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  • #2276342

    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 :p

    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 hell on TR

    -Half installed SP2


    -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.

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3313582

      We’ve kicked around the idea of moderators

      by Jay Garmon ·

      In reply to An example of a Q&A gone wrong

      …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?


      • #3313577

        Good questions

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to We’ve kicked around the idea of moderators

        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. 🙂

        • #3313410

          I think the problem here is that most

          by hal 9000 ·

          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!


      • #3313571

        Okay – thinking out-loud some more

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to We’ve kicked around the idea of moderators

        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:

        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.

        • #3313545

          Required Information in Questions

          by willcomp ·

          In reply to Okay – thinking out-loud some more

          Max alludes to an interesting point. Is there a good way to require that questioners provide basic information. For example:
          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.


        • #3313358

          Great suggestion

          by smorty71 ·

          In reply to Required Information in Questions

          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.


        • #3335365

          Is it just me

          by hal 9000 ·

          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 ]:)

        • #3335362


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Is it just me

          It’s not just you.

        • #3313406

          Max it isn’t a question at all

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Okay – thinking out-loud some more

          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?


      • #3313560

        Okay – another guy

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to We’ve kicked around the idea of moderators

        See link: asks “nothing” questions, racking up points, I suppose, by getting the 1000.

        Then he passes them onto this guy: even answers his own high-point-value questions:

        Again, passing them onto this guy:

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

        • #3313555

          Amen Brother

          by willcomp ·

          In reply to Okay – another guy

          We don’t need this type of crap to contend with.


        • #3313541

          I’ll second that NIX the guy

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Okay – another guy

          He is promoting some BS ilegal website with 1 point.

          I answered twice just to watch how the question was closed and yes he is just a points abuser.

          I hae emailed TR and it has been acknowledged so I guess it’s up to them now.

          This is another good scenario for a Tech Q&A moderator to ensure questions are legit and posted in the correct places.
          Seems we are talkig of two people with similar issues, probably one and the same again.

          How can someone think they are being clever when it is so obviously just a scam to get points, for what I don’t know.

        • #3313403

          Oz most likely it is the same person with different

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to I’ll second that NIX the guy

          Aliases who just wants to see that “Gold” surround around his points value.

          Another big headed fool who is only interested in looking far better than he actually is. Most likely either a IT student who wants to show everyone he knows it all or someone who has just finished and is either looking for a job or just landed one and just wants to show off. We already know that he/she knows it all and can learn nothing new.

          But I loved the guy who answered his own question now that is a real scam if ever I saw one and the answer didn’t even make any sense.


        • #3313401

          I totally agree Max

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Okay – another guy

          This type of thing needs jumping on from great heights forcefully.

          What I can not believe was that guy who had posted something like 40 + questions within 3 days.

          Cut him out of the loop.


    • #3313579

      This kind really torques my #$%@^&

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to An example of a Q&A gone wrong

      • #3313576

        Actually – a question like this

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to This kind really torques my #$%@^&

        Perhaps a “pending” option for Q&A questions that are unresolved or unclear, and often times one goes with the other. In the question I ranted about, for example, the guy is obviously having a problem (unless he’s just stupid or jacking people around). It could be a BIOS issue, a motherboard issue, an operating system issue, or who knows what else.

        To give a suggestion – REJECTED……and another suggestion – REJECTED……..and another suggestion – REJECTED…… a bunch of nonsense.

        In one of that guy’s questions, TheChas posted several answers – all to be rejected – in a continuing dialogue.

        How about a “this guy is stupid” flag? (just kidding – just ranting)

        But seriously, some kind of pending option might be worthy of consideration. Or, thinking out-loud, as in the case with TheChas in the example I mentioned, let the guy who’s posting the question pass a “point of no return”, where he HAS TO award points to a member (or members) who offers help, even if the problem goes unresolved?

        • #3313398

          Max what he requires is not an answer but

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Actually – a question like this

          For either you or Chas to go around there and lead him by the nose to the correct outcome. I particular liked the answer from him that he had got the correct answer from another site but he didn’t list it here.

          I’m guessing that either your or Chas’s was the right one and he just made a mess of things even the last answer which was rejected was perfectly correct but I just loved the bit about the friend with the same hardware going overseas so he went back to an 800 MHZ. Maybe I’m getting as silly as you by not understanding this either.

          Either way Chas you and myself need a holiday from this type of crap. That was so basic as to not needing a answer for anyone with any modicum of knowledge of PC’s.


      • #3313573

        Yeah I know Max

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to This kind really torques my #$%@^&

        But what can you do? I had a similar problem recently (with th secific HD issue) and it turned out to be a faulty controller, Flashing Bios and all the jumper, ribbon swaps didn’t help out.

        That is only one particular case though and I can see exactly whay your beef is.

        In my case I have asked several questions that were either answered off-line or resolved by myself after some fiddling, none of the answers in Q&A worked BUT, I always allocate the points to all constructive answers in such a case. they just give me more info for my mental toolbox and I have no problem awarding points as a THANK YOU when peope respond with logical answers, whether they work in MY case or not. I know, I am perfect but not everyone else is. :p

        It’s only fair and even then it’s completely meaningless as points are worth….well…points at this ‘point’ in time.

        Anyway, as Jay was saying, they are looking at the possibility of brig on a moderator, which I think may be a good idea for Tech Q&A but not discussions. I suggest having that person be able to remove (or flag for removal) questions posted in discussions and in a case such as yours, they could contact the poster and redirect to either past answers or something.

