User Support Categories are Too Broad

Part of the problem is that categories are too broad, so muting them either does nothing or mutes almost everything (e.g. muting ‘User Support’).

I don’t want user-created tags either as that’s messy and ripe for abuse. I just think categories/subcategories/moderator-created tags would greatly improve the overall experience

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Do you have suggestions for short-titled categories that would represent well the kinds of needs users have?

The thing with subcategories is the more you have, the less litely it is for users to choose the wrong one. For example on the #user-support:guides category often people post there requests for help instead of guides. Never understood why.

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Off the top of my head:

  • networking,
  • gpu/passthrough/display,
  • audio (especially once sys-audio implemented),
  • hardware-laptop,
  • hardware-desktop,
  • Qubes-specific Debian issues,
  • Qubes-specific Fedora issues,
  • Atypical distros (e.g. Gentoo, Arch)
  • Xen
  • Salt
  • Backing up

I’m sure there are more and there are probably better ways to divide the pie, so let’s come up with this as a group.

I think most are attributable to people intentionally choosing a less-used category so they can get more attention and be more likely to receive help. Some are probably cultural, while the rest is incompetence/laziness/indifference.

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Hum. These sound like they’d be better suited for tags. I’m thinking many newcomers will have no idea what those are, hence increasing the work for moderators to re-classify issues.

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Tags work–I don’t really mind what mechanism is used as long as its a way for users to filter and sort by their topic of choice/interest.

With all due respect, I don’t believe the vast, vast majority of new/prospective Qubes users don’t have knowledge of what networking, display, audio, hardware are. The rest, like Xen, Salt, distro issues are slightly more advanced tags, but not frighteningly so.

As noted earlier in another thread, people have been misclassifying things likely on purpose to get attention (e.g. posting questions under ‘Guides’, which is obviously wrong). The fact that this is happening is actually a symptom pointing to the need for better sorting/filtering.

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You should always assume good intentions. I see no evidence that people specifically try to lie/trick us to get attention. Do you?

To me, “Guides” is an ambiguous and confusing category title for non-native speakers, because this is where people may expect to “be guided”. Especially, when it’s a subcategory of “User support”. I would suggest to make Guides a separate category.

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Or call it “HowTo”

If it stays under “User support” it’s likely not to change things much.

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Someone who knows enough English to write a post detailing their issue and requesting support must at least pass by the front page, where questions are lined up and all under ‘User Support’–plenty of examples to learn from at a glance.

They should have at least done a quick search for their problem, so ‘They were in a rush’ isn’t really an excuse since finding an existing answer is quicker than waiting for one in almost all cases.

That said, I agree that a separate ‘Guides’ category (different colored tag) would be beneficial.