27-06-2011 08:33 - edited 22-05-2013 16:07
Welcome to the Skype Community
After being in the air since early 2004 as Skype's Forum, since April 2008 as Skype's Community and now as the Skype Community it is about time to introduce the people with badges and those without who you see posting regularly. But first a little explanation of what this community does.
The Skype Community is a place where Skype users can go for their Skype related question which they can discuss with other users. It can be any question from “How do I answer a Skype Call” to more technical ones. The purpose of this is to unite users in their Skype interests, to give users a chance to help others where they have a bigger knowledge and / or experience with Skype.
Every day thousands of users sign on to Skype for the very first time. Although there is a comprehensive, ever growing Knowledgebase there will be questions left which can be discussed in the Skype Community with users who have a huge experience in using Skype as their communication tool.
The variety of users browsing and replying to topics is enormous. From private users who only use Skype to keep in touch with friends and loved ones to Business users and beta testers. Especially beta testers are valuable. They seem to be born (or programmed over time ) to find and report bugs to help them getting resolved.
Other experienced users are those you see with a Super User and Moderator badge and Skype Staff with the Skype logo next to their name. Next to the Skype related areas we also have a more casual and relaxed area called “Skype's Coffee Corner” where you are invited to talk about every day’s life, hobbies and interests and where you can chat with likeminded users who might even become good friends!
So, who is who in this Skype Community?
I start with the valuable user. Every user logged on for the very first time and most likely to find help. No doubt the user came to the right place because help is available here in large quantities. Because the Admins and Moderators monitor all topics, active users become visible and not seldom we agree that by the consistent help given, such a user deserves the SuperUser badge. This is a little award for life and will always express our appreciation. Our Super Users are involved in a Skype group chat with Moderators and Admins for questions, discussions and help. They are not left on their own but have our and each other's full support.
Sometimes Super Users are asked to join the Moderator team. Moderators receive the tools to moderate (work with) the community. This means they can edit, move and if necessary, delete posts (SPAM). They guide users, advise them to submit a Support Ticket when necessary and help them to maintain the Community Guidelines. They also reply to posts.
Because the Skype Community is not an official support channel like Skype Customer Service Ticket System (who would like to see their account / payment details exposed on a public forum? The ticket system guarantees total privacy) Moderators can help the users who, for what ever reason, did not receive the right help via tickets. The preferable help tool is public posts so others with similar issues can find a solution. More private information is exchanged via PM (Private Message).
Moderators signed an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) with Skype and have access to Skype staff to report and discuss specific problems. This way you are in safe hands.
Both Super Users and Moderators are although experienced Skype users, people like you and me. Some have full time jobs, others part time or are retired. All have in common that they like to use Skype, like to help out and are volunteers. They are present in the Support Network in their spare time. Therefore some can spend more time helping out than others. They are located in different parts of the world, speak different languages. This way they cover 24 hours. Moderators participate in a group chat with the Admins to discuss what is going on in the community, support each other and get help when necessary.
Our admins are staff members. They handle the more advanced community tools. Together they are responsible for the whole community. The main community administration is done by yours truly as Community Manager. One of my pleasant tasks is to weekly report to my colleagues to keep them updated about what is going on in the Skype Community: what keeps users busy, their feature requests, problems and positive feedback for all platforms, subscriptions, payments and about all soft- and hardware.
We do not just operate in the background. We participate actively by reading and posting. We feel a huge responsibility for users, Super Users and Moderators for whom we also feel a great respect and pride.
Non Admin Staff members work behind the scenes and in any department within Skype. Their main goal is to improve Skype for the users. Not to maintain or develop the Skype Community. They are real and very nice people who do not hesitate to post in the Skype Community where a reply from staff is appreciated.
Not seldom community members grow from User, to Super User, to Moderator/Beta Tester to Staff Member. (Maybe here is a little career for you )
I hope that above helps you to understand the Skype Community and to value the special and dedicated help of the volunteers. They deserve a thumbs up