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Hello again! Carrie here, head of LJ Tech Support. :-)

I just posted about Schools, but I also need to mention that our technical support volunteer team is treading water right now. As you probably know, most of our users seeking help using LJ are helped by other users just like you.

Just last week we had a total volunteer count of half the number of what's healthy for our department. We need people like you, who love to keep up on LJ happenings and are probably the person your friends go to for help in using LiveJournal. Why not take a look at what's going on today and see if there's any place you can help?

(Plus, we have a release planned today, and that always makes the board an exciting place to be.)

If you need help with the whole process, learn_support is your beacon of light. supportlounge is where we kick back and have socialize.

And if you want to know why people volunteer to be a part of our crazy family, read this post by idonotlikepeas, who's been doing this for 5 years now: http://community.livejournal.com/lj_volunteers/17912.html


PS. All active volunteers of a certain training level get their LJ paid account for FREE for as long as they're volunteering. (Those with permanent accounts get LJ Tokens of an equivalent value.) The more experienced "quick-like-bunneh" LJ volunteers get access to a bunny-eared userhead, exclusive to support volunteers!


[eta 11-Feb-13]
Due to the obnoxious amount of spam I'm getting on this entry and the fact that I'm not an LJ employee (let alone the contact person) anymore, locking comments. Track down markf if you have support-type-questions.

Schools team recruiting!

Are you a expert on all things local? Have you moved several times in your life and gotten to know those new places quickly? Do you like focusing on details and doing a bit of light research when you need to confirm those details? Do you play nice with others?

If you've got the mindset, our schools directory team wants you!

If you speak both Russian and English we especially want you! Russian schools have a delay between submission and approval, a delay many times longer than any other country, simply because we don't have enough Russian experts to review the submissions.

For more information on Team "Leaky Canoe", including how to apply, see this entry from former schools admin Bethany.

Any questions? Please ask.

Making Volunteering Easier

What (tools, resources, support, incentives, etc.) would make it easier for you to volunteer for LiveJournal?

LiveJournal Support and you

Many thanks to androshd for collaborating with me on this post.

If you've stumbled across this community, you might be wondering what LiveJournal Support has to do with volunteers, and why you should care.

Technical support for LiveJournal is provided by volunteers. Volunteers fill almost every function, from answering questions about how to create a journal to helping figure out why you can't log in to telling the developers that the journal update page isn't working. Volunteers even supervise the other volunteers; normally, only one staff member (our manager) is involved in Support at all!

Some of you may be thinking that already sounds pretty interesting. The rest of you are probably thinking that we are completely insane. For the second group, I'd like to explain a bit about why we do this, but if you're already intrigued feel free to skip down to where I talk about
how we do it.

Why do we volunteer in support?Collapse )

Alright, so let's talk about how to get involved. It's actually very simple: all you really have to do is go to the Support board, which shows questions other users have asked, pick one you think you can answer, and try to answer it. The answer will get stored until someone with a little more training can come by to check and see if it's right. That's all there is to it! That's the most important part of Support. Everything else is just there to make answering those questions easier or more effective.

You may notice that the board lets you pick something called a category while searching through it, and if you've ever sent in a question to support you probably saw categories there, too. Looking at the entire board can be a bit overwhelming sometimes, so you might want to focus on a particular area that you are (or think you could be) particularly good at. That's what a category is - a way of dividing up the board into smaller chunks that all deal with the same kind of question.

And here are the support categories...Collapse )

So, those are the basics, but if you want to learn more about Support, please go have a look at the official support guide or the Support wiki. And if there isn't enough information in either of those places, feel free to comment on this post with your questions; someone would be happy to point you in the right direction.

If you want to jump right in, though, go ahead and visit the Support board and see if there's a question there you can answer. Somewhere, there is someone you can help. Why keep them waiting?

Tips For New Volunteers

What do you wish you had known back when you started volunteering for LiveJournal? What tips, hints, or advice would you give to a new LiveJournal volunteer?

Fun facts about the Abuse Prevention Team!

One of the areas of LiveJournal Support that needs some love is the Abuse Prevention Team. I'd like to dedicate this post to explaining a little bit about what role the APT plays for the site, why it's fun and cool, and how to apply to the team if you find yourself thinking "hey, that sounds like something I'd enjoy!"

What exactly does the APT do to help the LiveJournal community? The answer is: a lot! Abuse is the part of LiveJournal Support that users contact when they see something that is against the Terms of Service, or when they want an interpretation of the rules. Members of the APT handle a large variety of requests, and are responsible for figuring out if a report contains a real violation of LiveJournal's ToS and policies and taking the appropriate action if necessary.

