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Re: support v. support (was Re: Get Support link?)

2008/4/13 Karsten 'quaid' Wade <kwade redhat com>:
> (Moving this portion from f-docs-l as something I've been meaning to
>  talk about in a marketing context ...)
>  On Mon, 2008-04-07 at 13:52 -0400, Paul W. Frields wrote:
>  > The word "support" is unfortunately loaded with meanings we may not
>  > intend
>  As are many other words ... and yet we get along OK with that.  What
>  makes 'support' so bad?

I use the word "maintain" to be the same as "support".  I'm very
careful to do this in Bugzilla and other places.

>  "Don't call it support."  This has been a mantra in Fedora for some
>  time.  Despite that, people still refer to 'support'.  Our closest
>  right-thinking has been to call it 'community support'.

Hmm, maybe something like "maintained by the community"?

>  Later in the above email, Paul suggests 'help' is an appropriate word,
>  and I tend to agree.  However, people still say 'support/supported',
>  especially where 'help' doesn't work:

Hmm, help may also have negative connotations that someone is
*required* to "help" you.  It is a lot better than "support", though,
and for contexts like that, I can't say I have a better suggestion.

Of course there are always going to be cases where the word "support"
is appropriate.  For example, "is the whizbang video card 9gazillion
XTI helped by Fedora" makes absolutely no sense.  Replace that was
"supported" and everyone know you're asking "does it work?"

>  We can continue to worry about the word support or not.  The question I
>  keep asking myself is, "Would it change the expectation of people
>  requesting help if they understood from the beginning that there is no
>  commercial support relationship?"
>  I expect that it does not change people's expectations.  Folks who think
>  they deserve 'support' are going to feel that regardless.

Now that I think about it in this context, you're probably right.
There is no way that a reasonable person is going to believe that
something that they obtained without cost comes with any sort of
commercial support obligation, and we can't cater to those that are
unreasonable - that doesn't make good "business" sense.

That's obviously not to say that everyone has obtained Fedora without
cost - for some, it comes as a DVD in a book that they bought.  For
others, there's a nominal distribution fee charged for duplication,
etc (like by DVD vendors).  We probably need to find some way to
differentiate these vendors from Fedora itself, but again, to
reasonable people, I think that the distinction is clear already, and
it makes no sense to cater to unreasonable people.

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