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New Technical Q&A idea

By Oz_Media ·
Well everynoe here knows by now that answering question in th eTEch Q&A section is a crap shoot.

Sometimes you will spend half hour or more finding information, checking resources and offering links to people who have genuine problems that we can help with.

It is also well know by these same people how frustrating it is to offer as much help as you can and the question is never Accepted or rejected, and points are not issued accordingly.

There's probably a few hundred thousand outstanding points on TR for all the people who have helped to no avail.

TR has tried to fix the problem by issuing 1000 points to the question poster after he/she closes the question (however this has not been much of an incentive as most people aren't aware of the bonus for closing the question, poor marketing).

I was thinking that there should be a mandatory time limit on how long a question may remain open (supposed to expire now but they don't seem to).

Here's what I was thinking:

A person has 30 Days to close the question and rate the answers, whether accepted or not.

If you DON'T close in 30 days, you get ONE email warning that you have a question outstanding, if it is not responded to in (48 hours for ex.) the allotted time, the points are AUTOMATICALLY awarded to ALL respondents regardless of the answers provided.

I think that TAKING someone's points may cause people to allocate their own points or if not, we all get them anyway.

I find I spend less and less time on the Tech. Q&A forum, because of this. Not because I want the points, but because they do they offer SOME form of thanks or appreciation for your efforts and it is just disrespectful to ask for help and then disappear without saying thank you or if it even worked.

Maxwell, Joseph, Anna and Chas (for example) have worked hard and help people ALL the time with these issues and have achieved a certain level of 'notoriety' for all thier hard work.

When I first started at TR I noticed that just getting newsletter and such built points a quite a bit and now they are simply reliant upon the Tech Q&A answers. To have people reject your answrr is one thing, perhaps another answer will help you to learn more yuorself, but to IGNORE your efforts is snother thing entirely. I think it is rude, it is disrespectful, it is thankless and typical of so many who just surf the web posting their problem everywhere and waiting for an email with the right solution. Most of the time, these people don't care about TR or its members, they just need some answers and have no regard for those who help.

I say FORCE them to reply in a certain time frame or allocate the points automatically to all answers.

ONE problem you say: What about those big 10,000 point questions that NEED to sit until the right solution is found? Well by sending out a notification that the points will be auto-awarded, the original poster simply needs to respond to the email link and check "YES" - I need to keep this question open for further responses.

Those who simply sign up just to ask a question and then disappear will simply leave the email unresponded to, the question is closed, the points awarded and it's gone from the TR server.

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I gave up

by gralfus In reply to New Technical Q&A idea

I gave up on the Tech section because no questions that I ask get answered. I get more of a response in the general forums because they seem to have more activity (Yeah, I know it isn't the right place...) So I quit bothering with Tech Q&A and moved back to usenet for my questions.

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Good Idea

by ND_IT In reply to New Technical Q&A idea

I think this would be a good idea. I myself have been guilty of posting and not closing the question after it's been answered. Although sometimes I don't get e-mails letting me know the question has been answered, so I don't check on it for awhile or if it's not a really important question, just something I might want more information on, I might forget about. Has anyone else had the same problem not getting the notifications?

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Try it - it can't hurt

by Deadly Ernest In reply to New Technical Q&A idea

I have to admit that I have not been visiting the Q&A as often as I used to either as I, aslo, got fed up of NOT getting any feedback on answers. I have not yet had reason to post a question so I am NOT yet at fault in not closing.

Suggest that the powers that be adopt this a trial it for some months, after all it cant be any worse than the current situation.

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A major problem

by Oz_Media In reply to Try it - it can't hurt

As you may have noticed whoever is writing scripts at TR is having major problems getting the My Discussions and Subsrcribed discussions to work, as well as keeping the most recently updated discussion up to date.

To expect this same person to script in a time sensitive closed Question notice and script it so it may be either extended another 30 days or allocate points automatically is starting to seem a bit far fetched, although not extremely difficult for some.

