Hi! Support here! In fact, Support is always here–when you submit a ticket through the Support and Feedback form we’ll respond as soon as possible to register your feature suggestion, pass your bug report on to our coders, or do our best to help you out with a problem. However, when it comes to explaining how to do things or why something doesn’t seem to be working right, the formal back-and-forth emails of a Support request aren’t always ideal. So, we’ve decided to try an experiment!
Starting this coming Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 11:00:00 UTC lasting through this Sunday, November 18, 2012 at 11:00:00 UTC, members of Support will be available to interact with you one-on-one in live chat. See what time that is where you live. If you’re having a problem using the Archive, want help trying something new, or would like an explanation of one of our features, please drop in and talk to us in person!
Some guidelines, just to keep things running smoothly
We don’t have a fancy presentation or material prepared–there are plenty of FAQs, tutorials, and admin posts for that. The point of live chat is to talk with you, not at you. We’re happy for you to drop in and say “hi”, but it’s even better if you drop in and say, “Hi, what’s up with my work that won’t show as complete even though it is?!”
As Support, our function is to help users with bugs and issues, and pass reports on to our Coders and Systems team, who actually keep the place running. This means that policy questions are way over our pay grade. (Just kidding–none of us get paid!) So, if you have questions or comments about AO3 or OTW policies, good or bad, Support Chat isn’t the right place for them. If you do want to talk to someone about policy issues (meta on the Archive, philosophical issues with the tagging system, category change, etc.) we can direct you to the appropriate admin post or contact address so you can leave feedback directly for the people dealing with the area of your concern.
Additionally, if a question looks like it might violate a user’s privacy to answer (if it needs an email address or other personal information, for example) we may not be willing to work with it in chat. In those cases, we’ll redirect a user to the Support Form so we can communicate via email.
So, now that that’s out of the way, what kind of things are we going to talk about?
Live chat is best for questions of a “How do I…?” or “Why does it…?” nature.
For example, you might have been wondering:
- How do I use the new search and browse system to find a certain type of work?
- I’d like to run a challenge, but I’m not sure how to do what I want.
- For that matter, where did my work submitted to an anonymous challenge go?!
- I want to post using formatting the Rich Text Editor won’t give me. How do I do it using a work skin?
We’d be happy to help you with any of these questions, and anything else you’re having trouble doing or would like to try doing with the Archive.
This is a test run of this service, and while we have great hopes for it, we can’t guarantee when it’ll happen again. Please drop by with your questions and help make it a success!