Updates to Micro.blog Help

We did some housekeeping in the organization of the official Micro.blog help documents here. Here’s the announcement we made on the timeline:

In March 2021, we decided to move the Help documents to Discourse, and simultaneously create a forum where community members could ask and answer each others questions.

Listening to your feedback over the last year, we heard one suggestion from several people: make the Help more accessible to new users and folks who are looking for the original Help documents, rather than forum discussions.

When we added the Help to Discourse, each article became a regular forum post. Discussions were appended to those documents which could be distracting or overwhelming. We have now closed all the Help documents to comments. We changed the author of those documents to “Help” to indicate that they are not just forum posts from Manton or Jean. We have also put a link to the Help Table of Contents at the top of the Help Center.

Most of the discussions that were removed had run their course, and any new tips were incorporated into the original Help document. The discussions were archived. In a few cases, we have some open discussions that will be followed up with an individual email or a separate topic in the Help Center.

You can always start a new discussion topic in the Help Center for anything the official Help documents don’t cover, or if you have questions or feedback. Thanks everyone who has participated in forum discussions and helped us improve the new Help Center!

Hey Jean, I think this is really helpful for new users. I’m glad that things were restructured.

I did notice that the Help Documents: Table of Contents post is lacking an entry for the Newsletter feature. Bookmarks is at the end of the Getting Started list. I’m wondering if it might make sense to have a separate section for the premium features. Right now, the Podcasting doc references getting the feature with “an optional paid plan.” It seems like it should be branded along with the other Premium features to differentiate what you are getting with the higher tier (maybe even a battle chart somewhere).

I’d love to see those features get some more attention. Perhaps a more prominent placement as well as more frequent updates would lead to some conversions.

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These are great suggestions. Thanks for the heads up. We are working our way through the documents for updating, plus adding new documents as you suggest.

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Understandable move, to create some hierarchy between official M.b guidance & community help.

Couple thoughts:
1). Can I at all access my comments on those topics, or are they deleted entirely?
E.g. I made a comment about Hugo video embed on Videos
Which people found specifically useful alternative to official guidance (how-to had dozens of clickthroughs). Seems a shame to lose those entirely for the community.

2). Now you have created that distinction, I think you should make the user-discussion stuff non-public and behind M.b login-wall (even if you wanna keep official M.b help public for prospective customers), as I originally suggested when you launched Discourse: How to use the Micro.blog Help Center - #12 by warner

Thanks Laurence aka Cerulean! I understand your point about making the forum exclusive to Micro.blog members. Most apps that I use allow me to search the user forums to answer my questions without me owning the app or registering for the forum. I think it’s valuable to people who have questions about Micro.blog before deciding to take the plunge.

Your comment was archived. If you want to start a new topic for alternative options for video embedding, I can send you the comment text.

A good way to wipe out discussion history. Like it never happened.

That’s a good point.

It would be great if those posts were instead separated into their own threads, or at least placed in a read-only archive. Anything is better than throwing them into a memory hole.

To be clear, comments were not deleted. They were hidden. So some discussions could be extracted into new threads in the future if we need to.

I wish we had closed the Help documents to comments from the beginning, of course. The Help Center is definitely a work in progress. As Manton said, we didn’t delete comments, only hid them so they would not be confusing to someone who was looking for the basic info of the help document.

I did leave one article that had a long discussion (Automatic cross-posting to Twitter, Mastodon, and other services) and created a new version in the help, and one article about Own Your Gram (Copying photos to Micro.blog from Instagram) in case someone searches for that.

Most of the discussions were inactive for 10-12 months, and in many cases, the issues were resolved in software updates over the last year. If there was a question still hanging, I made a note, and will be forwarding those to help.

There isn’t an easy and clear way to preserve old discussions, as far as I know. If someone is interested in pulling up an old thread, let me know.

Good to know @manton . There are some comments that were very helpful to me. :+1:t5:

Understood, if the goal is having user forum posts public & available, yes I would appreciate having my archived comments available to me, even if just for me to decide which to repost!
I understand you’re in less familiar territory on Discourse software to do that at scale, so no worries if it’s just that Videos one for now!
Glad to hear they’re not deleted & good luck figuring out a way forward on this, presumably once Camp is done!

any progress on this 1 month on @jean ?
I don’t think I’ll be posting again here til previous contributions restored tbh!

I looked into this some more and you can download your previous comments, even if they were hidden in the default topic view. Click on your profile, then click Activity, then “Download All”. You get a CSV file of everything and I’ve confirmed that some of my hidden replies are in there.

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