More users = More support requests

neandr neandr at
Mon Mar 27 17:38:45 UTC 2017

Just to add a little question mark here.
I have been around since years, sometimes to support and/or contribute 
(like with the New Zealand Contacts project). So I thought I have a good 
view onto the different docs, fores, bugzilla etc. ... but recently I 
noticed there are new setups like lithium -- seems I missed that 

About doc isn't only '.. EVERYONE loves to do, right?' .. the first and 
most important point for users, volunteers, doc writers, developers, 
etc  is to know at all there is documentation, where to ask questions, 
where to get support. To know how all that is structured.

A 'basic' user looking from inside TB for help would -- most hopefully 
-- find the hamburger --> Help Content (f1) and opens

Nice, try the "Emails Set up and send emails", good to find "Blocking a 
sender" .. but not more on EN pages,
but on DE pages "Eine E-Mail aus der Kontakte-App verfassen" and 
"E-Mails mit Firefox OS weiterleiten".
More subjects, links, support hints? Not that much!?

Ah sorry, on the named page at the top line we have a Help / Hilfe which 
opens some instructions how to use the support pages, but no additional 
Tb details -- afais.

Maybe my view is to narrow, would be interested to hear to which media 
others direct their customers/users.

Do we have a collection of available docs, including title, short 
teaser, which 'user' is addressed, who is responsible, link(s), date of 
last update?

On 27.03.2017 18:03, Wayne Mery wrote:
> On 3/24/2017 8:14 AM, Philipp Kewisch wrote:
>> On 3/24/17 7:50 AM, Bruce A. Johnson wrote:
>>> "the issue of support will have to be discussed"
>>> When?
>>> After every other issue is addressed, and all the money is spent?
>>> I am trying to get you people to discuss the issue of support now,
>>> while the new Thunderbird organization is still in the planning
>>> stages.  Everyone here only talks about support as "something to be
>>> discussed", but nobody seems willing to actually discuss it. What
>>> that tells me is that no one is really interested in the end user.
>> Hi Bruce,
>> I understand the answer you received is not satisfying, and we would
>> love to give you a more actionable answer. Support is definitely an area
>> that is equally important to us and we would like to provide our support
>> contributors with the tools they need to give users a satisfying answer.
>> It was mentioned that this is something to be discussed, because we
>> don't have a good answer at the moment.
>> A few minutes ago I sent out an email what we discussed in the first
>> call with our new council team. Part of that is hiring a community
>> manager to interface with contributors of all kinds. We haven't defined
>> the exact requirements yet, but I could imagine that part of this work
>> would be to make sure support contributors have an effective escalation
>> path.
>> However, support is an area where we need your help, and the help of
>> others interested in helping our users. Thunderbird can't strive without
>> strong contributors like yourself. Maybe you can start by compiling a
>> list of issue types where you commonly need an escalation path? We
>> should then find other contributors willing to write a knowledge base
>> article on those topics.
>> The Thunderbird Council itself is just a small team and there are many
>> important issues to discuss, but with an army of contributors we can
>> make great progress on all the issues that affect Thunderbird.
>> Kind Regards,
>> Philipp
> Bruce has posted quite the bucket list. It's great to see such 
> interest in the process. Most of it frankly involves the hard work of 
> recruiting more volunteers and helping those volunteers be productive 
> - which includes writing more doc which EVERYONE loves to do, right?
> The immediate situation is complicated because we likely lost some 
> volunteers in the transition to lithium, and the remaining volunteers 
> may not be as productive as they had been under the old SUMO.
> Philipp and benb made excellent points in their responses. I would 
> add, that you should define how you think we should measure success. 
> Is it answering 80-90% of posts?
> Some other points I want to touch on...
> 1. Places for a volunteer to ask more help exist. I'm not sure it 
> documented in Thunderbird docs but I should think it is (or was) for 
> SUMO Firefox through SUMO volunteer forums. For Thunderbird we've 
> opted to focus volunteers in tb-support-crew. I suggest if there is 
> any place to discuss improving Thunderbird support with the resources 
> that exist today, THAT is the place to do it because there you have 
> the people who collectively have decades of experience providing 
> support. (But there isn't an "integrated" process.)
> 2. Perhaps I misread, but some think a hired hand is required fix 
> things. I'm not sure that is the case. For example 5-10 volunteers who 
> are daily answering questions have closer contact with users and 
> probably greater potential for recruiting volunteers than a hired 
> hand. (But again, I'm not aware there integrated tools to facilitate 
> reaching users.)
> 3. IMO to be fully proficient in support you should to have skills in 
> searching bugzilla. You have posted quite a few questions in 
> tb-support-crew, and many of them have been answered.  Some which were 
> not answered can likely be found in BMO - for example "reply with 
> template".
> 4. I should think Firefox volunteers (isn't that where you started 
> Bruce?) face some of the same issues. Perhaps we should work together 
> on developing solutions.
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