        I think in this particular case, and even taking into consideration the persons past reluctance to dish out his valuable points, the poster seems unable to resolve the issue through online help. Most of us can respond to simple prompts and apply them, others are lost without a step by step walkthrough until it works.

        People at that point should be notified of alternate support options, paid support in thier area etc. as they are obviously unable to follow basic hardware testing guidlines.

        In all honesty though Max, his problem could be may things outside of the TR support realm. he had problems before swapping these drives out/in and is not able to get around these issues, I would say he needs his mobo checked out or an onsite tech to see what the issue is, usually these pople list symptoms and problems wrong anyway.

        Then again, if they (jumpers) were set to cable select in his friends computer he WILL need to reset the jumpers as he constantly asks, in which case it is obviously over his head.

        Just throw your hands in the air and shake your head. I won’t bother responding to it though.

      • #3313393

        Max things like this are your fault!

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to This kind really torques my #$%@^&

        They see the points after your name so they just have to go one better.

        After all if they can show a greater points value than you they must know more right?

        Sorry I’m being sarcastic again but that person with 40 + questions in 3 days just blew my mind obviously they have nothing better to do.


    • #3311684

      A Terrible Q&A Idea

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to An example of a Q&A gone wrong

      Okay, I’ll say it. I think that the idea you guys had to actually award someone 1000 points to rate and close a question backfired.

      That’s a terrible system; it invites abuse; it inundates the forum with stupid, meaningless, and silly questions; and it gives the person with the problem more credit than the person who solved the problem.

      An analogy:

      Sure, I’ll pay the plumber $100 if all I have to do is fill out this survey and get paid $1,000 for doing it – even if I have to break my own pipes. In fact, if I fill out the survey the right way, I get the $1,000 and don’t even have to pay the stupid plumber the $100.

    • #3311667

      Possible Q&A Rules

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to An example of a Q&A gone wrong

      1. Assign a point value to a question.

      2. The asker of the question must provide some basic information such as:

      A. Operating System.
      B. Processor
      C. RAM
      D. Networked or Stand-Alone
      E. Etc.
      F. Other

      Note: I don’t know or Not Applicable could certainly be acceptable

      3. If you close a question without rating the answers, you lose the points. The “lost” points go:

      A. Into la-la land never to be seen again.
      B. Divided between all who posted an answer.
      C. To a moderator to decide how to assign them – possibly even giving them back to the person who asked and closed the question.
      D. Other

      4. If you close a question without accepting an answer, but rejecting all answers:

      A. You MUST provide an explanation in the remarks section of every answer or it won’t let you close it.
      B. The question goes to a moderator to decide the merits of the answers, and the moderator decides what to do.
      C. Other

      5. If a question remains open for 30 days:

      A. An email is sent to the person who opened the question asking him/her to address it.
      B. It gets “recycled”, and appears at the top of the most recent list along with the new questions.
      C. Other

      6. If a question goes without ANY activity for 60 days:

      A. It auto-closes, and all points are divided equally between all who posted an answer. (See Note)
      B. The question goes to a moderator to decide the merits of the answers, and the moderator decides what to do.
      C. Other

      Note: Before a question auto-closes, it goes to a moderator to eliminate points being assigned to the nonsense answers posted just to get some points.

      Okay, that’s enough for now.

      • #3311594


        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Possible Q&A Rules

        Yes Max, you are bang on with this one.
        I didn’t believe it when TR started awarding mre points to people with problems than those who help them. What an opportunity for abuse!

        I think any unclosed questions should be split between all respondents as well as anyone not awarding points must explain why and if not, points are split between all respondents.

        This is an area that needs close attention, the ‘bread and butter’ of TR, so to speak.

    • #3311652
      • #3311593


        by oz_media ·

        In reply to These accounts should be cancelled

        Don’t post my name Max. 😀

        That would be too easy, huh?

      • #3311581

        Another One

        by willcomp ·

        In reply to These accounts should be cancelled


        You chastised the questioner pretty well in this question, but probably not well enough.

        This is, I believe, an example of someone who’s jerking us around and wasting our time. These type questions gripe my rear end more than any other type.

        Haven’t had to tap on a drive since stepper motor days. Stuck heads should not prevent drive from being recognized by BIOS.

        This obviously is a smart a** jerking us around.

        These types need to be booted out. I really try to help those that need it and are sincere, but these jerks make my rear end want to eat barbed wire.

        Getting rid of rogue posters will require some type of verification or they’ll just sign up again with a bogus e-mail address.


      • #3291247

        Mail Fraud

        by bfilmfan ·

        In reply to These accounts should be cancelled

        I am tempted to send him the card and then when he doesn’t deliver, let my friends over there at the FBI introduce him to the concept of 10-20 for mail fraud.

        I agree that poster is a total annoyance. Worse than the never raters!

        • #3291149

          That is more effort that what it is worth

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Mail Fraud

          This form of blatant commercialism is another attempt to ruin the site here for all of us by a few who see a possible short term gain.

          It would be far easier to just remove them rather than going to all the trouble of falling victim to the fraud that they are attempting to mount.

          I only hope that the people here have enough smarts not to fall for this rubbish and I do mean the newbies as if they where to fall victim to this they would have an adverse opinion of TR all together.


