April 23rd, 2003

Automatic Tagline/"Sig file" at the bottom of News announcements

Automatic Tagline/"Sig file" at the bottom of News announcements

Short, concise description of the idea
At the bottom of every News post, a link to the Support area, including the FAQ, with a reminder that users should go there with questions or problems.

Full description of the idea
All too often I read a News post and find a bunch of things that should be posted to the board or found in a FAQ. These don't really need to be posted in comments to News, and they're not getting answers anyway. Since many users read News on their Friends page, a link on the News page would not help them find the support board.

An ordered list of benefits

  • Users would be able to get better, more consistent answers for the problems they are having. Also, the News posts comments would have fewer unrelated comments.
  • An ordered list of problems/issues involved

  • Implementation requires either coding a patch or behavior modification. Behavior modification would be difficult and unreliable due to normal human inconsistancies in behavior.
  • Support would experience a increase in requests after any News post. However, users who are having problems would be able to find a better place to get help.
  • Support would probably also experience an increate in new volunteers after any News post. New volunteer welcoming and training is already in place, but would need to continue to be on their toes.
  • Some requests referred from News would be inappropriate for the support board, and would need to be handled as all such inappropriate questions are.
  • People commenting in News might take on a culture of heavily policing the comments and starting arguments with those who inappropriately post asking for help (i.e., who didn't read the tagline or the FAQ). This happens anyway to a certain degree.
  • If a patch is written for official communities, it will be a matter of minutes before someone asks for it on their own journal. The intent of this suggestion is to encourage users to seek answers in the appropriate places, not to create one million Britney Spears marquee-based sigfiles. It is entirely within the spirit of this suggestion to limit it to official journals only, or even to specific announcement journals like News.
  • An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation

  • EITHER: Brad and all employees posting to news and lj_maintenance would need to change their posting habits to include a tagline as described.
  • OR
  • A server-side script or patch would need to be written that would automatically add the appropriate tagline to any post made to those official communities. This tagline would need to be part of the body of the post, not just a custom style modification.
  • The tagline should refer people to the FAQ and Support areas. The tagline for lj_maintenance could also point to status.livejournal.org (as a reminder of where to look for site status). Proposed text for the tagline (entirely flexible and should be determined by the admins, probably):
    "Remember: if you are experiencing difficulties using the site or you have a question or problem, please go to LiveJournal Support to read the FAQs or ask a question."