Where should users post feedback and ideas?

Ask questions and discuss topics of interest related to the FamilySearch wiki found at http://wiki.familysearch.org.

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ritcheymt-p40
Church Employee
Church Employee
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:33 am

Where should users post feedback and ideas?

Postby ritcheymt-p40 » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:58 am

Where should users submit and discuss feedback and new ideas?
  1. In this forum?
  2. In discussion pages within the wiki?
  3. In a blog? (The blog could exist on the wiki or we could temporarily use one on http://familysearchsupport.org
I've removed one option from the above list, namely the Feedback page on the wiki. I removed it because people aren't using it since this forum came of age. The Feedback page has received only 4 changes in nearly 2 weeks while the forums received over 100 posts. So I've created a poll asking whether to retire it.

ritcheymt-p40
Church Employee
Church Employee
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:33 am

Principles

Postby ritcheymt-p40 » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:09 pm

Let's discuss principles first. Below are a few I thought of. Your mileage may vary, so please push back.
  1. A black hole is bad. Customers who feel their suggestions are ignored will stop suggesting improvements.
  2. Transparency is good. A customer whose suggestion is drawing a lot of discussion is encouraged to continue offering suggestions.
  3. Discussion is social. Sociality is good in that it sparks greater participation.
  4. Proposals should be vetted with the community before managers/engineers design solutions. This gives proposals a chance to be refuted, improved, merged, or simplified. We are smarter than me.
  5. Forcing a change that isn't popular is usually a bad idea. Customers and managers would benefit by knowing how popular any given suggestion is. Once a suggestion has been vetted, if it affects a lot of users, a poll should be taken to see whether the idea is popular, unpopular, or controversial.

ritcheymt-p40
Church Employee
Church Employee
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:33 am

Usefulness of tool vs. establishing permanence of comments now

Postby ritcheymt-p40 » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:11 pm

Here's a question: What is more important — guaranteed permanence of all the idea discussions we capture today, or the quality of the tool we use to discuss ideas? If we use a temporary app like the forum or blogs, we risk losing the threads when we transition to a permanent, branded app running on a wiki portlet. Although it's normally bad to lose feedback, the only permanent tools we have now (Clarify and the wiki) may be less suited than temporary tools to serve this function.

ritcheymt-p40
Church Employee
Church Employee
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:33 am

Wiki Discussion pages vs. this forum

Postby ritcheymt-p40 » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:27 pm

I'm finding wiki discussion pages to be an ungainly venue to discuss big, long-threaded solutions. For example, see the conversation between The Earl and me at https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Talk:Meta:US_Structure . It almost seems like a Discussion page needs to be totally overhauled from time to time when the order of comments and the resolutions made are no longer clear. The problem I'm having is that it doesn't feel right for me to rearrange or edit The Earl's comments on the Discussion page, but I don't know what else to do to achieve clarity and get some things decided.

OTOH, if we vet ideas strictly through this forum and not through Discussion pages, users viewing an article on a policy and wondering what nut thought of the "silly" rules there will have no sure link to the forum entry where the policy's ideas were vetted. (Unless, of course, the article page or Discussion page links to the forum thread AND the forum/thread still exists.)

In short, I'm finding the forum much more useful for discussing a fledgeling idea and the Discussion page more useful for describing the thought that went into an idea that has already been refined through a robust forum discussion. I'm leaning toward telling myself "If your idea is new, post it in the forum to refine it. If it's fairly refined, post it to a Discussion page in the wiki. If it's fully refined, post it to a wiki article."

The_Earl
Member
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:12 am

Edits

Postby The_Earl » Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:01 pm

ritcheymt wrote:I'm finding wiki discussion pages to be an ungainly venue to discuss big, long-threaded solutions. For example, see the conversation between The Earl and me at https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Talk:Meta:US_Structure . It almost seems like a Discussion page needs to be totally overhauled from time to time when the order of comments and the resolutions made are no longer clear. The problem I'm having is that it doesn't feel right for me to rearrange or edit The Earl's comments on the Discussion page, but I don't know what else to do to achieve clarity and get some things decided.

OTOH, if we vet ideas strictly through this forum and not through Discussion pages, users viewing an article on a policy and wondering what nut thought of the "silly" rules there will have no sure link to the forum entry where the policy's ideas were vetted. (Unless, of course, the article page or Discussion page links to the forum thread AND the forum/thread still exists.)

In short, I'm finding the forum much more useful for discussing a fledgeling idea and the Discussion page more useful for describing the thought that went into an idea that has already been refined through a robust forum discussion. I'm leaning toward telling myself "If your idea is new, post it in the forum to refine it. If it's fairly refined, post it to a Discussion page in the wiki. If it's fully refined, post it to a wiki article."


The beauty of the wiki is that I can always go back and revert your changes if I don't like them ;). Seriously, you CAN'T remove (well YOU could) someone else's contribution, so you should not worry to much about hacking through a discussion. I have archived stuff on other's talk pages and whatnot. If you don't like what I did, then you can revert it, and leave me a comment.

The forum is much better for back-and-forth. I prefer the wiki since it keeps the discussion history, and keeps everything in one place. Wikipedia does a good job of back-and-forth for things like conflict resolution, but sometimes the discussion is hard to follow.

That said, I agree entirely with your last paragraph, although I would probably move stuff to the wiki pretty quickly.

The Earl


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