I think we need to work within the confines and abilities of whoever decided they could improve TR before it all got screwed up.

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A benefit to the backlog

by gbrownlee In reply to New Technical Q&A idea

As a newcomer to the IT world,( comp. repair tech)I have found the backlog of open questions to be good reading, and have picked up some really good trouble shooting tips from these posts.

You are right about the poor marketing re tech points. I have been a member of TR for about 5 months now and just heard of the 1000 points for closing a question. This will help solve a quandry that I have been faced with. As a newer member, it is really hard trying to accumulate some points through the Qand A section.

Also, as a newbie to the IT world, I have a million questions, ok I exagerate, 19,773 to be exact. Now I won't have to hoard my few points incase an emergency comes along. This may also be a reason for tech questions in the discussion center.

I too have noticed how some people don't appreciate the work that goes on to find answers to some of the more difficult questions. Their boorish attitude is their loss, not ours. As for myself, TR has helped me learn more in my new profession, and I am grateful.

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If you need points, let me know

by Joseph Moore In reply to A benefit to the backlog

Hey, if you need some points to ask a question, just let me know. I can always donate several thousand!

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Thanks for the offer

by gbrownlee In reply to If you need points, let m ...

Thanks for the offer!

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I thought there was a max timeout???

by Joseph Moore In reply to New Technical Q&A idea

Oz, here's my thing. Didn't there used to be a 90-day max timeout for open questions? It seemed like that when a question had no activity for 90 days, it auto-closed, with the points being evenly distributed amongst all who posted answers. That is what I though happened.
So, was that never the case, or did it stop during one of the site "enhancements"???

But yes, old open questions should be shut down after a period of inactivity! Since there are no site moderators here to keep things organized, then the site itself needs to do this. There's just too many damn open questions out there that it makes it tough to find anything (that and the pathetic Search feature, but I digress.)
Maybe since I've always thought it was 90 days is why I say this, but I think that a 30 day cutoff is too short. 90 does seem better, since it can take weeks to work out a problem. So, give 'em 3 months to either figure it out with help, or give up.

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Fair enough

by Oz_Media In reply to I thought there was a max ...

I the time allocated is really irrelevant to me, but there needs to be some form of auto closure. Now I know that there is SUPPOSED to be a time out, but I don't THINK that it is actually effective.

If it is and is working then I will just go back to my rock now, I didn't know that points were auto allocated afer a given time. Yet I see some pretty old questions still unanswered, I'd have to go and check all the dates to confirm but if so, I would be in for a few thousand I'm sure. So many are outstanding.

The points issue is a moot point really, the acknowledgement, or even a quick, '
thanks for the help, it worked' or 'get stuffed now my computer wont even boot' would be enough.

To go out of your way, visit a website, SEARCH for people you may be able to help, then paste links so the person can solve it with ease is all fine and dandy and I am more than happy to help people, in fact I LOVE to help people if I can.

To not receive ANY form of thanks, FU or anything in return is pretty defeating and takes away all the fun of the forum.

I know this has ALWAYS been an issue, as has posting in Discussions, it just seems that it is all too common these days to simply mispost and then disappear without a word to those who try to help.

It just leaves a bad taste in your mouth when it comes to helping people. Are people REALLY becoming ruder and less appreciative of each other? Are people just TOO busy to thank each other? Should I even bother trying to help people just for the rare occasion when someone actually appreciates or benefits from your help?

I don't want anything for helping people out, but it just seems rude and unappreciative to not at least acknowledge someone's input. Perhaps we will reach a stage when it is every man for himself, and nobody gives a crap about anyone but themselves anymore, I certainly hope not.

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If TR can see their way clear to.....

by gbrownlee In reply to Fair enough

Cleaning up the unrated dead questions, how's about getting rid of the dead wood using up a whole lot of aliases. Don't log in for say...three months, your account is closed. Would also help cut down on some of the site's overhead.

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