    • #3311643

      To verify a valid email address

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to An example of a Q&A gone wrong

      I know that I’m a “privacy” advocate, but a person can maintain privacy (and/or anonymity) and still have a valid email address – and one that can be verified as valid. Heck, my Yahoo email account ( )is valid, but I can still maintain my anonymity. But the account should be denied if the valid email address can’t be verified. And it would be easy to do.

      A person signs up for a TR membership and must provide a valid email address, just like it states now. However, you don’t verify that the email address is valid. All you would have to do is send some computer generated password to that email address that the new member would have to cut and paste into a “welcome new member” screen before the account is activated.

      The way it is now, I could create an account using a bogus email address such as:

      There ya go. People with way too much time on their hands create a dozen or so of those bogus TR memberships with those bogus email accounts and run amok with nonsense and abuse.

      Just have a system where ONE member must have ONE real email address, or it’s no membership. And no ONE email address could create more than ONE membership. Sure, a person could open a dozen Yahoo or Hotmail accounts, but that’s a pain – and much harder than just making them up.

      (Gee, I am on a soapbox today, aren’t I?)

      • #3311628

        Max I was only joking when I said it was your fault

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to To verify a valid email address

        But I whole heartily agree with you on this one the T Q & A section is out of control and is being abused by some to the cost of us all.

        The questions that are blatantly abuse should be stopped and the points not awarded as it is obvious that these are nothing more than a points gathering exercise. While I’m not at all sure why as really TR points are only a number and allow you to list a question with a large point value otherwise they serve little purpose.

        As far as a valid e-mail address goes the normal way now is to register an account and then the web site auto generates an e-mail that gives you a URL to click onto to activate the account. Originally this was brought into existence for anti spam purposes but it would work just as well for new members and maybe limit some Legal Exposure to TR as well.


        • #3311574

          Took the words right out of my mouth

          by Jay Garmon ·

          In reply to Max I was only joking when I said it was your fault

          We actually use this system–officially known as Closed Loop Confirmation–to verify newsletter signups (as required by the Can Spam Act). I’ll have to talk to engineering, but it would probably be feasible to extend the process to forum membership.

          (And, just as a bit of trivia, most of us who get drafted into QA duty around here have to maintain multiple Hotmail/Yahoo accounts so we can test features at multiple settings. And yes, it is a pain in the butt.)

          As to tossing out abusive posters, most of the names you’ve mentioned have been on our radar for a little while, since we started auditing activity levels as part of this project. Points-rigging will almost certainly lead to us revoking these guys’ memberships.

          However, I don’t see a really viable way to guard against idiotic posts, other than to simply refuse to answer them. That’s a pretty sticky gray area and, quite frankly, one that would be difficult to objectively enforce.

          As to the subject of awarding question askers points, that’s not a practice that is really of any value to us anymore, either. We have no reason to “chum for pageviews” by getting people to post for the sake of posting. It just dilutes the forum, so I doubt that will rear its ugly head again.


        • #3302972

          OT: initials

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Max I was only joking when I said it was your fault

          When you say “T Q & A” like that, I always think “T & A”.

          just thought I’d mention . . .

        • #3302818

          So do I

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to OT: initials

          That’s why I like T Q&A so much!

        • #3302111

          bumper sticker

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to So do I

          “Powered By T Q & A”

          I’d use that. I’d also enjoy the quizzical looks as people tried to figure out what Q stood for, thinking they already knew what T & A stood for.

    • #3302976

      by the way . . .

      by apotheon ·

      In reply to An example of a Q&A gone wrong

      I, for one, seem to be incapable of posting a question to Tech Q&A, because I don’t have any TechPoints. If I had a tech question to ask, I wouldn’t be able to post it anywhere but in the discussion areas. In fact, I have NEVER had any TechPoints.

      I’m sure it’s not just stupidity that prompts people to post their questions outside of the Tech Q&A area.

      • #3302909

        You should have gotten 500…

        by Jay Garmon ·

        In reply to by the way . . .

        …just for joining. If that didn’t happen, we need to get that little bug fixed right away. In the mean time, if it wouldn’t offend you ethical sensibilities, I can post a gimme question worth 1000 points or so, let you answer it, and send you on your way.

        Let me know if you want the gift before I can get the signup grant issue worked out.


        • #3302904

          Here’s 1000 points up for grabs

          by house ·

          In reply to You should have gotten 500…

          Actually, if he knows a few links regarding graphics engines, video drivers, and direct x, I have a question titled “Video rendering resource sites” in the programming area…no game developpers here though?!?!

          I had been planning on leaving a few links of my own, when I had time to do a bit of searching anyways.

          Even if the answer is remotely related, I will give out the points….even if it is just “asdf”…somebody please talk to me.


        • #3302817

          Dude your just golden

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Here’s 1000 points up for grabs

          What can I say? Just giving away points as if they have no meaning…..actually, hang-on a minute. THEY DON’T HAVE ANY MEANING!!

          Wanna have some fun? I’ll peer mail you if that’s okay.

        • #3302094

          Actually – a selfish motive

          by house ·

          In reply to Dude your just golden

          It is actually a selfish motive. I only posted one other question, and closed it due to inactivity. I left a couple of rejection notices – only to leave a comment – and then realized how it affects others.

          I need the ability to clear my tarnished record – plus, I don’t need 1000 points on top of the other 1000 points for closing. Know what I mean? Nobody has left a single comment on my question and all I want are a couple of resource sites regarding Graphics Engines and dxdiag tweaks.



