Under Review By Staff is annoying

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    Even with a 30 minute head start the Staff’s batting average is a bit low



    @raincoaster: the tags are empty on that forum question, if you added something in there it’s gone now.

    @TSP: have you ever met a sober, and happy, engineer?



    Yep, I noticed someone had deleted the tags. Not answered the question, just deleted the tags.



    Now Now – we engineers & hack mechanics need to feel loved also – :)



    Well, no wonder you all drink then.


    For the record: of all the threads started over the last 48 hours (excluding Off Topic and Showcase), those answered by staff within 30 minutes were less than 18%.



    Did you count the Spam Posts they let go without reading them? They let a pile of Spam out this morning even after they had been modlook & Spam & spammer marked.


    Make that “excluding Off Topic, Showcase, and spam”…



    The obvious solution is to hire all the experienced forum volunteers as Happiness Engineers. Problem solved!

    /dancing away to the kitchen for another cuppa coffee


    @featherseeds, I’ve met happy engineers that have not drank any alcohol. That isn’t to say they haven’t use other means of inducing “happy.”

    [MOD EDIT: Obscenity deleted]

    Whoever had this brain fart obviously didn’t realize that most staff members would rather be caught blogging at blogger than answer questions in the forums.

    I don’t think this was ever about staff answering the bulk of questions in the forums, I think this was more about giving them first shot at answering the easy ones which creates the illusion that they are “on the case”. From past experience, even present experience, the correct answer is as likely to elude them as not.



    TSP, you’re being out-of-line and rude. I know you’re capable of much better because I’ve seen it.

    More broadly, I think you guys value less what you can’t see, which is the vast quantity of issues that are brought up and resolved through the ticket system. We have two happiness engineers with over 100,000 replies, each.

    The truth is people get better help in tickets than they do in the forums right now. I personally would like to change that and there will be a number of experiments over the next few months here, including but not limited to radical layout changes, posting rules, ratings, routing tickets here, time delays, reputation scores, banning, promotions, and cheese.


    I want to add… that I know for a fact that we have really excellent and smart users. And, as a Happiness Engineer, my heart is in helping WordPress.com users with their blogs and fostering good relationships through help tickets and here in the forums.

    Repeat after me: Change is good! This is a transition for us too, and we want to work together with you to make the forums completely awesome.

    Wait. Cheese?! :)



    This all got a bit crazy a bit fast, surely us volunteers can relax a bit more for a few weeks and see how things work out. The community as a whole won’t be able to progress and improve if it never tries anything new. And there might be cheese waiting at the finish line (I hope there’s a substitute prize for the poor folks who might be lactose intolerant!).


    @matt and everyone, yes it was rude and out of line and I apologize.


    “I think you guys value less what you can’t see, which is the vast quantity of issues that are brought up and resolved through the ticket system.” “The truth is people get better help in tickets than they do in the forums right now.”

    What does that have to do with the 30-minutes gimmick?


    @panaghiotisadam That has more to do with the forums in general and the rudeness and feeling of animosity present in some of the replies, especially in this thread.

    We are usually constantly in tickets so we need to make a better transition to the forums and we are working on different ways to allow us to do that and also work on everything else too. I think it’s all a work in progress.


    Moderator Emeritus

    @hallluke and all

    Yes:FAST!!! I thought this “under review” implementation was crazy from the first time I first saw a notice last Tuesday evening when this started. From my point of view it is madness to implement something that certainly appears to make things more difficult and slower for everyone.

    This thread is a rant and not a reasoned discussion. It is divisive. We have been drawing lines and taking sides—and I mean the management (powers, deciders) as well as the volunteers in this forum.

    I’d like to hope that we can all find a way to function for the benefit of all, including people looking for assistance.

    This “under review” procedure was implemented crudely. It appeared suddenly, without explanation; to volunteers it is apparently serving no purpose. I would also surmise that the staff/happiness engineers/theme managers/and so on, who are paid by WordPress.com (or Automatic or whoever has the bank accounts), have important and productive things to do. It has taken a couple of days to see any staff response during the review time over the past few days.

    from Matt:

    The truth is people get better help in tickets than they do in the forums right now.

