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The right way to ask queries in a Discussion Forum

No. 1 : A discussion forum is NOT a pre paid group which will answer all your queries.

No. 2
: Never ever post any query in a forum without searching (thoroughly) for the solution yourself.

No. 3
: Searching for answers involves searching a lot of places. Firstly check the archive of that particular
Discussion Forum itself since someone else might have already posted your query before you.

No. 4
: Once you done that then go to other discussion forums as well and check their archives.

No. 5 : Search at Google.com. 99.9% you will find a solution there. Since Google is simply too good and searches a hell lot of places. Even if you skip step No. 4 never ever skip searching Google.

No. 6
: Suppose you don’t get a solution at Google, check out other search engines as well, such as Lycos or Altavista. Maybe you will find a solution there.

No. 7
: Another important thing is to read the thousands of pages of reference material that is available with a default installation of Linux. The ‘man’ pages as well as ‘info’ pages. You can find a lot of information here which even users of Forums may not know.

No. 8
: Once you have searched at all these places, and if you do not get your solution do not rush to the Forum site to post your query. First check with your friends. Unless you are doing something with any cutting edge technology, some of your friend might have already faced your problem before.

No. 9
: You must be feeling its a pain to do all this before posting a query, since if you post one you would get a reply within a couple of hours. Sorry guys, you are wrong .. most of the times if you post a stupid query (stupid
query = a query which can be solved by following any of the above steps) you won’t get a reply at the Forum and if you repost your query, you are sure to get some hate mail. Never repost any of your queries if you didn’t get a reply on your first posting. No replies is an indication that your query is a simple one and a little Googling can solve your problem.

No. 10
: A very very important thing is that when you post a query the reader of your post should get a feeling that you have really tried a lot before coming to the Forum. Noone wants people who give up in 10 minutes and come running to the forum for answers. You gotta have tried for ablest a couple of days before finally approaching a Forum. Remember merely mentioning that you tried hard is not enough.. Since the experts know very well whether the problem is one that can be solved if you had really tried or whether the problem is really tough to solve. So don’t start your posting with a “I tried a lot but I couldn’t find the solution…” unless you really really have done that.

No. 11 : People sometimes post messages asking for reference material . As in where can I find more info about this particular topic. Such postings may or may not get favourable replies. The best thing is to simply type the topic name in a Google search and you will find thousands of sites giving you info about your topic. You may have to do a little searching to get the best of the sites but that is worth the effort. But sometimes people do reply to such postings..and give you sites that they have been using. Try your luck on this one.. but I prefer Google.

No. 12
: Whenever you post your message read you message before posting it ‘as a stranger‘. What I mean is that read it as a person who has no knowledge about your machine and the stuff on it. You will realise suddenly that a lot more info about your setting and configuration is required to get a better idea of your problem. So always mention sufficient details about your machine. There is no need to mention hardware details like your chip and all generally. Its only about what sort of environment your are using and what are the related softwares that you have installed. There is no fixed details that you gotta enter. Common sense is enough to figure out what details (pertaining to your problem) should be present in a query.

No. 13
: Cut the crap. There is no need to include humour and other crap in your postings. Experts trying to help have no time for this. So get to the point and get your problem across as fast as possible (but it should be clear.. Not a hastily written message).

No. 14
: Wait for a couple of days for a reply. People may respond a little late to your query.. But don’t repost your query. A no-reply means search elsewhere.. You will definitely find the solution easily.

No. 15
: Never use words that are objectionable to others and never get into quarrels with other members even if they have hurt your sentiments.. A quarrel that carries on in a discussion forum is a waste of time for other members who have nothing to do with your problem. So its best to forget and consider it to be cheap on the other fellow’s part to have passed any comments about you.

No. 16
: Finally reply to the person who gave you a solution either thanking him or mentioning the problems you face while implementing whatever he had mentioned. This would either make him to give your further instructions (in case you faced some problems) or would make him happy that he managed to help someone. No replies from you keeps the person who replied to your query wondering about what happened to your problem. So its always nice to post a ‘Thank You’ note once your problem has been solved.



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