Suggested Amendment to "New Discussion" Communit Page

Just a thought regarding possible amendments to “New Discussion” Community Page at: http://community.bulb.co.uk/post/question/help

Quite a high proportion of postings relate to meter readings, smart meters , bills (including direct debit and refunds) and referral codes. These items are normally specific to a customer and perhaps best dealt direct with the Bulb Team rather than posting on the Community which can be seen by all and sundry. I would think a number of individuals who post on the Community with queries specific to their account may possibly not realise the information can be seen by other customers.

Would it be useful to mention on http://community.bulb.co.uk/post/question/help that any posting on the Community page can be seen by all Bulb customers.

Also on this page include advice that if the query relates to any of the items included in my second paragraph above to contact Bulb at: How to get in touch – Bulb

Hi, @Allanr thanks for getting in touch with us. This is a really interesting suggestion and something that I will look into. You’re right that lots of the discussions are related to individual member queries, however there are many members with similar queries that can be answered. The great thing about community discussions is that members can help each other out with issues are questions they may have. We will never share personal details about our members on community discussions and will encourage members to get in touch directly if they need to. I hope that addresses your query, but please let me know if you have any more questions.

Hello @George at Bulb

I appreciate it is early days regarding my original query but just wondering if you have had opportunity to look further into my suggestions?

Queries about problems with specific meter readings and can I get my credit returned I would have thought are best dealt by contacting the Bulb team direct rather than posing the same query on the community page.

Hi @Allanr As my colleague George said, we reply to all inquiries posted on the community, but when the reply will need to include personal/sensitive information we email the member, rather than posting the information on the community for everyone to see. We will certainly pass your helpful comments to our development teams.

Just a quickie to see if my suggestion is still in the development teams queue? Personally I cannot see any reason why the wider community members need to see any of the postings relating for example getting credit refunds.

How to seek a credit refund is clearly explained in the Help section and it should be possible to filter out these queries so that they are only seen by the Bulb team and not posted on the community forum.

Just wonder if there is an update on my proposed suggestions? This would help make the forum more relevant.

Just wonder if there is an update on my proposed suggestions? This would help make the forum more relevant.

So this has been going on for months already. I didn’t know because I didn’t do a search.

I think I’m done with this community, I’ll just stick to sorting out my own account and occasionally blogging about my experiences with smart meters.

@Allanr

Sorry that you’ve not had a response from George or Si!

We think there are a few things we can do with Community to help signpost members to our Help Center better:

  • Change the header on the Community homepage
  • Add more links to the Help Centre
  • Offer suggested articles in the search bar

We’re going to be making a few changes in the not too distant future so if you have any more suggestions, do let us know.

One option is a ‘call in the cavalry’ kind of button. So, if it’s something Community think Team Bulb should be getting involved in, you can simply tag @TeamBulb and we’ll jump straight in.

I’m moving this to the ‘About Bulb’ section where these kinds of discussions taking place.

@Hooloovoo

I do hope you will hop over to the Bulb Community now and then! We’d be sad to see you go…

We'd be sad to see you go...
So say I. :'(

I’ll still be hanging around for smart meter technical chat. But I’ve already got bored of answering the same badly worded barely literate question five times a day. I can’t imagine how infuriating it must be to work on the actual helpdesk! The forum is desperate for some active moderation to merge and move all the similar topics.

The sooner we get a sub-forum for Bulb-related technical stuff the better.

Of course, there was a suggestion of a community reward system for answering questions, presumably similar to GiffGaff. In which case…

Ok, good to hear @Hooloovoo

@“Selina at Bulb” has found your feedback really useful. So please keep us updated with your progress!

The reward system is a possibility. We’ve been told by lots of our members that it’s important to reward quality over quantity of posts. So we’d need to figure out the fairest way of doing this.

Have you used the GiffGaff model before? What did you think?

The reward system is a possibility. We've been told by lots of our members that it's important to reward quality over quantity of posts. So we'd need to figure out the fairest way of doing this.

I’ve been thinking about this from my chat with Caroline last week and whilst I was initially opposed to it (due to the abuse* factor/feeling like a job), I think there is a way this could work.

[ * = I’m using ‘abuse’ here for people ‘abusing’ the rewards system - i.e. trying to game it]

A points system. Users have to be associated with a Bulb account (to prevent sockpuppeting) for points to be awarded.

  • 1 point per day for just visiting the forum (perhaps reading any thread). This will help encourage people just to come in/check things and hopefully help the number of active users.
  • 2 points per day replying/opening a thread. Limit of one allocation per day.
  • 10 points if you receive a ‘thumbs up’ for your post. Only the first ‘thumbs up’ from a single member per day counts.
  • 20 bonus points if more than 5 different people mark your post as ‘Good/original question’. Only once per week.
  • 20 bonus points if more than 5 different people ‘thumb up’ your post. Only once per week though.
  • -25 points if more than 5 different people ‘thumb down’ your post. Only once per week.
  • 30 points if the original poster marks your post as ‘Resolved my issue’. You can only receive these points once per member (original poster) per month and twice every three months. Obviously, would also have to add a prompt to end users to flag ‘This resolved my issue’.
  • 40 points if the original poster marks your post as ‘Resolved my issue’ and your post was within the first hour of them posting (or more than 24 hours have elapsed since the OP without any being marked resolved).
  • 5 bonus points if Staff mark your post as ‘Resolved issue’ and close the thread.