        • #3302112


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to You should have gotten 500…

          While I appreciate the offer, I think I’d rather not. Heh. If it’s just redressing an issue of me not having points I should have had by default, I don’t see an ethical issue with it, but I’d rather avoid even the possibility of the appearance of impropriety. One never knows when one’s integrity might be called into question, and I wouldn’t want to be easily pointed at as getting unfair considerations.

          Besides, if this happened to me, it must certainly have happened to others as well. If they have to live with it until a proper fix is provided, I guess I can too. Heh.

          Again, thanks for the offer. I’ll go with “no thanks” for now, if you don’t mind, though.

    • #3301930

      This guy almost got the idea of Q&A

      by house ·

      In reply to An example of a Q&A gone wrong

      Another example of Q&A gone wrong. At least this guy left feedback each time and posted his final solution.

      I feel bad for ‘rewrite’ though. Why did he even bother wasting his time?


      • #3301912

        I don’t get it

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to This guy almost got the idea of Q&A

        The guy changed point values 10 times, usually to increase points for better responses, more work needed tec. But the question sits at 161 points???

      • #3301892

        holy frijoles

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to This guy almost got the idea of Q&A

        ReWrite got hosed. That schmuck should be beaten severely about the head and neck with a stout oaken staff for that. ReWrite was “rode hard and put away wet”.

        . . . and much of this could have been avoided if “” knew how to ask a friggin’ question properly.

      • #3301885

        He’s on my “Do Not Answer” List

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to This guy almost got the idea of Q&A


        This is a guy not worth spending any time on. He may be jacking people around, or else he’s just down-right rude or ignorant.

        • #3301879


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to He’s on my “Do Not Answer” List

          Somehow, I didn’t notice that was the same guy until now. Yes, he’s DEFINITELY jerking people around.

          He’s on my “ignore” list, too, methinks.

        • #3303670

          How about an “enemies list”

          by Jay Garmon ·

          In reply to oofda

          Not to come off as all Nixonian here, but what if you could add offending members to a personal “ignore” list, so their questions wouldn’t appear to you. We could also track how many times a given user appears on “ignore” lists, and hand out demerit badges based on how cheesed off the community is at a given individual. Granted, this could get ugly fast, but if the threshold is tuned properly, it would be a great “market transparency” aid.

        • #3303569

          I agree in Tech Q&A

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to How about an “enemies list”

          But doing so in Discussions would be abused, it would be too easy for people to demote your ranking if they simply didn’t like what you had to say. A discussion should be a fairly free two way conversation without pepople walking on eggshells thinking that they will be demoted for not saying what people want to hear.

          I am confident that it would be detrimental to Discussions but would work in Tech Q&A.

          Then again, just as always, what’s to stop someone being flagged as a jerk in Q&A and then coming back as a newbie with a valid queston under a different alias?

        • #3303542

          Makes Them Work a Little

          by willcomp ·

          In reply to I agree in Tech Q&A

          If more rigorous registration is implemented, at least they would have expend a little effort to get back in.

        • #3303527

          I think that’s TR’s biggest issue

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Makes Them Work a Little

          There is a fine line between quality and quantity.
          While TR is focused on building a community of repeat visitors and participants, they also need to take into acocunt the revenue stream and volume of users. By simplifying registration, they are making it easier fo rthe lazy surfer to post garbage but also generating more visits.

          While doing this though they are running the risk of losing repeat visitors and peoeple who actually form the comunities here.

          So it’s six of one and a half dozen of another.

          As a regular member, I obviously want to see them lock the place down and get rid of time wasters altogether. Then they would be looking at a pay membership site though so that wouldn’t work. Just need to find the comfortable medium somehow, trial and error sounds good to me. 🙂

        • #3303944


          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to I agree in Tech Q&A

          Q&A yes, discussions no.

        • #3303541

          Good Idea

          by willcomp ·

          In reply to How about an “enemies list”

          Sounds like a good idea to me. Agree with Oz though that it should apply to Q&A only.

        • #3303958

          Great plan, but…

          by house ·

          In reply to How about an “enemies list”

          Great plan, but I would still like the ability to view their questions. I don’t think I would block out any questions, but I would like to able to flag bad behavior.

          I actually don’t mind answering a question for a known offender. It reinforces my knowledge and fills in any gaps regarding different topics. The only thing that ticks me off is, after the fact, nobody knows the solution or whether or not your input helped. The question itself, and the responses as well, hold valuable information – even if it wasn’t closed properly.


        • #3303945

          I like the idea

          by maxwell edison ·

          In reply to How about an “enemies list”

          Whether or not it falls into a “moderator” role, it wouldn’t take much for one of you guys to look at various Q&As to determine it it’s worthy of TR’s silver hammer. If a particular alias gets an inordinate number of “complaints” or “ignores”, then it kicks in a red flag for one of the TR guys to review the activity. So in the end, you decide, not other members who just might want to get even or something.

          And I think publishing the information would be good as well. It would tell people that they may be dealing with someone who’s just wasting his or her time, and it might even have an affect on the activity of the offending member. An “accept” rating, or something similar. If a member has a habit of accepting all, or almost all answers (as some do) he/she could be given an 80, 90 100 percent “gratitude” rating, compared to someone with ZERO, 10 percent, etc.

        • #3303924


          by house ·

          In reply to I like the idea

          I like the idea of an automated positive vs negative feedback percentage that would flag certain users. Not many rude people get past our eyes though – even with the current system.

