How do you take your developer support?


This is an interesting thread that shows the search habits of folks on C9. What stuck out to me was that it shows that no search should be inclusive by default. Meaning that the forum search should also be searching other relevant content on MSDN like blogs and wiki content. And then there is this, that points out that search is a weak spot across the board for forum software. So there is a great opportunity to lead in this space.

I use paid support a lot as a consultant.  Thee frustrating part for me is that because of my knowledge in the product I need to talk to a higher level tech then the monkey reading the helpdesk scripts.  If I have a problem that I can't solve on a forum or find in google and need to call, its going to be an issue that needs at least a level 2 tech and not the normal person who answers the phone.

It is interesting that a lot of companies use the same 1 or 2 types of forums and they all provide pretty crappy search.  I think if someone could develop a forum that had great search and was also open to google or then they could make a killing selling the software

So how do you take your developer support?

Update: I missed this first post with lots of replies from Larry's blog.

Comments (3)
  1. Josh forwarded around a Channel9 thread yesterday where some Niners were talking about how they got sought

  2. Mike Wachal says:

    I have just the oposite feeling about how many domains a search engine covers, when I’m on MSDN, I wish it would only search MSDN, when I’m on, I wish it would only search I apply this principle generally to any other companies site.

    For search, I use the engine du jour ( right now) but I typically limit the serch by domain as in "" so that I get a more targeted search. (If you’re not one of the ten people who knows you can do this, check it out.)

    I also feel paid support is under rated by most people, mostly because they’re cheap. <g> One poster on C9 complained about the cost of phone support; I think this is crazy. You’re paying for the resources available to the support agent, not just thier experience. I can tell you from eight years of experience on the MS support lines, when you called me, you were talking to me, the 15 employees around me, an entire system of higher level engineers and even the developers who wrote the product if it came to that. Having that kind of experience available for a couple hundred bucks is super inexpensive.

    As to the need to talk to a level 2 engineer right away ’cause you’re so smart, get over yourself. Everyone thinks thier an expert and that their problem is unique in the world. This is hardly ever the truth. Taking the time to eliminate the basics with the front line doesn’t take that much time and it’s worth doing. You’re still getting a bargin.


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