Open Support: A Panel Discussion

To Firefox: does the contextual help for different platforms ever hinder users? For example, someone may be on a Linux machine but be fixing the Windows system beside them.

When you’re logged in you can grab the instructions for a different platform, but not if you’re not logged in. They did have that option but more people were confused by it than helped by it.

Linux questions – are there local communities that form within it?

There is traditional forum hierarchy but there is a tagging taxonomy for navigation. There are 7 distributions supported but input from 35 distributions.

What are you doing specifically in wikimedia help?

The “oh shit” graph shows a big decline in people contributing. Some of it is a technical issue, some of it is a social issue. If you come to Wikipedia and write an article, often the best thing that happens to you will be that you are ignored. More often than not, someone will come and yell at you for doing it wrong.

They are looking at different solutions. One of these is looking at how they support new contributors. They had a help desk for that but no one was friendly, no one really answered questions. There are 6 different places with 12 different ways to contribute.

Launched Teahouse as a way to get new people involved. People would be nice to you and take you seriously no matter what. They wanted to surface people and show off profiles. They wanted to show off that there was real people. Set this up as an experiement. Does this encourage new people? Does it keep new people?

When you were talking about people who make tutorials and you moved them to a wiki, the rationale for people not wanting to contribute makes sense. Discussion forums provide feedback, there is someone who provides feedback

If forums are like a watercooler, stack exchange is the opposite of that. It’s not for fun.


Is there a way to better feed your Q&A into your documentation?




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