General discussion

Locked

Is tech republic's user base being watered down?

By jtakiwi ·
Hi all,

Not to be derogatory, but I've been using TR for maybe 6 years off and on. Definately more off than on over the past couple of years. Am I wrong in my perception that the majority of technical questions posted here are less than challenging? I mean, have any of you asking these quite simple questions ever heard of Google? A few years ago, folks didn't even ask simple questions like the one I saw today, from an "IT Department Manager", about how do I start the print spooler? Just wondering is all, i may have missed a memo somewhere. Did all the talent head off to Experts Exchange or TR's paid service? Thanks, just curious.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

29 total posts (Page 2 of 3)   Prev   01 | 02 | 03   Next
Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

The talent was laid off and downsized

by The Scummy One In reply to Is tech republic's user b ...

Then there is a whole bunch of people that know little to nothing, but want to look important, so they make up job titles.

I love the CEO and CIO titles and the person is incoherent completely.

I think that is the main reasons for the questions that lack any knowledge.

But on the other side of things, many of us that answered the questions, do not do it as much anymore. For me, it is because of the way the new site design plays.

Collapse -

My take

by Tig2 In reply to Is tech republic's user b ...

There are still questions that come in that are worthy of more than the "Google is your friend" reminder.

There are many seagulls. But in truth, there have always been many seagulls.

The core user base, to me, is just as strong and vibrant as it ever was. The new folk either get used to this "extended family" or they don't.

Change is inevitable. And seasonal. Come Fall and Winter, we will be back to serious questions and people who want us to do their homework.

*sigh*

Collapse -

No such thing as stupid questions

by Absolutely In reply to My take

Just because I already know the answer doesn't mean that the person asking should already know it. I think that when people who are learning pro-actively forget how little we used to know, we tend to perceive others as falling behind, or "watering down" the average quality of questions, or some such. Recent "improvements" to the site exaggerated that illusory effect by disorganizing questions, and removing the archive of topically sorted questions from the location that the fogies found very convenient and familiar. I couldn't say whether those changes are better or worse for newcomers, but if it's true that there are more noob-type questions, that would seem to suggest that the site is now better for people who aren't yet snotty know-it-alls.

Good points, Tig.

Collapse -

Hmm, you may have a point there

by jtakiwi In reply to No such thing as stupid q ...

First off, Tig was dead on with the homework observation. Funny thing, right after I made the post, some guy from India had posted a question asking for solicitations on what his thesis paper should be. I think he joined TR that day. Now, those type of questions are easy to ignore and fall under the "do your own homework" heading. I guess there are noob type questions, that fall under two general headings (maybe more than two): the "I'm lost and need help, I've tried to discover this on my own and cannot figure it out" and the "throw it out there and hope someone answers because I don't feel like spending the time to research myself" the panicked "HELP!!!!" questions may also fall under this catagory too. I'm with you in that I would much rather have a community that doesn't have the snotty know it alls (you know, the ones who answered with RTFM!!!!). I'd like to think i am not the snotty type (except when I have headcold, like now), but I also expect folks to be conversant a bit with the technology they have invested in, or at least show an interest in helping themselvs first, new to IT or not. Thanks for pointing this out.

Collapse -

One more type of noob question

by LocoLobo In reply to Hmm, you may have a point ...

I have done some searching without success but am still searching. When I ask a question here this is only one of several places I post it. I really do try to find the answer myself but usually need it pounded into my head 3 times before decent retention (read it, think it, do it: not always in that order).

Collapse -

Search First, Then Post Everywhere

by SmilingSheep In reply to One more type of noob que ...

If I'm stuck on a problem, I'll usually run some searches (especially if its something I knew how to do once but it leaked out in the past six months). If I can't find it, then I'll post the question.

I think what amazes me sometimes is the group flame of a noob who joins the same day they start posting the "How do I break into my computer" or "How do I change the password on my firewall" type questions. Y'all put a lot of energy into it. Although I'm not sure if leaving them hanging or posting a reply with a known title like "Fish Slap" or something (reading some 'spam spam spam' posts this am ... reminds me of the fish slapping bit).

