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Friday, 18 December 2009

What is the role of a Help Forum Helper?

In my opinion, Helpers on the Blogger Help Forum, are people who actively try to assist other bloggers, with solving a problem, or answering a question.
They may be bloggers just visiting the forum occasionally, or people who frequent the forum more often, who have earned the title of Official Blog*Star, or Top Contributor, which is really a misnomer, suggesting that someone with this moniker, has asked, or answered, or in some way, well, contributed, more than anyone else.

That is NOT actually so, in many cases. Sometimes, the TC's, or Official Blog*Stars, do not know the answers, but, in order to 'help' the troubled blogger, we try to do our best. This may, or may not be of help, but may get the blogger/asker looking at possible remedies, or pointed in the right direction. Sometimes, we are correct/successful, too.

Some of us used to be called Blog*Stars. Now, it's Official Blog*Stars, and now we also have Top Contributors. Some Top Contributors are not Blog*Stars. (Don't ask me, I don't know, but I think it's because they were appointed under a different thought, by Blogger.) However, if you see that someone has replied to your question in the Blogger Forum, and their Profile Link looks like this:

- remember that these people are bloggers - just like YOU! We are NOT Google / Blogger employees, and we give of our time - for FREE! We offer our experience - for nothing. We do NOT get paid! We are, after all, just Helpers!

I know it's frustrating for some bloggers to know that the Blogger Help Forum is the closest they will get to actually contacting Blogger. There are reasons for that, too. I feel sure that the main one being even the Blogger Employees do not have the 'coal-face' experience to match the combined experience of around 15 bloggers! Plus, you could imagine the work-load that they have - without adding Forum duties to it!

So, having said that, what do we do? What is the role of a Top Contributor / Official Blog*Star?

Well, my idea (my opinion) of what we do, is subjective, because there's no list called 'things to do for Top Contributors and Official Blog*Stars'. I try to:

  • Give accurate advice on how to solve a problem. That's my first priority.
  • Keep the questioner/asker from panicking, and regretting his/her decision to use Blogger.
  • Be succinct, precise in my answers - not too much 'waffling-on'.
  • Direct the questioner/asker to a best-source of remedy, be it Blogger Help site, or to eg: another site.
  • Never link to sites of probable malicious content.
  • Help keep the Forum 'clean' of SPAM, and other abusive/useless rubbish.
  • Escalate certain problem question threads to the Blogger Employees, if required.
  • Try to educate bloggers, the best way I can, by writing technical-help posts.

It's not a big list, is it? It's not supposed to be, either. I know a few of the other TC's and Blog*Stars would feel the same as I do.

The bloggers, who ask questions, also have a role to play. They should know how to ask a question, or report a problem correctly, to help the helpers!


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