I gotta admit that I agree with most of these. One of my biggest pet peeves of working in the wordpress.com support forums along with other forums is when folks write these big long novels as support requests and don’t get to the point or clearly state what the problem is. Or even the folks who don’t want to give you details as to what the actual problem is. Bloodly hell….
You want help? Here’s the method I wish folks would use in requesting help:
1) Read the tools already provided to you. We have a search bar at the very top of the forums. Try dropping in some keywords into it. Chances are someone else has already had the problem before you. Something broken? Take a look at the front page of the forums. It may already be reported. There may already be a solution.
2) Say hi to start off your post. Chances are someone is going to go out of their way to help you. Be polite. Works wonders.
3) State specifically what the problem is in under 20-25 words. Stating specifically helps. “I’m having an issue with adding a new link to my blog roll” works a lot better than “Something doesn’t work.” “My CSS file is missing from x-y-z.tld” works a whole lot better than “My blog looks funny.” (Although I’ll grant that one since many new users might not know what CSS is)
4) Got an example? Link specifically to it. If it’s a general issue, provide a general link so we can see the issue. Specific issues need to have specific links. Never assume that we’re going to see the exact same thing that you’re going to see. If I could read minds, I wouldn’t be sitting here answering support questions on an online forum.
5) Thank the folks who will help you.
6) Wait. Chances are there are other folks also needing help. Give them a chance to help you.
And if you’re a webbased business who relies on volenteers to run your support forums, thank them once in a while. Give them the tools that then need to do their job help your clients. Listen to suggestions made by them to you. Pop in once in a while and show some interest in what’s occuring in the forums. Publicly thank those who go out of their way to cover your asses. (I’d give you a link to that but that hasn’t occured.) Drop a tshirt into the mail when you have a big get together and the volenteer can’t attend. Sure, comping them for stuff is nice but doing something nice for them is even better.
And if one of those volenteers tells you that you’re wrong about something, take a second and think about what is occuring. They may be right.
Else you may discover those volenteers slowly drifting away…