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An example of a Q&A gone wrong

By Oz_Media ·
Here's just one example of a Tech Q&a question gone wrong.

Someone is advertising a website that offers FREE MUSIC downloads, it also provides links to Kazaa and a few others.

While THIS person says they are FREE MUSIC downloads, they are actually ILLEGAL music downloads in many countries. The poster has the nerve to offer 1 (ONE) point for what I am not sure. I have reported it to TR for them to take whatever action they choose, as it could result in a liability suit on TR.

none of the artists listed are ons I work with so personally I do't care, but I DO know who manages two of the bands listed and they would not be too pleased to see this guys website.

Why bring this up here?

This is the exact type of issue that a FLAG would be great for. Flaggig this as inapporiate would enable TR to remove it and avoid any repercussions. PLUS, this guy is going to get 1000 points if someone replies (er, which i did DOH!) I hope i get my ONE point, I could really use it

ths is just one xample of where a user could bring a post to Tr's attention and help keep this site operating properly, today is also a great day to get an idea of just HOW MANY PEOPLE think that the Discussion forum isa mroe appropriate place to ask questions than Tech Q&A,

-Help Running Proftpd on FreeBSD 4.9

-3G/GPRS Wireless Card

-Access to MySQL Migration

-Popups from **** on TR

-Half installed SP2

-REMOVABLE DISCS FROM OUTER SPACE

-VPN changes one client won't accept

-Outlook 2003

and th list goes on.


either people are REALY stupid (okay, but not EVERYONE) or they just don't have clear navigation here.

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We've kicked around the idea of moderators

by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to An example of a Q&A gone ...

...members who could lock down threads and prevent others from responding, and maybe get a few other features as well. The thinking was that they could police the "same question ask multiple times" problem by linking to an established answer and then locking the thread after the post.

Apparently, there are other duties moderators could perform, like flagging inappropriate threads. We wouldn't want to give this power to just anybody, as the off-topic stuff tends to get a little personal and I could easily see people flagging threads as inappropriate when someone just can't handle a disagreement.

So, if we don't merge Tech Q&A and Discussions (as has been discussed), would a moderator group be the answer to keeping questions in the Q&A area and discussions in the Discussions area? Could moderators be trusted to politely police that behavior (emphasis on politely)? And what can our navigation do to help that out, especially since developing a moderator authentication system would take a bit of time?

--Jay

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Good questions

by Oz_Media In reply to We've kicked around the i ...

Furstly, moderators. I think in Discussions there is no need for a moderator, too many conflicts of opinion would be influencing it as you had already suggested, I don't know if I would trust anyone here to be unbiased in thier usage of such a privaledge, BUT, Q&A moderation would be okay. Perhaps a Q&a moderator JUSt for sorting Q&A's from discussions would be useful. This person would be responsible for scouring q&a AND Discussions and removing, replacing, SORTING posts as needed, or flagging them for Smorty to handle.

This would also obviously be a position/responsibility that needs compensation as it would require constant monitoring. No not a TR flag or coffee mug, unless you find a semi retired or fully retired person who has nothing better to do.

yu navigation, firstly is misleading, Most sites have discussion forums for EVERYTHING. I think a clearly defined Get Help From Other Users or something similar would be more efctive, Discussions could become topics of interest with an off topic forum something like, shoot th breze with peers or something would e efective.

now I know these are too log for NAV bottons, but possibly a FORUM doorway page instead of the multiple buttons would work if ach forum's urpose was clearly defined. Regular users could just use a MY forums link or bookmark the doorway page for easy access.

i think that linking to several different portions of a forum is hard to do with main navigation links. The forum needs to be split off and then sections accessed and defined through a doorway page. or something similar to segregate and define various sections of the forums.

Food for thought anyhow. :)

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I think the problem here is that most

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Good questions

Other sites do not have a Technical Q & A section just a general posting of questions under various headings. That could be part if not most of the problem here. The above mention of that Question is totally correct and it should be removed ASAP and OZ you naughty little boy now this time you'll have to perform 200 Hail Mary's and 45 Our Fathers and as you leave replace the "Poor Box" that you stole last time you where there!

Col

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Okay - thinking out-loud some more

by maxwell edison In reply to We've kicked around the i ...

.
I'm gonna' pick-on this one guy to use in my examples - not to be mean, but just to provide examples.

Look at this question:

http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6239-0.html?forumID=48&threadID=14**22&start0

If this guy was forced to provide some basic information, a lot of the answers would be unnecessary. In any question, at least depending on the category of the question, perhaps if the person asking had to provide some basic information, it would alleviate a lot of problems.

He must list the operating system he's using.
He must list some basic hardware specifications.
And so on.

But going back to this particular question, it was answer 9 or 10 before XP Professional was mentioned. However, in his comment to answer 9, he said that he never mentioned upgrading to XP Pro, but in his comment to answer 10, he said he reinstalled XP Pro. What is this guy talking about?

Yep, this kind of question should be FORCED to give-up the points.

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Required Information in Questions

by willcomp In reply to Okay - thinking out-loud ...

Max alludes to an interesting point. Is there a good way to require that questioners provide basic information. For example:
OS
CPU
RAM
Manufacturer
Model
Recent hardware/software changes

Blanks or None or Not Applicable would be acceptable where information is not appropriate to question.

I often find myself asking questions in responses to find out needed info.

Just food for thought.

Dalton

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Great suggestion

by sMoRTy71 In reply to Required Information in Q ...

Dalton:
That is a really great suggestion. Seems like that would help eliminate a lot of needless fact finding on the part of the user who is trying to help.

Thanks,
sm

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Is it just me

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Great suggestion

Or is everyone else getting 2 emails for discussions that they have current?

At first I thought I was going mad as I knew that I had read these items previously and then I thought that it was something my end but it is only coming from TR and about 1 minute apart as well.

Is this another of Chas's problems causing the TR severs to duplicate all outgoing notifications?

Col ]:)

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nope

by apotheon In reply to Is it just me

It's not just you.

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Max it isn't a question at all

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Okay - thinking out-loud ...

It is nothing more than a points gathering exercise. The person listed no specs at all other than the error message and even then only half way down the list did he mention that it was an intermittent.

What started out as portrayed as a total failure was altered into an intermittent and after 3 reloads still no cure but surprisingly on another reload everything worked.

Now whats the bet that he was stuffing something up on each and every install?

No hardware list no mention of OS no confirmation of hardware change until pressed and even then we where only told that the vid card had been changed not from what and to what just changed.

Sounds to me like a Assignment question for a first string support guy.

Any YES I agree he doesn't deserve any points but at least there was some form of resolution even though vague as he did list that the problem was cured by a reload.

But more to the point why did so many of the Peers continue posting?

Col

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Okay - another guy

by maxwell edison In reply to We've kicked around the i ...

.
See link:

http://techrepublic.com.com/5048-22-0.html?SearchThis=Paulvs17&nodeIds=all&go=GO&queryType=3&tag=search

Paulvs17@hotmail.com asks "nothing" questions, racking up points, I suppose, by getting the 1000.

Then he passes them onto this guy:

ChrisCox1987@hotmail.com

Paulvs17@hotmail.com even answers his own high-point-value questions:

http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6287-0.html?forumID=39&threadID=160933&start=0&tag=search

http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6287-0.html?forumID=39&threadID=160925&start=0&tag=search

Again, passing them onto this guy:

ChrisCox1987@hotmail.com


In my opinion, those accounts should be sent into La-La Land.

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