AMA with Fairphone?

Hey everyone,

Following this discussion and after reading a thread on the Meta Discourse website I thought that it might be a good idea to do an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on our forum.

I could ask one of our team to sit down and reply to as many messages as possible on a set date and time. It would have to be limited to the expertise of the person doing the AMA. We could have a support person this month, a legal representative next month, then someone from our value chain team etc. etc. etc.

Maybe that can clear many questions people might have and also be a solution that we are not able to follow everything on this forum all the time and thus miss certain questions.

What do you think?


Sounds like an awesome idea! :slight_smile:

While there be a place (here?) to gather some questions before? Maybe we could even rate them - before? I prefer the Slashdot AMA over the reddit style. Mostly because on reddit things tend to “escalate” quickly while Slashdot tends to collect and rate questions before.

Also this will give more time to prepare answers and ask the right experts.

Live is difficult and will often not deliver satisfying results for both parties. For some topics it works well, for others not so much (just have a look at reddit ;)).


Nice one! I’ll have to look into this as I was not aware there is a style difference in Slashdot AMA vs Reddit AMA.

And yes, maybe it is a good idea to gather questions… so we can prepare, have better answers and make the time spend more worthwhile for everyone involved.

But then again; isn’t this entire forum already a place where people gather questions?
And isn’t a live AMA (where we have no idea what will be coming) more fun and spontaneous?
And should we limit the amount of questions per person? Maybe one or two?

Whatever we do, if it proofs to be fun and satisfying for people involved, we’ll do it more often!

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Yes I think that is a good idea, but it seems @fp1_wo_sw_updates doesn’t like it.

Yeah, then maybe we have to vote on questions…

But I think it is fair to ask people to talk to the n-th; meaning that people take an 1/nth part of the time of the amount of people taking part in the discussion.

Yes. But sometimes answers only Fairphone can give are missing. So it would be nice to gather those. I try to find a few patterns and wrote down questions related to these issues. Most people have issues with the (1) support or their (2) phones. Often (2) seems to bring down (1).

I don’t know the reasons, but it would be nice to know them. I don’t want to start a discuss about AMA rules, but the idea of an AMA was normally to get clear answers to best rated questions.

If you read reddit from time to time, you will see that this is not always working. Also reddit tried to push AMAs more to make money rumors say … most of the twitter “wars” and honest and open “AMAs” from celebrities on the net are just plain fake, created by their PR agents. But as said, not really looking to discuss AMAs her, just trying to give some background: Clear answers to best rated questions. No weasel wording.

Not sure how to answer this one, but it doesn’t look like a question, so I guess I don’t have to.

Yes indeed it is nice to gather those and it is also good to learn about other peoples experiences with AMAs: see what works and what doesn’t.

The thread on discourse shows that also the forum software itself has its limitations as it seems with these kind of events.

I just wanted to make sure that people should not expect all pre-gathered questions will also be answered. Some of the ones you asked will involve multiple team members, research and feedback from third parties; an amount of work we can’t deal with at the moment.

Therefore an AMA limited to the expertise of the person giving it, limited to the time we set for it, might limit the quality and depth of answers, but also makes the AMA possible to do in the first place.

I see it more as an open chat for all to join, then a moment where new documentation is written.

Still, I must say some of your questions even tickle my curiosity and I hope that they will get an answer one day.


We now scheduled the AMA for Thursday 11 august from 17 to 19 Amsterdam time

I’d like to propose the following:

  • We do it live (no question gathering, preparing or answering upfront)
  • We ask people to only ask one question (and maybe a clarifying question on the same topic if the answer is unclear or incomplete)
  • We run it for two hours.
  • We limit the questions to the expertise of the person of the AMA (so no Value Chain questions for @anon48893843)
  • The first person will be @anon48893843, our support team leader.

What do you think?


Sounds reasonable and fair, so everyone gets a chance. But I hope there will be a second round possible if there’s still time and questions left, after everyone had his or her turn. :slight_smile:

Btw: i think it is great that it will be in the evening!


I have the feeling that a lot of people will not get their questions answered. But lets just try and complain later. :slight_smile: I agree with @freibadschwimmer, the evening is the right time to do this.

Here is a link to @anon48893843 biography. Thank you for being the first!

Although I think he’s not the right person for this first AMA (he is currently “just” the face of support answering unanswered tickets that show up in the forum as unanswered … often late at night! Thanks for that, btw.). But I’m not sure if he can tell us a lot about the root cause of the support problems? Is this still his expertise? But I guess we will find out. I would have expected the Technical Support Representative to answer the first AMA. But I guess it’s a PR thing, at least it’s someone who is already known in the forum. And he also wrote a blog post about QA related stuff a while ago so he will know about QA. :wink:

Finally, based on the experience of the Fairphone 1, we now have access to our own repair statistics which allow us to make more accurate assumptions and estimates.

One AMA related question: Will “upper management” - people with “Chief/Senior” in the job description get involved in later AMAs as well? They don’t show up here in the Forum that … often. I also would like to discuss much more often with the value/supply chain crew.

Update: Blog entries written by @anon48893843. Maybe this will help asking good questions.

How we are fixing the spare parts supply chain so you can repair your Fairphone
We’re sorry to keep you waiting: an update from Customer Support


Hey, thnx for your (critical) notes. As always :slight_smile:
Of course we never said that root causes will be the topic of the first AMA. The issues at support and the questions people have in regard to their own device seem to be more the focus of this AMA.

