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For Those Who Are New to the WordPress.com Support Forums (by guest blogger Sulz)

Posted in Technology, WordPress.com Tips by Guest Blogger on April 06, 2007

This is a post by a guest blogger

Sulz is 21 year old Chinese Malaysian college student. She blogs at her whim and fancy, which is almost every day, but mostly about her life and what issues that provoke her thoughts. Blogging is her only cathartic outlet for expression. Devours books like food and devours food like a non-eating-disorder person. You can read more of her writing at Bloggerdygook.

As a volunteer providing free support for WordPress.com in the Support Forums, every now and then it’s hard not to get frustrated with the new users who ask questions without taking the time to read or search the FAQ and past forum threads. On the other hand, you can understand somewhat the feeling of being overwhelmed by the mountain of information in past threads or the FAQ that it totally turns one off from searching for an answer.

Posting elementary support questions in the forums is an easy way to get an answer. But is it the best way?

7 Essential Things You Should Know Before Posting in WordPress.Com Forums

1. Please Make Sure You Have a WordPress.Com Blog

The forums get at least one post every other day from bloggers who have a self-hosted blog who use the free WordPress blogging software. For these group of people, they have to post their questions in the wordpress.org forums. You are in the right place if your blog is hosted by wordpress.com.

2. Please Try to Search The FAQ First

WordPress has an FAQ blog, and an FAQ sticky at the forums. You should read at least the sticky before posting, because if you might have a really elementary blogging problem and the answer is waiting for you there. Would recommend the FAQ blog though, since it comes with a search button.

3. Please Try to Search Past Forum Threads

If you can’t find a satisfactory answer from the FAQ, the chances are pretty high that your blogging troubleshooting has been experienced before, which is why all past threads are never deleted for the purpose of education for future users. Three attempts at the search button of the forums should lead you to the right thread, but you have to be a little specific with your questions to narrow down the search result. Self’s favourites are the threads marked [closed] because they’re usually juicy and dramatic threads.

4. Please Be Polite

Politeness is the absolute in WordPress forums. If you’re polite, volunteers will be polite in return. Politeness include saying thank you after your blogging issue has been resolved, because less than half actually do that. Do not be disheartened if you get a relatively terse reply in return, because it’s not usually meant personally. Just reply politely in return. Volunteers will remember that and are more likely to assist you better in future.

5. Please Be Specific

A lot of people seeking help from the forums are not explicit when explaining their problems. This lengthens the process of solving their blogging problems. The more specific you are in explaining your situation, the faster volunteers can solve your issue because they don’t have to spend time asking you more questions to help them help you. Sometimes the language barrier due to your lack of proficiency in English may hinder your being able to specify your problem. If so, there is a sticky marked International Forums, which provide links to other WordPress forums in different languages.

Please include a link to your blog or the specific blog post that has the problem.

6. Please Remember the Forums are Mostly Made Up of Volunteers

There are people who create new threads thinking as if the forums are manned by staff only. This is not true; in fact, a lot of support questions are solved by volunteers and voluntary moderators. WordPress Forums works on a volunteer system. Occasionally, some people with the label Key Master help out in the forums. They are WordPress staff. If you want to contact the WordPress staff directly, look for the feedback button on the top right of your Dashboard. It should be there during weekdays, but not during weekends as staff do not work then. Writing to Feedback does not guarantee a reply, but it is guaranteed that your message will be read. So the forums are still your best bet of looking for a solution to your blogging issues.

7. Please Remember that WordPress.Com is a Free Blogging Service

There are people who complain in the forums and demand for things as if they are paying for this. Although there are certain paid options like customised domains, CSS and such, wp.com remains largely a free service and as such, you should ask for anything politely and respect any decision that rejects your request. Don’t give up though, because they could change their minds and offer a feature that you might have requested before if there is demand from other users.

Reprinted with permission. You can find more posts by Sulz at Bloggerdygook including:

5 Responses

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  1. drmike said, on April 18, 2007 at 3:44 am

    Maybe I should turn this into the sticky.

  2. engtech said, on April 18, 2007 at 4:10 am

    Not a bad idea. Unfortunately no one reads the stickies. :)

    I’d love to see the explanation of wordpress.com versus wordpress.org as the default text in the post box.

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