How to make contributing to Meta more enjoyable?

Or maybe there isn’t any requests, but this is actual meta-topic?

But.

Maybe the question is everyone is not agree they are listen, or acting? Or some are feeling they aren’t listening. Acting depends from various reason, and if there is given reason it is up to users if they accept it or not — but that is how people act. But there should be not so many ifs.

Absolutely free support from ”official Discourse* is not, but it is when it comes from community side — and the is its actually Discourse that get free support ;). This is part of somekind exchange economy. We can turn this upside down: participants are revealing issues totally free that Discourse can make its business.

But for me the whole question of money is really boring. But it can’t be some standard answer for everything.

I haven’t asked too many questions here. I can read documents and topics and do some googling. I don’t have too many issues with anything here. If I would have, I would disappear. But it doesn’t mean I’m totally happy with everything or keep automatically anything from team/official side — of from other users — the best possible way to act and — this is always bad — react. This is really human way, though.

As I see this topic it is more or less just request to team interact bit more with users. That means excuses that some thing or bug has recorded but burried after everything else and forgotten because of overwhelming job load is just lousy way.

Well, please continue. I don’t have anything else to say, and most of I gave is just empty meta, I know. I’ll continue find out why I can’t send tags with scandinavian alphabets from WordPress to Discourse — that is more relevant issue for me, and have been a while now :wink:

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That’s true too.

I personally don’t care likes. Those don’t play any roll to me (same with badges too). And now when we are on negative side, or I am perhaps, that is really good to remember: there is a really many bug/ux/feature-requests that has been solved unbeliviable fast. And when the results are important, that is much more important thing than amount of likes.

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Participants reveal issues because they are suffering those issues. There is no incentive except that issue getting fixed by a software change or a resolution of settings to get the behavior they expect.

Discourse makes business selling the hosted version of discourse primarily and the paying customers should be their first priority. we are self-hosting a free piece of open source software. They’re also helping us by answering our queries and I really appreciate them for that.

User to user support is a totally different ball game. I try answering queries to various support requests and try reproducing bug reports because I want those issues fixed. there is no financial or otherwise incentive for me except that the issue gets fixed and it would probably indirectly help one of my clients as well. In general, it will make the product more resilient and better in general.

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Noted. And underlined. :slightly_smiling_face: And it’s good to hear this now before I bumble into anything undesired.

These are very practical points (especially the Badge one, as I hadn’t considered that now I’ve been bumped to Team). I think I’d quite like Community Moderator for my staff title rather than Team, as I think having Team does give some of my practical advice an undeserved bit of authority. I’ll make enquiries. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I mainly agree, but I think as Discourse has grown (both in popularity and in complexity) we’re getting more people turning up wanting to learn how it all works. Ideally, I’d love to smooth out that process and make that as sugar-coated as possible can be tolerated. The sooner people feel confident doing x, y and z, the sooner they’ll feel comfortable sharing that knowledge and passing it on to the next new person (and so on).

My contributions probably aren’t as altruistic as they appear, as I learn by doing and repeating. So answering questions about admin settings, non-www SSL, upgrade snags, etc, etc helps me absorb the knowledge on a much deeper level than just reading a guide. And Discourse is so versatile and reconfigurable that mirroring different people’s different set-ups allows me to see an entirely new way of using it that I may not have considered before.

So, for me at least, the free support element is mutually beneficial. They hopefully get a solution, and I will hopefully have learnt something new. Win-win. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Acknowledgement

This question exists in every community. When you abstract the question, it also applies to the social interactions of life in general. Whether you like it or not, the post probably wasn’t valuable enough one way or another to the reader – especially when compared to the other things they are currently dealing with.

Can I make my Topic more valuable to the people I want to read it?

  • Could I remove some fluff?
  • Would an image help?
  • Is it even beneficial for them to deal with this, or is it going to take a lot of resources which they could have better spent elsewhere?

Meta in General

Agreed – in fact this whole post is good :point_up:

Understanding the user

One thing to consider, is that the Discourse team are also users.

Resources

The team had about 25 people when I looked in June. It’s now 64. That says two things:

  1. They have plenty of work to do
  2. They have plenty of work to do

They already had thousands of customers at a size of 25. Speaking from experience, they give really really good support to those paying customers. Especially compared to other companies, and especially when you consider the price. Over the last year I’ve had nothing but exemplary levels of support and interaction from the team. @rishabh in particular has been extremely patient with us.

Priority of Bugs

Paying customers find bugs too: if a bug is breaking something essential for a customer, it gets prioritsed. This happens in our business too – the biggest customer gets priority, because without them we can’t afford the things we need to satisfy the smaller customers. Further, the type of bug plays a massive role:

Example

Avatar has border on Published pages
What happens if this isn’t fixed? There is a blue line around an avatar on a page where the avatar isn’t even that important.

Permissions backdoor regarding flagged topics and title changes
What happens if this isn’t fixed? A bad actor can immediately re-publish content which was deemed confidential/inappropriate. What happens if that happens? Well, a paying customer now has a confidentially breach.


Contributing is about giving

Anything on meta is free. Everything on meta is free. All of the support, all the contributions, all the community. My enjoyment is from using Discourse and learning. I give back by contributing to the community as best I can.

Every contribution is already pre-rewarded with free and unlimited use of cutting edge software.

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That’s a given. The community support system has this as it’s biggest advantage. Best example would be people making comments on various issues & feature requests on GitHub. Sometimes, a feature exists and we simply don’t know about it because it isn’t used widely enough (or just not advertised enough) and some times, bugs are actually features or safeguards. We all get to learn something new each & every day and that’s the best kind of incentive to have. That’s why this topic doesn’t make much sense to me. This is a community and it should go by the community spirit.

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I wonder if it’s coincidence or just bad luck as of late but I had similar concerns. I found one bug, that is sure to affect everyone’s SEO rank- no one seems to care…

Edit Now I feel horrible… looks like this might be getting fixed afterall :smirk:

And yet there is topic and discussion of that.

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I absolutely agree with that. :+1: I think what I was hoping from this topic was for myself and the rest of the community to respond to someone who was finding it frustrating rather than rewarding, to have a check if anyone else felt the same, and to see if there was anything we could do differently to help smooth that out. I’m not looking to make any Big Changes. :slightly_smiling_face: Just maybe better promote the positive experiences of meta that have made contributing here so much fun for me.

I’ve personally found the replies so far really useful. They’ve firmed up a lot of assumptions I’d made from my own time chipping in here and there, but also made me think about a few of them differently too. I hope other people reading through it find it useful too (and maybe even encourage more contributions :slightly_smiling_face::crossed_fingers:).

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I started that topic, no replies … but I don’t want to sound like Debbie downer

Bugs and such will get fixed at the community’s discretion. With how active this community is, that’s fine.

I’m just grateful for the software and that its open-source - Really good work everyone.

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To be fair, your topic was created on a Friday when most team members were already enjoying their well-deserved weekend. :sunglasses: And as you noticed, a fix for that issue was proposed on the same day because we want to improve the non JS version as it’s also being used for legacy browsers.

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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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