Once websites become popular, communication becomes increasingly difficult to manage.

On one hand, I want people’s questions, experiences and opinions. QEO is the lifeblood of community websites.

On the other hand, private communications are a huge time cost problem. They can take hours to respond to, with no content gain.

Therefore, the key is to encourage public contributions wherever possible. And, make it easy for people to communicate privately. But, private message senders must be aware that:

  • Their message is public for me, unless they make it clear it’s not for publication.
  • Public messages always get priority, so private messages can take months at certain times.

The urgency issue can be partially resolved by asking to post a “you have private mail” message. That should include the title of the message. I can even set up a private messages to Keith topic in the most appropriate KeČaTa forum.

Private Messages To Keith Taylor

The best way to implement this is through KISS Helpdesk:

  1. Change Feedback concept. Encourage feedback to specific improvement page, or general site improvement page. That should be link, not form.
  2. Change Help buttons to “Website Help” or similar.
  3. Merge all desks to KISS. Possibly keep one as a client example (in which case confirmation email should go to KISS to trigger a ticket).
  4. Improve Helpdesk title from “Keith Taylor’s Public Internet Helpdesk”.
  5. Change “Subject” to “Short Interesting Summary Sentence” and move below message.
  6. Helpdesk form extra box at end: “Why don’t you want to use my forum for your message?”
  7. Change KISS Helpdesk solutions. Scrap existing, and rebuild based on new message titles.
  8. Only use embedded forms. Make them specific to projects, eg Gout Group Wizard suggestions.
  9. Search for links to GoutPal Helpdesk and delete or change them.


Help Button Candidates
⍰ Help I’m Stuck! ⍰ | ⍰ Help‼ I’m Stuck❗ ⍰

That will do for today. I’ve also done Kepithany for Evolving QEO/VEO.

Now it’s time for a walk and some family time. Just time for a picture.

Evolving Communications image

What’s next for Evolving Communications

Evolving Communication: Document History

Date Revision
Sep 25, 2016 (first archive). First Published.

If you see pages that I should improve, please suggest a GoutPal page review.

Posted by Keith Taylor

I am the owner of this website, which is part of my Keith Charlie Taylor Internet Community. My Community Profiles are:Keith at GoutPal Gout Help.Full bio, and more, at Keith Taylor Internet Help Stories. Get in touch:Contact: Contact Keith Taylor Facebook: www.facebook.com/KeithCharlieTaylor LinkedIn: LinkedIn Keith Taylor Twitter: twitter.com/KeithTaylor

Website: https://keith.1drous.me/contact/

This article has 3 comments

  1. Wizards are part of surveys. Ideally, these should be part of community site/section.

    For complex surveys, have a wizard, as well as simple list of choices. Where possible, seek opinions, and suggestions for other options. Ideally, this could embed a reply form for a topic about the survey. Also, embed a Helpdesk form for non-members, with appropriate instructions.

  2. I think I rushed to publish this blog without making it clear.
    Community sites want communication in the forum. Private mail is a special case.
    Commercial sites want sales queries in private. Public mail is desirable, but sales leads are better.

    The way I’ve been using Helpdesks on community websites, is more suited to commercial websites. So, I need to change how I use Helpdesks.

    In my community sites, I want to encourage short responses to surveys, and specific issues. But, I want to discourage Helpdesk being used for posts that should be in forum. Therefore, Point 3 is wrong. I will merge all orange help/support buttons to KISS. And, option 1 is an important part of that.

    A) So, first task is to replace orange buttons with “Help!! I’m stuck!”. KISS should send a confirmation email. Community Helpdesk should never send automated emails.
    B) Then, replace feedback form with a link to website improvement forum. Link must be capable of being overridden by link to improvement page for topic or specific page.
    C) Forums and discussions can include a Helpdesk reply form. But, it should be to KISS, with extra box.
    D) Finally, surveys, wizards, and any other questions can use brand Helpdesk. Form is always positioned with shortcode to ask for response to specific question. Usually, that will include a link to a forum, or other discussion, where visitor can be personally involved. E.g. “Do you want personal help with [this issue]? If yes, post in [this discussion] instead of using this form.”

    In Point 7, above, I’m going to scrap existing KISS Helpdesk Solutions. They were never finished, but the principles might be useful. For now, I’ll paste them into a comment here (or a new blog here if it seems worthwhile).

  3. During implementation, I’ve realised this is becoming too complicated. And, it doesn’t really fit what visitors want. From responses, it’s clear that visitors prefer a very simple form, like the Helpdesk. Engagement rates fall dramatically, for forum compared to Helpdesk.

    To maximise engagement, I need very basic form without compulsory email address. This will generate spam, so IP restriction routines need to be up-to-date first. Form can be used throughout for surveys, etc.

    No valid email generates posting as comment or forum, using Gout Group user. Posting location depends on quality of anonymous post. Instructions make it clear that, as it’s anonymous, sender should remember to check page/forums if they want to see response.

    Valid email might generate response if sender is Patron, or Member with >Ŧ0. Otherwise generic response as appropriate.

    I intended Helpdesk to be always available and also to have spam filters without having to maintain them. This might still be necessary for spam control, but try without for now. No need for 24/7 availability even if site is down – that is a premium service. Therefore, better to market Helpdesk as a premium service with very limited access.

    I’ve started a MindMup for GP Help Services that can be used as a basis for network communication explanations. Implement on GP, then document for network. Need to introduce new contact form, then remove Helpdesk.

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