How can we communicate the site's status to users?

By debuggist Staff ·
Would a site blog help? We could post announcements of upcoming changes or fixes, report on the status of a problem, etc.

We could use Twitter, although it's not exactly reliable.

Do you have other ideas?

Let us know...


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Use a feature that is already there

by Jacky Howe In reply to How can we communicate th ...

Have something that is in your face. The Today on TechRepublic area comes to mind. It could be added to the features. I don't know how hard it is to change those settings but everyone would see it at some stage.

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Works for forum users

by debuggist Staff In reply to Use a feature that is alr ...

But plenty of people never visit that page, so they would never see it.

What about using something like <>? That's something easily remembered and linked to.

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That would work

by Jacky Howe In reply to Works for forum users

if it is placed in a prominent spot. The old way was fine for some but as we are global it quite often dropped off the list and we missed it. My ISP has a link like that and it is easy to find out what is happening.

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The way that we've done it in the past

by Tig2 In reply to How can we communicate th ...

Back in the days of Beth as Moderator, she would post a discussion telling us what was planned to happen. So if you had a scheduled outage for planned maintenance, she would open a discussion as soon as she knew what was up and if any of us had questions, we could post them. The thread also served as a place we could feedback any problems that resulted from the maintenance or that continued to be issues even though the maintenance was supposed to solve them.

Just that simple feedback and communication mechanism worked nicely. The thread stayed on the front page through the day and was never difficult to find.

If someone has opened a trouble ticket, they have a number assigned and the person can always call for a status. You are welcome to tell us what you are working on but I would advise against it. People tend to think that their pet issue should be first in line and if we were getting worklists and status updates from you, you would hear much complaining. Don't go there.

One way to communicate- or perhaps one other would be to have Sonja add information to the weekly TROLOV. But I think that you would still want to augment that with a post in the discussions forum.

Just my $0.02! Thanks for asking!

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Just to make sure though

by The Scummy One In reply to The way that we've done i ...

they should be able to lock it at the top for discussions,
So what about those members who do not view
discussions often?

As for the status board suggestion, I kind of like the idea.
I am sure if it is too specific, some will gripe (it always
happens), however we could get a better view AND
everyone would have the ability to look at it when they
wanted to (unless the site is down of course)

As for the TROLOV, this would only work on planned
events that were known about in advance, and not those
quick little 'oh cr@p, reboot!!!" problems.
For these having Tammy place out the discussion would
be a good thing (once it hits the status board)

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To make sure a status page is always available

by debuggist Staff In reply to Just to make sure though

We would have another provider host the page. If all of TechRepublic went dark, you could still reach the status page to find out what is going on. As long as the third party is up, we're covered. :)


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Yes, but...

by Jellimonsta In reply to To make sure a status pag ...

Who watches the guy who watches the guy who watches the guy?

I think the degree of communication is relative to the impact of the situation. I would use almost all avenues available for major situations, and considerably less so, for lesser ones.

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Well, thats good :)

by The Scummy One In reply to To make sure a status pag ...

I would still think that a discussion that can be posted up
top of the list, for special cases might be good. Like "TR will
be down in 2 hours" or "Forums will be unavailable" a few
hours before they go offline. Click on it and see the details.

But yeah, I think the status page would be good. Will there
be a link to it on all other pages?

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That could be a good idea...

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to How can we communicate th ...

keep it cycling through the 4 part 'header' that appears at the top of the Forums column/s. We could fairly easily keep an eye on it that way. Of course, you folks would have to stay on top of keeping it up-to-date!

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Maybe a feed

by NickNielsen In reply to How can we communicate th ...

Is it safe to assume that the most active members subscribe to one or more TR feeds? A notice in each feed would be redundant for some (myself included), but would ensure that the word got out.

Another option would be to use the Alerts email. As soon as the work is scheduled, add the notification to the header. Again, for those who receive updates more often than daily, it might be redundant, but in this case redundancy is a good thing.

I think the best option for getting the word out will be a mix of the suggested options. You'll never make everybody happy, but a blog or discussion post and a notification in the Alerts email will probably catch the people most likely to suffer withdrawal when TR goes off-line.

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