SUMO and the new Mozilla's chat platform

Hi folks,


A couple of months ago, Mozilla announced that the IRC server will be replaced
by a new platform.

You can read more about it at the following links:


Given that the mission of SUMO is to support “a global gathering of many enthusiastic and dedicated people whose passion is to help all users of Mozilla’s software and products”.

Given that we already have a solid structure/core team that help people on
the official forum and social media platform like Twitter.

I think it would be great if we could manage the support channels on the new
platform. Currently on IRC, there isn’t a lot of moderation nor active
official moderators on #firefox, #thunderbird and #mobile. This can be very
frustrating for both users who ask questions and volonteers who try to help them.

I have a few idea on how we could structure the project/help channels on the
new platform but first I wanted to ask you, the SUMO community, what are your toughts, suggestions, comments and critics on the subject.

cc’ing @kelimuttu nd @giulia_g for their precious input on how Mozilla could help us with that idea. :slight_smile:

Best regards,

I’ve always absolutely hated the idea of promoting live chat support.

It requires people to be online when the people need help. It’s not the same as the support forum, where people can check in whenever they have the time. That means that the people asking for support often expect an immediate response, which may not always be the case. Just look at how long it takes the typical support question on the forum to get the first reply posted, especially on the more complicated questions.

I love the idea of keeping the contributors tied together with a chat, like they have now with IRC, but I’ve never liked the idea of having a channel where users can ask questions.

But who knows, maybe it will be better once we get rid of the flawed IRC and move to a better chat platform.

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Hi Danny,

Thanks for sharing your ideas and initiate this conversation. I would say that chat platform has been known as a tunnel for users to ask for help but as far as I know, people will still refer those users to post their questions on the official forum.

It’s not to say that we oppose this idea. However, if we’re gonna say that we will open a new support channel through chat, it’ll require more preparation and commitment as well as resources to realize this idea. As @ComputerWhiz said, people will expect immediate respond from chat support, but on the other hand, we don’t know how would the new chat platform received by the community.

I would say, we should probably revisit this idea once the new chat platform has been officially announced.

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Hi Danny,
If I understand correctly, you just to make sure the equivalent channels on the new server have active moderators. Was there anything else?


Thank you Danny for starting this topic - certainly one that the SUMO community needs to consider.

Personally, I see this operating like IRC has in that real time chat is not an official route of support, but one that SUMO contributors can be present in to help when appropriate.

Users will try to reach out for support on whichever platform is chosen - this is how I first got involved with Mozilla. It is also a great way for contributors to get involved with supporting users.

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As some of you pointed out, the chat isn’t an official support platform and making it as one on the new platform would means investing resources (that we probably don’t have at the moment). I totally agree with you that actively managing those channels is out of the scope of SUMO at least for the foreseeable future.

However, @cilias you pinpointed exactly what I think SUMO, at least, could do. The idea would be to let the community run those channel like it already is on IRC but to ensure that some of us in SUMO have the necessary access to moderate those channel if needed.

For example, I had faced problems like people who don’t respect the Community Participation Guideline, the need to change the topic (or other settings) channel or wanting a better bot. But since we didn’t had the access we needed to ask an operator and sometimes it took a while before we had a response back from them.

As you see, if the SUMO staff could make sure trusted users on these channels have access to the moderation tools, it would greatly help us.


Mozilla has announced the new platform Synchronous Messaging at Mozilla: The Decision

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Hi Danny,

if moderation access is what you ask for, I think we can totally make a case for that. I’m not sure on the technical point of view at this point, but I believe we’ll have more clarity once we use the new platform even more. Let’s talk more about this next year!

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