Is there an official discord server for Netlify? I’d like to ask some questions, but this
https://answers.netlify.com/ is so hard to use that I usually end up just googling the solution and mark it as “not working atm” if I can’t find any answers. It would be really nice to have some place for communication with the Netlify team
Is there an official discord server for Netlify? I’d like to ask some questions, but this
Can you share what you find hard about using the Forums?
Netlify Support Engineers (and other members of staff) spend quite a lot of time monitoring these Forums, so this is a great place to ask questions. Any questions.
It’s hard to ask questions (notice the tags I put here - “billing-pricing”). I had a question about the discord, but it required me to put 2 mandatory tags, so I was forced to put something unrelated.
It’s hard to navigate or search. Now the users who have billing questions will see this thread, just because of tags. Totally unrelated info.
Why do we even use tags? Fulltext search is good enough, there is no need for tags, but we have to use them anyway.
Forums are much slower than chat, have no interactivity, it’s like comparing slack conversation to the email thread. How usually devs ask each other on Slack and how often on the email? The same applies here. It’s a replacement for github issues and not a proper communication tool.
Having a separate account just to ask a question? Really? so many people use Slack or Discord and already have an account there, but registering here just to ask some questions about Netlify before even using it once… that’s just too much. I’d rather to ask some questions on Discord where people (not necessary devs) would ask it and I decide if Netlify is good enough for my needs or not.
If we wanna use JAM stack we can consider other alternatives, like Cloudflare Workers. Cloudflare has an official discord server, so it’s easier to ask them some questions and choose them as the solution. Having no discord while your competitors have is a disadvantage for you.
Having forums only while so many tools have Discord/Slack makes me feel that Netlify team wants to make an artificial barrier and limit a conversation. Forums discourage people from asking the questions so people will go to StackOverflow, unofficial discord communities, etc, and the only people who can’t find any answers will ask questions here, so it will make it simpler for the team to handle the number of questions.
Hey there, @Qwe
Thanks for reaching out! Hillary here from the Support Team. I appreciate you sharing your feedback, as feedback is one of the things we consistently use to make our product and our offerings better. Below I have outlined some further information about the points that you have brought up.
We do not currently have a Support specific discord. There is, however, a fun announcement on the horizon regarding Jamstack discord spaces that will be coming out soon. I encourage you to stay tuned for the next week or two.
Our primary Support space for non-paying Netlify customers are these Forums. This is not a substitute for the public Github repos we have, linked here, where you can filed targeted issues. We have intentionally selected a public Forums format so that we can build out categories such as our Support Guides, which houses over 90 guides that answer frequently asked questions about topics such as DNS, debugging builds, and best practices for optimizing build time. We hear you that it can be a bit crowded, and we are currently working on archiving duplicate threads (see new post here) that make searching a bit tricky, and also working to highlight the most relevant threads. If you have further suggestions regarding optimizing search, please do share them here!
In terms of response speeds, folks can gain access to Helpdesk support depending on the tier they are working on (ie: pro, business, etc.). You can read more about that here. One of the things Netlify values is transparency, so I want to share that we do not currently have a roadmap for live chat support. With over 2 million developers, live chat is outside the scope of what we are choosing to focus on. Additionally, live chat hides a lot of great conversations and learning moments that would be public in a Forum space. I know this isn’t the answer you were hoping for, but it is one that we have landed on for now as a team.
On the topic of tags, this is a great question. We use tags for two purposes:
- On the Support Team, we use tags to track trends in questions or particular topics that are coming up so that we can improve our public documentation and support guides.
- Searchability. While the fulltext search works better for you, we want to provide as many paths as possible for the Forums members, as each individual here learns and searches differently.
Is there a specific tag you were looking for that you were unable to find? Let me know, and I can get that added for you.
When it comes to making a new account, I hear you! Folks have lots of log-ins for various sites these days. The benefit of having a Netlify specific Forum with your Netlify login is that it streamlines Support effort for us and generates a faster response time. Like I mentioned above, we have a high number of folks using Netlify every day. When folks use their Netlify account email to sign up for the Netlify Forums, the Support Engineers can quickly access your account when trying to get you un-stuck, among other things!
