Referring threads to more appropriate sites

A few threads are starting to appear that seem more appropriate for other Ubuntu sites:
- Support Requests
- Drive-by feature requests
- Bug Reports

  1. Do we really want to handle these in community.ubuntu.com?

  2. If we don’t, who should police it? Moderators (flagging)? Or users (recommended reply text)?

1 Like

I seem to remember reading a post in here where @popey had mentioned that this is not to be a support forum. That is likely better handled over on the ubuntu forums, etc. Maybe a disclaimer (or the like) needs to be more prominent?

I know for example a support request came in on the thread about todays On Air Hangout.

Great topic, thanks for raising it Ian!

Support requests landing here is not unexpected. When you search online for Ubuntu Support (and similar phrases) there are results returned from the old static site. When the static site was live, visitors were forced to read the page and follow the external links to AskUbuntu, IRC, Forums etc. However now this is a dynamic forum-looking site, I imagine the thought process is “Hey, this looks like a forum, and it has the Ubuntu branding, it’s official, I’ll ask here!”.

I think we can do a few things to help here.

  1. Setup redirects so anyone coming here to an old url which implied support is here, gets sent to a post which is more direct about how this site isn’t for support.
  2. Modify the new-user welcome message to make it clear this isn’t for support.
  3. Modify existing messaging in the banner to make it clear this site isn’t for support.

In the meantime, yes, users can flag and moderators could move/close/hide posts which are support related and reply with a useful comment directing them to the right place.

For drive-by feature requests, I don’t have a problem with these so much. It’s interesting content to see how people use the system and how they expect it to work. It’s also a direct hotline to the desktop team who hang out here. We’ll get more teams over here as time goes on.

Bug reports are interesting. I think we need a new/refreshed page in the documentation category which summarises how to file a bug and more importantly where to file a bug. We could potentially link to that more prominently? Would be great to have a nice list with each of the core components linked directly to the launchpad (and/or upstream) bug trackers. A bit like the old Avengers page on the wiki for Ubuntu Touch. But prettier. :slight_smile:

What do you think?

4 Likes

Seems a couple of pages were missed in the migration from the old static site to this new one. Apologies for this, I’m ressurecting them now.

One more crucial one was in fact the “Community Support” page, now located at https://community.ubuntu.com/t/community-support/709.

We could certainly make that more prominent (pinned site wide) and link to it when people as support questions, rather than link to a separate list of pages, one per resource, make sense?

1 Like

Hmmm. The ‘Finding Help’ page (https://community.ubuntu.com/t/finding-help/712) seems like a stub duplicate of the ‘Community Support’ page (https://community.ubuntu.com/t/community-support/709). Do we really need them both?

5 posts were split to a new topic: Creating a lean Reporting Bugs page

There’s (broadly) two types of users who stumble into this site. Those who need help and those who are equipped to give it. The Finding Help page is for the former, the Community Support is for the latter.

The Ubiquity installer actually links directly to this site (well, the old static one) on one of the slides, suggesting users needing help come here. That’s a good reason why we’re seeing a bunch of people asking for help here.

If you (or anyone) has ideas for improving that (or indeed any) page in the Documentation category, go right ahead. I made all the posts there ‘wiki’ posts so they’re editable by us all. I welcome edits to these pages as they have been static for some years now!

When we set the site up initially, myself and @nhaines high-level reviewed the pages just to remove references to Ubuntu Touch, Unity8 and some other outdated content. But at any point they can be reviewed again. It’s one of the reasons we chose this platform, to make it easier for our community to help keep these documents current and relevant.

I have also set redirects for all the old pages to the (hopefully) right pages on the new site. I just looked at each of the pages on the wayback machine and set the right targets for any inbound links to those pages, to topics in the documentation category.

Here’s the mapping I did. As with everything on this site, if anything doesn’t look right, let me know or change it yourself.

https://community.ubuntu.com/contribute/ - https://community.ubuntu.com/t/contribute/712
https://community.ubuntu.com/contribute/google-summer-of-code - https://community.ubuntu.com/c/events
https://community.ubuntu.com/contribute/google-code-in - https://community.ubuntu.com/c/events
https://community.ubuntu.com/contribute/developers - https://community.ubuntu.com/t/developers/27
https://community.ubuntu.com/contribute/documentation - https://community.ubuntu.com/t/ubuntu-documentation
https://community.ubuntu.com/contribute/find-a-task - https://community.ubuntu.com/t/contribute/26
https://community.ubuntu.com/contribute/design - https://community.ubuntu.com/t/ubuntu-design/31
https://community.ubuntu.com/contribute/translations - https://community.ubuntu.com/t/translations/32
https://community.ubuntu.com/contribute/support - https://community.ubuntu.com/t/supporting-users/20
https://community.ubuntu.com/contribute/quality - https://community.ubuntu.com/t/ubuntu-quality/39
https://community.ubuntu.com/contribute/advocacy - https://community.ubuntu.com/t/ubuntu-advocacy/40

https://community.ubuntu.com/help-information/ - https://community.ubuntu.com/c/documentation/help-and-information
https://community.ubuntu.com/help-information/funding/ - https://community.ubuntu.com/t/ubuntu-donations-funding/29
https://community.ubuntu.com/help-information/finding-help/ - https://community.ubuntu.com/t/finding-help/712
https://community.ubuntu.com/help-information/finding-help/support/ - https://community.ubuntu.com/t/community-support/709

