¤ // SIMPLY NOT ALLOWED (kamara) wrote in lj_userdoc,

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Userdoc suggestion: New FAQ category: "What can I do to help LiveJournal".

Userdoc suggestion: New FAQ category: "How can I Help LiveJournal" / "What can I do to help LiveJournal".

This is my first time posting something in _userdoc, so poke me if I'm doing something wrong or anything. Ta. I've had a quick scooch through the calendar, and memories, and nothing like this jumped out at me. So if it has been mentioned, please poke me.

The FAQs already have "How To Help" style FAQs, such as "How can I help?" and How can I suggest new features or improvements for LiveJournal?. But what I'd like to suggest is a whole FAQ category about helping to improve LiveJournal. Ranging from Support, to Dev, to Suggestions, etc. I can only really touch on the support ones, since that's all I know of - but should this suggestion get anywhere I'm sure people will be willing to chip in about the other things, dev, suggestions, clients, etc.

At least every day now, especially in peak times of average user boredness (ie, summer vacation), there's at least one request on the support board that relates to a question along the lines of "I've been helping in support, but my answers arent getting unscreened/points/. Why?" So a simple "Read the FAQ" might help here.

At present, the average canned answer that some volunteers provide looks something like this:
FAQ Reference: How can I help?

Firstly, let me say thank you for wanting to help out in LiveJournal Support. LiveJournal is what it is because of the time and dedication that it's users put into it via volunteering.

As you may be aware, when you answer a request, your answer is a screened answer. This means that someone with the appropriate privileges, also known as "privs", will have to approve an answer before it is sent to the person who asked the question. Privs approve the first best answer. If no answer is suitable, then a priv will write their own and approve that. Points are awarded when requests get closed. If you have earned any points you will be able to see them on your "full" userinfo page:


Currently, you do not have any support points/Currently you have [foo] points.

If you're not getting approved it could be because of a few reasons. You may be factually wrong, your spelling and grammar may not be appropriate, or the form of the answer may be wrong. Alternatively, your answer may have been suitable except that it wasn't first. Remember that there may be many screened answers which you wont be able to see until you earn the appropriate privileges. To see appropriate form you can look at the Support requests which have already been answered to get some idea of how your answers should look, these will help you develop your own style for answering questions.

Every Support volunteer has several resources available to them. Some are journals and communities, and some are guides. The Support guide is currently being worked on, but you can see the new version in it's current state here (http://www.livejournal.com/community/lj_supportadmin/130091.html) and (http://www.livejournal.com/community/lj_supportadmin/130331.html). Every support volunteer must be aware of it's content. Another resource every support volunteer must watch is the LJ_Support community (http://www.livejournal.com/userinfo.bml?user=lj_support). You can only add this community to your friends list at first, as only privs are given posting access and the ability to be a member.

If you would like feedback on an answer as to why it wasn't approved, then you can ask in the HelpScreening community (http://www.livejournal.com/userinfo.bml?user=helpscreening). There are other journals and communities you can join and/or watch as you get more involved in Support if you so wish.

I highly recommend reading through the memories of the two above communities, especially the "Getting started" category in HelpScreening, as this answers many frequently asked questions. If you do not understand anything, then please, feel free to post to HelpScreening about it

Support is a rewarding, fun and social experience, you also get to learn a lot more about LiveJournal in your time doing Support.

However, if you are merely wanting to be involved in Support solely for invitation codes, which you earn when you get 20 support points, then I would recommend purchasing paid time instead. Purchasing paid time for codes is a lot quicker and easier than helping in support as it can take months to earn your first point, let alone the first 20 to earn one invite code. Details on paid accounts can be found here (http://www.livejournal.com/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=21) and to see a list of benefits other than invite codes you can get with a paid account please refer to this FAQ reference (http://www.livejournal.com/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=131).

Finally, the above referenced FAQ contains information on the ways to help around LiveJournal.

So it would be nice if all of this, subject to re-working, and making it sound more FAQ-y, and less me, could be an FAQ in itself, leaving volunteers more time to devote to other issues. Because allthough that was just a simple copy and paste for me, many volunteers dont have something like that as a canned answer, but would still like to anwser it.

Another suggestion for an FAQ is "I want to help with development of LiveJournal, Where do I go?" Which can cover things from normal dev (lj_dev) to client development (lj_clients). Again, I don't know the ins and outs of this, but I'm sure clients and dev people also have questions that are repeatedly asked over there, which can be generalised into one big answer users can be referred to via an FAQ.

Another one, which I'm sure many people here can relate to, is an FAQ along the lines of "I made a contribution to the site, but wasn't acknowledged. Why?" This would explain the /site/contributions page, and the prerequisites needed for obtaining a contribution, such as you need SupportHelp in a category in Support, or that you need something on Zilla for Dev (I'm not 100% of that, so poke me with details and I'll change).
As much fun as looking at "contributions" from users like 'I have the most comments' is, an FAQ could be useful here, especially when I know from experience, that this question does get asked in support.

Also, perhaps an FAQ regarding howto, and then howto_userdoc handles potential submissions there, since H_U is fairly unheard of, and many users may be willing to write up a tutorial.

And finally, a FAQ like: if you don't want to donate time, then give money: buy a paid account! Because paid accounts are neat.

Again, this is just a sketchy idea I've had from staring at too much Support at weird hours of they day, but felt it was worth posting here for discussion. Feel free to comment or shoot me down, as appropriate. Thanks :)

Oh, and of course, I'd be willing to help write up some of this stuff where I can.

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