Sunday, September 24, 2006

Peer Support - It Works ONLY If You Help

Blogger Blogs, and similar online and other IT products, use peer support to help their customers. Blogger, similar to other companies, provides Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, where Bloggers with various problems can write in and say
I have a problem [My Problem]. Can anybody help me?

If you properly compose your problem report in Blogger Help Forum, and state your version of [My Problem], one of several things may happen.
  1. A solution will be known, and will be instantly provided by one of the many helpers.
  2. A solution will be derived, from subsequent questions by one of the many helpers.
  3. You will be advised to report your problem, to Blogger Support.


Now, if you are so fortunate to have scenario 1 or 2 apply in your case, it is possible that the solution can be found in either Beta Known Issues, Blogger Help, or Blogger Status. It's possible - but not too likely - if it was, you (or someone like you) would have found it, and publicised it, long ago.

If the solution is provided by a helper, the chances are that it came from a prior thread in the forum, under scenario 3. And here's the problem. Of all of the threads mentioned in the many posts linked from Beta Blogger Problems, and from Classic Blogger Problems, how many of those threads end with somebody actually saying
YAY! It's fixed! And this was [The Solution]


Besides non-existent peer support, we have Blogger Support which is part of The Problem. Whether posting as Blogger Employee, Pete Hopkins, or anybody posting in Beta Known Issues, Blogger Help, or Blogger Status, Blogger only rarely publicises problem resolutions. I have previously discussed this issue as The Silence.

When a thread actually is closed, by anybody (preferably by the original poster of the thread), I would greatly prefer to transcribe the solution, into the appropriate Classic Blogger Problems or Beta Blogger Problems detail problem post. I would prefer. Very few can I do this way, though.

Why is this?

Because of the dozens of individual threads about the various problems, please tell me how many actually end in
YAY! It's fixed! And this was [The Solution]


The majority of these threads simply end. And there is The Problem.

Rarely, someone will post
I have a problem [My Problem]. Can anybody help me?

then sometime later they may post back
I found the solution [To My Problem]. Here is [My Solution]

without any interactive problem analysis. So we don't get to help solve the problem, but maybe we can still learn from the solution. This person is now part of The Solution.

But here's an odder scenario. Someone will post
I have a problem [My Problem]. Can anybody help me?

then sometime later they may post back
I found the solution [To My Problem].

without any interactive problem analysis, or the solution. So we don't get to help solve the problem, nor do we get to learn from the solution. This person is now part of part of The Problem.

Not everybody realises the benefits, and the requirements, of peer support. Peer Support works - if you make it work.

So, if you are involved in any of these threads, or other threads, and you find your problem solved (either by a forum helper, or by yourself), please post back in your thread
YAY! It's fixed! And this was [The Solution]


Provide your version of [The Solution]. The helpers are constantly learning, as they help others. Your feedback may help them learn, or encourage them to continue.

And having provided your your version of [The Solution], you are now experienced in your problem. Now you need to do some research. Find out what caused your problem, and why the solution was necessary.

Then come back to the forum occasionally, and look for other folks with what looks like your problem. When you see someone reporting their version of your problem, describe your solution to them.

But be selective here. Remain aware of computer and system uniqueness. Mention your problem, and your solution, but be aware of possible reasons why neither will be 100% universal. Read other folks reports of their problem, too.

Become part of The Solution, not The Problem.

>> Top

17 comments:

JR's Thumbprints said...

How do I change my blog address without losing my old posts? Example: Huckblogspot.com to Huckleberryblogspot.com.

Chuck said...

It's a simple process - go to Settings - Publishing, and change the URL.

However, I strongly recommend that you plan the change with more care than that.

Kat said...

Chuck,
You replied to my request for help at Blogger Help group when i explianed my difficulty in posting and the missing buttons such as font color. I cannot post from audioblog without getting an error message. I read every one of your possible solutions then worked my way down them. I cleared the cache and the rest, added blogger to my trusted zone for IE and allowed cross-frame scripts for the Navbar to work. Nothing has helped. Blooger compose is still missing buttons and audioblog can't be posted. Any other suggestions?

Chuck said...

Kat,

Why not update the forum thread with your comments, so we can continue from there?

Karl Ortenburg said...

Does anybody know whether it is possible to set up a questionnaire in Blogger?

The questionnaire would gather data and send them on to an email address.

I suspect that questionnaire couldn't be in HTML to be active.

Any ideas?

Chuck said...

Hi Karl,

I read that Blogger In Draft has added a Poll option.

Dirty Butter said...

Chuck, I can certainly thank you for helping me figure out a way around using FTP publishing my blogs, as I have always done before. Your directions here on your blog took the angst out of what would have been a scary process for me.

And, as you said, while I was asking for help, I was able to solve someone else's problem that I recognized as one I had seen in the past.

And I promise, I will go back when this is all resolved and put the "finishing touch" to my thread!!

Dirty Butter said...

I did as I promised and put the final post to the thread on the Blogger Help about not being able to publish with FTP. I'm still working to get all the SEO stuff worked out, but we are doing fine.

Thanks again!!!
Rosemary

Plush Memories Lost Toys Search Service

Tobias Davis said...

But what do you do if you have been "exploring" the produced HTML/etc code and you find errors within Google, beyond anything within your control?

That is, what is the best way to get in touch with the admin of a large web-site to alert them to security flaws?

Chuck said...

Tobias,

Nobody can tell you the answer to your question - they are Google, and seldom listen to anybody but Google. I've been helping them with support issues for 2 years, and they don't listen to me for coding or design issues either.

Start a blog, and enumerate your concerns. If it's interesting, people will read it. Eventually, Google may read it.

kansascityonline said...

hey Chuck.. Awesome site and awesome service.. We are very fortunate to have such gr8 service.. Thanks so much.. ~wendell leahy

dlevitt said...

Mr.Nitecruzr, I don't know who you are, or how you came to help with peoples problems, but you are a godsend!

Thank you so much,
dlevitt

Susie B. Homemaker said...

I agree dlevitt- Nitecruzr had the solution to my problem as well. My new hero!! :)

Beedeebabee said...

Yes, I agree with Susie. Nitecruzr is my new hero as well! Thank you! ;)

Debjyoti (DJ) said...

Hi,

I tried almost every thing still I got the error
"Another blog is already hosted at this address"

so ultimately I had to go for the link

https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?key=pZHHZdeYKeHitQbvxkvwnCg&ifq

Lets see whether my issue can be resolved or not...

Chuck said...

MAGnuM,

No, that's not going to happen. When the blog is confirmed as spam, it's gone. Give it up, or start over.

Giribala said...

YAY! It's fixed! Thanks for your help on the Google forum :D