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np

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Post Posted March 11th, 2008, 7:26 pm

As you may know, the support.mozilla.com forums have been live for a while now. We've made a number of changes from the base TikiWiki code to improve how it works. For example, we make the Knowledge Base search very prominent so that they search articles before asking questions, we tell them what information we need to help them (error message text, URL, etc.), we automatically detect their OS, Firefox version, and installed plug-ins.

One of the major problems we still have, and I'm sure the regulars here can relate, is the sheer number of posts. We currently receive over 100 questions every day. Figuring out a way to be more efficient when faced with large volumes is one of the goals that I have for the 0.7 release of the support.mozilla.com software. I've come up with a few ideas for features that would help, based off some statistics I gathered.

I'd appreciate it if I could get some feedback on these ideas. Are they good ideas, bad ideas, decent ideas that would be better if they changed somewhat? Do you have any good ideas not listed there? I'll use your feedback to change the targeted bugs for 0.7 and to modify the features of the design. Thanks.

Daft Wullie
 
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Post Posted March 11th, 2008, 7:39 pm

Wouldn't this be better asked on your own Forum?

np

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Post Posted March 11th, 2008, 8:01 pm

Yes, but even better if I ask in both :)

Sumo thread

James
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Post Posted March 11th, 2008, 9:23 pm

This thread is a duplicate of the thread on the other forum... :P

Icons showing what threads one posted in while in the Index and a indicator for threads you've posted in and for new posts since last viewed/logged in and such would certainly be nice.

jscher2000

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Post Posted March 11th, 2008, 9:27 pm

Gosh that forum software seems even slow than this one. ;-)

I'll try it for a few hours and see how it feels before commenting further.

Racer
 
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Post Posted March 12th, 2008, 8:28 am

What I want is an automated keyword (or phrase) search of the kb whenever a user posts a new message. It would then give them the top 5 or so matches on the next page, which would say something like:
Here are possible articles that might address the issue you are talking about. If they do not help, click "Post Message" to submit your message to the forum.
1. Blah Blah (link)
2. ..... (link).
....
[ Post Message ] [ Never Mind ]
( ) Don't ask me to post messages anymore


P.S. Frankly, I want this on all forums I use.

LoudNoise
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Post Posted March 12th, 2008, 10:49 am

From the Google group posting:
In the majority of threads, the end user doesn't post back. I'm
worried that a significant number of these are people who can't find
their thread or don't check back. We default registered users to get
notified, but most end users aren't registered. Bug 398486 would help
with this.


Actually, it is much more likely that the user's problem is solved and the user does not feel it is necessary to come back to forum just to improve your metrics. Users are ungrateful bastards in that way.
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np

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Post Posted March 12th, 2008, 11:02 am

Racer, users go through a KB search before even getting to the point of asking a question. Do you think that would show them things they haven't already (not decided to) read?

LoudNoise wrote:Actually, it is much more likely that the user's problem is solved and the user does not feel it is necessary to come back to forum just to improve your metrics. Users are ungrateful bastards in that way.

I'm sure a lot of that happens too. Those types of threads (where there is no reply from the end user) account for 54% of all threads. If it's half split each way, then that's 27% of threads that we're essentially wasting our time on because the user never reads our answer.

If we get more registered users, then even if they don't answer back we can assume that they've read what the contributor said (because when you're registered, you automatically get e-mail notification of replies).

LoudNoise
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Post Posted March 12th, 2008, 11:30 am

You are assuming that the users have a particular need to register. When I was asking questions here it was always as a guest simply because most of my questions were simple to answer. Going through the hassle of registering wasn't worth the effort. I only registered when I began to answer questions.

Here is a good example: http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=636813

There is a very good chance we will not see deav8r again (maybe a thank you). Why should he/she bother to register?

np wrote:
LoudNoise wrote:Actually, it is much more likely that the user's problem is solved and the user does not feel it is necessary to come back to forum just to improve your metrics. Users are ungrateful bastards in that way.

I'm sure a lot of that happens too. Those types of threads (where there is no reply from the end user) account for 54% of all threads. If it's half split each way, then that's 27% of threads that we're essentially wasting our time on because the user never reads our answer.



Could be worse. If you decided to split it differently it could be a complete waste of time. Since you haven't a clue what the 54% means I would suggest thinking that most of those folks were helped since they didn't return and the small percent that were not helped simply died suddenly.
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VanillaMozilla
 
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Post Posted March 12th, 2008, 12:06 pm

np wrote:Racer, users go through a KB search before even getting to the point of asking a question. Do you think that would show them things they haven't already (not decided to) read?

Possibly. It worked that way for me on the Ubuntu forum. I did a search and found nothing. When I wrote out a question, that triggered an automated search that instantly found what I was looking for, so I didn't have to post the question. They key was that the correct search terms were taken from my message. I think Racer may have quoted the actual search results I saw.

As for people not posting further, I have several threads in limbo on various forums. The problems are neither solved, nor can I use more help just yet. The problems are simply stalled. Some of them may never get finished, although I try not to leave without some sort of thanks.

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Post Posted March 12th, 2008, 12:28 pm

Replying here to avoid registering.

1. "Thread answered status"
OK, as long as it doesn't have unexpected consequences.
On ratings: I hate ratings. I expect that they can make you needlessly cautious about venturing incorrect guesses, and competitive about being the first with the answer.

2. Filter for threads with no reply
Moral: don't bump your own thread.

3. "Threads where the last reply was a contributor"
I don't get it. Not sure how this would be useful. And of course, unnecessary features are bad.

To improve on the 54% apparently unsolved, do you actually ask them to make sure they follow up? Wouldn't hurt.
Last edited by VanillaMozilla on March 12th, 2008, 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

np

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Post Posted March 12th, 2008, 12:37 pm

If a contributor was the last person to post in a thread, then it's likely that they gave whatever information I would have given, so there'd be nothing for me to do. This is how I personally decide which threads to read, but currently this requires me knowing the names of all the contributors.

VanillaMozilla
 
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Post Posted March 12th, 2008, 12:40 pm

OK, makes sense.

np

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Post Posted March 12th, 2008, 12:43 pm

As for the automatic search when asking a question, I should probably do another round of stats to see how often people ask questions that are solved in KB articles already. The suggestion would certainly lower that percentage, but I'd need to see how much of a problem it is currently and think about what other ways it could be solved (for example, improving the articles or the search engine).

np

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Post Posted March 12th, 2008, 12:56 pm

Ratings would indeed suck. I'm not suggesting ratings in the form of giving a 1 - 5 score. What would happen is that if a the OP was satisfied with your answer, he'd say that your post answered his question. You then get one "point" (or however you want to call it). There's no way for people to lower your "score", so you don't need to worry about being cautious. The only reason I mentioned "ratings" is that Tiki has that feature built in, and we could re-use it for this purpose rather than building new tables and such. I don't see anything wrong with a bit of competition (which probably already happens with post counts).

VanillaMozilla wrote:To improve on the 54% apparently unsolved, do you actually ask them to make sure they follow up? Wouldn't hurt.

Some people do ask. I think we have to keep in mind that the goal isn't to improve the stats, it's to improve people's experience. The problem here is that people may not be finding the answers we give them. Asking them to post back wouldn't help because they wouldn't read that request in the first place :)

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