          This could also have a negative affect – regarding a positive response that may not actually hold merit.


        • #3325990

          Earn the Demerit

          by bfilmfan ·

          In reply to How about an “enemies list”

          Being raised by Marines (and yes that does indeed explain a great deal about me), I like the ideas of demerits.

          I also think the system should hand them out when someone simply uses the answers and never bothers to rate of comment. I don’t mind the “Thanks, but didn’t help” rejection notice, but I do think the system should automatically flag a question that has been open and has been answered. If the person doesn’t close it when say 30 days, they earn point loss and demerits.

        • #3325957

          I like the idea

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Earn the Demerit

          Currently I sick and tired of looking in the open Questions only to find that they have been closed before I can even open them and there are no solutions poster to explain how they cured the problem or not.


        • #3325948

          Love the idea, but…

          by house ·

          In reply to Earn the Demerit

          such offenders aren’t going to care one way or another. I’ve been too busy lately to check the open TQ&A, but I imagine that my points have not gone anywhere – with an 80% “not rated” average.

        • #3301853

          This Turkey was Identified Previously

          by willcomp ·

          In reply to He’s on my “Do Not Answer” List

          I referenced the same question in a previous post (See “Another One” earlier in thread). Too bad ReWrite isn’t an insider, might have saved himself some time and grief.

          TR must devise a method to remove these a**holes so we don’t waste our time.


        • #3303792

          Turkey awarded some points

          by house ·

          In reply to This Turkey was Identified Previously

          Would you believe, that “turkey” actually awarded some points to ‘rewrite’. He thanked him and raised the amount of points to 200. What a croc. For the amount of effort that rewrite put in, I’d have sent him a freakin’ money order.

          This is just another fine example of the fact that the Q&A needs to be transformed into a posted discussion style layout… or at least have THE THIRD AND MORE POLITE way of leaving a response under the answer without rejecting or accepting the answer.


        • #3303780


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Turkey awarded some points

          I think the title of my post says it all. I agree.

        • #3303664

          Actually, he is…

          by Jay Garmon ·

          In reply to This Turkey was Identified Previously

          …an Insider, Rewrite simply hasn’t participated (yet).

        • #3303776

          At least he left a solution

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to He’s on my “Do Not Answer” List

          But the Read Write Heads where stuck on the platters just how long was it since that drive had been used?

          How many people would have thought of that one or for that matter even seen something like that happen previously?


        • #3303599

          Maxwell’s Silver Hammer

          by bfilmfan ·

          In reply to At least he left a solution

          i was actually thinking that was the resolution to the issues with this user period. A lil tap on the noggin with hard disk fixin’ hammer!

        • #3303543

          Yes that would work

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Maxwell’s Silver Hammer

          But then he would get what he wants. He really doesn’t want an answer but someone to go over to him and fix up his messes.

          He doesn’t really ask questions in the conventional sense of the word but asks for solutions to his problems and unless they fix his exact problem he rejects them as to me it appears that he doesn’t want to expend any “Brain Power” in sough-ting out what he has created just a quick fix.


        • #3303950

          Someone to fix up the mess

          by house ·

          In reply to Yes that would work

          Ok, this is a little bit off topic…

          I noticed something you said about the users wanting you to go over and fix the mess for them. I have to deal with this every-single-day. Right now, one of my jobs is to troubleshoot “internet connectivity”. I don’t mind going the extra mile to help them set up their cheap routers, hubs, switches, VoIP gateways, etc. I run into problems where people think that it is my job to be their network admin. They cry about “too many wires” and other things that are beyond my control and not really in my job description.

          Don’t take that “job description” comment the wrong way… the thing is, we don’t offer that level of support because the phone is ringing off the hook all day. When we start getting into home networks, people tend to lie about their setup just to sabotage my effort towards a help desk resolution. Some people honestly can’t be bothered – they demand that one of us goes over there to physically fix their problem. Once again, “internet connectivity” is the key word here. We do however, offer subnetting and internal network support to our commercial clients – but “they pay” for that level of support.


          We even receive the fallout from other ISP’s. If they have their internet with a separate company, and the other people find out that they have one of our VoIP gateways, the internet provider refuses to help them. The device acts as a router, so there is no reason for their ISP to deny them service. We end up helping them with their internet connection because we are just that nice.

          We have to bounce the user back and forth to clear the host, retrieve DNS numbers, etc. This makes everyone look bad on both sides. Just today, I had to walkthrough the “Winsock” fix to get a 98 machine back online. They don’t even have our internet service… meanwhile, our customers are calling non-stop, staying on the line, and listening to crappy music that instills rage and frustration.

          Ps – the same bickering is posted here


        • #3303878

          Yes it is a dilemma isn’t it?

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Someone to fix up the mess

          The biggest problems that I run into is when I”m called in to fix up someones else mess.

          I have a recurring nightmare of a new client where I was called in to fit a DVD Drive only to find that they had spent a large amount of money and got substandard hardware and even worse service. The network leads where hanging out of the walls without any faceplate’s, there was no network actually setup all that they where doing was e-mailing files to each other and the worst part of the whole thing was the Internet connection which consisted of an ADSL modem connected to a hub.

          At least all of the computers had XP Pro loaded but no other software other than what came with the hardware and there was no security at all. I was actually asked to fix the spell checker in their Word Processor which turned out to be nothing more than Windows Notepad.

