Suscríbase al feed

This weekend I attended the Open Help Conference in Cincinnati. It was smallish, and so there was a lot of good conversation and brainstorming. The focus was both documentation and support, which are, of course, deeply intertwined.

Photo by Siobhan McKeown

_Photo by Siobhan McKeown_

Siobhan McKeown, from the Wordpress documentation team, was at the conference, and took amazing notes, so I'm going to link to her writeup for each talk.

The day started with Jorge Castro talking about using StackExchange to handle the question-and-answer part of support. StackExchange is part of the StackOverflow family of sites. Each StackExchange site is focused on a particular community and is very focused on question-and-answer format rather than general discussion. It allows users to vote for the quality of questions and answers and seems to be a great way to get the subject matter experts more directly involved in the support process. (Read Siobhan's notes.)

Following that, Michael Verdi of the Firefox support team talked about the SuMo site and the work that they had done to help users find the answers to their questions. Of particular interest were some graphs he showed of the improvement in customer satisfaction as well as the rate of answered questions that was brought about by just improving the search functionality. This helps users find the right docs so that they don't even need to ask their questions.

Firefox has their own home-grown, open source solution, called Kitsune. It has some StackExchage-like features and a great tool called Army of Awesome, which is a way to watch Twitter mentions of your project/product and ensure that at least one person from the expert community has responded to each one. (Read Siobhan's notes.)

This was followed by a panel discussion including Jorge, Michael, Jeremy Garcia (, and Siko Bouterse from Wikipedia. The discussion ranged from Wikipedia author retention to further discussion of many of the issues that Michael and Jorge had raised.

I spoke next, talking about listening to your audience. This is something I've thought a lot about over the years. My trepidation in speaking at this conference was that it seemed like many of the people there know a lot more about documentation and support than I do, as I'm largely self-taught in this area. But it seemed that my remarks were well-received. Once again here are Siobhan's notes, which in this case are way better than my own notes for my talk.

I was the last speaker of the day, and this was followed by a general discussion of the things that had been raised during the day, as well as many related issues.

You can see a lot of commentary about the events of the weekend by looking at the #openhelp keyword on Twitter. The comments above are about Saturday's sessions only, so I recommend reading Siobhan's notes from Sunday's sessions as well.

Sobre el autor


Navegar por canal

automation icon


Las últimas novedades en la automatización de la TI para los equipos, la tecnología y los entornos

AI icon

Inteligencia artificial

Descubra las actualizaciones en las plataformas que permiten a los clientes ejecutar cargas de trabajo de inteligecia artificial en cualquier lugar

open hybrid cloud icon

Nube híbrida abierta

Vea como construimos un futuro flexible con la nube híbrida

security icon


Vea las últimas novedades sobre cómo reducimos los riesgos en entornos y tecnologías

edge icon

Edge computing

Conozca las actualizaciones en las plataformas que simplifican las operaciones en el edge

Infrastructure icon


Vea las últimas novedades sobre la plataforma Linux empresarial líder en el mundo

application development icon


Conozca nuestras soluciones para abordar los desafíos más complejos de las aplicaciones

Original series icon

Programas originales

Vea historias divertidas de creadores y líderes en tecnología empresarial