From Behind the Contact Form: Tips from GitHub Support on Helping Your Community

From Behind the Contact Form: Tips from GitHub Support on Helping Your Community

In the last seven years, GitHub Support has gotten over 23,000 questions about your open source projects. Rachel Berry, one of the humans behind the contact form, discusses the questions GitHub Support sees most often and the small changes you can implement to remove confusion and make all the difference for your users and community.

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Rachel Berry

May 19, 2016
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Transcript

  1. From behind the contact form Tips from GitHub Support on

    
 helping your community
  2. @cmrberry

  3. @cmrberry via giphy.com

  4. ! GitHub

  5. ! GitHub (That’s not me)

  6. ! GitHub (That *is* Hubot)

  7. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    ! ! !
  8. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    ! ! ! (TOTALLY ACCURATE PHOTOGRAPHS)
  9. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    ! ! !
  10. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
  11. """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""

    """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1,076,923 : 1
  12. 300

  13. TECHNICAL QUESTIONS PER DAY 300

  14. 27,000

  15. QUESTIONS IN THE LAST 7 YEARS ABOUT OPEN SOURCE PROJECTS

    27,000
  16. 57%

  17. WITHOUT GITHUB ACCOUNTS 57%

  18. Wait… what?

  19. People who contact us instead of you

  20. DON’T KNOW HOW
 TO REACH YOU People who contact us

    instead of you
  21. REACH OUT BUT NEVER HEAR BACK People who contact us

    instead of you
  22. ARE TOO EMBARRASSED OR INTIMIDATED TO TRY People who contact

    us instead of you
  23. DON’T KNOW HOW
 TO REACH YOU People who contact us

    instead of you
  24. YOU GET SOME CONTACT INFO!

  25. YOU GET SOME CONTACT INFO! AND YOU GET SOME CONTACT

    INFO!
  26. YOU GET SOME CONTACT INFO! AND YOU GET SOME CONTACT

    INFO! YOU ALL GET CONTACT INFO!
  27. YOU GET SOME CONTACT INFO! AND YOU GET SOME CONTACT

    INFO! YOU ALL GET CONTACT INFO!
  28. YOU GET SOME CONTACT INFO! AND YOU GET SOME CONTACT

    INFO! YOU ALL GET CONTACT INFO!
  29. “…this is frustrating because it looks like I died not

    once, but several times, due to having many starter spears in my inventory…” WHAT THEY SAID:
  30. “…this is frustrating because it looks like I died not

    once, but several times, due to having many starter spears in my inventory…” WHAT THEY SAID: via freepik.com
  31. “… is it possible to hire a hacker? I am

    a student in ###, and I would like to know if there is the possibility of changing university academic grades? I'll pay for the service…” WHAT THEY SAID:
  32. WHAT THEY SAID: via giphy.com

  33. “Do you know how to make a space and time

    travel app (where you can actually travel through time to fix a regret, even if you wasted your only chance of dating someone who even asked for a kiss)?” WHAT THEY SAID:
  34. WHAT THEY SAID: via giphy.com

  35. “I want to track my husband…” WHAT THEY SAID:

  36. WHAT THEY SAID: via giphy.com

  37. “…it says module not found. Command prompt window says to

    report error to github.com. The file to be included is…” WHAT THEY SAID:
  38. “…Can I donate like $150.00?…” WHAT THEY SAID:

  39. WHAT THEY SAID: via rinibb-blog on Tumblr

  40. 1. Have a real contact page

  41. Contact Us >

  42. Contact Us > WHERE DOES THAT LEAD??

  43. None
  44. 1. Have a real contact page 2. Have an alternative

    to issues
  45. WITHOUT GITHUB ACCOUNTS 57%

  46. 1. Have a real contact page FROM BOWER.IO

  47. 1. Have a real contact page FROM BOWER.IO

  48. 1. Have a real contact page FROM BOWER.IO

  49. 1. Have a real contact page FROM BOWER.IO

  50. None
  51. 1. Have a real contact page 2. Have an alternative

    to issues 3. Have that info in your readme
  52. if readme.include? contact_info success = true else puts “I’m confused!”

    end
  53. SCREENSHOT OF PHPMAILER GOOGLE

  54. 1. Have a real contact page 2. Have an alternative

    to issues 3. Have that info in your readme NOT HELPFUL
  55. 1. Have a real contact page 2. Have an alternative

    to issues 3. Have all of that in your readme
  56. GRAPH WITH AVERAGE TIME SPENT ON A REPO BEFORE CONTACTING

    US FOR NOT GITHUB TIME SPENT ON LAST REPO BEFORE CONTACTING SUPPORT
  57. GRAPH WITH AVERAGE TIME SPENT ON A REPO BEFORE CONTACTING

    US FOR NOT GITHUB TIME SPENT ON LAST REPO BEFORE CONTACTING SUPPORT
  58. REACH OUT BUT NEVER HEAR BACK People who contact us

    instead of you
  59. Community == Interaction

  60. via giphy.com

  61. “How do I create an issue for XYZ? … I

    thought that there might be a way to log the issue directly on their GitHub project site.” WHAT THEY SAID:
  62. WHAT THEY SAID: ABC / XYZ ???

