So, you got yourself a shiny new Chromebook. Maybe it’s your first Chrome OS device or perhaps you’ve been around since the days of the CR-48. Either way, congratulations. Whether you’re a novice or Chrome OS is as familiar as the back of your hand, sometimes you just need a little help.
Chrome OS is by no means in its infancy. But, relative to other operating systems, online resources can be difficult to find when you’ve hit a snag with your device. It’s not that there aren’t any websites out there with the information you’re looking for, only that sometimes finding said data can be frustrating to find. Even then, what’s a trusted source of information?
Here at Chrome Unboxed we are striving to create a space for everything Chrome and it is our sincere hope that we can become a trusted companion in your Chrome OS experience. But, we will be the first to admit we are far from knowing it all. The good news is there is a place you can find a wealth of knowledge about Chrome OS from a trustworthy source that is endorsed by Google themselves.
Google has a very unique approach to assisting consumers with its wide array of products and services. While customer service is available from Google for many scenarios, the search giant has created a first line of aid that comes in the form of the Google Product Forum (GPF). Many people may not even know these forums exist. Admittedly, before pursuing a career as a tech writer, the forums were alien to me. It’s not that they’re hard to find. But, unless you knew to look for them the forums aren’t exactly something Google advertises. There are forums for most every product Google offers from Gmail to Project Fi and yes, even Chromebooks.
This is what makes the product forums so unique from most support systems out there on the web. I’m sure many of you have stumbled upon a forum while looking for answers to whatever conundrum presented itself at a given point in time. If you’ve ever wandered into an unknown public venue I can bet you have ran across some unsavory discussions, off-the-wall content or advertising Hades that can be public forums. Many times users may even reach out for assistance only to find themselves being berated for asking “stupid questions.”
The beauty of the Google forums are that they are made up of volunteers who, at some point, were just like many of you; users looking for answers. In there forums anyone can reply to a question and offer assistance to other users. The threads are moderated and inappropriate banter is filtered to keep the forum on task and family friendly. Volunteers who interact on a regular basis are often invited to be a part of what Google refers to as the Top Contributor Program.
As a Top Contributor, Google recognizes a user as someone who is considered somewhat of an expert in whatever area you contribute. This means they are a consistent presence in the forum and offer assistance that is accurate and in a manner that follows the Google mantra of “Do the right thing.”
Last year I had the honor of being asked to join the forums “rising star” program which is the first step in becoming a Top Contributor. I can honestly say, it has added a new dimension to my affinity for Chrome OS and connected me with some incredible people from all around the world. If you’re in the forum and you see a Top Contributor or Rising Star badge you can be assured that person is there to help in any way they can.
As I said before, the contributors are volunteers.
Just Like You
We are users just like you. We run into issues. We get frustrated. We know what it’s like to need help and not know where to find it or who to ask. Google doesn’t pay any of these guys or gals. They do it because they’ve been there and they want to help. I talk to a lot of the TC’s and RS’s(rising stars) on a daily basis and they are all incredible people. They come from all walks of life. From budding high school prodigies to old school techies from way back, you won’t find a better group of people than those in the Chromebook Central help forum.
All of this to say, I wrote this for two reasons. One, to point you to a place where you can find answers to practically any Chrome OS question that you may encounter. Two, and most importantly, to give credit to this group of stellar individuals who devote a large portion of their time to help anyone who comes their way.
So, if you’re looking for some help or maybe you’d like to contribute, you can find the Chromebook Central help forum at the link below. Stop in and say hello. We’d love to meet you. I do ask, if you are having trouble, remember this is a community of volunteers. We don’t work for Google. We just want to help as best we can. I can promise you, if you have a legitimate issue that can’t be resolved in the forum, we’ll get you in contact with the right people to assist you. Be kind and stay Chrome.
Special thanks to my good friends Denny L., Tickmc, and Joe(Jessica) for the great photos.
*Disclaimer- Cover Photo is the Chromebook of an actual Rising Star from the Chromebook Central Help forum. We cannot guarantee that your inquiry will be handled by Prin, the cat. She has a busy schedule. 🙂