Shutting down Guides

(Tanner Filip) #1

Word on the street is that Participation is wanting to shut down Guides. Is this true? I don’t think any of us would have an opposition to it, because that’s their call to make, we just do what they want.

If this is true, how to we proceed?


Yeah, from the Ops side of things, we basically just talk to whoever owns it and make a plan, we need to figure out if anything should be archived, if it’ll be in stages, should we have a notice up for a while and then redirect the URL?

In terms of the actual process, not sure if we want to offer any sort of help or opinions. It’d be great to make sure the users of the forum are informed, and know where they should go instead.

@lharris thoughts?

(Rubén Martín) #3

Ping @emma_irwin

PS: I would love to see the “Invite to this topic” feature here to avoid unneeded ping replies. Last time I checked we couldn’t have it since we don’t use discourse local users.

(Tanner Filip) #4

Right, that’s not something we can do right now. It still requires local users, which isn’t something we’re quite fond of doing simply because of the security implications.

(Emma Irwin) #5

Guides is not simply the Discourse forum, it is also the links on many project auto-responders to Guides on the Get Involved Page. So there needs to be an actual plan to update auto-responders, as part of Guides take-down.
We also need to invest a little bit on what we’ve learned there, because I think with some analysis there’s a few things to take from this (positive and learning). There is a bug for this


Yes, I would suggest using the “user story” box available on bugzilla to track/edit the list of things that need to be done before Guides is taken down, then file related bugs to track the individual steps.

My first concern of course is that Guides is meant to serve a purpose, it shouldn’t be taken down just because it stalled. I was personally satisfied that Guides is being made obsolete by better tools to serve its purpose, but of course that conversation should happen with the people who are still active on it.

I’d also want to make sure we don’t just inform the people who are active or care about guides that it’s coming down, but give them opportunities to continue doing this kind of work (helping new contributors) but in a better way.

We should absolutely put up a notice for a little bit at the URL just in case some links are missed, or people dig up the link from their email. On our side we can monitor traffic to that notice to know when to take it down.

Speaking of traffic, let us know if there is any data we can provide to help confirm that traffic just isn’t high enough to try reviving the forums (though I think the admin panel reports all of that).

(Emma Irwin) #7

I Kensie agree with all of your points on transition - including giving people the opportunity to take it over. That’s what I really wished for anyway. To be fair to Guides as well, early reporting showed very few people actually clicked the link in the emails, so what’s to say that having it more central wouldn’t pick the project up altogether. I don’t think it’s been fully tested, but then again looking at how hard the community struggled to kepe up with the questions, I’m wondering if that was also a test of the scalability. Anyway I agree a plan is needed , that includes proper transition.


Well, I always thought guides fit very much with Reps’ responsibilities. So
if it’s just a question of hands to keep up with the questions, I think
there is potential there. It fits very well with trying to get Reps better
integrated with functional areas.

I honestly am drawing a blank on the specific details Lucy gave me that
made it make sense for Guides not to exist anymore, I know part of it was
that the Get Involved page was being improved to connect people to the
right activities. I think the idea was that with this implemented it was a
matter of then connecting those people to the team’s communication
channels, there wouldn’t be a need for a forum for people to say “hey I
want to help but am not sure what to do!”


Side question: Who has admin on Guides, and is anyone opposed to giving me admin?

(Michael Buluma) #10

Also interested. Maybe @emma_irwin?

(Tanner Filip) #11

Guides is still abandoned. I don’t think it’s coming back. It’s not linked on the Mozilla website anywhere that I can find. Can we please just put Guides out of its misery?


Where it was linked was Get Involved. We need to check with Lucy if those
pages have been replaced. We should probably put up a page with info on
where to go instead in case there are live links.

(Emma Irwin) #13

yes. shutting down is not as straight-forward as turning it off, but agree it needs to be.
There used tog be auto-responders for each functional area that included a link to guides. the click-rate was super low though. We would need to confirm those responders no longer link to guides (@lharris would know), and then setup a wind-down plan, which yes kensie’s idea for landing page seems kind.

(Yousef Alam) #14

So guides went down today and it’s not a trivial fix. Given that everyone agrees that guides should have been shut down 6 months ago but nobody wants to make the decision on how we should proceed I’m going to redirect all links from guides to

From there a bug should be filed to remove the links from auto-responders (@lharris I have no idea where this goes so help is appreciated).

(Lucyeoh) #15

Hey @yousef. Agree with your judgment here, with regards to where you send people I see 2 options:

  1. goes to a big list with info about how to contribute in a number of areas. I think it’s mostly considered overwhelming but for people who are highly motivated the content is good.

  2. The other option is to send people to which will take people to a few tasks they can start contributing through.

Based on your knowledge of who might stumble on the guides page, I’ll let you figure out which makes the most sense.

Happy to chat more about it!

(Yousef Alam) #16

From the bugs + discussions I’ve seen, it seems like the only place guides was linked was the get involved emails. I don’t think it makes sense to send them back to the contribute page so I opted for the wiki.

(Leo McArdle) #17