cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Customer Generated Support Pages

jtuck
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 12-11-2007

Customer Generated Support Pages

Customer Generated Support Pages
Hello everyone,
Work has started on a new section of the Community Site tentatively entitled 'Customer Generated Support Pages'. The purpose of this new feature is to allow Community Site users to share knowledge and advice on a range of various subjects, by creating and managing their own set of technical support pages.
The presentation and navigation will be similar to that of the current implementation of the Community Site, but will have some slight differences. We are planning to implement a smart search bar which would begin searching through all the published articles after the first two characters of the search field are entered, which would then start returning results. Categories and tags will still be used but the smart search will drive the navigation.
Support articles will be uploaded via a Wordpress post that will be subject to restrictions for base users. Selected moderators will then be able to review these post articles and have the ability to publish them, or sent back into draft status for editing. If an article has been published and is then selected for review or an edit, the current version of the article will remain 'live' until the edit has been finished and a moderator has approved it. This will  prevent currently accessible information from being removed from the site whilst it is subjected to editing.
The system will also enable users to edit posts created by other users if they feel they have something to contribute. Any changes made would have to be approved by a moderator before being accepted. All revisions of an article will be tracked via an audit trail facility, that moderators would use to revert to an earlier version of an article if they were to deem it necessary. Every contributor to an article, including the original author, will be credited.
The complete deletion of posts and other high level options will remain the control of the Admin users, who at this current time will be limited to designated PlusNet staff. This may however be extended to some moderators in the future.
We're hoping to have a working prototype available soon so that users can start testing and playing around with the features, with a view to gathering valuable feedback and comments.  Smiley
1 REPLY
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 750
Thanks: 287
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Customer Generated Support Pages

This first appeared on the PlusNet UserGroup forums at http://usergroup.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,6178.msg77494.html#msg77494 - given that most Comm Site visitors will not be able to see that page unless they've already registered with PUG, I've included below my reply as posted there.
Quote from: jtuck
Customer Generated Support Pages
Work has started on a new section of the Community Site tentatively entitled 'Customer Generated Support Pages'. The purpose of this new feature is to allow Community Site users to share knowledge and advice on a range of various subjects, by creating and managing their own set of technical support pages.
The presentation and navigation will be similar to that of the current implementation of the Community Site ...

Hmmmmmm.  This is maybe a good idea 'in principle', it's just the logistics of it all that deter me from offering it even a cautious welcome.
Could I make a small suggestion?  I have no idea of the "required mechanics" of what I'm about to propose, but it seems to me that where the existing DIY support pages fall down is on the 'lack of required hyperlinks'.
On the site I build I 'interlink information' (huge quantities of it) so visitors can actually "find" whatever they're looking for.  However this is a long and very-time-consuming process, to do effectively, even when (as now) the interlinking is done via bookmarks pre-set using php/mysql, and though it's sufficient for what I need to do for the site, I don't somehow think it's a viable route for PN web/portal design people.
What might be 'better' for the DIY support pages (the interlinking of which is currently substantially lacking, tbh) and the 'customer-provided' support pages, would be a 'wiki'-type format where the interlinking is done semi-/fully *automatically*.
A wiki-type 'entering-information' format would make it possible for work to be done on a number of areas *simultaneously* - both by forum visitors and by PN staff.
It would also ensure that 'customer-provided' support data can be fully interlinked with 'PN-provided' support data.
A wiki-based format would vastly reduce the amount of work required to interlink everything comprehensively and to the nth degree.  It would also ensure that absolutely everything is 'accessible' (which is the significantly-major problem with the current DIY support pages, the lack of being able to find things).
I fully understand that transferring the current DIY support offerings over to a 'wiki' format might take quite a lot of time.  But in the long term it's probably the only viable route to a thoroughly-integrated 'support' area for the benefit of customers-across-the-board.
So it would be valuable if thought could be given (now) to setting up the customer-generated support pages in a wiki format from the outset, and gradually integrating the PN-provided DIY-support pages with that, over the months ahead.  Maybe not the "easy option" but the one that's likely to achieve the best possible outcome, in the longer term.

Regards,
Penny.
Penny Rollo * Force 9 from 17/02/98 * PlusNet from 2000 onwards
Project HappyChild - free maths worksheets, free French-English
worksheets and 12 other languages
personal site www.pennymidasrollo.plus.com