums on Slack to a minimum for the first 48 hours after a release, this is done to avoid missing information when it’s being shared at a critical point right after a new release.

Checking in with international liaisons

The Russian, Hindi, Italian, German and Spanish communities are having a good time.

Other topics

The next workshop is scheduled for January, more details to follow, but December is a very busy time for a lot of people so it makes sense for this to right over the new years hump.

Attendance

@anevins, @bcworkz, @bdbrown, @bethannon1, @clorith, @cristianozanca, @fierevere, @firoz2456, @geoffreyshilling, @hardeepasrani, @ipstenu, @jcastaneda, @josearcos, @lasacco, @macmanx, @numeeja, @pmfonseca, @stephencottontail, @sterndata, @t-p, @wido, @zodiac1978 and @zoonini attended.

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)

 

Contributor tips
Bring that knowledge of yours to a local meetup, it’s a great way to share and learn among like-minded individuals!

#weekly-chat

September 28th Support Team Meeting Summary

WordPress 4.8.2

No major new incidents, a few issues with the numbered arguments early on but they appear to have been sorted out petty quickly as plugins have been updated to fix their code.

General Announcements

A quick reminder that we’ll shortly be promoting the Health Check plugin as a means of getting debug data, as well as automating some system checks for users seeking assistance (once it’s been updated, the plan is to get it up to date within this week).

BBQ Post (Also known as the Master List)

The WordPress 4.9 beta is fast approaching, that means it’s time to start working on the BBQ Post. For those unfamiliar, this is where we preemptively create a support resource for what we suspect will be pain points for users in the next major release of WordPress. We then fill it up with the issues that arise throughout the release cycle until the next major version is released, as a reference you can view the 4.8 Master List.

Support workshops

If you have suggestions for upcoming workshops, please do leave a comment, or drop by the #forums slack channel, we welcome input here as we’re certain we’ll miss out on great input if it’s just the same people cherry picking each time.

Our next support workshop is rapidly approaching as well, just as a reminder this time it will be from a plugin representative and not a theme one.

Why solving the problem isn’t enough – A Support Workshop

Checking in with international liaisons

Things are looking good in the Swedish, Hindi, Russian, Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese and Greek communities.

The Spanish team are keeping a tight ship, maintaining a consistent response rate so far, kudos to them!

Attendance

@bcworkz, @bethannon1, @clorith, @cristianozanca, @fierevere, @hardeepasrani, @jcastaneda, @jdembowski, @josearcos, @lasacco, @macmanx, @numeeja, @sergeybiryukov, @stephencottontail, @sterndata, @t-p, @tacoverdo, @tobifjellner, @voldemortensen, @xkon and @zoonini attended.

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)

#weekly-chat

Why solving the problem isn’t enough – A Support Workshop

The workshop

When working in customer service, you’re supposed to always give the (technically) correct answer. While working in customer service for a Dutch internet provider I learned that the right answer often isn’t enough. This has influenced every conversation I’ve had since.

In this session, I’ll share the insights my team lead gave me, and help you use them.

When is it

Tuesday, October 3, 2017, 17:00 UTC, it will last for an hour and includes Q&A.

A link to the Zoom teleconference will be provided in the #forums Slack channel about 10 minutes before the session begins.

How do I join

The session will be run via videoconference and will be recorded. Please download the free Zoom app ahead of time. You can run Zoom on most desktop and mobile devices.

Who will be hosting it

Taco Verdonschot quickly switched from being a developer to doing customer support after joining Yoast and is now responsible for a team of 10 Support Engineers. He’s active in the WordPress community both as a polyglot, and as a WordCamp and meetup organizer.

The Developers Guide to Supporting Your Themes – A Support Workshop

After WordCamp Europe, the attending support team members were brainstorming how to improve support within the WordPress community, one of those plans were to conduct workshops, hosted by community members with themes or plugins on WordPress.org, and let them present how they approach the support aspect of providing a service to the open source community.

As such, our first workshop is now scheduled!

The workshop

Providing support for your themes offers tremendous opportunities to educate WordPress users, from explaining how to make a child theme to offering simple CSS customisations. It also presents challenges, like figuring out how to help people who aren’t tech-savvy or need support beyond the scope of what you can provide. While many developers dread doing support, with some concrete strategies and techniques in hand, helping users doesn’t have to be a chore – and can even be fun! This session looks at how to make your themes’ users happy while feeling a sense of satisfaction from your own support efforts – a winning combination in the world of theme development.

When is it

Wednesday, August 23, 2017, 16:00 UTC, it will last for an hour and includes Q&A.

A link to the Zoom teleconference will be provided in the #forums Slack channel about 10 minutes before the session begins.

How do I join

The session will be run via videoconference and will be recorded. Please download the free Zoom app ahead of time. You can run Zoom on most desktop and mobile devices.

Who will be hosting it

In her role as Theme Whisperer at Automattic, Kathryn Presner provides support for hundreds of themes. She began helping people as a volunteer in the WordPress.org forums back in 2011 and was immediately hooked.

July 13th Support Team Meeting Summary

General announcements

The WordPress 4.8.1 release is tentatively scheduled for August 1st.

User notes

This weeks main event, user notes are finally live!

