How to make contributing to Meta more enjoyable?

I’m going to give you another example community.

I’m a MASSIVE Star Citizen fan and backer and run a very silly fledgling fan site (built on Discourse!)

There is an issue tool where users can raise an issue: it’s called the Issue Council.

It’s a fantastic tool. Providing users direct access to the issue tool is genius. This is not the only way in which the game and platform is utterly cutting edge but it’s one of the very sophisticated workflows they have.

Thing is though, if I raise an issue and get no feedback I do not get mad. I know just how much of a huge mountain CIG is climbing and don’t expect them to worry about my virtual bootlaces being out of whack (or whatever my issue is). I have confidence that they know what they are doing. It’s one of the best teams in gaming with an utterly unique product and method of evolution.

There are thousands of open community issues. It’s endless. Do they have the resources to respond to each. Definitely not. But they will get there. Just like discourse it’s evolutionary-ware. One or five stepping stones at a time. Then the next set.

AND IM A BACKER! I’ve spend significant money on pledges.

But just like the respect I have for Discourse and it’s cutting edge approach to product delivery I don’t expect any attention and often get more than I expected.

People are all each very busy and it’s impossible to cover all the bases all of the time. Meta community is not a paid support product.

So I say:

  • be patient
  • be respectful of other peoples time
  • don’t feel hurt if you don’t get much attention, bandwidth is limited
  • continue to contribute, it’s very likely to be appreciated even though it’s tough for people to respond and acknowledge sometimes.
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One improvement would be for a team member to comment on any feature request. I made this request on 1 Jan – Allow automatic group membership based on subdomain – but it hasn’t had a reply. Even if someone were to say “no” or “maybe in a year” it would be all right. Something beyond the generic (though entirely reasonable) “pay for it or do it yourself” :slight_smile:

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But support costs time and money.

What you are suggesting is an SLA without a fee paying contract. That’s very one-sided?

It’s not for me to say but I’m not certain that is business-feasible?

Might a new tier of customer be introduced that is a support subscriber only, paying for enhanced support within tight constraints? Could that even be profitable/break-even given the prevailing consumer price expectations?:tipping_hand_man:t3: Given the budgets we normally see on #marketplace I’m not convinced …

Surely the idea of meta is in part “community supported support” which drives engagement as well as keeping costs down … in part helping to ensure a tightly packaged open source product that remains free to use.

Do all feature requests need a response? I’m not convinced either. If they are not deleted they remain for all to see and act as blue sky backlog.

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I am sure that you are right. I was just answering the question of how to make contributing to Meta more enjoyable, from my perspective. Perhaps you will say that making a feature request is not really contributing. That’s probably right too, though I did suggest a patch that works for me. By and large it is enjoyable here so it’s not a big deal.

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No no I’m not saying that at all. I’ve seen your feature requests and I’ve been impressed by your ideas. It’s not been my place to respond though.

Your contribution is surely noted by the community.

My only question is without a formal business relationship it’s tough for the organisation to make promises, even on individual communication?

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Reading through this discussion, I was reminded of this other topic from a while ago: Thoughts from the Elm community on Intentional Communication

Well worth reading through. The talk is also great and there are links to a variety of related topics from there.

Not sure how that all folds back into this discussion specifically, but I’ll be ruminating on that again for a while now…

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I’m going to jump in here because I manage the team that supports you both for free here on Meta and paid if you are a customer.

I have read every post in this topic. Some of the comments are fair and some are misplaced. We care very much about the open source community, it is the foundation of Discourse, but good business dictates that we prioritise our paying customers.

We are aware that as we grow and get busier it is harder to read through every post here on Meta. We have exhaustive discussions about it internally. We recently hired @JammyDodger so that we have someone that has time to read and respond to your questions and concerns. I’m really not sure what more we can do.

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It sounds like you have done the right thing here :+1:

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Are you open to hiring more people? Off of the top of my head, I can think of a few more active contributors here. They would make for great employees at CDCK.

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We are hiring, yes – but not for moderation roles here on Meta. One full time CM is plenty. Remember that he only began in the role one week ago so there will be some time while he gets to everything.

