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Support Everything WordPress

Welcome to the official blog for the WordPress Support team.

This is where we discuss issues related to providing support. You can follow our discussions and weekly chat updates here.

If you want to help make WordPress support awesome, we would love for you to help out!

Need help with a WordPress issue?

You can find help with your WordPress problem by posting in the support forums or asking on the #wordpress IRC channel.

Want to get involved?

Answering a question in the support forums or on IRC is one of the easiest ways to get started. Everyone knows the answer to something!

We have a detailed handbook to help contributors learn how to work with the forums and IRC.

Weekly Meetings

As well as discussing support issues here on the blog, we use IRC for group communication.

Our weekly team meeting is on Thursdays at 16:00 UTC in #wordpress-sfd IRC on Freenode.

If you don’t have an IRC client, there is a web interface you can use to join in.

Recent Updates Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Jan Dembowski 2:01 am on July 4, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Support Team Update for July 3rd 

    Items discussed at today’s #wordpress-sfd meetup:

    Domain trademark violations

    This comes up from time to time in the forums. Someone (well meaning I am sure) uses WordPress in their domain name and posts that link in the forums or in their forum profile. When that happens they usually get a reply such as “Hey, could you please stop using that domain name? Here’s some links explaining it better.”

    Volunteer support is not trademark police and I’ve not seen a case where someone didn’t correct that when pointed out. Support volunteers are there to help people and not really get into topics like that. But if necessary this link can be used to report that to the WordPress foundation.

    http://wordpressfoundation.org/contact/

    Again it’s not that support is to tell people right and wrong but if an instance needs to be escalated then that link should work.

    Troubleshooting Handbook status

    The new Troubleshooting Handbook is making progress and both @jerrysarcastic and @podz (Markr) have been working on it. It still needs contributors so please take some time to look it over and contribute where you can.

    https://make.wordpress.org/support/trouble/

    Section 3 can use some attention and would really benefit from some content.

    For examples of good (and not so good) support it was discussed to possibly take topics from the forum and modify/anonymize the text so that the examples remain just examples. It’s important that the handbook doesn’t seem to call out people for their behaviour. It’s a handbook after all and everyone should benefit from the verbiage.

    Expiring topics earlier than 1 year?

    When a topic is a year old it gets expired meaning no one can reply to those topics anymore. Moderators can still edit the posts in the topic but not reply either. This morning on the wp-forums list the idea came up about the possibility of reducing that time.

    Expiring topics around 3 months was well recieved in IRC and that became 6 months after some talking it out. I suggested sending an email to the list asking Otto about it. His reply on the list touched on something important: what is the best experience for the users?

    Topics are expired because after a time they’re no longer useful. That time is currently 1 year but more or less could be a tough thing to nail down. It’s something that will continue to be discussed on the wp-forums list.

    This really isn’t a critical item (it only really came up today) and I think the 1 year age out will stay. Moderators can still close topics that have gone off the rails and are no longer productive.

    The transcript of today’s #wordpress-sfd meetup can be read at this link

     
  • Jan Dembowski 9:34 am on July 2, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Team chat agenda for week #27 

    For any items that you may want discussed in this week’s #wordpress-sfd meetup please reply in the comments below.

     
  • Jan Dembowski 1:33 am on June 27, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Support Team Update for June 26th 

    Items discussed at today’s #wordpress-sfd meetup.

    IRC escalation

    @Clorith brought up the point that sometimes the #wordpress IRC channel gets beset by spambots. If someone is around who can deal with that then it’s not a problem. When the channel IRC mods are not available it can become distracting.

    Except for pinging the wp-forums list or sending an email to IRC mods then there’s really not much to be done at this time. Forum moderators and IRC members with OP privileges are two separate groups. Using email is not ideal but a 4 hour later response time is better than no response at all.

    Cleaning up the no replies link?

    @jnhghy brought up the idea of making changes to the forum no replies view.

