Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

HelpThing: Member-driven help

We’ve added a “Help” button to every page of LibraryThing. The button goes to “HelpThing,” a member-driven help system taking shape as we speak:

The idea is simple:

  • Every page on LibraryThing gets a HelpThing page
  • HelpThing is wiki-editable by any LibraryThing member
  • Members and staff collaborate to create a detailed, but accessible guide to LibraryThing

HelpThing started as a “stealth project” by LibraryThing programmer Chris (ConceptDawg). It took a while before I was convinced of the idea.

While I was ignoring the idea, however, members were busy realizing it, official sanction or no. Most of the content was written by LibraryThing member fyrefly98, with contributions from mvrdrk. A somewhat separate—but integrateable—guide to collections was produced by PortiaLong and Lquilter. These members, and the others who helped them, are simply awesome.

Well, now it’s your turn. From being a non-feature, then a Beta feature, it’s now available for everyone to edit. To bring some structure to it, and because, well, I’m still a little afraid of it, I started a HelpThing Style Guide, and fixed up a few pages.

Come and discuss the feature on the New Features post. Ongoing conversation can be had in the Common Knowledge and WikiThing group.

Three cheers for Chris and everyone who’s worked on it so far. Now let’s make it as helpful and compelling as we can!

Labels: HelpThing, new features


  1. thegreattim says:

    Very nice, well done everyone. I think this will go a long way to helping even veteran members with new features and such.

  2. Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina says:

    I need help for two problems:

    My last review did not show up in my books section.

    My blog doesn't show, and I've tried clicking all the right directions

    Elizabeth Varadan

  3. angkasuwan says:

    now help will be even more helpful

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