    Yes! I can believe that is true: Many, many, many people do not use the forums but get help directly from Support. People on staff have fast-moving and stressful work to do resolving some tricky issues. Evidence is that we don’t see many posts in the forums from disgruntled (former) wp bloggers.

    Something else I have observed is an improvement in wp.com Support from the old FAQ’s, especially the continual updating of the support articles.

    Here are the ‘opposite sides:’
    There are staff, concerned with making everything work on WordPress.com, and there are volunteers who want to be helpful. These two points of view share a common goal.

    Just a short personal experience note:
    While I was directing folk at the small non-profit where I work (sort of retired now), I found it was a good (and satisfying) experience to cheer on and encourage, respect, and ask for advice (not always implemented) employees and volunteers.


    @designsimply: None of us has ever doubted the burden you face with the ticket system or the quality of that service. But if that means you are “usually constantly in tickets [and] need to make a better transition to the forums”, it proves that your new gimmick was a bad idea or at least prematurely implemented. Blocking new threads for 30 minutes would make sense if you took full advantage of it; when four times out of five you don’t show up, then you yourselves aren’t ready for this, the forum has become less effective, and the gimmick only seems as your latest let’s-piss-volunteers-off invention. (I wonder: shouldn’t “rudeness and feeling of animosity” tell you something?)



    Matt, this thread was never about the ticket system; it is about the degradation of the user experience in the forums which the Under Review By Staff has instigated.

    I took a quick glance at the front page of the forum; there are numerous threads which have not been responded to within an hour. That does not normally happen. I’m on at all hours of the day and night, and I know that happens perhaps over Christmas once and otherwise, it’s almost unheard of.

    By demonstrably reducing the ability of volunteers to respond, you have reduced their willingness to respond.

    It’s no surprise to anyone who works in customer support that over and above solutions for their problems, people want acknowledgment. They want to be heard. This has reduced the responses to the point at which they are going to feel it, and they are not going to be happy.


    As a WP user for over two years, I have found the volunteer-staffed Forums to be more than simply a source of technical assistance. The various personalities of the primary Volunteers have been entertaining, instructive, often inspirational and yes, from time to time, you can feel tension, frustration, and sleep deprivation at work. Since I have always asked my questions with respect, I have been answered in kind, and usually in an exceedingly prompt manner.

    I would have expected an announcement alert on my Dashboard before this new idea was tried out. Perhaps I missed it? What I have noticed on the Forums lately is a huge spike in people asking the same questions and raising the same issues that are fully covered in the Support pages, Forum searches, and the videos. It seems a sad commentary on people’s growing inability and/or unwillingness to search out solutions for themselves before asking for instant replies. I often marvel that any of the Volunteers can remain polite and patient in the face of questioners who seem unable to click a couple of times before screaming their questions out in all caps followed by a string of exclamation or question marks.

    My sense is that the personality of the Forums is going to change. Like a little more “Regular Army” and a little less “M*A*S*H. Like going to a corporate urgent care center instead of your local country doctor. As a user, I’m still not sure what is broke – and why it needs fixing. (Again, sorry if I missed the memo. No sarcasm intended.) Is it possible for technology to weed out the repetitive questions — automatically directing people to the relevant Support links, like the Bot does? This might lessen the clogging of the Forums and ease the load for Volunteers and Staff alike.

    Reading this thread, I get the feeling that the Happiness Engineers are unhappy with the Volunteers and are doing some kind of end-run around them — and that saddens me. Maybe a lot of bloggers are with WP.com just for the technology — but I’m here for the people, too. Please don’t sanitize things to create a more corporate, homogenous, bland flavor in the Forums. There’s already way too much of that out there in the world, and such a move would signal to me that WP.com is sliding down a slippery slope toward becoming “just another blogging platform.”

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