All points subject to staff verification etc. Every week/month, all the points are put in a ‘lottery’ type system (so more points, the more chance of winning - does mean people just visiting the forum stand a chance of winning) and 10x ‘£50 referral credits’ prizes are up for grabs. I would probably like a ‘reputation/trust-worthness’ score of some sort (dunno how that’ll work) so people who are consistently good at replying comprehensively/helpfully get a ‘multiplier’, whereas people how just say ‘Call Bulb. I helped, please mark as resolved’ get penalised.

Ideally, I’d like some user badges as well: ‘Staff’ for the staff, ‘New to forum’,’ First question’, ‘Experienced replier’, ‘Pre-pay’ and ‘Credit’ would be good markers as well (so people can provide the right question - but I’m not sure about user privacy on that). A moderator team would be good (to remove private details, hostility and/or just to help things along, merge similar threads etc)

Auto-searching when people start entering text (as Monzo’s Discourse does), better searching overall (I shouldn’t have to use my profile->comments to find details, that’s what search is for!) and scanning of the post content of things that look like post codes, email addresses and telephone numbers (so a string of digits at least 7 long starting 01/02/03/07 should be enough - excluding Bulb’s number of course) and flagging up ‘This is a public community forum, it is not recommended to post your personal details’ comes up.

A points-based system is a good idea @RichyB

It accounts for the speed of responses, quality of response and ensures members are not putting really unhelpful answers. I like it!

We’d need to work out how we get members to ‘mark as solved’. As @198kHz has said in another thread, members rarely get back to the person who’ve given them a response. One way to get over this could be to send a reminder email if, after a couple of days, they haven’t said thanks. How would you ensure this happens?

Although a lottery sounds exciting, we want to reward members for good answers. There’d be no reason not to reward anyone who is contributing. If a member doesn’t know the answer to a problem, there could be a button to press to alert us. This way, no post goes unread. I agree that we should not reward this highly though.

The Plusnet Community have cool badge names like ‘Newbie’, ‘Dabbler’ and ‘Aspiring Hero’. There’s no reason why we wouldn’t be able to have a similar model. This would help our members know who to go to with there question too.

Agreed. The search function is a bit pants at the moment. We can certainly improve it!

We'd need to work out how we get members to 'mark as solved'. As @198kHz has said in another thread, members rarely get back to the person who've given them a response. One way to get over this could be to send a reminder email if, after a couple of days, they haven't said thanks. How would you ensure this happens?

I think rather than many points leading to a large payment, I’d rather see a micropayment system. Maybe 50p for each accepted answer or something.

In terms of good/poor answers I like the stackoverflow system. Answers can be voted up and down so better ones filter to the top. When the answer is accepted, it gets a big tick and automatically goes to the top so it appears as the first answer to the question. People can also post comments on other answers, to ask for clarification or point out things that are wrong. Even the questions themselves get up/down voted, so if you haven’t done even a basic bit of research or your question is badly worded to the point of being incomprehensible (as seems to happen a lot on here), then it allows the better questions to rise to the top and get answered first.

In terms of getting answers marked as accepted, I’m not sure. There should at least be a counter showing how many questions someone has asked, and how many answers have been accepted. That way if one person has asked a lot but never accepted an answer, then you know not to waste your time! Perhaps after a certain amount of time has lapsed then a moderator could mark the correct answer.

@Hooloovoo Would an accepted answer be the one with the most votes? Or would it be the person who asked the question?

I think @RichyB s points system accounts for downvoted answers: " -25 points if more than 5 different people ‘thumb down’ your post. Only once per week."

Although -25 points does seem hefty penalty if a thumbs up are 10 points! What do you think?

We’d be a bit concerned about down voting a question. We don’t want to dicourage someone from posting on Community. I think it’s our job to make sure we’re pointing members in the right direction to our Help Centre. Inevitably, members will be asking questions that are answeresd elsewhere but we can do our best to stop too many repeated questions.

Thanks for the ideas!

@Hooloovoo Would an accepted answer be the one with the most votes? Or would it be the person who asked the question?

In the first instance, it should be decided by the person asking the question. If they don’t come back, it could be decided by default based on the number of upvotes. Then you’ve also got the problem of a tie breaker …

Here’s an example of how a competitor does it, using the Lithium forum software which frankly is even worse then Vanilla.

You can see that there are a range of answers posted that are all wrong, including sadly the reply from the supplier. But since there’s a link at the top “Click here to jump to the answer” it’s easy to go straight to my correct accepted answer. The thread also gets a tick mark in the thread list so that it’s easy to see that the question has been answered.

@Hooloovoo

Thanks for the example. I like this a lot!

Do you find that SP members go back and vote for answers?

In terms of getting answers marked as accepted, I'm not sure.
In the first instance, it should be decided by the person asking the question.
I have no interest in forums but @Hooloovoo's posts always evoke attention.

There’s an assumption that the person asking the question (or those reading them) can recognise the right answer - as in the SP example. At one time I wouldn’t have questioned this premise, but now I’m not so sure.

As soon as any form of reward system is introduced there’ll be an influx of helpful people. Would it encourage quality or just increase quantity?

I know absolutely nothing about forum software and have no desire to find out, but am already convinced that Discourse is in a different league to Vanilla. If nothing else this illustrates the voting habits of the uninformed and how answers can rise to the top.

Do you find that SP member's go back and vote for answers?

Rarely.

This is why it will also need some other system of flagging what is considered to be the (most) correct answer.