Making Sure Questions are Answered

Hi @sam and @discourse-

We’re running into a bit of a “workflow” problem on discourse and were wondering if you had any suggestions (or plug-ins) to help us out.

Many of the posts on this forum are tech support issues that we want to make sure get handled either by members of our community or by McNeel employees. ‘@’ mentioning someone to help somewhat helps and somewhat doesn’t since many times the person you mention may not be the best person to answer the question or may be unavailable for some reason. Mentioning is also used for other purposes and doesn’t feel quite like the right solution.

We would love to be able to privately assign topics to McNeel members for ‘unhandled’ topics so these topics don’t fall through the cracks. We’re open to other suggestions if you have a better idea, this was just the first one that came to mind. We could even solve this with tags if there were a way to make certain tags private to McNeel only.

Thanks -Steve

I believe there is already a querystring to show all posts with zero replies. Would that help?

@sam can we limit that querystring to certain categories?

We thought that would a while ago, but what happens is many times people reply to their original post to add information or a small post with an ‘@’ mention “can you help?” type reply is there.

As an addendum, I would consider this topic as ‘unhandled’ at this point even though there are multiple replies :smile:

I think the long term solution here is going to be:

Not too long till its ready.

This definitely sounds useful and I’ll be interested in trying it. Until I use it I can only speculate about things this plug in may not be helping with :smile:

We want to mark topics that actually need ‘solving’ and would really like to assign the topic to an individual. There are many topics (like gallery posts) which don’t ever need ‘solving’ and we want to distinguish those from topics that really do need someone to help with. Assigning topics helps us ensure that at least one person at McNeel is responsible for making sure the topic gets resolved.

Maybe this plug-in will make everything work. Definitely worth a try.

Looking through your category list it seems that the lion’s share of discussion needs solving:

Perhaps we should add a “general” subcategory under each top level category and shift “unsolvable” stuff into there? So for example: will only contain stuff that needs loop closing. can be for open discussion.

Having a clean category for stuff that needs solving is, imo, a very important first step. Would something like that work for you?

As it stands even without a plugin you can “close” topics that have been solved and then simply filter down to open topics, the big advantage of the solved button is that you can keep the topics open (and solved)

We do this on meta, and have a convention that if something is not “really” closed people flag to get it reopened.

What about a way to find threads with just a single poster? And then filter out McNeel people so that announcements don’t get counted?


1 Like

That wouldn’t really help when someone else posts a ‘hey @ mention, can you help’?

No, perhaps not, but wouldn’t the mention most likely be pascal then? Maybe there should be a general @tech that we can mention that goes to you all?

Yup, that’s far better.
This would lay the matter into the hands of McNeel and that’s where it belongs. It is not all that likely that a user who didn’t get answer returns to add a Not Answered flag and one should not expect posters to take this action the first place.

A great amount of the contributions in the McNeel forums are not support requests / calls for help anyway. They can’t get solved. Discourse already shows more than enough annoying Popups, having another one which asks thead openers each time whether the reactions solved the problem and whether one has already pressed the like button was the last thing one needs. Comparable functions (most helpful answer etc.) in other forums just suck.

1 Like

Maybe, but that would require very everyone in the forum to follow a somewhat strict workflow. It also doesn’t cover the case of a post from someone saying “Oh yeah, I’m having that problem too”

That’s why I used the word ‘private’ when I mentioned tags and assignment. That type of information is really only useful to McNeel to make sure posts have been handled.

I’ve always been hesitant to close issues; some users have sent me private emails complaining when I attempt to change anything about a post and I don’t see how the flag technique really makes this obvious as a way to reopen a conversation. I have a feeling that people on would tend to know a bit more about these conventions since that is the focus of that specific forum. This forum is about McNeel related products, and I would not expect any high level knowledge of discourse workflow from these users. It’s also probably the reason that ‘closing’ a post here can be considered rude, while closing a post on is just fine.

That is an interesting approach, but going to be really hard to get everyone to agree on what should go where.

We really just want to have private lists of topics that we can keep an eye on to make sure topics get resolved. Some topics may never be answered and some don’t really need an answer. You basically opened the floodgates on this request when you mentioned tagging support :smile: If we had tags that were only visible to the ‘McNeel’ group, then we could come up with a assignment workflow. It wouldn’t be the cleanest solution, but would work for us.

We’re not rushing on this request and are interested in coming up with a long term solution for this.

What about ?

?ascending=true&order=posters which you can append to any category or topic list.

Shows you a list of topics ordered by participant count

I like the idea of that feature, but its fairly tricky to implement.

Sounds like a challenge :smile:

We chatted about this for a while yesterday and think we might try just using a simple tag of ‘?’ as a shared bookmark that we can use to mark posts that we consider to be questions which have not been answered. We’ll remove this tag when a post has been answered. At least that’s the plan as of today.

sharing a tag is fine, also adding an option for a tag that is visible to everyone but only taggable by staff is pretty straightforward. hiding it from normal users is the tricky (and I would probably say unneeded) feature.