6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 2, 2014 6:40 AM by Jonathan Drummey

    Helper Evolution....

    Shawn Wallwork

      Lately I've been noticing an 'evolution', or maybe it a 'changing of the guard'. I've been clicking on profiles of 'new' folks who suddenly jump in and answer a question (especially if the answer is well done). My conclusion is that we have many new, up & coming 'helpers' starting to become more active. This is good! This is as it should be. So how do we encourage this evolution?


      My thoughts....

      • Note their participation (shout-outs)
      • Award them some sort of badge (you-just-entered-the-helper-ranks badge or some such)
      • Thank them
      • Mentor them


      Did a miss anything? Thoughts? Discussion?



        • 1. Re: Helper Evolution....
          Toby Erkson

          My beef is with simply posting and getting points.  Until there's a system that merits people who give a correct answer or are a contributing poster that helps lead to a correct answer I see the recognition as flawed.  Again, the StackOverflow method is a good example of showing truer "helpers".


          Also, I think those that are active in the Community Forum would be the ones allowed "behind the lines".  Too many cooks spoil the stew.  Too many chiefs and not enough braves.  Etc.  I think caution should be exercised as to who is allowed into the fold, so to speak.  I think it's very gracious of Tracy and...what's his name...Justin...Bustin'?...no, uh...anyway, and Mr. Smith to solicit feedback from us but I don't want to push a good thing.  Actually, this solicitation is rather unprecedented in my experience so it is pretty cool in that regard and I'm glad we've helped to make a difference.



          I dunno, hard to think about this.  Maybe it's the cold medicine clouding my thinking <cough, hack>.

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          • 2. Re: Helper Evolution....
            Chris Love

            As someone who has just entered the helper ranks - primarily to help learn Tableau myself, I think the best way to encourage new helpers is to extol the benefits of helping others, as you've already suggested.


            I wonder if some way of marking questions as suitable for new helpers might help? Maybe with a tag so they can easily be found?

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            • 3. Re: Helper Evolution....
              Eric McDonald

              Been on the forums now for almost a year - things I didn't know from kettan 's reply:


              How to find the The Weekly Digest 

              How to find the The Helpers' Portal

              (how do you add the lightbulb links anyway??)

              And one of my own - the always elusive Tableau Forums Search page: http://community.tableau.com/search?q=search


              Always learning....!



              1. We can promote the benefits of being a helper
              2. We can promote This Week's Correct Answer Leaders   (if implemented)
              3. We can promote new (and old) helpers and their work in  The Weekly Digest   (if implemented)
              4. We can tell them about  The Helpers' Portal  (if implemented)
              5. We can include them in behind forum email discussions   (when they have become regular quality helpers)
              6. Tableau can invite some of them to work in the TCCCC (Tableau Customer Conference Community Café)
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              • 4. Re: Helper Evolution....
                Eric McDonald

                Must be end of the week, just spotted that lightbulbs are Ideas

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                • 5. Re: Helper Evolution....
                  Dustin Smith

                  Hi Friends,


                  I let this post slip by me in the end of the year madness, otherwise I would have commented sooner.


                  1.  Toby - I may have to print that out and frame it on my wall.  The viking horns really make the picture come alive don't they.


                  2. The new vanguard Shawn references is definitely real and happening in a lot of subtle ways.  Tracy and I have been watching new people start to answer questions, vote on ideas, and get active in the Dev Community.  This is awesome!!!  However, as Shawn and other folks have pointed out, guidance is critical here.  Both in terms of resources like the Crow's Nest and Search as well as the culture of respect and wanting to help (that each of you has helped to establish).


                  Tracy and I have been discussing for quite some time how we do this.  The resources part is pretty straightforward:  building out a portal like Crow's Nest with much more helpful tools.  There is also the idea of giving moderator abilities to established helpers as a way of setting examples (ability to move content, tag it, edit it, etc.).


                  Check out how Google does this and let me know what you think: Top Contributors – Google Top Contributors

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                  • 6. Re: Helper Evolution....
                    Jonathan Drummey

                    I like what Google wrote, my questions are is how much is that algorithmic vs. requiring people? Or, to go back to the deeper question, how do we surface the best content at the right time? My priorities are:


                    #1 to make sure users get the help that they need, and to me that includes robust search/content linking as well as content flagging (whether it's by likes or something else that is the guided choice), because so many of the questions are variations on the same topics.


                    And then #2 to track & acknowledge the helpers who write that content or guide users to the right content.


                    For me, trying to do #2 before #1 is putting the cart before the horse.