Categories: Contributor News

Why you should help us help Firefox users

So you’ve helped out with Firefox support before, be it at mozillaZine, on IRC, in newsgroups, on your own personal site, or elsewhere. That’s great! We could use your help, too. Why should you contribute to the (Sumo) Knowledge Base?

The Knowledge Base will be the first line of support for Firefox. Making sure that the content is complete and up-to-date will ensure that end users get their answer quickly. Since end users will be directed to
search the Knowledge Base before doing anything else, it will also save the community from answering the same questions over and over in forums, newsgroups, and chat.

End users can easily tell us what they thought of an article. They don’t have to log in or navigate somewhere else – the feedback mechanism is directly on the page. The top pages already have hundreds of votes and comments are rolling in at about 15 per day. This feedback is invaluable when revising an article; rather than taking educated guesses, we have concrete information from our target audience.

We can get statistics on the most popular articles and searches on a week-by-week basis. Using these statistics, we can prioritize the work we do, identify articles we’re missing, and give real data to the Firefox developers on the most common problems.

The Knowledge Base is a wiki, so anyone can contribute. One of the downsides of wikis is that while anyone can make a change for the better, anyone can also make a change for the worse. To prevent this problem, we have a review system. Changes to articles don’t go live immediately; they have to be approved first. Requesting a review is easy – just make the changes you want and add a tag called “review”, and an approver take a look.

Rather than being a plain old wiki installation, Sumo is being customized for providing support. We have more features planned, including showing different views of an article based on the user’s OS and Firefox version and localization of articles, and we’re getting the resources from Mozilla to follow through on these plans. We want to provide contributors the best tools to do their job.

See a typo in one of the Knowledge Base articles? Fix it in seconds by editing the article! Know something about Firefox that you want to share? Feel free to start working on a new article! Do you think the site sucks? Tell us why in the newsgroup or in this blog!

Yes, we do need your help. :)