denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
Denise ([staff profile] denise) wrote in [site community profile] dw_support2009-04-14 06:42 am

Community intro & Support Guide RFC

This is eventually going to be the community for Dreamwidth's technical support volunteers. It isn't intended to be "user-facing" -- in other words, this won't be the place to go for technical support, but it will be the place to go to learn about how to provide technical support for others at the Support board.

Community membership is currently moderated, and until we figure out how we're going to structure the ranks of Support volunteers and how we're going to give people access to the administrative elements of the Support board, I'm not going to approve any community membership requests. (You're more than welcome to watch the community if you're interested in volunteering for the Support team, though!)

Obviously, the first step to getting people volunteering in Support is to write up a basic guide to what a support answer should look like. [personal profile] azurelunatic (bless her) went through a year's worth of my emails to the dw-discuss mailing list to distill some basic principles that apply to both Support answering guidelines and all official Dreamwidth communication. I've gone through her list and taken a first stab at pulling out the Support-specific elements, and collated them on the Wiki as a (very, very) basic support guide:

Support guide (first pass)

It's obviously going to take us a while to get it to cover everything, and some things will never quite be documentable; there will always be an exception to every rule. But if you're interested in volunteering for Support, take a look over that list, and then:

* What other questions do you have about how you should be writing your Support answers that aren't covered in that guide?

* Is there anything in there that you don't think should be in there?

* Is there anything in there that needs to be covered in more detail?

(Meanwhile, if anyone who's done LJ support and is familiar with the mechanics of the system (how screening works, what the various priv levels are and what they do, etc, etc) wants to write up a basic "this is how the system currently works" sometime over the next day or so -- just the technical bits of how the system works, not how LJ support grants privs and does training, since we'll be doing it differently -- that would be awesome, since I am overextended like whoa right now.)
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)

[personal profile] cesy 2009-04-14 11:09 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for this - it's very useful.
invisionary: "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint.  When I ask why the poor have no food they call me a communist." (Default)

[personal profile] invisionary 2009-04-14 11:23 am (UTC)(link)
Since bug-related things are a significant majority of what's coming in right now, is there a standard workflow for gathering information from users and passing that down the food chain (and landing in Bugzilla if it needs to)? I think we need to streamline this so people don't fall through the cracks. :)
invisionary: "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint.  When I ask why the poor have no food they call me a communist." (Default)

[personal profile] invisionary 2009-04-14 11:49 am (UTC)(link)
I can do that :). Let's talk more.
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)

A few comments...

[personal profile] pauamma 2009-04-14 12:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Light wittiness in answers is okay if the user is approaching us in that tone or style, but humor doesn't translate well across cultural and subcultural boundaries, so try to avoid it unless you have reason to believe that the user will be receptive.
Example of the above: in a support forum that had similar rules about signing off with your name, someone once followed up on an answer, commenting about the answer time and asking whether there were several people all using the same name to sign their answers. I didn't explicitly comment on that, but my next answer to them was signed "$name #7".

* If you're going to tell someone that something's broken and that we're working on fixing it, make sure it's in Bugzilla first.

* If something's broken and it's not in Bugzilla yet, take ownership of getting it in there if you're going to answer the request.
Ditto if what's broken uses another method for reporting/fixing.

Also, I can work as a sounding board/reviewer/source of information for anyone wanting to write up how support privs currently work.
invisionary: Stylized D, the Dreamwidth logo (Dreamwidth)

OK, I've never done LJ support, but...

[personal profile] invisionary 2009-04-14 02:57 pm (UTC)(link)
...through experimenting with my 'Hack I've come up with a working guide to support and abuse privs.

With no privileges at all any user can view support requests in public categories and make support responses. Those responses will be screened until someone with the supportread priv comes along and unscreens a response. The user then can reply requesting additional assistance or close the request as resolved. Points are awarded based on how long it took the user to get a useful response.