I’m sorry if I gave room for that expectation. I can’t recall where I did, but this was never the plan. If this proofs fun and successful I surely hope that we can have more and people from various teams do AMA’s; always answering the questions in the field of their expertise.

Also if you have any other ‘form’ suggestions to make this first AMA a succes; please share :slight_smile:


Let me try a fair answer to these several quotes

Since you start AMA with leader of support team Michiel_S I learned from you that more AMAs may follow if fun is proofed (?). @anon48893843 to be honest , how much fun do you expect personally ? I am not sure what comes out if fun is expected by this. But anyway if he wants it by his own free will and it is not only a company decision for him I will give of course a chance . And I would be really happy if just Michiel would get even a second chance for second AMA. However I have no hope to get through with my question if support questions are at first. Just because for the moment I am lucky not depend on FP support

This would be my proposal: Only those who just painfully need support should ask questions. Let’s see how fast 2 hours pass or time flies. I sacrifice my tries for free to other customers. Because my questions of course aim more to the root of the support problems I am sorry to decline from it . But I am a quiet and fair listener and really curious what happens.

One reason I am so quiet is that I am stunned that just technical representatives and other higher representatives are excluded right away from the start. The selection mentioned here are people from FP with direct or indirect contact to customers or suppliers. So we cannot learn directly much news about the product FP2 itself. Unusual for a revolutionary design after 6 months and so many enthusiastic experts in the audience due to technical design.

I cannot see any critical note from @fp1_wo_sw_updates . Maybe more enthusiasm or even fun was expected.

After 2 weeks and 14 answers here on this topic and me as the only contributor to fp1_wo_sw_updates wiki about it I cannot find many other contributors to your topic. Really, Douwe, I feel sorry about this good idea from FP. Even from the people with no critical notes here I see not much conrtibution. Maybe, like me, they don’t have (m)any questions for Michiel.

I have to say, this sounds rather disappointing to me, maybe because this is not what I understand as an AMA or what I expected.
I would have thought that the idea behind the AMA is to ask “experts” from Fairphone about background details or other, more general things that users are interested, in order to improve communication between the Fairphone team and the community; in order to have dialogue and to exchange information, thoughts, and ideas. So yes, I would have expected something different than talking about individual issues.

Answering questions to problems people have with their own devices rather sounds like the regular task for the support staff. Thus, given this statement, I am afraid this could just become two extra hours of regular duty for Michiel, in his evening time.

Hi anon9505190, I’m not sure where your idea of “exclusion” comes from. Someone has to start, they decided it would be Michiel. Seems reasonable to me, given how many people are concerned about the speed and reliability of the support team right now. For example, I would find it interesting to know if @fp1_wo_sw_updates’ calculation (in another thread, don’t remember where right now) of roughly 50,000 support tasks and 8000/week accomplished is roughly accurate. Or all those questions that keep coming up: how many phones are really DOA? How many are not DOA but have hardware problems? What are the most common hardware problems? How many phones are sent in for repair that could actually have been repaired by the users themselves? Lots of questions that I assume @anon48893843 might be able to shed some light on.

Maybe I missed something, but I don’t see @Douwe stating that other people will be “excluded” from future AMAs. In fact, they’re trying out a new concept and already saying that they might like to continue it if it goes well and is enjoyable for all. Perhaps “fun” is the wrong expectation, more like “helpful”, “informative”, “worthwhile”. And doing one person at a time (for 2 hours! That’s a lot for the person answering questions!) makes sense to me, everything else would be overwhelming. Limiting it to the person’s expertise: perfectly reasonable, what else should they talk about? Guesses about things they don’t really know? No, thank you. Finally, not collecting questions in the forum ahead of time means that even those who are maybe not comfortable posting in the forum could get a chance to ask a question.

I think this is a good idea, I think the parameters they’ve set are reasonable for the first time and I suspect the door isn’t closed on adjusting the form for the future if it turns out not to be conducive to what should be accomplished with an AMA.


I am sorry how you think that I would exclude for the future on FP’s behalf. Maybe you missed how I only answered that Douwe and/or FP never had the plan to do, is sorry giving room for expectations and couldnot recall about it. All in one post.
When I call this exclusion for the first AMA I am not sure why you think I can see into future AMAs. No, you are absolutely right, I am no future teller or even psychic. I am only realistic regarding Douwes present posts here and now.


Just to be clear: @emmy’s response is very accurate and she has phrased it better then I could :slight_smile:

We did not have the plan to go so fundamental into issues this time. But we sure hope that the AMA as a tool turns out to be useful and we can continue with it. This could for sure mean that any other team member and even our CEO can do an AMA in the future.

For now I am happy to hear your ideas on how to make this first trial a success and look forward to your feedback afterwards on what we can improve for the next time.


I was just thinking about the AMA idea and recalled the Facebook chat @paulakreuzer and I did for T-Mobila Austria (Forum link). We were 2 “experts” and two women from the T-Mobile social media team, and it was hard to keep the overview and answer to all questions. And that’s with Facebook’s comment system being slightly better organized than Discourse’s (answers to a question appear directly below the question, no matter when they were asked).

So I have the feeling that Michiel will have a very hard time during the two hours. I’m suggesting a moderator, who deletes questions that don’t follow the rules (questions limit exceeded, has been asked before, etc -> rules would have to be agreed on first).


Maybe you let again too much room for expecations :wink:

There are so many! :slight_smile:

True. A tip from is that the person replying (in this case @anon48893843) should always quote the question in the post with the answer.

Yes, I think I’ll be sitting next to Michiel to help him with this.