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Asked a question? If so, Answer mine.

By Shanghai Sam ·
I really enjoy this forum. I hope it gets even beter...

Please only respond to the questions with *** next to them.

Do you think that the "ask a question" section of Tech Republic could be improved?

How many questions have you read that seem to have no specific problem?

How many don't provide even a fraction of the needed info for a good answer?

Is the writer lazy or just stupid?

Maybe neither?

I believe that the categories are difficult to categorize some questions into.

But most importantly I think there should be some basic instructions as to what information is needed in a good question in order to get a good answer.

I wouldn't think you would need to spell it out but I have read what I consider to be some really goofy questions. Like "My computer stopped working, how do I fix it. It is a Dell." End of question. It is easy to just blame the user but I think that is only part of the problem.

I hadn't asked any questions until recently and after using this feature, I think this part of the site needs work.

***Do you agree?
Please respond with Suggestions to improve this part of the site.

or

***Do you disagree?
If so why?

Any reasonable response gets points!!

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

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Asked a question? If so, Answer mine.

by maxwell edison In reply to Asked a question? If so, ...

You asked that any answer be a reply only to your questions indicated by ***. Therefore, none of your first five questions apply to the "real" questions. (The ones indicated by ***) Keeping with that requirement, there are only two questions to consider. You are asking if I agree or disagree with your (4) stated opinions.

I disagree with those (4) stated opinions. I'll address them individually.

It's not practical to have a category for every circumstance that might occur. For example, there may be someone out there someplace struggling with an old Commodore 64, but there's really no need for a category dedicated to that particular technology. Any problem encountered could certainly be covered by an existing category. Just about anything, for example, could fall under the PC Troubleshooting category. If there’s not a category for a particular issue, and that person is put out by its absence, then he/she is certainly free to go find another site that’s more accommodating. (Or create his/her own) Or perhaps, if he/she feels that strongly about it, TechRepublic has avenues for suggestions.

As for how someone asks a question, some can articulate their thoughts better than others. This is especially true if one considers that this site is available worldwide where the language barrier enters the picture. If there’s not sufficient information for someone to answer a question, there’s certainly no rule that demands he/she try.

Your third commentseemed kind of goofy to me, and didn’t make much sense. (See my reply to comment number two.)

And concerning your forth comment, almost everything could be improved upon. But if the fine programmers at TechRepublic – or anyone, for that matter – would settle for nothing less than perfection, then nothing would ever get done.

Regards,

Maxwell

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by dmiles In reply to Asked a question? If so, ...

I disagree
The site just gone thru transformation and this new format is less confusing,you have the category and the number of questions currently open and closed under that category.
It is simple to post a question and yet it has been confusing to some what category to post their question,so then is this a site problem no I donot think so.
Each individual that uses the site may not have the expertise or know how of a computer guru as yourself
Some of the questions may seem goofy,and this is where I feel trying to help instead of scoring points becomes more important,ask them to repost or answer the question to the best of your ablilty.

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by dmiles In reply to Asked a question? If so, ...

Tis is a good topic to start a discussion

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by TheChas In reply to Asked a question? If so, ...

I have to agree with Maxwell and soulrider.

While anything can be improved, the control and structure that you seek are just not practicle to implement in an open free-flowing forum.

The one change that I think does need to happen is to implement a system to force the closure of answered questions. There are many questions where ansewrs have been posted, and accepted, but the question remains open.

Also, your question more correctly belongs in the discussion section.

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by B_Pope In reply to Asked a question? If so, ...

I agree with Maxwell & Soulrider, the site is open to pretty much anyone.
Some people are technical & some are not, so questions are going to be a reflection of that fact.
Whenever I've noticed any questions that fall in your goofy catagory.
I'vealmost always notice that someone tries to lend a hand, by asking for more info.

Usually, it's one of the members how's been around awhile. They've always have shown the greatest of professionalism when tring to help (I think you all know who youare).
Even when myself or anyone else has responded to a question with some way out there answer that doesn't seem to make sense, & they add an answer to the same question, their professionalism always rules out any kind of, shall we say smart remarks directed at previous answers.

Just thought I'd add that last paragraph of praise, just because.

I think you also need to include the fact most people how ask a question never come back again, or at least not till their next problem.

Sure they still have a few bugs in the system, but who's doesn't?. Computers is a big subject, I think the catagories are divided up good enough also.

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by B_Pope In reply to Asked a question? If so, ...

The one bug I wish they would fix is the time out one, although you don't get timed out out anymore.
You just get user deleted as you yourself got.
It's a bit of a pain not getting the email, so you can see if your answer helped or not. Plus finding the question again to see if it's still open or closed.

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by TimTheToolMan In reply to Asked a question? If so, ...

Hi,

Unlike the others, I think there is a lot that could be improved on this site. The last round of changes were largely cosmetic and I think TechRepublic has the potential of becoming one of the world's truely great sources of computer information.

Here are a few suggestions, for instance.

For the Language challenged...

A step by step, tick the boxes, question section. I know it'd have to be pretty comprehensive (read well thought out) to be of any use, but, hey, a lot of the questions from non-english speaking people are short on information, anyway.

For an answer that been asked and answered before...

If we answerers categorised our answers, then TechRepublic could offer a Yahoo style solve-it-yourself section. Also The search box doesn't work. I've tried searching for words I KNOW are in messages and they're not returned!

And from TheChas. Yep, all those unclosed questions are annoying. I'd suggest that they autoclose after a couple of weeks where the question poser doesn't respond to any answers given. I mean if they're serious about their problem and check it regularly then they wont mind taking the few seconds to add a comment. Lots of people do that! The "casual" one-off user doesn't.

Dont get mewrong. I love this site - I wouldn't be here otherwise but I DO feel that there is a lot to be done to improve things and I was a bit disappointed when the last round of changes didn't really change anything. Nice look, though.

Cheers,
Tim.

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by jereg In reply to Asked a question? If so, ...

On the whole, I believe I disagree. I'm not thrilled with the changes made to the Q&A section, but that's based on my personal bias. I liked the look and fuctionality of the way it was before the last change. That's just me. If you're dissatisfaction comes from the questions posed, remember, this IS the internet age. People from all over the world log in here and for many of them, English is not their primary language. Many of them do quite well, far better than I would in their language. Others may be young or just unfamiliar with what's required for proper tecnical support. Anyone that has worked on a Help Desk knows when a user calls and says "my computer is broken" could mean just about anything, and only asking a lot of questions will get you to the REAL problem.
As far as framing questions, reading the FAQ with the Q&A section pretty much spells out what participants should do, but I'm not sure how many read them.

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by zlitocook In reply to Asked a question? If so, ...

I had suggested an area for people who have no computer experince. But the more I thought about it the idea was a bad one. Because it takes years of schooling and training to be some what good at fixing computer problems. I think for the most part that techrepublic is great, I the best articles and info on what I am looking for. You should not get mad at a person who types bad are does not know english well.

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by cul8rm8e In reply to Asked a question? If so, ...

all i can say is WELL DONE TECHREPUBLIC!
i have been a member here for quite some time and at some point in ALL our lives we have had to ask what you so call a goofy Q. i think we need all to remember there are ppl out there every day switchin on for the first time in their lives,dont we ALL remember those times,its at this point when i see some of those Q`s that i rem how it was for me. i have nothing but sheer respect for those users at the other end and hope some day that they will feel thesame and lend a hand where its needed.

give those guy`s a break, if you feel its a goofy Q. either ask if its possible to provide some more info where you think its needed,or just leave it to someone who has a bit more respect for those guy`s.

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