    The problem with filtering that view is that those old replies from way, way, way back still have no replies to them. The conversation talked about the difference between a topic that is marked as [closed] and an unmarked topic that is more than a year old. Those topics are expired and cannot take anymore replies. They are closed too.

    It may be possible to trim that view (plugin topics was recently removed from that view) but for now old topics will remain.

    The Troubleshooting Handbook Status

    @jerrysarcastic wasn’t able to attend today (and neither was I for that matter) but the new handbook was discussed.

    The Support Handbook is for moderators and “crazy people like us”. But for regular users who wish to jump into support the Troubleshooting Handbook is meant to be the place to go. Eventually when people want to get started they will be directed to this new handbook.

    There was some discussion regarding what kind of uploads are permitted (for example zips are not allowed) and what the current state is.

    Content is still needed and anyone who wishes to contribute will be encouraged. ;)

    The transcript of today’s meetup can be read at this link.

     
  • Jan Dembowski 12:55 am on June 25, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Team chat agenda for week #26 

    For any items that you may want discussed in this week’s #wordpress-sfd meetup please reply in the comments below.

     

     
  • Jan Dembowski 1:37 am on June 20, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Support Team Update for June 19th 

    I was unable to attend today’s #wordpress-sfd meetup but there was good representation and a lot was covered. Mika wrote a really good amount of material and sent it to the wp-forums list. I also wanted to thank @Ipstenu for driving the meetup but it’s really more than that.

    Mika? You’re fantastic and inspiring. Some days volunteer work (any work) can be a drag so if that happens just read this: Thank you for everything you do. It’s really appreciated. ;)

    The Troubleshooting Handbook

    Much of the Break/Fix site is now imported into the Troubleshooting Hanbdbook

    http://make.wordpress.org/support/trouble/

    This is a work in progress please feel free to volunteer content. This remains a great idea.

    Sock Puppetry

    Sock Puppetry is when one person (or company) makes duplicate accounts to either troll others or bump their own plugin or theme. It’s not cool and those new accounts get blocked when found and their posts deleted.

    When a moderator comes across that and it’s related to a plugin author then please notify the plugin team at plugin [at] wordpress.org with the details. If a theme author is doing that then I think you can ping the theme reviewers list.

    I don’t think I’ve come across a theme author engaging in sock puppetry myself. You can always notify the wp-forums list if you’re not sure.

    How to Pick Moderators and some Handbook Cleanup

    Mika wrote a good and lengthy email to the wp-forums list and I’m going to include that here in today’s update.

    Since this DOES get asked now and then, we banged around an idea to not so much formalize the process, but explain what’s going on.

    That said, before I get to the new thing I’d like to add, I’ve fixed the structure of the handbook so we have forum moderation under the ‘Contributing to the WP Forums’ section. I also cleaned up a lot of the stuff that was in the “I …” format, since that was from my emails ages ago, and needed updating. I also consolidated some pages and added a couple new ones.

    NEW PAGES:

    https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/getting-started/faq/
    https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/contributing-to-the-wordpress-forums/
    https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/other-support-locations/

    EDITED PAGES:

    https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/contributing-to-the-wordpress-forums/forum-moderator/

    Added: Rule 6: You’re here to help people, not preach about right and wrong.

    https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/contributing-to-the-wordpress-forums/forum-moderator/administration-overview/

    Added: We have guidelines, not rules, for a reason: guidelines should be followed, rules <em>must</em> be followed. Never let the literalness of the guideline override your common sense. After all, we’re here to help people, not build a wall to keep people out.

    https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/contributing-to-the-wordpress-forums/forum-moderator/bbpress-basics/

    Added a reminder: We don’t like to call it bozing in public (even on this list) becuase it’s 99.99999% of the time taken the worst way possible. Try to call it b-tagging, and never ever EVER tell them they were bozo’d, tell them their account was set to require moderator approval on posts.

