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How the IT answers in the TR should be?

By voldar ·
Hello everybody from the TR forum.

I have a question to ask, and I would be glad if you?d answer to it.

When I first stepped into this forum, I was really glad that finally, after a long ?trip in no-men land?, I found what I was looking for long time: a forum of real IT professionals, where questions about the IT problems in a way or another find their answer(s).
What I want to discuss now, is how the answers we give are contributing to the improvement of the others. I will talk for myself, because I met some situations when people ask for a question, but in fact they don?t know almost nothing about what they want, and from, lets say, 3 (i.e.) good answers, they choose the hardest one every time. And then, they come back with new questions, and so on ?
The question is, can we guide ?the-ones-who-ask?, and based on the answers we see for his question, give him some advice showing which or what to expect if choosing one or other solution? I talk here about the fact that ? do we have to take into consideration that maybe the person who ask questions has not much experience, and should be given more detailed instructions or just let him to choose?
I know, the IT nowadays is full of people who got certifications based on memorization, and cheat-shits, and with no hands-on labs at least (not speaking about real work experience), but ? I think that TR is the best forum I ever met. For myself, I like to help people, if I can, of course, and limited to my 4 years experience with Windows 2000, and with no more certifications than MCSA (210,215,216,218), which I obtained in December 2003 (last exam pass 216), but with a lot of practice in administering LANs and WANs (and you were the one that helped me a lot, not maybe by answering to my questions directly, not many of questions asked but mostly by your answers given to the others).
That?s it ? how the answers should be so that people learn something. Or should we don?t care about that?

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Send an e-mail

by TheChas In reply to Oh sure !!!

Well Oz, you can go ahead and do what I did after I saw the post, and send an e-mail to Judy.

I have also had good luck with sending e-mails to other TR staffers when a problem popped up.

I think though that Judy is concerned about posting delays in the Discussion Center and not the Technical Q&A section.

Chas

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have done

by Oz_Media In reply to Send an e-mail

I tried that.

Like they say, you can lead a horse to water....

I'm not too concerned it's just a peeve that such things could be overlooked oin such a heavily populated and administered site.

It's not my money, and it's THIER site.

I will offer suggestion but beyond that, I won't lead people by the hand.

OM

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how's this one?

by Cactus Pete In reply to Delay in posting inquiry

http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6239-0.html?forumID=34&threadID=145011&start0

The first answer was accepted and the question was closed... But there are several more unrate answers left. Doesn't the asker need to rate them all, or aren't the not accepted answers automatically declined when the question is closed?

Otherwise, I now have a permenantly not rated answer out there...

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Withdrawn?

by Oz_Media In reply to how's this one?

I get requested thread has been withdrawn.

This is common when using URL's to get back into TR, but usually just reloading it works.

I know that when you accept an answer it asks you to close the question, I don't think they stay active past that.

I have seen the same thing a few times though, many peopole don't close questions. I think they post here, resolve the issue some other way and forget about the posting here alltogether. We are left answering questions for people who have no intent on returning or playing by the rules. They are just posting everywhere to get stuff resolved. They have no idea or don't care that people take time to help and they simply move on without a care toward others that have spent time here. Oh well, there's all kinds of people in the world, do we really want that type returning (well I guess I'm still here)? Let them disappear into the woodwork and we can continue to build a respectable support forum.

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I'm oing to have to check that

by Cactus Pete In reply to Withdrawn?

When I link to it, is said closed, not withdrawn, and that one answer had been accepted. Maybe this is all too confusing... more in a bit

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Nope

by Cactus Pete In reply to Withdrawn?

I can get in - though maybe because I answered it previously... There is a space between the & and t in there... If you don't remove the space, you get the withdrawn message - is that your problem?

sorry, no tiny url on this laptop, and i don't have time for it just at the moment...

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TEST CLOSE

by Oz_Media In reply to Withdrawn?

Hi I started a question TEST close, obviously can't answer it myself. If you want to add a test answer I can close it and see if the way it is closed has changed.

I looked for spaces and couldn't see one, until the %20 was added, removing it allowed me to see your post.

It has been accepted but I don't think the person closed it. Normally I think you get asked whether to leave it open or close it. Someone MAY have decided to eave it open.

They should REALLY simplify TR for those who haven't used it before. It must be quite confusing to some, I'm sure people don't all intentionally try to be jerks but just end up dumbfounded sometimes if not familiar with it.

The Discussions and Q&A links could be combined into a single link (resources or whatever) Clicking the link should then open a new page, Ask a Question, Discuss your interests, etc.

Oh well, maybe they need less technical staff and more sales or management staff that understand people's thought process or something, I don't really know.

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DPETRAK

by Oz_Media In reply to Withdrawn?

Here's what I've come up with.

A) The user is scared off by the choices (I'll get to those)

B) The user doesn't want o reapeat the steps.

WHen you choose to accept an answer, you are given a drop down to accept the answer, then a comment box if you want to offer your thanks. Underneath the comment box reads.

( )Submit ratings and close question (no more answers can be posted)
( )Submit only unacceptable ratings and leave the question open for more answers.

A new user unsure of the format may be turned off at the thought of "(no more answers can be posted)" and opt to leave it open.

If they do choose to CLOSE the question, they are further 'warned' by a pop up dialg bix "Closing the question prohibits it from receiving further answers." With an OK button. New users are usually scared witless to click OK as they are always told not to just click OK(and they should be!).

So the BRAVE ones forge ahead and click the OK button. They are takento another page with LARGE bold type stating,
"You have chosen to close this question and award (XXXXX) points.
Is that correct?"

NOW they've got TWO buttons to choose from:
YES and NO.

What new user is taught to click YES to anything? Especially a foreign site that they are new to because they ALREADY clicked the wrong button somewhere else and ended up in the Q&A forum trying to resolve it !!

How about checkboxes to rate the answers, then a "SUBMIT' (new user friendly) button to award the points. Or even 'ACCEPT' without the warnings.

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I concur.

by mrafrohead In reply to Just add your comments

Throw your opinion out there. If you are over technical than what they need, they can sift through it, but if they need more, they'll ask.

Either way, if you know something, shoot for it. You probably will help that person with a problem they otherwise won't find an answer for elsewhere. Or at least a proper answer.

Mrafrohead

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Just do the best we can

by Joseph Moore In reply to Just add your comments

The help that we can provide, I think, does have limits and can vary. In regards to the accuracy of the help, if the original question is worded poorly or in incomplete, then sometimes you just have to take a guess. Many times, I have posted things like, "If I understand what you are asking...", then I post a suggestion that may or may not address their problem.
I realize that we can't help everyone with one shot. A single answer isn't going to help with the "I have never seen a computer before, but I have been tasked with setting up Active Directory across a 12-country global WAN-thing. What do I do?" But, questions like this ARE asked, and just that way!
Personally, to help out with the aspect of questions taking longer and more detailed responses then just in these 2K-character-length-max boxes, I have my Peer Directory setting for e-mails through TR set to Unlimited. If someone wants to e-mail me on their question for further suggestions and help, I am glad to accommodate. I think I spent 2 weeks once on one problem a guy had, just e-mailing back and forth. We did get it resolved.
Why go to such lenghts? Why not! I like helping folks out with their computer questions. Like TheChas said, I don't know everything either! I just take my best shot, answer what I do know, do research on what I don't, and hope that my suggestions don't make things worse!

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