Genii Weblog

Where do people go for help with Lotus Notes questions?

Tue 19 Jun 2012, 10:27 AM

by Ben Langhinrichs
I am curious where you think most go for help with Notes questions. Do they still go to the forums, or search blogs, or ask on Twitter/Facebook/Google+, or call a business partner? It used to be somewhat more obvious a few years ago, and I am especially curious about those companies who have let go much of their Notes staff during the past few down years. How do they figure out how and who to ask?

I ask partly because I find more customers who have a need for something with one of our products, but don't seem to have any resources when questions come up about Notes development or even administration. I'm not sure where to direct them, and they don't seem sure where to look. It seems especially hard when it is not an XPages question, as wading through the search results for years of other development leaves a bewildering confusion over what is still a valid answer.

Where do you think people go?  Where should they go?

Copyright 2012 Genii Software Ltd.

What has been said:

1015.1. David Leedy
(06/19/2012 03:32 PM)

For XPages questions they should go to first. Tag - xpages. There is an xpages forum and I'd suggest going there second. Or using that first if it's less a clear cut technical question and something more discussion based.

for other stuff there is a lot of info in the forums, I usually search them individually. There is an admin section on the Stack site. Server fault I THINK... not sure how actively that's monitored though.

1015.2. Keith Brooks
(06/19/2012 03:38 PM)

Interesting question you pose. Those of us in here just know what we seek but others can be daunted by the data available.

I suggest searching forums, google and posting the q to twitter.

They should also search because one of us, bloggers that is, may have posted about their issue.

Also if it is something one of us wrote an article about or a book they should contact the author, usually many ways to find us all.

often times I am met with "we don't trust bloggers" by corp employees and I am always amazed at this attitude. They maybe feel we are just marketing ourselves or companies or products but I point out to them that usually we stick to real issues at hand.

1015.3. Ben Langhinrichs
(06/19/2012 03:46 PM)

David - StackOverflow never used to be much good with Notes questions, but it sounds like at least the XPages stuff is better there. Good to know.

Keith - The problem I run into with customers seems to be that the search model works well for some topics and poorly for others. The forums used to have plenty of people (including me) who would answer all sorts of questions, and while I am thrilled if people search first, it just doesn't seem to work for people not already in the know. They don't know how to phrase a search in Notes terms.

Usually, the problem is with a business that let go or lost its long-term Notes people, and are now scratching their heads about fairly simple questions. I guess I will direct them to the regular forums for non-XPages questions and for XPages questions... after suggesting they search first.

1015.4. Ulrich Krause
(19.06.2012 15:46)

I can only speak for the German community. We have a lot of Lotus Notes and Domino related questions on every day. Aside from a few lonesome cowboys that are playing with LND on their own, the mayority of questions come from developers and admins from small to big companies. Also consultants are asking question.

I myself use stackoverflow, twitter and bleedyellow.

1015.5. JFranchetti
(06/19/2012 03:52 PM)

I still use forums a bit.

I used to leverage sites like Alan Lepopskys or Mary Beth Ravens to learn more (and see more) about the products, but sites like that don't really exist any more.

1015.6. Dave Armstrong
(06/19/2012 05:39 PM)

I just use Google. It will return StackOverflow,, blogs, and any other forum out there.

I don't see any need to focus down to a single site when Google's result aggregate it all together for me.

1015.7. David Schaffer
(06/19/2012 05:42 PM)

I usually start with Google, even if I mostly end up in the forums or the IBM documentation. I post questions directly to the forums. But often there's no substitute for opening a support request with IBM.

1015.8. Ben Langhinrichs
(06/19/2012 10:21 PM)

Thanks, everybody, for the suggestions. Very helpful.

1015.9. Ursus
(06/20/2012 09:24 AM)

Ben, I check google but normally end up at the forum (know its no longer called that :o) - what I am finding is that more and more I am going directly to IBM (we are on a maintenance contract) because my questions seem to be getting to complicated for the forums (or I am just any good at explaining my problems).

Greetings from sunny Austria