  63. via tumblr.com

  64. “I already raised an issue in the above mentioned url

    but no response. So I mailed you regarding my issues. Kindly help…” WHAT THEY SAID:
  65. WHAT THEY SAID: via thegoodvybe on Tumblr

  66. http://www.michaelbromley.co.uk/blog/529/why-i-havent-fixed-your-issue-yet

  67. 1. Use Issue Templates

  68. 1. Use Issue Templates!

  69. 1. Use Issue Templates!

  70. 1. Use Issue Templates 2. Use Saved Replies

  71. SETTINGS PAGE ON GITHUB FOR ADDING SAVED REPLIES

  72. 1. Use Issue Templates 2. Use Saved Replies

  73. 1. Use Issue Templates 2. Use Saved Replies 3. Have

    dedicated triage staff
  74. Support Driven Development “If I’m going to build this,
 how

    does it affect me later when I have to support the user?” - KEVIN HALE
 WUFOO COFOUNDER
  75. Support Driven Development “If I’m going to build this,
 how

    does it affect me later when I have to support the user?” - KEVIN HALE
 WUFOO COFOUNDER
  76. Mo’ Users Mo’ Issues

  77. See more: www.ascendproject.org

  78. None
  79. None
  80. None
  81. None
  82. None
  83. None
  84. TEACH THEM ABOUT YOUR PROJECT

  85. SHOW THEM HOW TO TRIAGE COMMON ISSUES

  86. HELP THEM BECOME A CORE PART OF YOUR TEAM

  87. TEACH THEM ABOUT YOUR PROJECT SHOW THEM HOW TO TRIAGE

    COMMON ISSUES HELP THEM BECOME A CORE PART OF YOUR TEAM
  88. ARE TOO EMBARRASSED OR INTIMIDATED TO TRY People who contact

    us instead of you
  89. Encourage Contributions

  90. “I'm new on GitHub and I'm trying to make my

    first contribution… User ABC checked the code and added a commit, and is asking me to merge his sample code, which is what I don't understand.” WHAT THEY SAID:
  91. None
  92. “I want to contribute to XYZ, however I can't find

    the process to follow. Is it the same as ABC? Like fork the repo and then pull request?” WHAT THEY SAID:
  93. 1. Use (at least) a Contributing file

  94. 1. Use (at least) a Contributing file

  95. 1. Use (at least) a Contributing file

  96. 1. Use (at least) a Contributing file

  97. 1. Use (at least) a Contributing file

  98. 1. Use (at least) a Contributing file

  99. 1. Use (at least) a Contributing file 2. Use labels

    like ‘first-timers only’ 
 and ‘up-for-grabs’
  100. UP-FOR-GRABS.NET

  101. UP-FOR-GRABS.NET

  102. None
  103. FIRSTTIMERSONLY.COM @YOURFIRSTPR

  104. None
  105. CODEMONTAGE.COM

  106. 1. Use (at least) a Contributing file 2. Use labels

    like ‘first-timers only’ 
 and ‘up-for-grabs’ 3. Give detailed feedback for those
 who really want it
  107. None
  108. None
  109. None
  110. None
  111. 1. Use (at least) a Contributing file 2. Use labels

    like ‘first-timers only’ 
 and ‘up-for-grabs’ 3. Give detailed feedback for those
 who really want it
  112. None
  113. None
  114. 1. Use (at least) a Contributing file 2. Use labels

    like ‘first-timers only’ 
 and ‘up-for-grabs’ 3. Give detailed feedback for those
 who really want it 4. Keep them coming back for more
  115. BIT.LY/HEALTHY-OS

  116. BIT.LY/ART-OF-COMMUNITY

  117. Making your project the best it can be is really

    hard
  118. Making your project’s community the best it can be is

    even harder
  119. There are people looking to make it easier…

  120. Help them help you!

  121. @cmrberry THANK YOU! bit.ly/gh-support-tips