publishing support email
> The support database (essentially the replies of the email support
> folks) will be GPL-ed and published.
From: Jim Pick <email@example.com>
> Couldn't this just be handled by the existing bug system, writing some
> new docs here and there, and possibly the "debian-tips" idea I had a
> long time ago?
I think it should work this way. Internal to the support company, we
maintain an instance of the bug-system (Ian parameterized it recently,
so this is easy) for handling service calls. I like it better than
GNATS, but it probably needs more support for prioritizing and expected
completion dates. That is accessable to us alone. We take the data
from this, "sanitize" it by removing details of the customer, and put
it and our answer in the bug database, which is a HTML tree organized
hierarchicaly by system, subsystem, package, problem, etc. That tree
is what gets GPL-ed and published.
I agree that problems are often transient, and if they are both transient
and unique they simply don't get to the database.
IRC is nice for talking between support staff. I think some sort of CGI
based mechanism is necessary for a support person to "sieze" a customer
call in order to handle it is necessary.
I think that I will start this out by being a remarketer of consulting
services, but I will "front" them so that all consultants appear to be one
big company. I will run the network, schedules, and build and publish the
support database. I will handle credit-card clearance and billing. I
will deal with quality-of-service issues. Consultants will log on to my
system, pull down calls, handle them, and get paid an incident fee. This
makes it easy for the consultant to work when they want to, and is good
for occasional homeworkers or full-time consultants who have other paying
customers who sometimes must take priority.
This is just part of a more global strategy I am formulating for making
100% free software systems desirable to business. There is a big marketing
side of this that I will be working on, too.