Topic on Talk:Technical Advice IRC Meeting

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The future of technical advice

Deryck Chan (talkcontribs)

My experience with Technical Advice IRC Meetings was that it was 1 hour a week, and you don't always manage to find the person who can answer your question.

I wonder if the easy solution is to make it "socially acceptable" to simply ask for technical advice on the wikitech-ambassadors mailing list. That would allow everybody to ask their technical questions without needing to wake up for 2pm German time.

X-Savitar (talkcontribs)
Deryck Chan (talkcontribs)

Yes, my post above was a direct response to the announcement email (which was cross-posted to Ambassadors)! The announcement linked to this page and not everybody over there was interested in the IRC meetings so I replied over here instead.

If we make it common for people to ask questions on Ambassadors, the technology is very different but the workflow is similar. On IRC, what typically happens is that when a volunteer comes in to ask a question, the hosts would start looking for the person who knows the answer, then the answerer will discuss the problem with the asker on the IRC channel.

This would not be so different with a mailing list workflow: someone can ask a question, the staff devs will look for someone who can answer the question, and the answerer can reply either on-list or off-list depending on whether they think the question will be of interest to many people. Socially I think it's the same workflow.

AKlapper (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Chiming in as an outsider, I don't know the exact scope and don't follow the wikitech-ambassadors list, however I'd like to express that I'm always worried about more venue fragmentation. We have existing places for asynchronous communication, like mail:wikitech-l or mail:mediawiki-l when it comes to mailing lists (not sure their scope fits exactly though), or meta:Tech, or Project:Support_desk.

Deryck Chan (talkcontribs)

m:Tech/Ambassadors - this community has been going for a few years (reps of each WMF wiki coming together for tech support and advice in both directions), and tech advice IRC meetings were always advertised there!

Quiddity (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Hmmm, the current mailing list mail:wikitech-ambassadors is currently very-low-quantity & high-importance information, and I'd worry about changing that, because it might cause some Tech Ambassadors to unsubscribe.

E.g. the list's description says "This mailing list is used to disseminate information and share experiences regarding large-scale technology deployments in Wikimedia projects.", and that doesn't cover most of the types of topics that TAIM used to answer.

Wikitech-ambassadors@ also has an unknown number of Professional-level devs subscribed to it, so I think that many questions that might be asked there would either go unanswered, or only be able to be answered by the 1 or 2 people who always know (or where to find) the answers.

I think the ideas that AKlapper wrote above might be more ideal solutions, but I'm not sure.

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