What follows is an elaboration of the features in the DW code. How they might be used here isn't up to me, that's up to [staff profile] denise :). These flags are generally set by a site admin.

Any of these flags can be applied to specific support categories for specific users, or they can be assigned globally.

(Note: with a little bit of work this could be polished into a full doc for DW-the-project, let me know if there's interest.)

supportread: This lets a user read items in private categories, such as Security or Abuse.

supportviewstocks: Gives a user access to the stock answer database, a useful tool for quickly handling common requests.

supportviewinternal: With this priv you can see internal notes placed on support requests.

supportmakeinternal: This lets a user write private comments for viewing by people with the supportviewinternal priv. Is not dependent on supportviewinternal.

supportmovetouch: This priv lets a user move support requests between queues (including private queues), as well as mark requests as still needing help.

supporthelp: Includes supportchangesummary, as well as allows approving of screened responses and posting your own responses without screening.

supportchangesummary: Priv for editing the title of a support request. Only really useful in conjunction with other privs.

supportviewscreened: Allows viewing of screened responses. Useful mostly for training purposes.

supportclose: Allows the support person to close a request the user didn't. Useful for ensuring that volunteers get their support points!

For effective support primary first-line support and queue management people will need supportviewstocks, supportmakeinternal, and supportmovetouch. To approve submissions a user would need supportviewscreened and supporthelp (supportviewinternal would be useful but not strictly necessary). Supportread is likely only necessary for staff working the Abuse/ToS/Security queues.

Senior support people would benefit from having all of the support privs, as well as the following:

changejournaltype: Switches a regular user journal to a community. Mostly a maintenance tool that's not needed very often.

communityxfer: Abandoned communities can be saved with this if there is someone recognized by the group as their effective leader. Otherwise, use with extreme caution.

Abuse/ToS crew would likely benefit from these privs: supportmakeinternal, supportviewinternal, supportviewstocks, supportclose, supportread, supportchangesummary (all listed above), as well as the following:

canview: Specifically with the Suspended argument. Full access to all of DW is a dangerous thing.

finduser: Useful for tracking down socks and spammers, especially with the codetrade arg.

suspend: Suspends or unsuspends accounts. Self-explanatory.

sysban: Needs a full explanation from someone more experienced with the tool.

If something needs more explanation, I'll do my best, but someone who knows the ins and outs of this through experience would be better to make any additions or corrections.
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)

Re: OK, I've never done LJ support, but...

[personal profile] afuna 2009-04-14 02:59 pm (UTC)(link)
There are a few additional options to canview:

canview:entries (lets you view entry *properties*, but not text, for troubleshooting)

canview:styles (lets you view user's styles and layout layers, again for troubleshooting).

-- and I forgot to say, very nice, comprehensive list. I didn't realize there were *so many*.
Edited 2009-04-14 15:04 (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)

Re: OK, I've never done LJ support, but...

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2009-04-14 03:00 pm (UTC)(link)
supportviewscreened is useful for training purposes, and for "hi I can see what you wrote there and I am approving you" so training and supervisory, maybe?
owl: Charlie Eppes, amused by something (Charlie2)

Re: OK, I've never done LJ support, but...

[personal profile] owl 2009-04-14 10:00 pm (UTC)(link)
supportviewinternal is useful for 'let's all bang at this weird bug and see if we can reproduce or if the user is on crack', as well as training purposes ('Plz to be fixing foo and then I'll approve' from a SH). I'd guess that it would be necessary to approve if make internal exists, because there could be extra info in an IC, but IANASH, although IAALJV (I am an LJ volunteer :p)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)

[personal profile] azurelunatic 2009-04-14 06:22 pm (UTC)(link)
OMG, that is *awesome*. I will let it bounce around in my head a bit and see if I can find anything that creeps out at me.
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)

[personal profile] yvi 2009-04-16 11:31 am (UTC)(link)
Wonderful! I volunteered on LJ's support page for about a year (got my I1s in G/Unknown and I2 in Communities, I think) and I would really want to help out here :)