Leaving and Coming Back

If you‘re like 80% of us, you’ll most likely realize one day that a whole week had passed and you haven't sent a single answer to a user. Don't panic — that's what volunteering is all about. This manual will help you deal with it.

Going away

You know how it goes: you don‘t have time today, maybe tomorrow. Then tomorrow you don’t have time again. And then after a while you just forget about it, until one day — bang! — you remember. Now that you did remember, there are three things you can do:

  1. Stop by Markus and your local TSF group and say: ‘Hey guys, I’m not going to be around for a while‘. It’s always good to know who's actually with us. OR, since you're here anyway:
  2. If you were away for a few days, take 5 questions and answer them. It won‘t take longer than 5-6 minutes — and it means a lot to those who’ll get the answers. OR
  3. If you were away for a few weeks, see below, then take 5 questions and answer them. You can do it! And it means a lot to the people out there.

Coming back

Sometimes it‘s hard to come back when you’ve been away for a while. Feels like there‘s a ton of things you’ve missed, and you don't quite know where to start. Well, here:

  1. Go to twitter.com/telegram and read all the tweets you‘ve missed. Don’t mind the @replies by Telegram, just read our actual tweets. This way you'll know everything important that happened in the public domain: important updates, blog articles, etc.
  2. Open the TSF Notifications group and read everything that‘s been said there. There won’t be much, since we keep the group free of chatting.
  3. Go to your local TSF group. Don't read the messages you've missed there — there may be thousands of them, and most of them will no longer be relevant. Just say hello to your teammates and ask them if there are any other new things that you should know.
  4. Stick to the BIOS whenever in doubt.

And that's it. Easy! You're ready to answer some questions again.

TIP: It is always a good idea to start by searching for your own #tsfUsernameTag, regardless of how long you've been away for. This way you will always be sure that no users are waiting for you to come back and finish the conversation.

Or not?

Look inside you and ask yourself one thing: ‘Why am I here? Do I want to answer their questions?’ And if the answer is ‘errr, no’. Or ‘well, I’m here to get the latest news about Telegram'. Or ‘ummm, I’m here because I want to beta test the apps'.

If it‘s one of these, let’s be honest about it — just tell Markus. There's no shame in that, really.

Addendum: On bugs and testing

Testing Telegram apps and finding problems is a useful activity. But, unfortunately, this is not what the Telegram Support Force is about. As volunteers, we go deeper. When we see an issue, we create Trello cards and fill them with info, we collect all the necessary details and make sure the developers know, we find users with similar issues to pinpoint problems — and we tell those users that we know about their problem and salvation is at hand.

If you‘re doing all that when you encounter an issue while using the app, you have my sincerest gratitude. But merely writing about bugs in a local TSF group and letting other volunteers do the actual work — I’m afraid, this does not mean being part of the TSF.

So if testing and looking for bugs is what you‘d like to do, it’s either this or this. And I'm glad to have met you, regardless of the option you choose.