          The company who where responsible for installing the whole system had just walked out 10 weeks previously half way through the day just saying “I’ll be back!” After not hearing from them for 10 weeks they where fairly desperate and not at all happy. They seemed to be under the impression that everyone in the IT business was only interested in taking their money without any service.

          It took me 4 weeks to fix up the mess and supply/install the required software and then another 3 days to do the same thing at the CEO’s home as he had a VPN into the business network with exactly the same setup as at the business.

          On the day that I finally finished the person who was supposed to setup the network walked back in and couldn’t understand just why they had called in someone else and it got even worse when he realized that I had supplied software as he took the opinion that I was stealing from him and his business as he could and should have supplied the software in the first place.

          I also couldn’t charge the correct amount owing to just what had happened the whole mess was a loose loose situation for everyone involved except the original supplier who made a killing and didn’t have the decency to even ring up to tell them he would be delayed. What should have been a 15 minute job turned out to take the best part of 5 weeks work.

          When I run across companies who act like this I get slightly peeved as it only makes the lot of us look like thieves.


        • #3303942

          Re: Tap on the skull

          by house ·

          In reply to Maxwell’s Silver Hammer

          I was tempted to leave such a response.

          “Alright… now grab the UTP cable… wrap it around your neck… tie it to your desk… and run really fast in the other direction. If that didn’t work… now remove the faceplate on your power outlet… grab each wire… and stick them in your ears… make sure you don’t kill the breaker… if you have a fuse box, stick a penny in there.”

        • #3303876

          You get a better result

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Re: Tap on the skull

          With a 3 phase power outlet and a 4 inch nail as a fuse.

          Col 😀

        • #3303544

          Stuck Heads My ***

          by willcomp ·

          In reply to At least he left a solution

          Guess he just wanted to show us he knew about such a thing. Next thing you know he’ll be telling all about stiction.

          Tapping on older drives would work. Not sure about newer ones.


    • #3333144

      No Raters

      by bfilmfan ·

      In reply to An example of a Q&A gone wrong

      I have to admit that today my frustration level overcame my general good sense of decorum. I have once again suggested a technical reply which I believe this questioner truly needs:

      • #3333135

        Well said

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to No Raters

        That is one of the biggest peeves on Tech Q&A, forcing people to close questions.

        I have suggested forcing the closure after a given time.

        They are supposedly sending out reminders of open questions after 30 days. These can also be ignored though, or blocked all together.

        I have suggested sending out a reminder after 30 days of inactivity, no new answers no new comments from the original poster, thus leaving alone daunting issues that are beiong worked on.

        15 days later (45 days of no activity) answers are automatically ALL accepted and points split between ALL responses wrong or right.

        Now the issue comes up that people will be searching for help and reading incorrect answers and thinking they are viable and accepted solutions, oh no!

        So when a question is closed by default, just add TR text that says “Question closed due to inactivity” or “Question closed by default, answers may not be correct”.

        It’s polite to people who try to help, the original poster does not get 1000 points for closing the question (you could even add THAT 1000 to to total points split up instead of rewarding the poster anyway). People will still be eager to offer help.

      • #3333125

        Closed With no Rating or Comments

        by willcomp ·

        In reply to No Raters

        Almost as bad are those that close questions without rating responses or providing comments. It happened again today, so the wound is fresh.

        TR really needs to be more responsive to needs of those providing responses. Over 50% of mine are unrated.


        • #3333066

          Seems new users are the priority

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Closed With no Rating or Comments

          Sorry TR if I sound miffed, but TR seems to base everything they do on getting NEW users, NEW mwmbers etc. this is how advertising is sold, members. Not communities or repeat visitors.

          The whole issue is set up around getting people to join and post questions, what happens after that does not seem to be of concern to TR. They haven’t even tried to get Tech Q&A posts out of discussions by simply moving and renaming links.

          SO I won’t hold my breath any longer,I also don’t go to nearly as much effort in helping people find answers though. When more people start getting tired of a screwed up Tech Q&A system, the system will not be as effective thus community and new member sign ups will in turn suffer. No you can’t keep all the people happy all the time, but it MAY be worthwhile to heed to issues of the active members and not just the newbies looking for quick, one-time solutions.

        • #3333046

          Been Rather Apparent

          by willcomp ·

          In reply to Seems new users are the priority

          That has come through in several Insider discussions. TR staff goal appears primarily to woo new users and not require any type of co-operation from them.

          Many are one hit wonders that go away quickly. Wouldn’t be surprised to see same post on several free tech support sites.

          Although I prefer TR, Experts Exchange does a far better job of handling tech questions. Unresolved questions there get deleted. But it’s not free (although I joined as tech expert to get free access to database).


        • #3334478

          Another One

          by willcomp ·

          In reply to Been Rather Apparent

          Da*n, it’s a daily occurrence now.

          Why can’t TR find a fix? Do we all need to go on strike?


        • #3335282

          Here’s the deal

          by Jay Garmon ·

          In reply to Another One

          Technical Q&A is one of our biggest to-be-fixed priorities…but it is also a technological quagmire. Never mind the fact that it is the most passionately-debated topic amongst our most loyal users–many of whom don’t agree on how to fix it. Even if we had a consensus opinion about how to “fix” Tech Q&A, it would take a good long while to redesign the system.

          That’s not to say we aren’t going to do it. However, it’s going to take some serious resources and political will to get it done, which essentially means nothing else will happen Community-wise while we’re rebuilding TQ&A. That means no fancy new whiz-bangs for the executive types to rave about.

