New Forum Category or Reuse existing?

Currently the Tech Support Guild is going to be linking product documentation to the forum for discussion. Additionally, the TS Guild is making videos on youtube that will be embedded or linked to from the product documentation. Comments will be disabled on the Youtube video with a note to read the documentation, discuss in the forum or contact support. This prevents the discussion from happening in 4 different areas and funnels everything to one. This could possibly bring many users here so we need to be prepared.

Some thoughts:
Do we make a new category for these discussions or reuse a current category?
Do we need to prepare for increased traffic?
Do we need to have someone in technical support always monitoring these sections
Do we need any other forum admins to maintain order in this section

UntilI have this bounty in Notion:

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New ‘Technical Documentation’ category. In terms of funnelling everyone to one place, I would encourage ALL questions to go to the Discord [link preferred channel] to mitigate the need for monitoring and maintaining our governance forum as a technical support forum.

I see @lee0007 point although I think the issue with Discord is that sometimes topics get lost in conversation. Whereas if we were to have this in a forum it would make it much easier for people to search for and find questions that have already been answered.

The idea is something like stackoverflow. Get it indexed by Google so people who are searching for the same problem find it. Currently no one can learn from other peoples issues in Discord (without reading 2 months of public chat) or from support tickets. There is no recorded structured platform for past user issues comments and questions.

My main concern is that we don’t push people to this and it becomes yet another place where people ask for help making things messier. We should be leading people to the forum from the webpage, the product, the documentation, the Youtube Channel and in Discord. It’d be great to see questions in Discord being answered by giving a link to the forum. HelpScout tickets can be answered with a link to the forum rather than retyping the answer. Currently you can’t really answer a Helpscout ticket with a link to a message on discord. I mean you could but it wouldn’t be very friendly.

Could we use the Product Discussion or Support (has been archived but we could bring it back and Revamp it) Topics for the FAQ?

Should we not be directing people to relevant answers in https://docs.aragon.org/
How about a discourse available via subdomain http://support.aragon.org/

I personally do not see a governance forum as the right place for product documentation, support and FAQ’s. My concern here is that ongoing support discussion in this channel will bury governance proposals. In trying to build governance engagement I’d like the community to see the latest topics are community proposals as opposed to product support and FAQ discussion.

This makes a lot of sense. On one hand you get a lot more people viewing the forum and proposals creating input from the community. On the other hand you get product discussion. One thing that would be concerning is having two discourse forums to manage. People will end up at forum.aragon.org trying to discuss the product in the proposal categories as they wont be able to find any other suitable category… what a nightmare.

Take a look at the php documentation for preg_replace(). There is a lot of value in the discussion after the documentation where people discuss how preg_replace acts. This is an example: PHP: preg_replace - Manual . Some of the information has been used by people for 20 years there, found by Excite, Lycos, Yahoo, and now Google. I remember learning php a long time ago and this was great information!

We can’t do exactly what php.net did because we are using Gitbook for our documentation and unless someone sets me straight, I can’t see any discussion plugin or feature for this with Gitbook.

This leaves us with a few possible options:
1.No discussion which means the same problems need support over and over, no repository for answered questions
2. Multiple forums which means confusion of which forum is what, users bleed into the proposal sections of forum.aragon.org
3. One forum, attempt to reorganize and make clear Proposals HERE, Documentation THERE, some may not get the message and unintended users may come into proposal areas
4. Another platform other than gitbook that has the features we want which means reopening a closed topic and beating a dead horse thats already been beat very badly. Plus creating more work for TSG to yet again migrate documentation.
5. Leave discussions on Youtube in the comment which means another platform to monitor in which we don’t have full control and cant really link to very well. Lots of shilling and scams.
6. Link to another discussion type platform that does not look like a forum but a blog about each documentation point.
7. Transcribe discord to notion or a tech support blog or at the end of the documentation in the correct category. This is a lot of overhead. I get the sense @lee0007 would jump on the opportunity to volunteer for this. I vote for @lee0007!

Hmmm i understand where @lee0007 is coming from because if the amount of support requests where in the forum it would be easy to lose track of a proposal. However we do always post a link to current proposals in the discord as well.

Although there is a whole product documentation section already in our forum that we arent using right now.

I think its clear that would be the place to go. Could we possibly section the forum differently to create a distinct difference between the governance and support sections of the forum?

