refno619012: (Default)
\\ { .S U P E R S T A R. } // ([personal profile] refno619012) wrote in [community profile] getting_started2013-01-21 12:02 pm

Question about the volunteer tech support system

Hi again,

I have a question (well, more like questionS) about how the volunteer tech support system is run. I decided to try to answer a few of the problems posted on the tech support board in exchange for points for extra icon spaces. 

For anyone who's never tried to answer the problems, this is the message posted at the bottom of each report ticket:

"Dreamwidth Support is an open-source project run by a community of volunteers. If you think you know the answer to this question, you're welcome to submit an answer in the box below. Your answer will be screened and evaluated by senior support volunteers for content. If your answer is first and correct, it will be sent to the person who submitted the question."

I was the first to post an answer to one issue.  I was polite in my answer and gave the person a specific suggestion that would help us better diagnose her problem.

I checked the board last night to find that someone else had also answered the question and gave the person the same suggestion that I did.  And upon logging out of DW, I noticed my answer did not appear (and thus had not been approved) even though I had posted it first and had given the same suggestion as this other person whose answer did appear and was approved) did.

So my question is, why was this?  I did nothing NOT to merit having my answer posted...my answer/suggestion was apparently correct, as indicated by the other person's answer/suggestion...I was polite...so what gives?
liv: Stylised sheep with blue, purple, pink horizontal stripes, and teacup brand, dreams of Dreamwidth (sheeeep)

[personal profile] liv 2013-01-21 06:07 pm (UTC)(link)
It's cool that you've started helping out on the Support board. I think the best idea is to ask this kind of question in [site community profile] dw_support_training, because it's more likely to catch the eyes of the people who run the Support system.

Do you want to link to some of the Support requests you've been answering? I had a look through the recent requests and could find two comments from you. One is about changing the URL of a feed. Although your information is right in general, the accepted way of getting the URL changed is in fact to make a request on the Support board, and eventually someone who does have the privileges to make the change will come along and fix things. That means that "ordinary" volunteers can't really answer the "please change the feed URL" requests.

For the second I found, you gave a correct answer about clearing the cache, but in fact the answer that was approved was posted before yours according to the timestamps. As a new volunteer, I think you can't see the other suggested answers posted, so it might look like yours was first when in fact it was second? If you let people know you're interested in volunteering, you'll probably be given the privilege to see other answers even before they are approved, so it'll be clearer to you whether you have the first answer or not.

If it's not either of those requests, it might be some other issue. The Support people here try not to be too finicky about exact details of style in the answers, but there are sometimes details which are important enough they can mean an answer doesn't get approved when it's otherwise correct. I'm fairly experienced as a Support volunteer, so if you link me to the request you're unsure about, I might be able to suggest something, but I'm not official, so posting to the community will get you a better answer.
kareila: (Default)

[personal profile] kareila 2013-01-21 06:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Seconding what [personal profile] liv said, but I also feel compelled to point out that support points aren't the same thing as shop points, so you can't answer requests "in exchange for points for extra icon spaces". If that's your motivation for volunteering, you'll be disappointed!
misskat: Dreamsheep, with MissKat on top, and Staff on the bottom. (Dreamwidth Staff)

[personal profile] misskat 2013-01-21 09:34 pm (UTC)(link)
First, I want to say thank you for helping out on the board! It's always great to have new folks around. :)

I can't find the specific request, but I think I remember seeing the answer you're talking about. The other volunteer had answered first, and so their answer was approved rather than yours. If yours had been first, it likely would have been approved.

The feed request you answered would not have been approved, even though it was first. Those requests are not answerable by most volunteers, though I understand there's no way for you to know that. You can check out the Support FAQ on the wiki for more information on the types of requests that need special site abilites to answer. I would be happy to go over the rest of your answer in detail, if you want. We can do it in [site community profile] dw_support_training, or via PM if you want. Let me know!

As [personal profile] kareila mentioned above, Support points are not shop points. You can't use them to purchase anything. To be honest, they're not good for anything other than a little ego boost on bad days.

Let me know if you have any other questions!
februaryfour: (Default)

[personal profile] februaryfour 2013-01-21 09:46 pm (UTC)(link)
(I'm not the OP, just a support newbie.)

Quick clarification question. OP said they were first, but you're saying they weren't. Do support volunteers not have the ability to see if a question has already received an "answer attempt" before they start answering it? (I'm not actually calling it an "answer" since it looks like it needs to be vetted.) If so, doesn't it seem like a waste of support/volunteer time/effort if people misunderstand (such as OP may have)?
misskat: Dreamsheep in the snow, says MissKat and Support in red (Wintersheep)

[personal profile] misskat 2013-01-21 10:09 pm (UTC)(link)
It is possible to see if there's an unapproved answer on a request, but you need to be granted a certain priv to do so. Anyone who is interested in Support is able to request this priv, and it's given out pretty freely. I'll go ahead and give it to you since you sound like you might be interested!

I can see how it may seem like a waste of time, and believe me, I've been frustrated like that too! That's why we give the priv out to pretty much anyone who asks. You have to ask, though-- giving it to all users would defeat the purpose.
februaryfour: (Default)

[personal profile] februaryfour 2013-01-21 10:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, hey, thanks! ♥ I wandered in to support to look (and tried my hand out at one question), but I am decidedly un-techie when it comes down to anything beyond conjecture. It is fun reading about things that go wrong, though, and how/why they happen!
misskat: Picture of Kat with black plastic frames (Default)

[personal profile] misskat 2013-01-21 10:13 pm (UTC)(link)
We can always use people to try and replicate issues! If you see that someone is reporting a thing, and you are able to replicate that thing, leave an internal comment (which you can do now) saying what steps you took to replicate. Similarly, if you can't replicate, then say so!

You might want to check out [site community profile] dw_support_training.
liv: Stylised sheep with blue, purple, pink horizontal stripes, and teacup brand, dreams of Dreamwidth (sheeeep)

[personal profile] liv 2013-01-21 10:14 pm (UTC)(link)
You're probably on this one already, but could you also grant supportviewscreened to [personal profile] refno619012, the OP?
Edited 2013-01-21 22:18 (UTC)
misskat: Picture of Kat with black plastic frames (Default)

[personal profile] misskat 2013-01-21 10:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Already done! Just call me Quick Priv McGive!