Collapse -

That one cracked me up!

by Absolutely In reply to Hmm, you may have a point ...

Considering the meaning of the word 'thesis', I believe that the question 'What should my thesis be' allows only one responsible answer: 'What do you think?'

Collapse -

You have a point, but I don't think it's that bad yet.

by Dedlbug In reply to Is tech republic's user b ...

It seems it must be several contributing factors to produce what you see as, "watered-down". There was a point made of users that do search the internet for answers, but TechRepublic can be found in the results. The good thing is answers here are generally understandable and correct. I suppose Tech Republic can go private, but there becomes a chance that another site, likely free, becomes the "goto" site for IT answers. Then it becomes the site for IT answers for novice questions.

I can however relate to where you are coming from. I constantly use the internet for answers, but I have learned to use actual sites instead of search engines to find my answers. When I first got my foot in the door in the IT world, TechRepublic was there. I then decided to use the additional resources offered to help assist in my education. My point being, there is a difference in answering an easier question from someone who wants to learn, then from someone who just wants the answer and to be on his/her way. My thinking is IT support is not something you can just take for granted, which is probably where the majority of "Watered-Down" users can derive.

In the end of it all, I do like the fact that TechRepublic offers a place to get help. What "grinds my gears" (hehe) are the questions from people who join right before posting AND expect to get an answer right away.

Collapse -

I perceive it also. But. Who Cares?

by sgt_shultz In reply to Is tech republic's user b ...

Sheesh. Answer the questions, don't answer them. Be sarcastic, be nice. It is a free country, so far anyway. It just doesn't matter. Really. Your and my answers just do not matter at all.
As for dumb or good questions. You all have seen me ask dumb questions. some days are just like that. it helps me out just to have made the decision to ask for help and to form the question, however badly. And folks who are raised not having English as their first language may word questions less than clearly. So what?
I happen to like the folks that ask stupid questions. (less guilt when I sneer and sneering relieves my stress. what can i say? I feel they are doing me a favor. i am weak that way).
To think that this forum *matters* in the 'big scheme' of things or that any one of us has a corner on what is appropriate is just arrogantly silly. It is just a public place to **** off steam. (Just like the bar the BS-er so disrespected in the previous post was buying in. (you think you are better than that guy don't you? ha. funny!)
I like this forum because I like to see what kind of problems users have. I like a 'reason' to browse the mskb. I like the variety. I have learned a ton here from attempting to answer others questions. I don't really care if I am right or if my answer helps them. The chips fall where they may. I come here to amuse myself. period. I get the most satisfaction if I think I've tickled somebody else to give a better, more correct answer.
I do think there is a big need to get some usability testing done on this website tho. it is being programmed by somebody who isn't using it, is my perception.

Collapse -

I care, because...

by Absolutely In reply to I perceive it also. But. ...

I view this site similarly to you.

I like this forum because I like to see what kind of problems users have. I like a 'reason' to browse the mskb. I like the variety. I have learned a ton here from attempting to answer others questions. I don't really care if I am right or if my answer helps them. The chips fall where they may. I come here to amuse myself. period. I get the most satisfaction if I think I've tickled somebody else to give a better, more correct answer.
I do think there is a big need to get some usability testing done on this website tho. it is being programmed by somebody who isn't using it, is my perception.


My perception of the incoming questions lately is that they are far less challenging than they were a couple years ago. Hopefully, part of that is because I know more about 'puters and 'puting than I did then. But, I am not (quite!) arrogant enough to believe that is the only reason for my perception that the questions are easier now. I think there is a dilution effect, and I'm not sure if it's in the clientele, or in the IT industry.

I will expound on this on request, but I suspect my fellow IT pros have seen the same trends in their own offices, and in the news & literature within their own specialties.

Back to Software Forum
29 total posts (Page 2 of 3)   Prev   01 | 02 | 03   Next

Related Discussions

Related Forums