Community Clean-up Participants ----> Provide feedback here

Hi Clean-up participants :wave:

Thank you again for all of your contributions during our first Community clean-up.

We are so appreciative that you took your time to help your peers and make this Community a fun place to be :tada: :sparkles:

We want to hear from you… :ear:

  • How could we make this type of event better in the future?
  • What would you like the clean-up to be focused on next time?
    • This time it was topics with no replies in specific categories
  • How could we make it more fun? :tada:
  • Thoughts on duration, time of year?

We look forward to hearing your thoughts to build experiences that you all want to see.

Thanks for your feedback in advance :tada:

3 Likes

I didn’t participate in the clean-up effort so I’ll caveat this comment with: my feedback is as an observer.

Personally, I think reviving old threads is something that should be avoided and so while this makes sense as a one-off effort, future community work should focus on providing an answer when the thread is new. Providing meaningful support to other members of the community often requires dialogue and expertise, whereas a general no thread left behind initiative leads to threads that have a reply light on expertise (effectively, a reframing of the documentation) and without dialogue.

I think overall this effort has been a great success in addressing the backlog of unanswered threads, and certainly, there has been a great deal of valuable content created by the participants – especially @Simran-B! – but the effort itself is second-best to ensuring that threads have meaningful contributions when they’re created.

As a person asking questions on forums I greatly appreciate the time someone else takes to contribute to my threads but I find it frustrating when I receive a generic reply as it is a waste of my time and theirs. As a person answering questions, I choose to answer questions only where my experience and expertise can provide value, and I am ready to engage in a back-and-forth to take the question to a resolution.

With all that in mind, my suggestion going forward is to focus on connecting subject matter experts with relevant questions when they’re created. I don’t have a clear vision for how this could work in practice, but as a starting point, I think community “triage” of new threads is worth exploring: empower regular community members to defer to those with expertise. There are two forms I imagine this could take, either by finding an existing answer or by bringing in an expert to answer the question.

The triage process might be something like:

  1. Does an answer already exist to this question? [1]
  2. Do I know the answer to this question? [2]
  3. Do I know of someone on the forum who has expertise in this area that I can defer to?

For example, yesterday I responded to a question about Action concurrency because it’s an area I’ve been working a lot in recently and I happened across the thread. If I hadn’t seen the thread when I had the forum open, I wouldn’t have replied, and the question may have been left without a complete answer forever despite having many replies.

Anyway, they’re just some thoughts off the top of my head. I think this forum is pretty unique amongst product forums in that it doesn’t just question about which buttons to click, it’s questions that cover the entire project development lifecycle – from complex GitHub Action implementations to team strategy – and so there’s real value in connecting expertise with relevant threads.

[1] I think regular forum users often underestimate how valuable their knowledge of the forum is: the ability to search effectively requires a lot of context that a new user might not have, so a regular might be able to find an answer that a new user might not have been able to.

[2] Replying to a question is easy but often the easy answer is not a valuable answer, it’s important to find the balance between encouraging participation and discouraging answers for the sake of it.

5 Likes

@shrink you’re feedback as an observer is great!

I’m also one of those who answer questions particularly for newcomers. Unfortunately, I have a regular job that I cannot focus answering questions here. It will be just my spare time to answer questions here even though I really want to engage fully.

Triage will be great, that’s also the one that I’m thinking so that similar questions will not be repeated. This can be achieved when there will be assigned active members or GitHub Staff members themselves to merge topics that are similar so that the GitHub Community will be clean and no unanswered questions. Most of the time, in my experience answering questions, they are similar although when a user is creating a topic there are pop-outs that might be similar to the topic he/she is creating. So, grouping topics must be done manually.

yup, as part of my proposal, there should be GitHub Members multipliers and these are the regular and trusted members of the community, with just one catch: they must be paid. Of course, quality work needs to be paid.

this is just another convincing reason why there should be paid trusted members other than the GitHub Staff members. Of course, again, quality work needs to be paid.

This GitHub Support Community is growing than ever. And the Community Cleanup is just one proof that there are backlogs and even though regular volunteers are there, still, that will not be sufficient.

You can check out the details here:

Hi @shrink :wave:

Thank you so much for providing your feedback!! I truly appreciate it!

The goal is definitely to provide an answer when topics are new. We want to create this to be a cultural norm. To re-ignite this norm, we hosted the clean-up :blush:

I agree with you to always to be mindful of how to create the most meaningful contributions.

I really :heart: this :point_up: This is something we need to think about more and thank you for sharing those examples!

I will continue to absorb this feedback to think about where it could lead us in the future.

Thank you again for sharing!

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A lot of good points, @shrink!

Good answers take time to understand the issue, find useful resources, maybe test something out, and to give a meaningful reply - even it the problem originates from a simple syntax issue. Some topics took me quite a long time to reply to, more than what I expected at first glance. If I wouldn’t have wanted to put in the effort than not replying at all would had been better than to give a quick, superficial reply.

I also agree that responding to 6 month old topics isn’t necessarily something to encourage. It’s very possible that the topic author is no longer interested in a solution or already found one. Replying could be a waste of time. Topics that still get a lot of views are worth to answer, nonetheless.

To another point: There are quite many topics that are actually feature requests or bug reports, and I pointed users to the feedback form whenever I encountered one during the cleanup. Some followed the suggestion, but I guess that others won’t, maybe simply because they are not active in the forums anymore and thus don’t see the reply. Would it make sense for Rising Stars to fill out the form on behalf of other users?

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@angela-crist I already received the badge here on my GitHub Community profile and thank you for that.

Can we reflect this badge also on GitHub? Just like the Arctic Code Badge?

Again, thank a lot GitHub.

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Hi @xdvrx1 great question! We will be thinking of better alignment with the GitHub profile badges and the badging here in the future. Thank you for sharing your interest in this and thanks again for your participation in the Community Clean-up. :sparkles:

1 Like