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So You Want to be a Support Volunteer

Welcome to the Support Guide!

Support is a volunteer organization made up of regular LiveJournal users that exists to help fellow users to get the most out of their LiveJournal experience. If you're interested in doing Support, this guide will tell you how to get started and where you can find more information.

This document last edited by astronewt on 13-Mar-2013. Please contact support@livejournal.com to report any inaccuracies.

Answering your first request

Getting started with Support is easy! There are no applications you need to send, and no official steps to take in order to get started. All you need to do is to start answering requests on the support board. Below, you can find an outline of how to answer your first support request:

  1. Visit the support board. The board shows you the requests that are currently open. Requests without an approved answer on them will be colored green on the board.
  2. Pick one with a summary line that appeals to you and click on the ID number.
  3. If you don't know the answer to the question, go back to step 1 and try again until you find one you think you can answer.
  4. Write an answer to the user's question, using your own words. While proper grammar and spelling are pretty much required, you can otherwise use whatever casual/formal style you are comfortable with (within the bounds of general professionalism).
  5. Click the Submit button.

It really is that easy. Keep this in mind: as a newbie, there is absolutely nothing you can do to mess up. Your answers will not be visible to the user who made the request until a senior volunteer comes around to approve an answer that is then sent to the user. You don't have to worry about not getting it right the first time, since this screening process exists to make sure that users receive answers that are correct and up to Support's standards.

The Wikipedians have a saying: be bold! Don't worry about getting the answer wrong and having everyone hate you forever. We expect new people to need help and training, and we'll be happy to help you learn more about Support in any way we can. That's what we're here for!

My answer wasn't approved, what do I do now?

First of all, don't give up! If your answer wasn't approved, there's generally a reason for it. If you're wondering why your answer wasn't approved, you can always ask why. A good place for getting feedback on single requests is the lj_support community. If you have a question about how a request you answered was handled, feel free to post to the community and ask!

What to do next

Add the lj_support community to your friends list. You can't get membership right away, but official information about Support is posted there frequently.

Familiarize yourself with the LiveJournal FAQs. It's our main toolkit in answering requests. It's also a good idea to check the FAQ section every once in a while, since the contents of FAQs tend to change. Nobody expects you to memorize everything in all the FAQs, of course; just look through them as you have time, and make sure you check the ones you're specifically referencing in your answers to make sure they're relevant.

Go back to the board, and answer more requests. A good goal is to try and put answers on at least 3 requests each time you poke at Support. Don't expect anything to be approved right away; it could happen, but the first couple of days are mostly for your own benefit, not for the users. You'll get a feeling for how things work, and you'll get some experience in using the tools.

If you want a little more interactivity in your support experience, consider dropping by our IRC channel. There are people there at almost every time of day, and they'd be happy to help you with any questions or concerns you have. The connection information for IRC may be found in the profile of supportlounge.