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Under Review By Staff is annoying

  1. It's preventing me from answering questions on an infuriatingly regular basis. What harm can there possibly be in allowing other people to answer questions while staff are reviewing a thread?

    The blog I need help with is

  2. Could be they are practicing answering questions in the forums and don't want to read the answers until they have worked them out on their own.

  3. They could just not refresh the page, then.

  4. hmmm…
    haven't thought of it?

  5. We added this yesterday and think it will let us keep track of forum questions more easily. We are considering focusing more staff support on the forums and this will help us gauge that need.

    We’ll keep an eye on how this goes for the next few weeks, but for now it’ll be left as is.

    After the first 30 minutes a forum topic becomes just like it was: open to all to reply.

  6. Sorry I still don't understand. If you are just looking for the initial question they should be able to filter a COPY into some Que for review during the day.

    If you are wondering if the slaves here are slacking - look at the response time from initial posting to a first reply.

    If you are checking on the accuracy of the slaves reply then each individual thread would need to be reviewed to see how each question is handled. Many times more information is needed before a question can be addressed, so there are many variables.

    On many days I see quality answers given in less than 5 minutes. With the new "Review by Staff" the response time has been slowed down greatly. You are also irritating the slaves, I have tried to help several people and the tread is locked by the Staff - I am getting a bit tired of needing to click on a thread many times to see if it is open for an answer.

    The result - I will probably reduce the number of times that I try and help, you have managed to throw a lot of sand in the gears of the help forum.

  7. Amen to all of that.

  8. Sand in gears is not good.

    WP staff support in forums is welcome. Heck you goet that nice box around your name so that people know it's an official response. But it makes no sense to stop everyone else from jumping in and giving the guy laying on the floor some CPR, which the staff reviews the situation.

    I say let the answers fly. Or even, as Raincoaster attests, let the minions ask more questions so that, by the time WP staff does review it, the actual problem may be far more clear than in the initial post.

    Either way, opening it has no downside.

  9. Not only that, but since we have no idea which threads are locked and which aren't, we're forced to open them all and look to see if we can answer or if we're locked out. This wastes oodles of time. If they would change colour or something on the main forum page, I could just avoid them.

  10. @ieba - by keeping the thread open there is no harm, but i think in some cases it might can create a communication gap between WP staff and other WP members who wish to either ask a question or reply to the questions being asked.

  11. @raincoaster

    You can tell which posts are frozen:
    There is only 1 post in the thread, and the freshness is less than 30 minutes.

    Still seems silly and pointless to me, preventing answers for half an hour…

    'But I don't want to go among mad people,' said Alice. 'Oh, you can't help that,' said the cat. 'We're all mad here.'
    ~~Lewis Carroll

  12. An improvement to the Forum would be that Staff would look at any post that has "modlook, spam, spammer" and a few others - I have very seldom seen spam Posts that were not flagged in under 10 minutes, THEN the Post sits around for several hours waiting for someone to remove it or deal with it. The spam post is taking up space and effort.

    How about Staff deal with modlook on a more timely basis? I am sure any group that maintains this site can figure out to put a modlook thread on a designated Staff screen in a fraction of a second after the modlook.

  13. Now I know why WP is looking for more moderators. Nobody else will be able to do anything for a half an hour. Well, I know I'm going to be saving a LOT more time in the future.

  14. @rain

    as a moderator I am even locked out of the thread...

  15. No, seriously? That's going to slow things down even more! How many paid staff do they have to go through the entire forum and get to every question within a half an hour?

  16. @andrewspittle-so after a support post is made, the first 30 minutes are reserved for a potential Staff response, which may or may not come, thereby slowing down response time overall?

    If that arrangement works for you, that certainly works for me. Glad to see all the new happiness engineers here and that the happiness quotient is going up.

  17. I dislike it and it deters me from wanting to answer questions.

  18. I am 100% behind Staff having a more active presence in the forums. That's what they're here for. Of course, they may want to change the wording a bit on the The Features You'll Love page, under "Great help if you need it".

  19. The vast majority of questions being posted to the forum can be answered by being familiar with the support documentation. Many questions posted every day have been answered previously and the searchbox contains the answers previously given (I use Google Search myself). As far as getting answers to more complex questions goes I think the Volunteers do an outstanding job of providing workarounds, and other ways and means of creating the end result that satisfies most members. Overall and without doubt the turn around time for getting answers to questions posted to this forum is very quick when compared to other forums.