To your point about limiting conversation, I would like to share that our Forums, much like StackOverflow, are hosted on discourse. Can you share a bit more about what particular components on our Forums act as a barrier to conversation? We are consistently looking for ways to make the Forums more accessible and inclusive, so I would love to hear more about what has felt discouraging or limiting so that I can surface it to my team.
Ok-- I think that covers the thoughts you have shared here! Again, thanks for surfacing this feedback. Whether negative or positive feedback, we appreciate the time people take to share their experience with us. I look forward to your response so we can continue this conversation.
There is a Jamstack related Slack that was created by Netlify (you can see it mentioned here: Jamstack Community | Jamstack). While Netlify do not provide support via it, you can receive support/recommendations from other Netlify users.
It’s fairly light on genuine discussion though and has effectively become a free marketing list for Jamstack related companies to spam blog article & event announcements (which in turn promote their products/services).
I believe that Netlify are planning to create a community in Discord, and it will be interesting to see if it avoids issues like the transient population (people only speaking when they need help) and “non stop marketing” that the existing Slack has.
While I also don’t like being “kept at arms length” by companies, chat responses are too ephemeral and don’t help others with the same problem to self solve.
The forum isn’t perfect, but if you have a problem it doesn’t take much use of the search tool to find similar questions & answers!
I’ve also found the tag system (as it’s currently configured) to be illogical and frustrating. Every time I have created a thread I was forced to add tags, but unable to find any tag that actually matched. I’m not sure how useful it can be for determining trends when it literally forces you to miscategorize your post just to be able to submit.
Do you have suggestions for tags to add? What are those you have previously wished to use that did not exist @nathanmartin?
In my case it’s tended to be less about wanting something specific, and more about simply not finding anything relevant. In which case I’d personally prefer to simply not tag at all.
For easy reference, the existing list is:
deployment netlify-dns-https-ssl netlify-newbie building redirects lambda-functions netlify-forms gatsby git identity authentication hugo create-react-app nextjs netlify-cli netlify-large-media-nlm billing-pricing branch-deploys environment-vars email netlify-api netlify-dev-open-beta netlify-cdn-adn settings-config performance deploy-previews vuejs caching security netlify-analytics git-lfs headers jekyll proxying cors pre-rendering seo widgets-netlify-cms github-actions asset-optimization monorepo ux show-tell-share angular split-testing database webpack open-source introductions relation-widget events testing-with-netlify branch_subdomain_ssl jamstack-jobs collaboration a11y billing edge_handlers functions_timelimit no-longer-needed functions_region opensource repo_linking serviceworker traffic-log-drains
When I made my first post, it got eaten by the spam filter. In my attempt to resolve it, (so that the time I spent writing the post wasn’t a waste), I reached out to support to get it resolved.
I knew that I needed to post to the “Admin” category, as it’s description states:
“Issues with signing up or logging in to Netlify, billing questions, or a problem with the Netlify Support forums? Post here.”
However as you can see from the post itself, I was forced to tag it with an unrelated tag:
A relevant tag would have been something forum support related, but as I’d already posted in that category it wouldn’t really provide useful context. Having one for “getting your content trapped in the akismet filter” is such an obscure issue it’d just contribute to tag bloat.
When stuck waiting for Netlify support to action a request to release a domain/subdomain I made a post, and was again forced to tag it as
deployment. It obviously has nothing to do with
deployment, but I simply couldn’t find anything relevant.
It’s why I’d personally prefer to be able to either not tag, or to select something exceedingly generic for fringe situations.
The tag requirements also differ fairly inconsistently per category, currently I see:
'Support' - At least 1 tag required 'Admin' - At least 1 tag required 'Features' - No tag required 'Connect' - No tag required 'Everything Else' - At least 2 tags required 'Netlify CMS' - No tag required 'Open Talk' - At least 1 tag required
thanks for the detailed and thoughtful post Nathan! Once again, you are giving us some good food for thought and we appreciate it (no really, we do.)
