Early last week, WooThemes announced that they were shutting down their Twitter support channel. You can read the entire post here, but there were a few quotes in the article that I really liked.

WooThemes Support


And a lot to say. And that pretty quickly, questions get technical and DMs and 140 characters are not ideal facilitators of such things.


Everyone with a smart phone has a soap box.

With our users being of the techie variety most are on Twitter and it’s a space where we frequently get questions about products, potluck inquiries, reports of glitches, panicked alerts about problems, shout-outs, suggestions et al. It’s a mixed bag!

And finally:

But after letting @WooSupport run for a while realised what it was actually doing was creating an expectation that we never intended to meet which was that we were able to actually give support over Twitter.

The article also goes on to discuss interesting things such as how support requests are unique, individual problems are unique, and managing support via Twitter versus a dedicated ticket (like in ZenDesk) can be problematic.

Props to them for doing this.

But this raises the question:

Is there anything that we, as developers, designers, and business owners can learn from this on a personal level?

Obviously, I can only speak for myself, but I think so.

The Importance of Focus

In reading this, I also took some time to think about the processes that I have in place both for Pressware and for myself and thought it might be worth sharing if for no other reason than to hear how you all also handle similar situations.

When I go heads down on something, I want to make sure that I’m 100% focused one exactly what I’m working on. This means that I’ll be closing Airmail, TweetBot, Slack, any everything except notifications (since there are times where family texts me that I don’t want to ignore). In fairness, I don’t always close email since that’s how clients get in touch with us, but you get the idea.

Ultimately, the goal is to silo myself off from everything that’s distracting me from, or that’s not contributing to completing whatever task is at hand as it’s the number one priority.

And I see support, general questions, blog comments, and so on in a similar way. I want to channel every question and comment into a single funnel through which I can respond in batches when I have the time. This one thing has been a major component in helping me really zero in on the importance of focus.

I don’t want to have to have things scattered throughout social media, chat rooms, email, and more. It creates this disparate experience no only for me but for everyone else involved, as well. How are we supposed to efficiently organize all of these inputs when they’re coming in at different rates through different channels?

I’d rather have a single place that I can get to and then process the information as fast as I can, when I can.

Naturally, we all work differently so whatever methodologies you find that work for you are the ones that you need to be using, but don’t hesitate to experiment with alternatives that may increase your productivity.

For a while, I was trying a number of different programs and methodologies in order to get things done before I really settled into what I’m using right now. Even still, I’m not opposed to trying something new to see if it helps streamline what I’m doing on a daily basis.

I think the same goes just as much at a small business level as it does at a personal level.