https://community.ubuntu.com/contribute/support/ask-ubuntu/ - https://community.ubuntu.com/t/ask-ubuntu/21
https://community.ubuntu.com/contribute/support/ubuntu-forums/ - https://community.ubuntu.com/t/ubuntu-forums/22
https://community.ubuntu.com/contribute/support/irc/ - https://community.ubuntu.com/t/internet-relay-chat/24
https://community.ubuntu.com/contribute/support/launchpad-answers/ - https://community.ubuntu.com/t/launchpad-answers/23

https://community.ubuntu.com/support/community - https://community.ubuntu.com/t/community-support/709

https://community.ubuntu.com/community-structure/ - https://community.ubuntu.com/t/community-structure/331
https://community.ubuntu.com/community-structure/governance/ - https://community.ubuntu.com/t/governance/332
2 Likes

Seems like I’m flagging an average of about 2 support requests each day. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

I am concerned that (frustrated, ranting) users told nicely to “go over there and start again” may not be the great experience we want these users to have.

Curiosity: How many support requests are getting closed daily (average) on the Community site?

Thinking about some kind of automated solution, the first thing that leaps to my mind is a copying the thread --appropriately reformatted-- over to AskUbuntu or UbuntuForums, and a helpful explanation sent to the user. Better, simpler solutions are welcome.

However, a bit of poking around in Discourse Meta indicates that they have never conceived of anything like that, so what should be our threshold or trigger to revisit an automated or technical solution?

1 Like

Thank you for keeping on top of these. I think we need to be clearer on our messaging, so people know this isn’t a support site, and know where the best place to get support is.

One of the by-products of using Ubuntu SSO for sign up is that it’s very easy to get in and creating posts quickly. I wonder if there’s some prompt / text in discourse which we can tailor for first time users (because they’re all first time users really) to let them know the house rules?

Perhaps there’s a setting we can twiddle that will make it slightly harder for new users to post support questions, while making it easy to post real conversational community posts. @Wimpress I know you’ve got more experience of discourse than I, have you any ideas here?

1 Like

We’d like to see something like this on the Ubuntu Forums too, before being forced to log in via SSO, new members had to read and agree to follow the Forum Code of Conduct, now they create an account, and are blisfully unaware of the Forum rules.

If it is feasible, a Personal Message from the Admin Group to any new account indicating the Forum Rules would reverse this bliss.

There was a welcoming message sent to each new user, but again SSO bypasses that.

At one point we did send an email to each new user, but even though the email said not to reply, it became an almost full time job checking the mailing list to see what the emails were about.

2 Likes

I agree that support requests and bug reports belong elsewhere.

Fully agree.

Maybe community.ubuntu.com could have a “Feature Requests” category, where users could post these?

This is not to say that users shouldn’t be encouraged to post feature requests directly in appropriate threads (such as “we need your input” threads). But where such a thread doesn’t exist (or can’t be found), the “Feature Requests” category would be a good catch-all.

And if users had a way to cross-post a single post under both the “Feature Requests” category and simultaneously under another category, that would be even better. (Mods could reassign the cross-posts, where appropriate.)

Like how Brainstorm Ubuntu (or whatever it was called)? I might work but how would judge if the request is good or not? Via “Likes”?

1 Like

Well, those who recall Ubuntu Brainstorm will also recall how it progressed. We learned a few lessons there. I think those lessons are applicable here:

  • A “Feature Request” category telegraphs to casual readers that developers are soliciting features from users, which is broadly not the intent.

  • It’s an implied promise that somebody will listen to their idea and respond. Let’s not make that commitment lightly.

  • Users get frustrated when their brilliant idea languishes, seemingly ignored. Users also get frustrated when a highly-voted idea seems to be ignored by developers.

  • Developers get frustrated by the generally low quality of most ideas. Developers also get frustrated by the (often unintentional) sense of user entitlement.

I’m not opposed to such a category, but suggest we work out the likely workflow for such posts to avoid the known potholes.

Well, although I liked (and miss) Ubuntu Brainstorm, I wasn’t really suggesting any sort of voting system. Or even a guarantee that submitted requests would be reviewed.

To re-repeat @popey:

Just to clarify, I’m suggesting a designated destination for the “drive-by” feature requests that this site will inevitably receive, so that such suggestions won’t clog other categories, and so that those team members who want to review them, can find them.

Whether a team member replies or not would be up to the team member. Indeed, in view of your comments, maybe an auto-generated “we gets lots of suggestion, sorry if no one replies” type of message could be sent in reply to all submissions made in the “Feature Request” category (which auto-generated message may be inappropriate if sent after submission to other categories).

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I’ll be in this camp.

That assumes they post in that category.

The trouble with expecting people to actually bother to look for a category - read descriptions etc etc is why this thread was started.

People do not read much - especially when there’s a big + New Topic button right there on the tool bar on the from page, which allows one to leave it Uncategorised.

Which then means that the people who can do so will end up moving threads, we tend to post when we move, but this particular person doesn’t have much to say about Ubuntu - I’m part of the Xubuntu team. So if I moved it they’d not get much more than a ‘I’ve moved this somewhere appropriate’

This may end up making more work for the staff, especially as the site gains more traction. It might be worth it to create some canned replies like we use on the Forums.