    I don't comprehend why a greater Staff presence is required on the forums and although I wouldn't deign to tell anyone else to run their business hearing why a greater Staff presence is required would be nice to know.

    As others have mentioned it can't be because the data re: accuracy of answers given and how quickly answers were delivered by Volunteers is already available to Staff. And it's hard to imagine that Automattic would want to place paid Staff members in the position of giving the same repetitive answers to the same repetitive questions that we Volunteers provide free of charge.

    Just wondering ...

  20. Wow, what are the odds, I recently decided to divert my time on to another platform, away from WP (was spending too much time here on the support forum without blogging much anyway - guilty as charged).

    I have mixed feelings, not that anyone would care. I think it is a logical decision by WP to spend more time on forums than let the "slaves" run it on their whims and fancy. The slaves are actually poor folks, they just have interest in this type of stuff, so they don't mind honing their skills for free (they have nothing better to do I guess - again, guilty as charged and no offense to other regular volunteers here).

    But this 30 min lockout is going to be a frustrating exercise for those who are used to of quick answers. Comparing to help available at other web platforms, the support here has been unbelievably personal and quick, though the format had his flaws (lack of official response logically means lack of quality). However, the advantage of experienced bloggers providing personal help, far outweighs the flaws.

    Anyways, now that I have spent a little more time here already, let me go back to my cave.

  21. @justjennifer, I support this too. I think this is the only way WP can improve.

  22. @justjennifer Correct. We're going to do our utmost to respond to every thread that comes through quickly. After that first 30 minutes the thread is just like it used to be: open to anyone and everyone to reply to.

    @everyone Thank you for the feedback all! Like I mentioned above we want to see how this goes for a while and we'll take all this feedback into account.

    For everyone here:
    - Would having a shorter "block" time (say 10-15 minutes) or color-coding blocked topics be better for you?
    - What about limiting the blocked threads to just the Support topic?

    We'll keep this all in mind. Thanks!

  23. 10 minutes is definitely better in my opinion.

    Colour coding would definitely help.

  24. Andrew-I appreciate the questions, but quite frankly, IMHO it's up to Staff how you want to run these forums.

    Any "block" time is going to discourage volunteer answers and TT is absolutely correct that many of the questions asked are repetitive and the answer readily provided by researching the Support documentation.

    Just to give you a "live" example, the thread about the malware redirects. Any of us could have redirected the OP to the ORG forums and I tagged that thread before your answer. Again, it's how Staff choose to use the resources they have at hand, including the experienced forum volunteers.

    Peer-to-peer or with Staff involvement, I think we all agree that the idea is to provide a friendly experience for people seeking help, *in a timely fashion*.

  25. Shorter block time and color coding would be useful for anyone wanting to answer questions.

    Plus a sticky post at the top to let people looking for help know the wherefores of this policy.

    I definitely agree with @justjennifer


  26. How about reversing the times? Let any Posts go as they have been before and let the regular volunteers have first crack - then after say 20 min with no response (other than the bot) send it to staff for help.

    Add a new tag "staff" to flag threads for staff help. I see threads sit for hours waiting for "modlook" - that response should be faster.

    As @justjennifer pointed out, that thread would have been cleared in under 5 minutes with no need for any staff.

  27. If there isn't colour coding, I'm frankly not going to bother taking off my mittens to count on my fingers the number of minutes the post has been up. That's not a volunteer's responsibility; to determine when they're allowed to help. If staff are going to become the frontline personnel in the forum, it is going to have to be up to staff to find a way to indicate that, in fact, they need the input from the volunteers, and colour-coding is the most efficient way of showing them where they are needed.

    Colour coding is like a bat-signal to the volunteers.

    Also: if staff ARE the frontline personnel in the forums now, under what circumstances would they NOT answer a thread?

  28. A restaurant analogy: initially We reserve all tables for Us; you wait outside and watch; if We don't show up, you can come in and take a seat. Marvellous.

  29. (Shakes head and mumbles}

  30. Well, for one thing it means Automattic is hiring. If they're not now, they will be when the burnout hits.


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