Reply To: Let's try this again!

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It all comes down to solving problems in the public, and making it easier to find the existing solution than asking it again. Good forums heavily use the search and stickies, but I’ve never liked them as much as a good front-to-back explanation. Some things that help forums are getting good guides stickied, and then close the topic, so people don’t add bad information to them.

What about a wiki? You can choose to moderate it all yourself, but that can be a lot of work, but letting the community edit it could produce some pretty nice documentation. Different perspectives can lead to better explanations. I don’t know how easy it is for you to generate the “info” pages you have, maybe that’s just better than a wiki? I hope I’m not just suggesting a ton more work, but really a good wiki could be the “manual” and “normal troubleshooting” with the forums being the “development” and “edge case troubleshooting” and “Check this out”.

If you do make something cookie cutter, to respond to people, the one piece of advice I’d give you is, think about where they are coming from. They may not have searched, or they may have been searching for hours, give them the benefit of the doubt that they are trying to find the right info, but they just didn’t get the right link. Since it’s cookie cutter, you only have to do the massaging once…

w.r.t. time management, you could sort of try to think of it as percentages. If troubleshooting is taking 50% of your time/energy, that’s probably not the right allocation. But 0% isn’t right either. I haven’t visited the FB group (I dislike FB a lot), but maybe cut yourself to an hour or less, and answer the interesting questions, and quickly send the rest to your existing documentation. You don’t want to cut off FB altogether if it’s generating business.

I’m still printing though, I haven’t made any CNC cuts yet, and I’m still on the corners/spacers. I bought my steel and aluminum angle though. I just got my router from amazon yesterday too. I’m committed!