A couple of weeks back we went on a jag about support issues at StackExchange, and even at WordPress.org. We didn’t believe we were finished with the topic, and so we were encouraged by the decision to kill a controversial feature in the upcoming WordPress 4.2; we saw that as a sign of improved responsiveness, overall.
And it may have been. But then we saw a support request at StackExchange that should make even this commenter’s blood boil. The support request was titled Is Stack Overflow a suitable place for a WordPress question?, and the response was bad enough (and proved the point quite ironically), even before a StackExchange geek using the handle Fish Below The Ice weighed in with this StackExchange Community gem:
Thank You is Noise
Broadly, we’ll concur with the sentiment that emoticons are superfluous; they have a place, but need to be used sparingly. “Thank you”, however, is never noise. The very idea that “thank you is noise” could come out of someone’s mouth or keyboard is frightening.[clickToTweet tweet=” Thank You is Noise? NOT! Thank You is NEVER Noise” quote=”Thank You is NEVER Noise”]
We’re busy people at The WordPress Helpers. Like you, we understand the frustration of having our time wasted. Our main geek—a genuinely nice guy, by the way—has been known to use the phrase “I hate doing desktop support”. StackExchange is mostly frequented by people like him, so there’s an easy line to be drawn from “we know our code and you don’t” to “so stop asking questions that aren’t up to our standards”.
But StackExchange is also one of the top couple-hundred-or-so most popular web sites in the world, and that didn’t happen solely on the backs of geeks; there are regular people asking questions at StackExchange, and regular people are more concerned about getting things done than about protocol.
Especially when protocol has devolved to “Thank You is Noise”.
Sadly, we’ll very likely have more to say on this topic, soon, and again. Community doesn’t happen when you’re more concerned with protocol that actual community usefulness, and Thank You is Noise is … just noise in its own right.