I'm not going to lie: this type of volunteering isn't for everyone. If you apply and are accepted onto the team, you'll have to sign a non-disclosure agreement promising not to leak any private information. You'll have to slog through some of the darker parts of the LiveJournal community. You'll stumble upon shock pictures (ever seen goatse or tubgirl?) and read terrible things all in the name of deciding whether or not something is a violation of the site's policies. And as much as we wish we could protect the innocent and force everyone to be nice to one another, it's not our place to make that happen if reported content is not against the Terms of Service. Being a member of the APT is also a pretty big time commitment. You'll have a weekly level of activity that you'll be expected to meet most weeks. It's not terrible, but it does amount to 5-10 hours a week for most of us.

I'm sure that at this point you must be asking yourself "how is this fun again?" Well, members of the APT enjoy all of the same perks that public Support volunteers get! There's a fantastic community of volunteers who give an awful lot of time not only to answering requests, but also to being friends with each other. Volunteers also learn tons of fun facts about LiveJournal as a site, and they can use that knowledge to help other users out. You can include your volunteer service on a resume (or CV) -- believe me, it's an interesting and memorable talking point at an interview. There's also the chance of being visited by the Paid Account Fairy if you volunteer for a few months...

One of the neatest parts of being on the Abuse Prevention Team, though, is the part where you go through a pretty intensive training process. New volunteers spend a lot of time getting to know some of the existing volunteers and getting walked through all of the rules and policies. Being trained as an Abuse volunteer and training new volunteers myself introduced me to some of the kindest, most amazing people I have ever met. I've made lifelong friends volunteering with LiveJournal.

Still interested after reading all of this? Awesome! If you'd like to apply you can do so by going to the lj_abuse profile and following the instructions there. All of us on the APT are looking forward to bringing new volunteers into the group!

Why We Volunteer

Since lj_volunteers is going to be a community we use to try to recruit new LiveJournal volunteers, I thought it would be nice, both for current and past volunteers and for new and potential volunteers, to have some discussion about why we volunteer for LiveJournal.

So, anyone who volunteers or has volunteered for Support, Abuse, Schools, Translation, or Documentation, or in any other capacity on LiveJournal, please comment here and share your reasons: why do or did you volunteer for LiveJournal? What made you start volunteering? What made you continue?

The Schools team wants you!

Hello current and potential volunteers! I'm Bethany, one of the Schools team Admins.

The Schools team is currently looking for volunteers to help approve new schools into the Schools Directory, as well as manage the schools currently listed and answer requests in the Schools Directory Support category. (Support requests are few and far between - most of the work is done in the Directory) Because the Schools Directory is worldwide, we need volunteers from everywhere.

Right now we are most in need of volunteers who speak English and just about any other language, to help clean up countries in Asia, Europe, South America, and the Middle East. However, even if you just speak English, please feel free to apply! (The USA, Canada, the UK, and Australia all need some help too!)

If you're interested, and can devote between 5 and 10 hours a week to approving and scrubbing the Directory, please send an email to support@livejournal.com, with the following information:

Username:

Country and/or region you're interested in working in:

Any languages you read and/or speak:

How much time per week you are able to dedicate to the team:

Any other information and or skills you have that you feel we should know about:

Briefly explain why you want to join the Schools team:

userpic needed for lj_volunteers!

Hey look, our first "help wanted" post.

Anybody want to make us a userpic?

(I'm finishing tidying up this community today, including "getting started in ___" links in the links list. Tra la.)

lj_volunteers is open for business!

After reading your comments on Monday, you guys have convinced me of two things:

1) The old entries aren't going to be deleted unless you choose to delete your own.

2) The community is going to go to open membership -- Maura & Azz are right that I don't want to waste time determining who's active and who isn't. The entries will be moderated, and moderation will be limited to staff and volunteer team leaders: docadmins, supportadmins, translation leaders, and the like.

So go ahead and share this community with your friends! After I finish some style tweaks (we <3 you grrliz!) and change the community options, I'll be adding this community to FAQ 57 and getting us in the queue for an upcoming edition of lj_spotlight.

Oh, and I guess we gotta come up with community guidelines, too. As this is also your community, let me know! What are your thoughts on common community issues such as:

* Socialization & intro posts vs. being "help wanted opportunities only" (see also: signal to noise ratio)
* What kind of behavior gets you kicked out/banned
* Stuff I can't remember because my brain is a bit fuzzy today