Opened 12 years ago

Closed 7 years ago

#122 closed Feature/Enhancement Request (fixed)

Transition to new support system

Reported by: Jamie McClelland Owned by: Jamie McClelland
Priority: Medium Component: Outreach
Keywords: Cc:
Sensitive: no

Description

Now that the major usability issues have been resolved with the new support.mayfirst.org site, we should transition our members to using it.

I propose the following approach to transition:

  • Week 1 - 2: Email the 5 - 10 most frequent users of our email-based support. Tell them about support.mayfirst.org and ask them to start using it rather then the support email address. Ask them to also post to the system any problems or obstacles they have (or email support if the obstacle prevents them from posting).
  • Week 3 - 4: Add an auto-responder to the support email address that says something along the lines of: "Thanks for contacting support. We received your email and are working on it. Please note: on November X, 2007 we will be transition to a new support system at: http://support.mayfirst.org. You do *not* need to re-submit this support ticket on our new system, however, we would encourage you to try out the new system the next time you have a support issue. On November X, 2007 email support will be phased out in favor of the new web-based system.
  • Week 5: Change the auto-responder to say: The support email address you contacted is no longer being checked!! Please submit your request here: https://support.mayfirst.org.

Change History (18)

comment:1 Changed 12 years ago by Daniel Kahn Gillmor

Component: TechOutreach
Owner: changed from Jamie McClelland to alfredo

This seems like a pretty strong cutover. I'm in favor of the new system (as you know), but i'm not sure that 5 weeks is enough to phase out e-mail support. What about private questions, for example?

(changing the component to "outreach", since this is more of a human issue than a tech issue)

comment:2 Changed 12 years ago by alfredo

There's no question we're gonna have people emailing for many months. This is because we have different kinds of support needs: those who seek support a lot (the 5 - 10 people Jamie refers to), those who are conscious of support and know to email when they have issues (even if they only do this once a month or so) and, finally, those members who rarely need support and when they do need it they email, call or yell for whoever they still have contact info for (often myself and often to my personal email address).

I like the Jamie plan for the first two (particularly, as Daniel points out, if we do a lot of personal contact along with it). The last group isn't going to be affected very much by this plan. Most of them won't email support in the next four weeks so they ain't getting a response about using the system. But I don't think any plan is going to address their situation: we'll have to deal with it as we go along.

So, while I agree with saying we're not monitoring email support, I think we're going to have to for quite some time. :(

BTW, is someone's having assigned me this ticket a subtle way of telling me I have some tasks to do? :-) Which might those be?

comment:3 Changed 12 years ago by Daniel Kahn Gillmor

Thanks for weighing in, Alfredo.

Since MF/PL is realistically going to continue to need to check the support@mayfirst.org alias, wouldn't it be better to acknowledge that as policy (maybe saying something like "we strongly prioritize requests made through the support system") rather than to claim that it won't be monitored at all?

Alfredo, I think the assignment to you was automatic when i switched the ticket from "tech" to "outreach" -- you're the default assignee for "outreach", and jamie is the default assignee for "tech". As for if there are concrete tasks to do: I suspect you both have a better sense of what steps are going to be needed to make this a successful transition than i do!

comment:4 Changed 12 years ago by alfredo

Yes. I think coming clean on us monitoring email would probably be the thing to do. I think we can "push" people to use the system while make that painful admission.

And I'm sure Jamie and I will have lots of conversations about "the steps needed" and we'll all be talking about those in this or some other shared environment. I'm ready. Great work on this system!

comment:5 Changed 12 years ago by Jamie McClelland

So - should we say, instead of week 3 - 4 of transition, we make that more like several months? And change the text to reflect a date much further in the past and emphasize that we will respond more quickly to posts sent to the support system? How does that sound?

comment:6 Changed 12 years ago by Daniel Kahn Gillmor

We'll also want to modify http://mayfirst.org/support to reflect this change in policy.

comment:7 Changed 12 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Owner: changed from alfredo to Jamie McClelland
Status: newassigned

Good idea. I just modified the page and also modified the main wiki page at https://support.mayfirst.org.

So... where are we? It seems as though half the people I emailed are using the new ticket system and the other half of the people ignored me and one person had serious reservations about the system being public.

So far, nobody's has identified any new bugs or technical problems.

Although I'd prefer a better response, I think we should move forward with the next step, which is to configure the email list to send an auto responder. I'd propose text like the following:

Thanks for contacting support. We've received your email and will respond soon.

If you would like to speed up the response - please re-post your question on our new ticket tracking system:

https://support.mayfirst.org

The new ticket tracking system is a major step forward for the organization, in terms of growth, our relationships with you and the rest of our members, and the politics of mutual aid.

The new system allows us to answer support questions in a more organized and trackable way, allowing us to grow even larger than we already are. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, this new system is based on a public, open and collaborative approach to solving problems. As you will discover - once you login, you have the ability to both ask and answer questions; to both read and edit help pages. With your support, we hope to build a powerful tool for mutual aid.

Before submitting a ticket to the system, please note a big difference with this system: what you post is public. We are doing this for thoughtful reasons (https://support.mayfirst.org/wiki/public_wiki). However, the implications are that whatever you post will be visible to the world. So, among other things, please do not post personal information (like passwords).