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Some polite gestures, nothing else:

  • everytime someone leaves bug-notice or feature-request someone from the team will react
  • after some decent time, like two weeks max, someone from team will give short notice what is happening or tell why nothing is happening

That’s it. There is no need to try fullfill every requests and some are de facto waste of time or way too difficult, but you can’t leave things hanging. Simple reactions gives an image that the team is listening and even caring what happends on community side.

Quite often you do that, I give that. But there is still too many open cases — some are because OP didn’t give more details or just vanished, but some are abandonded without any notice by the team.

It should connect to your policy. I don’t know how you guys are working, but when some is assigned, he/she will drop those couple words. Well, you know what I mean :wink:

Otherwise… no one can’t please everyone. But you guys are more under spotlight than we regular ones. That’s, for example, why passive aggressive acting from, like, my side is different thing than from your side — you can silence me, I can silence you only leaving Meta.

I don’t say the team is bad mouthing :rofl: That was only an example to show that you must be carefully.

Well, I’m finish with this topic. The team don’t have any bigger issues, that few hearts and couple words could fix (and more user friendly composer :rofl: seriously — Discourse needs more minimalistic composer, but that is totally different thing, sorry…)

Should we target us users too? Because honestly, users here are quite often more problematic than the team ever.

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I do spend some time triaging this list:

https://meta.discourse.org/c/feature/2/none?order=op_likes&status=open

I wonder if a hidden issue here is that we should experiment with the voting plugin on meta on the #feature category. Stuff tends to get buried in this category, perhaps giving better visibility to popular ideas would be helpful, then the community can help lift more good ideas up (by refining the OP, giving more votes and so on) and we can enforce some rules that “Discourse will always officially respond to a topic with more than N votes”

Looking at the size of the big well, I think it is pretty practical for us to give some sort of response on all the 10+ vote count, I think most of the 10+ already have a staff response. Then if we manage 10+ we can work down to 5+ and so on.

I also find #ux to be extra tricky cause it lives somewhere between #feature and #bug. I wonder if this category is helping vs hindering?

#support though is working super great, #bug is as well imo.

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There is a thing called tag :smile:

Sorry, I couldn’t resist temptation. But #ux isn’t any high volume category, I reckon (and from my point of view it is a bit strange because UX/UI is the most important part after good base code; there isn’t any bigger issues, though)

But that is more matter of structure or organization than making Meta more enjoyable — finding stuff easily is somekind enjoy perhaps. But it can and will make your guy’s job easier… unless it is hindering your everyday living of course.

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That’s a really good idea.

Although the last weeks I did consider suggesting to add #install-support and #update-support as subcategories there, since those two topics are polluting the category a bit, making the “functional support” topics less prominent than they might deserve.

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#bug isn’t working well at all.

We have the ludicrous situation that nobody from the @team can :heart: a post in #bug
because it triggers the bug_reporter_badge SQL.

The answer is really easy -

  1. Create a small subset group of @team explicitly to award the badge.
    Or …
  2. Create a special badge giving ‘user’ to impersonate in it’s own group then anyone from the team would be free to :heart: in #bug
    Update the badge SQL to take team out of the query.

I’m contemplating writing a post in this thread to explain the real world circumstances of my life at the moment.
How I had decided being invested in Discourse Enthusiast’s Training was by best course of action in desperate times and how something as stupid as having a few posts in #bug being ignored was a real life gut punch.

Sorry but I don’t agree with this, not at all. We like bugs as they come in and the badge is a welcome side effect.

The badge is certainly not holding me back from liking bugs.

Feel free to go through this list looking at last 30 days: bug - Discourse Meta

Find 10 instances where the team liked the first post … 10 instances where the team did not like the first post but really should have.

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Fortunately I’ve been a been a ‘user’ here long enough not to waste my time doing that if a co-owner is so emphatic. :hear_no_evil: Taking the dogs out for a walk instead.
Have a good day.

This is entering non productive areas, putting this topic on ice for 30 days

Thanks all for contributing but it is sadly getting too heated for my liking and too unfocused

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This topic was automatically opened after 26 days.