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Supporting The Masses (without losing your mind)

Supporting The Masses (without losing your mind)

WordCamp Chicago, 2012

Ipstenu (Mika Epstein)

August 26, 2012

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  1. How to Support The Masses

  2. Without losing your mind Tips and tricks to keeping it

    all in perspective, while still giving people the best experience possible when it comes to support.
  3. Who Am I? Mika A. Epstein (a.k.a. Ipstenu) Over a

    decade of supporting technologists, programmers ... and grandmothers
  4. I have the BEST IDEA! It starts with you and

    your dream (or desire).
  5. I assemble my code

  6. And it’s awesome!

  7. YAY! Version 1.0.0!!!!!

  8. Wow! People are using my plugin!!!

  9. Not everyone likes it...

  10. http://wordpress.org/support/ view/plugin-committer/YOURHANDLE

  11. Do I want to help them? Do I want to

    spend my time doing support? You don’t have to! But....
  12. What’s in your README? • Are there alternate support methods?

    • Email, other forums, UserVoice? • Is there no support? • Is there only paid support?
  13. Unless you clearly state otherwise on your plugin page, users

    have a reasonable expectation that you will provide free support in the WordPress.org Forums.
  14. Is it really my problem? Valid complaints? Reasonable requests? Not

  15. Okay, I’m going to help! • Can I reproduce it?

    • Have they tried turning off other plugins? • Have they tried using the default theme?
  16. Oh! It’s a conflict!

  17. Should I fix it? • Is it a security hole?

    • Is it in the scope of your plugin? • Is the other plugin/ theme behaving badly?
  18. •Be honest •Be direct •Consider patches from users •Ask for

    help If you can’t fix it...
  19. What about requests? My users want special features. Well ...

  20. It totally needs a unicorn! Yeah, I know it’s an

    RSS plugin, man, but think about it! UNICORNS!
  21. JUST SAY NO!

  22. Keep sight of your scope • What problem did I

    want to solve with this plugin? • What logical extensions can be added? • What can be easily added? • What can I add and still support?
  23. But I want the unicorn!

  24. You can still say no.

  25. It’s okay to ... • walk away • say no

    • get mad • give up • ask for help
  26. It’s not okay to... • blame them (even if it’s

    their fault) • be mean • accept abuse • ignore them*
  27. Tips So what should I do?

  28. Document It What it does What it doesn’t How it

    works Support options Known/common errors
  29. If you make a BIG change ... DOCUMENT IT!! REMEMBER!

  30. Take Time Think before you answer Study the error reports

    Test possibilities Take time for yourself
  31. Be this guy! Walk away from the computer once in

    a while
  32. I have a life! It’s ...

  33. Don’t Attack! They’re not attacking you Don’t bite the users

    Passion makes people seem aggressive Strong opinions can be misread easily in text!
  34. Don’t be this guy http://xkcd.com/386/ What do you want me

    to do? LEAVE? Then they'll keep being wrong!
  35. EOL What if I’m just done with this plugin?

  36. Warn them! “This is no longer supported.” Push a final

    version to notify users. Alerts in the admin screen
  37. Hand off? Give it to someone else. Ask someone to

    take it over. Email wp-hackers. Post in the forums.
  38. The End