Standing in the street trying to hear yourself think

Aaron C. de Bruyn ubuntu-devel-discuss at
Wed Jul 8 02:22:36 UTC 2009

> As soon as more than x people actively seeking help are on a channel (not
> sure how many in this case), it becomes hard for new people on the channel
> to get attention. The trick would be to get the volunteers onto the right
> subchannel so that when someone on #ubuntu points the user to #ubuntu-sound,
> there are a couple of people on #ubuntu-sound to help them. Otherwise,
> they'll just go back to #ubuntu and start complaining.

One of the sites that has become very successful (IMO) in the IT world is the experts-exchange site.
The model they have setup works very well because it's a reward-based system and everyone can benefit from the answers just scroll down to the very bottom of the page... ;)

One way of applying this to IRC would be similar to what you said.
Have #ubuntu where everyone comes in to ask their questions and get redirected.

Have a few channels that everyone can join.

You might join #ubuntu and ask why your NIC isn't working.  Someone will redirect you to #ubuntu-networking to get your problem fixed.

If no one in #ubuntu-networking can figure out the problem, they can have someone in #ubuntu-networking-level-2 send the user an invite to join the 'level 2' channel for support.  People who are very proficient with networking would be in the level 2 channel.  The only way to become a tech in the level 2 channel would be to spend time in #ubuntu-networking and demonstrating that you 'know your stuff'.  Level 2 channels would be invite only so tech won't have to reply 'Did you kick your network cable out?'

I believe a situation like this would be beneficial both to end-users and support people.
End users would have a place to go and ask questions.  If they can't get an answer, they get passed up to higher level and more experiences techs.

>From the tech standpoint, it is somewhat a badge of honor to be a level 2 tech.  You have the benefit of being recognized as someone knowledgeable, and you also don't have to wade through the 'Is the network cable plugged in?' type questions that would come through the level 1 channels.

Personally, I never join #ubuntu to help out.  There's no benefit to me, but there *is* a huge headache of trying to wade through the flood.  ...but I would put in my time so I can become a level 2 tech because I love working on tough network issues.

The idea could potentially be applied in a forum situation where people can ask questions and give points for fixing the problem...

That's just my thoughts.


More information about the Ubuntu-devel-discuss mailing list