The new system is more than just a ticket tracking system. Please use the search form at the top right to search our frequently asked questions and wiki pages. You will also find links on the site that allow you to browse our frequently asked questions or our overview page to get a better idea of what is available via our wiki.

Note We will continue responding to requests sent to our support @ mayfirst.org email address, however, we will prioritize requests made through the new system. 

comment:8 Changed 12 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Reposting proposed message with easier to read formatting:


Thanks for contacting support. We've received your email and will respond soon.

If you would like to speed up the response - please re-post your question on our new ticket tracking system:

https://support.mayfirst.org

The new ticket tracking system is a major step forward for the organization, in terms of growth, our relationships with you and the rest of our members, and the politics of mutual aid.

The new system allows us to answer support questions in a more organized and trackable way, allowing us to grow even larger than we already are. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, this new system is based on a public, open and collaborative approach to solving problems. As you will discover - once you login, you have the ability to both ask and answer questions; to both read and edit help pages. With your support, we hope to build a powerful tool for mutual aid.

Before submitting a ticket to the system, please note a big difference with this system: what you post is public. We are doing this for thoughtful reasons (https://support.mayfirst.org/wiki/public_wiki). However, the implications are that whatever you post will be visible to the world. So, among other things, please do not post personal information (like passwords).

The new system is more than just a ticket tracking system. Please use the search form at the top right to search our frequently asked questions and wiki pages. You will also find links on the site that allow you to browse our frequently asked questions or our overview page to get a better idea of what is available via our wiki.

Note We will continue responding to requests sent to our support @ mayfirst.org email address, however, we will prioritize requests made through the new system.


comment:9 Changed 12 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Feedback from one member:

Jamie: I went to the tracking system first but received a dire warning that this could be a fake site -- that it could wipe out my whole hard drive, etc. I decided not to test it.

Maybe we should bite the bullet and get another, gulp, godaddy cert instead of relying on our certificate authority.

comment:10 Changed 12 years ago by Daniel Kahn Gillmor

I'd love to know what browser is now claiming that an unverified SSL cert could wipe out your whole hard drive.

This infrastructure sucks. Another cheap SSL certificate authority (so that we don't have to support godaddy would be RapidSSL. The ratio of google hits for "rapidssl" to "rapidssl evil" is a better ratio than the ratio between "godaddy" and "godaddy evil" ;)

can't say that's a really great recommendation, though.

comment:11 Changed 12 years ago by Jamie McClelland

I noticed that safari seems conspicuously absent from their list of browsers. However, I still would agree that we should give them a try. I just put through the initial step of the order.

comment:12 Changed 12 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Just finished step two. I had to agree to a long page of conditions. They didn't mention anything about wiping out a hard drive, but I did agree to NOT using our certificate:

for use as control equipment in hazardous circumstances or for uses requiring fail-safe performance such as the operation of nuclear facilities, aircraft navigation or communication systems, air traffic control systems, or weapons control systems, where failure could lead directly to death, personal injury, or severe environmental damage.

I'll post again once the new cert is in place.

comment:13 Changed 12 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Ok, new rapidssl cert is now in place.

comment:14 Changed 12 years ago by Daniel Kahn Gillmor

blech. "authenticated by Equifax Secure Inc." oh well. thanks for doing this, jamie.

comment:15 Changed 12 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Bump! Alfredo and dkg: could you post a thumbs up or feedback on my proposed text for the support auto responder? It's pretty important so I don't want to implement it before making sure you've had a chance to review it. Thanks!

comment:16 Changed 12 years ago by Daniel Kahn Gillmor

The text seems fine to me, but i question whether i'm a good person to review it, since my textual and aesthetic predilections deviate significantly from the norm. I'd rather you didn't rely on my judgment as a significant part of a such a review.

Maybe ask some other MF/PL members who are better at talking to humans to look it over? That way it doesn't all fall on you and Alfredo. Note that you can get a permanent link directly to the comment that contains the proposed note by mousing over the header of comment (datestamp + author), and right-clicking on the paragraph symbol that shows up at the end of the header. This technique should work for every heading in trac, not just comments.

comment:17 Changed 11 years ago by Jamie McClelland

Priority: HighMedium

I forgot to close this last friday! The auto-responder is in place for the support email address. It is configured to send one auto-response per address per 3 days. In other words, if you send 10 messages to support in a three day period, it will only send you one auto-response. On the fourth day you will get the auto-response again.

This might have the effect of appearing random to our users. On the other hand, it seems like a reasonable approach.

I'm reducing the priority of this ticket, since the major part of the transition has been completed.

I don't think we will ever eliminate the support email address. However, I don't think we should close this ticket until we've implemented #3 and changed the auto responder to say something along the lines of:

We've switched to a web-based issue tracker at: https://support.mayfirst.org. Please re-submit your ticket on that web site. We are only responding to email requests in cases of emergency. Thanks for your support.

I'm not sure when the bet time to do this is - maybe a few months?

comment:18 Changed 7 years ago by Daniel Kahn Gillmor

Resolution: fixed
Status: assignedclosed

I think we have successfully transitioned by now :)

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