    PROPOSED EDIT:

    https://make.wordpress.org/support/handbook/contributing-to-the-wordpress-forums/

    Forum Moderator:

    If you’re interested in being a forum moderator, that’s awesome! We don’t have a formalized process for getting new mods, but here’s how we handle it:

    We’re a team. We pick people we feel will work well with the current members, uphold the high level of support and friendliness of the forums, contribute with no adverse ulterior motive, and be a polite member of the forums in the face of raging anger.

    What do we mean by ‘adverse ulterior motive’? It’s actually pretty simple.

    • Contributing to the forums to help people while learning more about WordPress is good.
    • Posting replies only to get people to use your plugin/service/product is NOT good.
    • Using your moderator powers to determine a poster is hosted by your company, and asking them to contact you/your company is good.
    • Using your moderator powers to get a poster’s email address to contact THEM about your product/service is NOT good.
    • Asking to be a mod because you’ve been tagging posts for spam cleanup, email/personal information/passwords removal, and make sticky posts for major issues is good.
    • Asking to be a mod because it will make you contribute more is NOT good.

    If you can’t tell, the idea here is to do good for the sake of doing good. It’s not that we’re looking for people who have no higher aspirations, it’s that the aspiration we’re looking for is very self evident when it exists. And certainly you don’t have to be altruistic about WordPress to be a moderator. Some of us are encouraged by our companies to volunteer, in order to help the community. But that’s really the point. We’re looking for people whose goal matches ours: Make WordPress better for everyone.

    Not being asked doesn’t mean you lack those qualities, however, nor does it mean we feel you’re a bad person. There is no magical combination of actions to be picked as a mod, and many people, even those who ask about being one, are surprised the day that they’re asked if they’d like to be one. The reason is that the absolute best moderators are the ones who are just going to do what they do, regardless of formal recognition. They see something that needs doing, and they do it.

    And THAT is what we look for.

    Mika A Epstein (aka Ipstenu)

    The transcript of today’s #wordpress-sfd meetup can be read at this link.

     
  • Jen Mylo 5:04 pm on June 19, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: ,   

    WCSF/Team Meetup 

    Howdy again, folks. We’re working on making sure we have enough room blocks to make sure all the contributors who are coming in October can get a decent rate (or have a room provided by us if needed). Some of you replied to my post from last week and filled in the survey so I’d know you were planning to come, but some haven’t. I just want to make sure we count everyone. For example, @jdembowski, @podz, @clorith, and @jerrysarcastic didn’t fill in the survey. Maybe you guys don’t plan to attend due to timing conflicts or other reasons, or maybe you do but didn’t fill in the survey. Help me help you! :)

    Hit the survey if you are an active member of this team so we can count you and see if you’d be able to stay for the whole time etc while we are creating room blocks. If you are not going to attend at all, please leave a comment on this post saying that and I won’t bug you anymore. If you would come but are concerned about the cost, hit the survey to be counted, and then go fill in the application for travel assistance. We have a budget for this, so let’s not allow money to prevent active contributors from attending.

    If you didn’t read the post before, the plan is:
    Sat/Sun — WCSF conference
    Monday — community summit
    Tues/Wed — team meetups (i.e. the support team being together in a place to talk issues, make plans, work together, etc)

     
    • Jen Mylo 5:21 pm on June 19, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Also: In that survey, a lot of people say they’re active with the support team, but I don’t necessarily see recent activity from them, so I wonder if they checked the box just meaning they’d done support at some point vs being an active part of the team now. One of these days we’ll get around to making team pages for all the teams, but in the meantime, could you folks (esp @jdembowski and @ipstenu) tell me who on this list is actually active in support? It’s not to deny anyone a place at the event, it’s to coordinate our rooms blocks since we’re going to be spread among 3-4 hotels, and if I can I want to put teams in the same hotel to make it easier for them to connect. Some people are or have been active with more than one team, so this is step 1 of figuring out who to put where.

