The Ubuntu Testimonials team is a volunteer effort, in which members of the Ubuntu forums community hope to facilitate the proper use of the testimonials and experiences forum. It is our goal that we can identify misplaced support posts and direct them to be moved to their proper locations, as well as promoting a positive environment in which all persons feel comfortable in relaying their experiences with Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Edbuntu. We hope that through positive re-enforcement and quickly identifying problem causing replies we can cut down on the amount of argument style threads which have frequently occurred in the testimonials & experiences forum.
Objectives and Guidelines
Please note for ease of reading throughout the document these abbreviations are used:
T&E = Testimonials & Experiences Sub Forum On the Ubuntu Forums.
- OP = Original Poster.
- CoC = Ubuntu Forums code of conduct.
This document is all about maximizing a volunteer team's coverage abilities while minimizing the impact malicious users can have in the T&E sub-forum. These are only suggestions, most of which are variations on ideas conveyed by the first draft writer and by other Ubuntu forum users and moderators.
The following guidelines include the concept of discouraging posting in threads that are already moving in a positive direction. This could be accomplished by publishing a request in the T&E forum for users to voluntarily refrain from posting in T&E threads that meet certain criteria. None of the listed criteria should include CoC violations, as the goal of these voluntary restrictions is to improve the OP experience in the T&E forum, not create shadow moderators.
Please stress this is voluntary if you choose to use these aspects of this doc.
Voluntary Criteria for abstaining from a T&E thread
Links pertinent to the OP's concern have already been posted to a thread, but the OP does not address the information in a positive or negative manner. (Anyone can voice in T&E, but the T&E community helps those that make an effort)
- An OP has been provided with links to material pertinent to concerns voiced in the thread opener, but responds in a negative manner. (Don't swarm or dog pile)
Another forum user (not necessarily a T&E team member) has engaged the OP, and the OP is actively posting responses to the other forum members in a productive manner. (Leave well enough alone)
- The OP has been asked for information pertinent to the thread opening commentary, more than five posts follow the request for info, but the OP has not yet responded. (Facilitate more direct communication by letting the OP dictate thread pace - some of these people might really only have weekends to log onto Ubuntu forums and we don't want to class them as trolls or drown them out)
A thread tail contains at least 10 non-OP responses consecutively (Again, they probably didn't post in the T&E sub-forum to get drowned out... and then unmentioned maybe they weren't real to begin with)
A T&E team member has excused themselves from the thread, See below.
T&E Specific Direction
Encourage T&E team members to focus their resolution skills only on the OP. Other users posting in T&E threads are entitled to their opinions within the scope of the CoC, but that does not obligate anyone to address their concerns within another poster's thread. Furthermore, directly addressing the OP despite ongoing conversation may be a priority tactic to cool threads that are getting hot. Actually addressing non-OP's in thread should be discouraged, reporting these posts to moderators with a description of 'Thread Cooking' should be examined as a first attempt at dealing with these posters.
- Identify closure points - Even in conversations where two sides seem to hold unresolvable views there will be opportunities to facilitate temporary closure of the discussion. Closure points can focus on bringing a thread to one of the stages listed in the voluntary abstention criteria - so may include links to information, requests for information that go unanswered etc.. Here is a sample closure point technique:
- The OP is frustrated with a long standing and well known issue such as the availability of drivers for specific hardware.
There is no way a volunteer community member can address this situation. By being forewarned and forearmed with a list of closure point links, a T&E team member can post a sympathetic comment and links to a few hardware combat resources rather than engage in the traditional incendiary thread that the T&E sub forum is accused of hosting.
In this scenario, the Ubuntu forums community has supported the user to the limit of their ability in the T&E sub forum with regards to this complaint as soon as the supporting information is linked. Any further participation is at the discretion of the involved parties.
Making negative comments of any sort should be strongly discouraged by the T&E team. In this hardware complaint scenario, a T&E team member would abstain from commenting negatively on manufacturer support of Open Source drivers as such comments do nothing to move the Ubuntu community toward resolution of the issue.
- The OP does not seem interested in resolution -
Sometimes people need to blow off steam. Sometimes that happens in T&E. If there is not a positive response from the OP after other users have commented, then users are doing everyone a favor by moving on. T&E team members should be able to spot OP's who do not respond to constructive comments. It should not be considered impolite to ask an OP if they feel their current comment style is going to result in resolution. Any sort of commentary beyond this should be left to the report button.
Excusing yourself - This OP is not the first OP in the T&E sub forum, nor will they be the last.
When a closure point is not becoming apparent in a negative, but not CoC violating thread, T&E team members may refer to maintaining the quality of their own Ubuntu experience in excusing themselves from the thread provided they do not direct their comment at the OP, but at the nature of the argument.
T&E membership can be reviewed based on how this device is used. A T&E member should most likely discuss a thread with an administrator or moderator before publicly excusing themselves from the thread, as this is a potentially embarrassing situation for legitimate OP's that really just don't get it. T&E team members should consider the excuse technique to be kind of like 'THE FORCE' i.e. you don't excuse yourself because it is easier to do it that way... *scary voice* in that way, lies darkness...
Quit before you burn out
T&E team participation is contingent upon the team member being able to protect the quality of their own Ubuntu experience. T&E team members who get hung up on the difficulty of arguing malicious users may need some perspective management from the team veterans and/or advisors.
Don't Provide Support
Adding a few links to a post in order to redirect a frustrated T&E poster is fine, but T&E should not allow for support. OP's should instead be redirected. Topics which are looking for support should be reported and the report should include a request to move the thread to the proper forums.
- Here End's The Ubuntu Testimonial Teams Draft -
Template for a new, more descriptive forum heading
Giving the testimonials and experiences forum a more descriptive heading will allow users to get a better understanding of the forums purpose. A descriptive heading also doesn't require them to read a separate sticky forum post as it is more easily accessible.
This forum is where users, post their reviews of Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Edbuntu, this is not a support/rant/debate forum For support please visit the mandated support sections, for rants please see your own personal blog.
Joining the team
Currently The Testimonials & Experiences team has an IRC channel located on irc.freenode.net the channel is #ubuntu-testimonials. If you wish to join the team please contact us there.
T&E Team Members
The following is a list of current T&E team members.