          Before we “go dark” for a few weeks cracking the Tech Q&A issue, we have to have some wins under our belt that we can point to, to justify “stopping the process” while we work on Q&A.

          In summary, this isn’t about us not wanting to fix Q&A. This is about us wanting to *perfect* Q&A, and needing to stockpile the technical and political capital necessary to do it right.

        • #3333960

          Welllllll, OK

          by willcomp ·

          In reply to Here’s the deal

          Thanks for responding and finally enlightening us that plans are afoot for TQ&A. Seemed that we just kept griping (except Chas, of course) and no one was listening.

          I feel a little better, but will reserve jubilation until it is merited by sweeping, positive change.

          Hey, at least you’re listening and trying. At this juncture, that’s all I ask.


      • #3333015

        Number of answers not rated:

        by maxwell edison ·

        In reply to No Raters

        Maxwell Edison: 377

        dklippert: 860

        TheChas: 2328

        Joseph Moore: 1017

        I used to have a lot more, and I would have a lot more “unrated”, but I’ve pretty much quit answering a lot of questions over the past couple of years. But Chas is still at it, and look at those “unrated” numbers.

        Oh well, what are ya’ gonna’ do?

        • #3332895

          Max he is also fouling up the works as well

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Number of answers not rated:

          Wouldn’t you think he would finally get the idea?

          I’m actually in total agreement with you on this one as it gets me to see something that I know is correct being either rejected or go unrated most likely because the wrong question has been asked. That is most likely why I don’t visit T Q&A much anymore.

          Col ]:)

        • #3332731

          The Elders

          by bfilmfan ·

          In reply to Number of answers not rated:

          Just for the record, the Elders of TR (meaning anyone that was here before me..haha), have always had my respect.

          What bothers me on this one joker is he is Number 78 currently! Number 78 for what? Opening questions and not rating them? Hell if that is how the system is gonna work, then I will just open about 50 questions a week for the Insiders at 1000 points a pop and we will make this issue really look as silly as it is.

          New visitors are great, but if they don’t get technical advice that is worth a damn, they are going to go somewhere else for it.

      • #3332878

        We should also consider

        by house ·

        In reply to No Raters

        (although it doesn’t apply to this guy) that those who post questions, are simply not informed as to the features on this site.

        I closed on question with rejections before… never again. My questions go at 1,000, and the points are distributed whether to even those who are on the right track. I usually try to leave a little blip about how I have, or have planned to solve an issue, or even why I agree with someone’s contribution.

    • #3335204

      Worm of the Week!

      by bfilmfan ·

      In reply to An example of a Q&A gone wrong

      A new 1000 point a week question for naming the WORM of the Week! These are the users that continually post questions and never leave comments or bother to rate the questions.

      Although some of them will not be shamed into submission, we can at least easily identify them by their submission to the WORM OF THE WEEK!

      Come and get some points!

      • #3334079

        Rather Radical, But Worth a Try

        by willcomp ·

        In reply to Worm of the Week!

        Well, you’ll probably receive the wrath of TR Staff, but it’s worth a try. Nothing else has worked up to now.

        Take a look at the Trivia Geek’s response to my post above. Appears they may have seen the light or at least a glow.

        While I appreciate their (TR) problem, I haven’t felt that they really appreciate ours and how frustrating TQ&A has become.

        Also still seeing many discussion items that should be in TQ&A. That’s still occurring after much griping by the Insiders.


      • #3333952

        Add something to their profile

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Worm of the Week!

        Like their alias in red for poor site participation.

        FLAG people, yes lets tag people much like Nazi’s did the Jewish during WWII for quick identification.

        No I am not being sacrastic, I am quite serious;
        I am not saying I condone Nazi Germany’s repression of humans either but that’s what it reminded me of.

        These people SHOULD be singled out, they SHOULD be easily identified. Much as when you don’t play by the rules in life, you become identified as a criminal. Don’t play be the rules here and it should be obvious to others exactly what your motives are.

        Sore spot? Who me??? 😀

    • #3335146

      Still Another One

      by bfilmfan ·

      In reply to An example of a Q&A gone wrong

      I have to admit this one just set me off to no end. In the last week, I’ve had email from over 30 people that posted questions, and while I couldn’t help all of them with their issues, they were all thoughtful and thanked everyone for the help.

      This is really a case of a few bad apples spoiling the bunch for everyone else. I think it is time that Techrepublic REQUIRE an Email address. I don’t have an issue with a public one, I use Yahoo myself, so that I can get to it from anywhere. If they can’t bother to fill out a profile, then they can’t bother to ask a question.

      Or else, get rid of the points. What the heck are the points good for anyway? Can I get a cool TR T-shirt or hat or coffee mug or picture of the TR staff with my points? If not, why have the things? Just make a category of Peers of Distinction and put all the old timers in there. And considering this is my second TR account and it’s from 2000, I consider myself an old-timer now.

      • #3335091

        Built Own PC – Knows it All

        by willcomp ·

        In reply to Still Another One

        Here’s one that I though was typical of the newbie know-it-all. Makes you wonder why they ask questions since they obviously are better qualified than we are. After all they built the PC, didn’t they. Makes them more knowledgable than those who have built hundreds (or maybe thousands) and repaired many more.