      People who identified themselves as “actively involved with the support team, including forums, irc, etc”:
      Cousett Hoover, Paul Clark,John Jacoby, Chris Olbekson, Drew Jaynes, Asif Chowdhury, Keith Messinger, Scott Wyden, Kivowitz, Valent Mustamin, Christine Rondeau, Jose Castaneda, Mika Epstein, Ed Caissie, Sergey Biryukov, Ayman Al Zarrad, Russell Fair, Otto.

      • Sergey Biryukov 6:43 pm on June 19, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        To be clear, I checked the support box mainly because of my activity on ru.forums.wordpress.org. I also monitor the Alpha/Beta forum, but my main focus is core.

        • Jen Mylo 5:31 pm on June 20, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

          Cool. I already have you grouped with core on my plan, I just didn’t want to edit the response lists in case there was something I was missing. :)

      • Christine Rondeau 11:07 pm on June 23, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        I’ve been active’ish now and again, but not as much as I used to. I’m coming to SF for sure, but I’ll be staying at a friends place.
        Thanks

    • Scott Wyden Kivowitz 12:11 pm on June 20, 2014 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I work for Photocrati, so I’m involved with support for NextGEN Gallery.

  • Jan Dembowski 10:18 am on June 17, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Team chat agenda for week #25 

    For any items that you may want discussed in this week’s #wordpress-sfd meetup please reply in the comments below.

    • Ping @jerrysarcastic about You Know What™ ;) (specifically about importing content from @Ipstenu‘s Break/Fix site)

    I’ll be most likely unable to attend this weeks meetup (What did Mika say? Oh yeah, end of school year “life thing”) but I will post the summary of the meetup online.

     
  • Jan Dembowski 10:12 am on June 13, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Support Team Update for June 12th 

    Items discussed at the #wordpress-sfd meetup:

    The Troubleshooting Handbook

    The discussion was about organizing the ToC and getting the content from @ipstenu‘s Break/Fix site into that new handbook.

    Markr (@podz) had put together a spreadsheet and shared it online that divides the new handbook into section. We agreed that those sections made sense. It’s not set in stone but it’s a good start.

    Once there is content in the new handbook I will add a link to that handbook in the make/support sidebar.

    Contributors wanted!

    Too bad there’s not a “Uncle WordPress wants YOU” graphic lying around. I think grumpy cat is more the support team’s mascot. ;)

    The Troubleshooting Handbook will need content. The posts that @ipstenu has in her break/fix site will be migrated/copied to the new site by @jerrysarcastic and I’m itching to write a post for the “Giving Support” section.

    But there are many examples in the support forums and in IRC that can and should be used in the new handbook. If you’ve seen or contributed a post for plugin or theme support that struck you as a particularly good answer (and I’m looking at @josh401, @jnhghy and @emg as a blatant and not so subtle attempt on my part to get content) then that can be used.

    If you’ve wanted to contribute or have a post for consideration please share it in the comments. Even a link to a support topic or IRC conversations can get the

    The transcript of the meetup can be read at this link.

     
  • Jen Mylo 11:37 pm on June 12, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment
    Tags: , wcsf,   

    WCSF 2014 Update 

    Heads up, support team! We’re getting ready to publish details about the plans for WordCamp San Francisco this October (which includes a mini team meetup), so if you’re thinking of attending, please read the post at http://make.wordpress.org/updates/2014/06/12/wordcamp-san-francisco-travel-contributor-days/ and take the short survey linked at the end of it so I’ll know how many team members to plan for (don’t worry, this isn’t a commitment or anything, I just need to get some rough numbers for budgeting purposes). Thanks!

     
  • Jan Dembowski 2:24 am on June 11, 2014 Permalink | Log in to leave a Comment  

    Team chat agenda for week #24 

    For any items that you may want discussed in this week’s #wordpress-sfd meetup please reply in the comments below.

    • The Troubleshooting Handbook and status
     
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