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Garth Jones

Forum / Mailing list / Newsgroup Etiquette

Since I have not seen anyone else post this to their blog I will. There is some good advices listed within these links for everyone.

How to ask a question

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555375

How to answer a question

http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en/articles/freebsd-questions/x218.html

 

I will also add to this:

  • Don’t “Bump”, if you need to bring the message to people’s attention again then try re-writing the subject and provide more details. People are willing to help if they think they understand the issue. But WAIT more than 1 business day before reposting!

 

  • Don’t post the same question to multiply forums! It is annoying to see the exact same post in multiply places and ONLY posted a few second apart. Pick one place an post there, if you don’t get an answer within a reasonable time frame (more than 1 business day) post to another forum. (This is one of my new pet peeves)

 

  • Forums and Mailing lists list are NOT for urgent issues, if this is the case contact the vendor and seek support from them, that is what they are there for. If you don’t have a support contract in place then management has decided that they can live with the downtime and you should not worry about it. The problem will get fixed when it gets fixed, if it is that urgent then management will gladly pay for support.

 

  • Read the Docs! RTFM, etc.. Recently there has been allot of I need “bla” or does ConfigMgr do bla. However if this same person enter “bla” into the help file or Live / Bing / Google / Yahoo / Ask / etc. They would have found the answer. Instead they are just too lazy to RTFM. I will gladly help out anyone you says “I looked at the docs but I can’t find bla” or “The docs say bla, but does that mean bla bla?” (BTW it is nice to include the link or topic heading, so that we can see what you are talking about”)

 

  • Don’t call out a particular person and say “Hi Garth, I need your help to …”. Understand that some of the other people that might answer a post and will overlook it because you have called out person X. (I do it all the time when someone say “Hey Sherry” or “Hey Mark” or “Hey Michael”, to me it mean that they only want to hear from that person). Remember that everyone has their own lives and job, this means that person X might not get to your post ever! This could be due to holidays, business tasks, personal issues, new PC, etc., particularly don’t get mad if they don’t answer you. (This has happened to be back in the day, I got a phone call (my phone number was listed within my sig) from someone on the mailing list that got mad at me for not replying to them within 20 minutes. They needed an answer to give to their boss so that they would not look bad. The funny part was I was in a meeting and never saw the message until after their phone call! Needless to say I don’t help that person anymore! They don’t pay me therefore I’m not at their beck and call.)

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