Sorry for repeating myself on this. I just think this is the best route to go so we don’t further split things up. And even if someone posts in the wrong section its not hard to get an admin to move it.

If you are directing people to https://support.aragon.org forum from the Gitbook, docs. youtube, discord all product documentation and web pages why do you expect there will be confusion?

The forum is one of the places I most regularly operate, so call me selfish but I’m not keen to see governance proposals buried amongst tech support documentation and FAQ’s. There is no way to effectively distinguish except by tagging and as soon as you add tech support in here the likelihood of incorrect tags increases.

I literally am only aware of this post because it was the latest topic. We need other voices to participate in this conversation. How many people would find this post if we did not tag them directly and all of today’s tech support conversation were instead showing as active and latest topics?

How many posts and conversations would that be for the past say week @brent
Could we add a forum here? https://help.aragon.org/ instead of a support subdomain to begin to consolidate tech support

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seems like the forum.aragon.org site is working well for managing governance - no reason to muddy the waters… having a new forum (support.aragon.org) where we can provide longer discussions than discord with more organic process than blog posts or formalized documentation = winning? @brent thanks for taking the lead on improving process and @shawn & @lee for good feedback

also - could we get @ramon to weigh in on tech support doing more work in the github repositories? i don’t like sending people to github because it can be a distraction for the programmers… on the other hand it moves some of the people in the right direction? may be a separate conversation

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Prefacing this by saying I am not knowledgeable enough on ins and outs of this topic but:

  • The forum seems like a sub-optimal solution because it sounds like it raises as many challenges as it solves
  • I don’t understand to what extent these issues and questions are symptoms of broader issues with current product documentation but knowing this would be helpful
  • I think the developer relations lead should be defining plans around documentation and tools so this work is aligning with that- what is their perspective?
  • Broadly speaking, I think the end goal should be to have help documentation and chat in one place, using a tool like Intercom (which is indexed): Help Center
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The problem to solve here is creating cached/indexed discussion about the documentation… more advanced topics that are rabbit holes, things that split off from the documentation such as in the example of php.net. Sure there is documentation for preg_replace() but the number of ways it can be used in different circumstances has been added to by the community for years. It lets others learn and do more. It is not meant to be used to get help but rather discuss, provide more information. This is not a tech tool like Jira for issue tracking, it is more of a learning tool. I will admit, a tool like a forum begs people to post their questions. Which is not something we want to happen.

I am glad I made this post because it raises multiple questions I had not thought about. I think there needs to be more thought into which tool we use for this. It could be that the TSG just makes articles when we find the need (#7on the list of options). It could be a platform like @b3n mentioned which brings up many other questions that would be off topic to this post.

I received some good feedback to weigh and decide the best course of action. I will update here when there is a resolution.

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My 2 gweis

  • Product guides/documentation - shouldn’t live here… should have specific guides in some other platform - guides are not “open for discussion”, but for sure can be always updated to reflect the most common needs of users
  • Technical documentation - @brent you mentioned StackOverflow… why not use exactly it? When the questions are “development focused” - we could get people to add them there (or one of the StackExchange sites that makes more sense) and post the replies/discussions there as well
  • Product suggestions / ideas - This is one I think can live here indeed.
  • Tech support guild doing dev work @alibama - More than happy to have the TS coding improvements on the products… It is not a super heavy burden to developers to review things… The only thing I ask is to align with Product (me or anyone else in the future) on what is the proposal of improvement so we don’t get lost or misaligned. This can be a more defined process in the future.
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@ramon
The original idea is that an admin at Aragon could pin some items to the top of the discussion that add value. Stack overflow wont let us do that and they do not have an Aragon category. It would be hard to link people from the documentation to Stack Overflow as we would not know where the content is. But this is an option I don’t have mentioned above. StackOverflow also wont let people add comments without first having a question.

  • Tech support guild doing dev work @alibama - More than happy to have the TS coding improvements on the products… It is not a super heavy burden to developers to review things… The only thing I ask is to align with Product (me or anyone else in the future) on what is the proposal of improvement so we don’t get lost or misaligned. This can be a more defined process in the future.

I think you are referring to TS possibly doing some QA? This was discussed our call. Maybe augmenting dev for those on the TSG who are developers. That is off topic of this post and is not something in motion at the moment and needs further discussion.

Finding the right place for any community discussion over the documentation/product is going to take a little more thought and some research on what platform we should be using.