hey @henry212 and others in this thread! This is a great discussion and I’m glad it is happening (and that you are getting the support you need to fix your original issue). I feel like both Greg and Jon bring up the main points that feel important to raise - but i’m here to provide an official opinion (as the person who owns this forum)
The main reason we don’t use a service like slack is searchability - as someone already raised. Ideally, of course, Netlify’s suite of products is so good that errors or problems don;t actually occur. Considering that we serve a LOT of traffic and have a LOT of accounts/devs/etc (we just celebrated 1 million developers deploying on our platform as you may have heard) we actually don’t get that many support requests (in relative terms).
For a ton of people Netlify “just works” and that’s what is great about it. Now, that doesn’t always happen (even though we do work really hard on making it the best it can be). Things are never gonna be perfectly error free, so the second best scenario next to there “not being problems” is that solutions are easy to find and self serve.
That’s part of why we invest(ed) heavily in an amazing docs team + site. But also why we created over 100 Support Guides, found here, #Netlify-support:support-guides that are written and vetted by Support Engineers. We check these regularly for freshness.
While there are a lot of people who come here and ask questions, there are also a vast majority of people who have the following flow:
- google search
- find answer in community
- go fix problem! baiii
and so we never actually see those people surface (except in page views for this forum, which are very high, many, many times over the amount of posts we receive).
That possibility - of self serving information without needing to actually post - is the second best outcome (from our POV) next to there not being a problem in the first place. And the ability to maximize that experience for our customers simply isn’t given with a real-time-chat such as slack, or gitter, or spectrum or similar. We know this because we’ve tried something similar in early days of Netlify, and it just doesn’t work.
Creating a searchable and indexable knowledge repository (not that the search for this forum couldn’t be much better, i agree that it could) is the way we can a.) surface information quickly and tangibly to solution-seekers and b.) minimize the drain on the support team of answering the same questions repeatedly which is expensive and burnout-inducing. There are only 7 support engineers for ALL of Netlify worldwide (including all of our enterprise customers) and we do our best to respond to all questions, even if it sometimes takes a few days. Which is where our fantastic volunteers like Greg or Jon and others come in who help.
I’m always super interested in hearing ways we can make information on how to fix problems as quickly as possible, so if you have ways / thoughts / ideas on how to improve these forums - what can we do to make things better? But a real-time support chat that is officially supported by netlify in form of a slack is unlikely to happen anytime soon, it is simply too resource intensive to staff.
I hope this answers some of your questions and please - i do authentically want to hear feedback on how these forums work for you all, we can make changes as we need - Community is co-created by everyone, including you!