Closing the Drupal Support Gap

Time slot: 
March 8th, 3:15 PM - 4:15 PM
Michigan A/B

We lack a clear and inviting path from discovering Drupal and learning how to use it to becoming an active and productive contributor. As a result, our most active developers are plagued by the support demands of intermediate users who have outgrown the forums and don't know where to go. This effect is compounded both by our failure to attract and assimilate new highly qualified support-givers, and the myriad bad behaviors that newbies are learning in "newbie ghettos" such as the forums -- behaviors that make it difficult-to-impossible to adequately support them and bring them into the wider Drupal community.

Proposed solution: 

- Phase out the forums in favor of a more straightforward Q&A format resource.
- Treat posts that resource as not just the answering of this question here and now, but building a useful searchable reference into the future. Be brutal in eliminating off-topic chatter and duplication (but as kind as possible in explaining why a question was closed) ala StackExchange.
- Provide easy gateways from that resource to more active participation in the Drupal community: IRC, issue queues, doc team, translation teams, GDO, etc.
- Improve the consistency of IRC and Q&A moderation by setting up a venue for moderator docs and discussion.
My blog post on the subject, with quite a bit of explanation in case it's needed.

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