We (actually no, I did it, me alone) when we first started the Forums as a way to have people be more easily able to track posts related to their own issues - and in some cases, that is exactly how it works still - #split-testing , for example, shows a reasonably manageable subset of posts, which would be useful if one was debugging a split testing related issue. Too many tags is overwhelming (i would argue the list might already be too long) and too few tags is not granular enough . I’m the first to agree that #building is hardly a useful tag.
We use customer facing tags for the reasons described above, but, they are also valid and useful for our own internal purposes, such as metrics and data on who is asking what and when.
So I agree with you that we can likely do much better and what we currently have isn’t always helpful, but we’ll want to make any changes carefully so that we retain the ability to count and track tag use as appropriate. I am going to put it out here that we might work on this at the beginning of 2022. We’ve seen a lot of growth in these forums this year, so i think setting up something different and hopefully better for the next year is a good move.
Interestingly, i think that tags might be more appropriate for “admin” purposes than actual support cases - retaining the ability to accurately tag when billing issues surface here is obviously important to us.
If you have further thoughts, do let us hear em.
(Btw - the spam filter issue is frustrating, I know. But, i personally feel strongly that stricter spam filtering is better than looser - it makes me pretty happy we have (comparatively) little spam. The moment post more than 1-2 times, your trust level increases, and it becomes much less likely that something gets auto-flagged.)
In general this Discourse instance works well. It’s only really the tag system that has bitten me, so I can see where @Qwe is coming from in regards to them contributing to the feeling that the forum is clunkier than asking a question via Slack/Discord.
With another fairly big difference being that “notifications” are more prominent from Slack/Discord desktop apps than they are from this forum. Which is a double-edged sword, since as I mentioned above the Slack is primarily used by third parties to leverage those notifications to promote to the Jamstack community.
I agree that having the right set of tags is a challenge. It’s why I didn’t suggest anything too specific or generic, as both will result in poor metrics.
The forum spam filter is fine. I’m much happier for it to eat any dodgy seeming post that I make than to let legitimate garbage through. It was just a very clear example of being forced to miscategorize a post to get it submitted.
I remembered some first hand anecdotes that may be helpful in weighing the addition of Discord. I wouldn’t have known these things without having joined a few Discord communities:
- Both Felicia Day and the Ooblets Discord get random users that post offensive chat messages that have to be purged. The mods are very good, but sometimes a community member has to ping their mods. Since most mods are volunteers, they can’t always be monitoring every channel. The mods have said that they don’t have preventative options, and the best they can do is catch the offenders after they act. I remember reading before that the invite link doesn’t have many options so creating a invite that doesn’t expire allows randoms to exploit. Thankfully, the frequency is not high so the mods have not been overwhemled. Felicia’s server last month added a mechanism so that to enable channel access, users have to click a checkbox in a lobby channel, in order to stop bots.
- The Rally.io Discord has bots listening to join events. I was hit with a DM from a bot advertising a crypto game the first time I joined. I disconnected from the server, and re-joined about 2 months later and I got a different DM about a new NFT from a different bot. So I turned the DM feature off completely. Which was funny because then I couldn’t send a DM to a real user that I had an existing DM conversation with. Does the convenience outweigh the hassle?
Basically I think Discord was designed to be open, except we live in a world where there are bad actors. It will be important to do an evaluation of Discord not just on the basis of features, but the overhead and abusive behaviors.
Thanks so much for those additional details, @nathanmartin. We had a meeting this week where we kicked off reviewing and reworking our tagging system as a result of this conversation
@shrmpy, this is some good insight for us to keep in mind. Echoing Perry, this is one of the things we target with our spam filter. When it comes to this current space, do you have additional suggestions or thoughts for improvements?
Hey there folks,
@Qwe, as I alluded to, we have exciting news! There is now officially a Jamstack Discord Server. It will be a great place to collaborate on projects-- you can read more about the vision of the space on this blog post!
The Forums will still be one of the primary places for working with the Support Team, so we will still be here for technical questions, etc. Thanks again for reaching out about this. The discord project was in the works for a bit, so we are excited to be able to talk about it now!!