        Just can’t be what we suggest, since we are obviously less knowledgable of their precious PC, e.g. crappy power supplies, suspect memory, driver issues, poor setup and install.

        Well I feel better, now off to work we go.


        • #3330362

          Actually this person sounds like

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Built Own PC – Knows it All

          A Uni student or something similar a know it all who can not be told how to setup his computer any better.

          I particularly liked the fact that he admits to having adaware installed and since it scans as clean it can not be infected with any malware. Would you like me to suggest that he try first to make sure that his version of adaware is up to date and suggest that he also try another scanner like Spybot S&D? I’m wondering just how many instances this would pickup. 😉

          Col ]:)

    • #3330372

      I love this one

      by house ·

      In reply to An example of a Q&A gone wrong

      I hope nobody tell hime what to do. 🙂

      • #3329939

        Sounds reasonable to me perhaps you are over reacting

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to I love this one

        After all he wants to generate mass amounts of Spam now just what is wrong with that? 😉

        Col ]:)

        • #3329535


          by bfilmfan ·

          In reply to Sounds reasonable to me perhaps you are over reacting

        • #3329508

          Now that is really good isn’t it?

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Spammer

          I’ve never personally been subject to that type of incoming spam although the Debian site got hit fairly hard a while ago and we where getting heaps of junk that just couldn’t be added to the spam filters as they where cunning enough to have subject lines that actually sounded like they where real topics.

          For a short time about half of all the incoming stuff from Debian was spam but the site admins got it under control fairly quickly and it hasn’t been much of an issue since. 😉

          Go on be a devil and help him out the world needs more spam all the time. 😀

          Col ]:)

        • #3329501


          by house ·

          In reply to Now that is really good isn’t it?

          Don’t delete my snap inquiry. It’s not spam.


    • #3351851

      Submitted for your hysterical enjoyment

      by bfilmfan ·

      In reply to An example of a Q&A gone wrong

      • #3351808

        What is really funny…

        by house ·

        In reply to Submitted for your hysterical enjoyment

        Is the amount of tech-support inquiries that I see in the Q&A relating to basic Microsoft networking skills.

        “I am a network administrator. I need to know how to administer a network. I have a router, a couple of switches and hubs, a few servers, and a few hundred clients… please advise. Oh yeah, and we are using 2k3 servers with an old NT4 book for reference.”

        • #3351746


          by oz_media ·

          In reply to What is really funny…

          How do help customer, I mean how do keep job, sorry….ahem….How do conncent to internet when not working?

          Or the classic, I need to answer a question to pass my MCSE…, I mean I have two servers at two locations how many NIC cards do I need to connect the VPN and an outbound internet connection?

      • #3350626

        I wonder why you got a Not Rated?

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Submitted for your hysterical enjoyment

        I’m still laughing over that one you really do have far too much time on your hands don’t you? 😉

        Col ]:)

        • #3352369


          by bfilmfan ·

          In reply to I wonder why you got a Not Rated?

          What can I say, I am old, arthritic and don’t like throwing medications in my system that haven’t had adequate field trials, so I get on TR and post away!

      • #3352354

        HAH! TOUCHE!!

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Submitted for your hysterical enjoyment

        That bad karma is coming back at you already!

        ONLY ONE POST [b]NOT RATED[/b]

        LOL! 😀

        [i](all in fun of course, I really couldn’t give a toss)[/i]

        • #3330852


          by bfilmfan ·

          In reply to HAH! TOUCHE!!

          I am sorry about that Oz. I will ge that corrected.

        • #3330851

          Don’t bother

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Dang

          It’s good to see OZ being picked on for no other reason that who he is. 😉


    • #3352134

      Okay – Here’s my latest entry

      by maxwell edison ·

      In reply to An example of a Q&A gone wrong

      • #3352128

        Well that’s pretty lame!

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Okay – Here’s my latest entry

        They guy didn’t even say thanks for the effort, just ‘I’m closing this now because they guy isn’t pissing me off anymore.’

        I wonder if he realizes he has now fillied ‘that kid’s’ shoes by pissing off ssomeone else instead.

        (I know you’re not really pissed off but it IS a real piss off still)

    • #3330830

      Humbly submitted for your approval

      by bfilmfan ·

      In reply to An example of a Q&A gone wrong

      My Friday Yuk of the week, in reply to a person that rejects every answer:

      • #3330825

        Well I can see another

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Humbly submitted for your approval

        Answer Rejected coming along your way soon. That is of course if the person actually ever bothers to look at their question again. 😉

        As a cure for your Arthritis and your unhappy need to not have inadequately tested medications you could always try DLPA. This is a naturally occurring substance and has been used in Traditional Medicines for thousands of years with out a single problem. But you could conceivable overdose on it if you where willing to take about 3 times your body weight of the stuff in a single sitting. 😀

        It really works wonderfully but it isn’t until you stop taking it that you realize just how much good it did. It has a slow uptake rate and you need to take it regularly for several weeks before you just might notice a slight difference, most people do not even notice the difference and stop taking it all together and then feel really lousy very quickly. I took the stuff for over 3 years and just couldn’t believe how much more work I could do. Of course they priced the stuff out of my price range as the main supplier was shut down for bad work practices and not cleaning their machines between different production runs. So with them off the market the crowd that I was buying it from put up the price dramatically and I could no longer afford it in the quantities that I was taking it in. 🙁

        So I’m back on the untested Meds so I can continue to work.

        Col ]:)

Viewing 14 reply threads