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Three Things I Wish I'd Known: Thomas Schlegel Edited

Thomas Schlegel Community Leader Nov 20, 2018

Hey everyone,

Well, it's hard to remember three things I wish I'd known on day 1 of my Community experience.
Once upon a time, it was in 2011, Community was not, what it is today. It was just a platform for asking questions. Its name was "Atlassian Answers" and I used it mainly for getting answers to my own questions.


But soon, I started looking a bit beyond my own nose. I began helping others and answered questions. The very first time was really exciting: clicking on the OK-Button and praying that my answer is the right one... I can't remember, whether I got a response or not for my first answer, but I got a lot of responses since then and your responses and comments are my main motivation. They are, what keep me going on.

So, I want to look at three topics which I think are important for our Community:

 

Be friendly

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Be friendly and respect the person you talk to, even if you disagree with her / him. Let the Community be a comfortable and safe place for everyone. It's also up to you. Here are some basic guidelines:

Don't be afraid of asking a beginner's question, there are no stupid questions - it is, what you want to know, so ask. But first, please try to find the answer in Atlassian's documentation or here on Community - or just google it. You may be surprised, how many good answers to your question are there already. Google is indexing our platform permanently, of course, so use its search engine for finding answers.

But if you don't find an answer within reasonable time, don't hesitate to ask, ask anything. People here are friendly and helpful, you won't be blamed for bad questions, don't worry.

When you receive an answer, please take time for a response. It makes me happy to read, that I've been able to help someone. Even if it is just a little "Thank you" - it will put a smile on my face and keeps me motivated to go on with this. Also, commenting articles is friendly behaviour. I've once written here, that the worst answer is getting no answer or comment at all. Even if my answer's wrong, please response and tell me that (in a friendly way, so I'm not crying the whole day long ;-) ).

Community Champions are not flawless, doubts are allowed and any feedback is always welcome.

And please don't forget: most of us are not working for Atlassian. This is a user community and so are the people tagged as "Community Champion" just users. Yes, we have some experience with Atlassian's tools, but we are still doing this as volunteers. So please don't expect us to be online everyday. We all have our regular job, for most of us, Community is a time-consuming beloved hobby. Though we love what we do, sometimes we reach our limit and have to make a break and respond to your comment later. Please don't take it personally.

 

Tags

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Well, this may be something, you may not expect to read here, but this is my very special request to you. "If I knew, that repairing bad tags causes so much continously lasting effort, I wish I'd known more about perfect tagging".

There are so many tags here and there were so many false tags, that the Community Champions built a so called "Tag Cleanup Crew". Our aim is to clean up the tagging system and keep it clean.

Just to give you an idea of the problem: we manually reduced the number of tags within a few months from 20,000 to 5,000. Our users create about 50 new tags every single day, almosts all of them false ones. Finding and removing them is one of our daily tasks and you can support us.

I don't expect you to know all of the "good tags" - of course not, but there are some easy rules for tagging:

  • tags should represent the main topic of the question - don't use too many detailed tags
  • ask yourself: If I wanted to find my own question, would I search for this tag?
  • no tags with spaces and underscores
  • no plurals
  • tag your question with product and installation type (Confluence, Jira, Cloud, Server, ...)

If you take these simple rules to heart and therefore reduce the number of bad tags, we'll have a lot more time to answer your questions.

Do you want to know more about tagging in the Community? Look here: 

The War of the Tags

 

Fun and Friends

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When I was asked in 2016 if I wanted to be a part of the new Community Champion program, I didn't expect having so much fun and making friends here. It's far beyond the Answers-and-Questions-platform which I used to know before.

Of course, the glue that holds us together is our interest in Atlassian's products, but there's so much more to find on the Community platform. Have a look at all the fun threads on Monday (miscellanous-monday) or Friday (friday-fun) - don't forget, you can comment older ones also - or join a special-interest group. You don't have to be Community Champion to participate in these threads, everyone is welcome. The more you participate, the more you will get to know people from around the world, share your thoughts, learn from other people and make new friends. 

Maybe you get the chance to meet some of them in person at your local Atlassian User Group or at Summit - a great experience.

 

With your help, we will keep this tiny little spot called Community a very special precious one! Take care of it!

2 comments

Leslie Lee Atlassian Team Nov 20, 2018

Great article, thanks!

Like Nic Brough [Adaptavist] likes this
Shannon Spaniol Atlassian Team Nov 21, 2018

I love this! Thank you, Thomas, for all of your help in the Community! :) 

Like Nic Brough [Adaptavist] likes this

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