I have to say, this is one of the more exciting things I've announced here in a long time. I think everybody on OD can agree that although this is the best online community there is, we have sometimes been lacking in the quality of responses to queries for support or information.
The fault for this has been mine - for years, I have wanted to handle everything that has to do with OD - to make sure that the quality of interaction with all of our members is the way that I wanted it to be. Unfortunately, the demands of helping a city of half a million residents has been too much, and quite often emails have gone too long without a satisfactory answer because there was not enough time in the day to answer them all.
I knew this to be one of the primary barriers to keeping all of the residents of OD happy - and today we start down a very promising road to make it better.
On the OD Boards, I have been working for over a year with a group of volunteers that have served as moderators and customer service agents. This situation has worked out a hundred times better than I ever expected - I had been reluctant to bring in volunteers to help on OD a year ago, but now I wish I had done it much sooner. The group of volunteers working there has shown many times over that they will do their best to uphold the standards of Open Diary.
In particular, there is a group of three administrators who have helped me immeasurably. Over many months, they have proven that they understand what sort of place OD is supposed to be, and that they can handle any interaction with our members in a timely, fair, and intelligent manner. All three of them have been OD members for years, and understand better than anybody my ideals for our community.
They are: EWS, Gail, and X - many of you probably already know them. They have all volunteered to help me handle the incoming emails on the OD support line, and I am glad to have their help. We have worked over the last few weeks to build a professional-strength help desk solution for OD - one that is as good as any top-of-the-line website or corporation would use. I have purchased new helpdesk software, which we have tested and been very pleased with. This software will give all of us on the OD Support Staff (that's a nice thing to say) the ability to identify and resolve problems more quickly and efficiently than they ever have before.
On your end, the trouble reporting system remains the same - any time you have a problem on OD, or see a Rules violation, or just have a question about how to do something - click the Help link in the OD menu. On the next screen, give us a description of the problem and tell us what type of problem it is. Once you submit it, it will be sent immediately to our new helpdesk software, where it will be reviewed by one or more of the four of us.
With our new helpers, I am looking forward to raising the standard of support here at OD. I'm sure there are some of you who would say we have nowhere to go but up - and up is where I'm sure we'll be going.