Coffeehouse Thread

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response from a product group blog

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  • User profile image
    Jaz

    Say you read i dunno hmm the Outlook teams blog, and you found the contact from and asked them a question, maybe about setting up an outlook and exchange system, maybe asking costs involed and opinions of different ideas.  What would you expect as a response, if anything.

  • User profile image
    jonathanh

    Very little.  I know that KC Lemson (to choose one obvious Outlook/Exchange example Smiley) posted a plea for readers to stop sending her all their support questions.  There's just no way for blogs to be able to handle the load to take over from the "regular" channels for marketing, sales, and support right now.  The most any product group blogger can realistically hope for in the near-term is to help on user education.

  • User profile image
    AT

    Partialy agree with you.

    You can ask bloggers to answer on your question only in case if answer will be posted to their blog and will benefit a lot of users. Not a single person.

    Asking a question that can be answered using Google.com is plain wrong. 

    Good questions to ask can be future directions for a product or generic overview on current options available to users. Or about something not available anythere in the web/newsgroups and Microsoft documentation.

    Not questions like this one "My server not working. Boss will come in 15 minutes. Help me !!".

  • User profile image
    kclemson

    Oh boy, make me feel bad in public, Jonathan =)

    I had *many* people ask me questions that I was able to answer with a single google query. Sometimes, I would post the response on the blog, but even then it took a lot of my time and it was a point of diminishing returns for me, I felt like I was becoming a crutch - "Oh i'll go google this or check the newsgroups in a minute, but first let me fire off an email to see if she knows."

    If I know the answer off the top of my head, I will *always* respond - be that via a comment or an email. But if I have to research it at all, or fact-check something, then the chance of me responding reduces significantly.

    I think that's the trick, really - it may seem like I know a lot because I post about it, but the truth is that I have my areas of expertise, just like everyone else. A lot of my posts start out with "I stumbled across this neat thing you can do in [name of product]", too, so I just share things as I pick them up.

    The Exchange blog had it worse, really... because that's where we were getting the "server down, help" type questions. Those are tough, how do you respond to those?

    I decided it was better to set expectations that we wouldn't respond to email (but we ALWAYS read it), rather than let people infer that we'd respond and then be disappointed if we didn't.

    Just to emphasize: we ALWAYS read it. Every day I learn something new about my customers and how they use my product, and although I may not act on that information that day, I file it away to be used at some point.

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