I’m sure a lot of people would appreciate better FAQ / How-To / Help-Me-Please-I’m-So-Lost material for Beeminder. Like, there was that one time we wrote a blog post aimed at Newbees, but that thing is a beast. It tries to cover everything at once, and fails to get much detail on anything in particular.
What I’m contemplating is committing to more incremental progress on this, rather than try to do it all at once. So maybe this would look like periodic blog posts aimed at newbees, (but with a very tight focus and lots of screenshots and stuff)? Or maybe it would be expanding on the FAQ and giving more detailed / tutorial-like answers? Maybe it would be screen-casts with me blathering in voice over? Maybe it would just be holding regular office hours? (on google hangouts or something? Though really it would be best if we had a way to do this that made the video available afterwards for the next 100 people who have the same questions.) Or maybe it would be a series of forum posts? Or spending time on maintaining a wiki?
I have some ideas of topics from things that come up pretty often in support, but I’m definitely interested in suggestions of things to cover, and I’m interested in hearing what format sounds promising / useful? (or suggestions of other formats?) Or is this whole idea silly and redundant with media that we already have like the FAQ, and the blog, and the forum.
- office hours
- blog posts
- wiki / forum-wiki
- expanded FAQ articles
If I had an anti-vote, I’d put it against screencasts. Those tend to get out of date ridiculously quickly, and if we think that a wiki can be hard to keep current, imagine what video-world is like. Conversely, recordings of office-hours where they’re point-in-time discussions of genuine user queries, there’s no expectation of bringing them up to date.
Good points! Btw, approval voting (how @bee created this poll) does sort of give you an anti-vote option, namely voting for everything except what you want to anti-vote for.
Expanded FAQ is really ideal, but static pages are hard to keep up to date. I feel like if at the top of the FAQ page, there should be a “this not enough? There are more details and tutorials in the Tutorials section of the forum!” link.
Then in the Tutorials section, you could have master posts made only by staff or trusted forum regulars, but everyone could reply with further questions or clarifications. Any clarifications that were really important could get added to the master post eventually, but it wouldn’t be vital that it happen immediately–it could be a periodic clean-up task.
Along with that, any forum tutorials that got a TON of views could maybe be cleaned up into blog posts/posts linked on a top level page called “tutorials”?
Also, unless you’re making bookmarks or time-slots specifically for certain issues, they’re horrible in terms of time efficiency or for people who need the opposite (i.e. slowing down) to keep up.
What about sandbox users/goals? Or some other kind of interactive example? You’d have to carefully consider things like how often it resets and so on, but I think it could work–if it’s not absurdly technically difficult (I have no idea about this)