User notes allows a moderator to attach a note to any user, allowing us to keep tabs on why actions were taken, and historical data if we have repeat offenders and similar.

This information is also shared with the rosetta sites, so they can add notes for behavior we may not observe on the international forums (or vice versa), giving us more control than our previous approach with emails and P2 posts.

The handbook now has a new section about how and when to use user notes, moderators should familiarize them selves with the document, and keep in mind that the handbook is a living document, so remember to check back now and then for any changes.

Forum Welcome and Forum Guidelines

The new forum welcome is now live on the forums, and can freely be adopted by the rosetta sites as well. When translating it keep in mind that you don’t need to make it an exact copy of the international welcome, all languages and countries are different and what works for us might not be a perfect fit for your own locale.

In light of the much better experience a short welcome provides as part of the forums, we’ve migrated the forum guidelines into the forums as well, this ensures a consistent experience for regular forum users who may be put off by the sheer amount of information in the handbook (where the guidelines currently live).

Checkin With International Support Liaisons

The Portugese, Spanish, Italian and Swedish communities are doing well.

They’re looking into an odd issue with a specific Portugese forum being locked, meta is on the case.

Other stuff

It was also brought up that the #forums channel might appear a bit off-putting when you join and you have to go through 13 pages of backscroll with nothing but emoji (my own over-statement for emphasis), which we can understand is less than ideal, so an effort will be made to keep the random outbursts of emoji down. This is not to say we’re going to kill any conversations between volunteers, as we recognize the value in blowing out in a friendly manner now and then, given the nature of support in general. So if you enjoy #forums emoji, don’t be too put off by this, we’ll say if it’s becoming too much.

Attendance

@abletec, @anevins, @bcworkz, @bdbrown, @bethannon1, @clorith, @contentiskey, @denzel_chia, @erricgunawan, @fierevere, @glorialchemica, @hardeepasrani, @jcastaneda, @jdembowski, @josearcos, @keesiemeijer, @kenshino, @kidsguide, @lasacco, @macmanx, @numeeja, @pmfonseca, @stephencottontail, @sterndata, @t-p, @tobifjellner, @vishalmukadam, @vitormadeira, @voldemortensen, @zodiac1978 and @zoonini attended.

Read the meeting transcript in the Slack archives. (A Slack account is required)

#weekly-chat

Hello again support team The meta team posted some…

Hello again support team!

The meta team posted some mockups of the support forum redesign. Check them and let us know what you think!

#bbpress-2, #design, #forums

Hello support team In case you haven’t seen…

Hello support team!

In case you haven’t seen it yet, there’s a post over on make/meta with proposed wireframes of the support forums. Pop on over, check them out, and let us know what you think!

#bbpress-2, #design, #forums

Have you guys read about the W org…

Have you guys read about the W.org Forum plugins audit? – https://make.wordpress.org/meta/2015/05/15/wp-org-forums-plugins-audit/

Seems pretty important to us – I know @clorith has offered his help in some areas.

Let’s help the meta team make this happen – for omg mod notes in bbpress 2.0

Comment in the thread please!

#bbpress, #forums, #upgrade

Discussion: A Better Do and Don’t List

The following are cribbed from another site’s Dos and Don’ts. They should not be considered the be all and end all of guidelines, but they’re a good start. I’m thinking that perhaps a simplified ‘dos and dont’s’ list may help some people who see our massive list of guidelines and panic.

This list is not perfect and I want your help

Please suggest changes and improvements. I don’t want to make it much longer, so if we can consolidate and combine, that would be good. There’s no point in even trying to get through everything, so really I’m trying to spell out the basics of etiquette on the forums.

Good Manners and Respect Dos and Don’ts

  • DON’T use “um,” be snotty to another user, or make the argument personal
  • DO know the difference between differences of opinion and personal attacks
  • DO treat others the way you want to be treated
  • DON’T present your opinions as facts
  • DON’T post the same opinion over and over in the hopes of wearing other people down or “winning” a discussion; just move on
  • DON’T be a gosh-darn dirty spammer
  • DON’T be vulgar; if you’re not sure, don’t say it

Starting New Threads Dos and Don’ts

  • DO search for existing topics before starting new threads
  • DO make a new topic if you find yourself saying “I have the same problem but …”
  • DO link back to a related topic (or closed) when approriate
  • DON’T use all-caps or excessive punctuation in thread titles
  • DON’T treat the support forums as your personal blog
  • DON’T get all meta and use the forums to rant about the forums

Posting Messages Dos and Don’ts

  • DON’T post in a thread until you’ve read the whole thread
  • DON’T post “Me Too!” messages; add something of substance to the conversation
  • DON’T sign your posts
  • DO use proper spelling, capitalization, punctuation, et cetera
  • DON’T post just to pimp your site or product, et cetera
  • DON’T post the same thing in multiple areas; pick a spot and go with it

Warnings, Bans and Trolls Dos and Don’ts

  • DO take any mod warnings you get seriously
  • DON’T bug the mods to remove moderation on your posts
  • DO help us out and report trolls, flame wars, and troublemakers by tagging a post with “modlook”
  • DON’T abuse the modlook tag

#forums, #guidelines, #support