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Q&A thread stop/slow all the new threads with the same question

Tollis

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After wandering around on a few other forums I've noticed something that alot of them are implementing that seems to me like a good idea.  We get ALOT of new threads opened with the same question over and over again, understandably its quite frustrating for senior members and staff.  However alot of people seem to be very harsh with new members about this.  I FULLY agree that the search function needs to be used and new members need to read posting rules and guidelines first.  However we don't live in a perfect world and there will always be plenty of people that just post.

What if we made a new thread (I was thinking mainly for recruiting) that is JUST for Q&A and sticky it.  Someone can post a question someone else can answer it if its been answered 10000000000 times and someone feels grouchy and doesn't want to answer again, then they don't have to and at the same time don't have to post and rain hell on that new member.  It would also build into another "good read" for people with questions.  In my opinion that could result in all these new threads being contained to 1 thread sort of containing the virus so to speak, making it the Q&A superthread while still keeping something for people to respond to because lets face it no one posting is kinda boring. 

I also think it might ease new members into the idea of searching and NOT making new threads instead of getting there head ripped off.  Alot of members get pretty angry, sometimes downright insulting with the way they tell people to use the search function.  If we are scaring away new members before they even get into the site it won't help us grow as a community in the end.

Thoughts, pros-cons  all input is appreciated I'm hoping it will be a discussion on the idea
 

Michael OLeary

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We have tried building super threads on singe topics - people don't read them because they are too long.

We have tried building FAQs - people won't use them because they think the information is too dated and not good enough to start their research and ask their question in a relevant topic thread (and when they do that they get chastised fro necro-posting).

We have tried posting links to search results - in forum, Google LMGTFY, but no-one gets the hint and learns to do comprehensive searches before asking their own simple question.

Half the problem is newbies who think their question of asthma, grade 10 credits, or whats in a rucksack is so special it needs it own thread. The other half of the problem are the grumpy idiots who are too busy typing out a reply - to search - that's been asked before -  or to suggest they just frig off - anything except actually answering the question (for the same effort) - OR STAYING OUT OF THE THREAD AT ALL.

The bottom line is that newbies will always ask their questions, and just like the merged mega-threads, they won't search or read a general Q&A thread to see if its been asked before. Alternatively, we would lose good questions and their discussion under a common Q&A thread that's all over the place like a drunken woman's footsteps.

Sadly, there's no simple answer, especially when some senior members choose to derail rather than help any question thread.
 

Tollis

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While I do agree with just about everything you've said I still think there could be a place for it.  All of the little things that don't merit a new thread can just be asked.  I know that alot of people will not read the entire thread to see if there question has been answered but ask it again.  However currently people aren't looking and posting new threads, this at least would keep it in 1 still.  If the thread is 2 years old and they want up to date information again, just ask it again it will be answered with up to date info.  I'd personally rather see 1 thread go 100 pages of those stupid questions then 100 new threads of the stupid questions.

On the note of those grumpy idiots.  Is anything being done to put a stop to this?  Its kind of like the old saying 2 wrongs don't make a right.  I fully agree that there are guidelines in place for a reason.  However breaking the rules to tell someone they are breaking the rules doesn't make alot of sense to me.  Just because someone is a senior member in my mind does NOT constitute being exempt from the conduct rules, and turning a blind eye to this kind of behaviour simply because one is a senior member sets a terrible example of the kind of community this site is in my opinion.
 
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aesop081

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Tollis said:
  However alot of people seem to be very harsh with new members about this.

If we are scaring away new members before they even get into the site it won't help us grow as a community in the end.

I see that crusade season has started early this year  ::)

Seriously, we have tried some of the things you mention. Regardless, people always feel like their situation is so unique, their need for an answer so immediate, that we will never avoid repetitive threads. Maybe when people finaly understand that :

a) They are not unique and most people have the same questions so its been asked before;
b) No one can answer questions about their case because no one here knows their case fully;
c) You just have to take your chances and apply since no one here makes the selection;
d) We can't pick for you; and
e) We dont owe you anything
 

Fishbone Jones

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Tollis said:
On the note of those grumpy idiots.  Is anything being done to put a stop to this?  Its kind of like the old saying 2 wrongs don't make a right.  I fully agree that there are guidelines in place for a reason.  However breaking the rules to tell someone they are breaking the rules doesn't make alot of sense to me.  Just because someone is a senior member in my mind does NOT constitute being exempt from the conduct rules, and turning a blind eye to this kind of behaviour simply because one is a senior member sets a terrible example of the kind of community this site is in my opinion.

Tell me where in the guidelines it says those 'grumpy idiots' ::) can't tell someone to search or that the question has been asked.

BTW, there's already a thread, or two, somewhere that was slamming staff and senior members for their attitudes. I'm not looking for it for you. Do a search.
 

Mike Bobbitt

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Hi Tollis,

I appreciate your input. I swore I wouldn't type up yet another lengthy reply on this, but I guess I couldn't help myself.

I'll start by suggesting that if users can't be bothered to search when they first join the site, they probably won't be bothered to read the rules and understand how to use the "all questions here" post. I don't think it will reduce the problem of un-researched questions unfortunately. After years of struggling with this issue, I honestly think no reasonable steps can be taken beyond what we have already done. Some people will come and either not know how to (or not care to) post their question in the manner we would like. I chalk it up to the dangers of running an open site on the internet... You can't tightly control the quality and technical abilities of your visitors and still call yourself an open site.

Tollis said:
On the note of those grumpy idiots.  Is anything being done to put a stop to this?

As with the problem above, we have also spent years trying to deal with this issue. The good news is that - unlike I suggested above - I believe this problem is solvable. In fact, not long ago we instituted the Mentor Program, which has been quite successful in setting the right example. I encourage everyone to not only read the Mentor thread, but also the three posts linked in the first sentence. In fact I consider them so important, I'll re-post them here:


Tollis said:
Just because someone is a senior member in my mind does NOT constitute being exempt from the conduct rules, and turning a blind eye to this kind of behaviour simply because one is a senior member sets a terrible example of the kind of community this site is in my opinion.

It's not just your opinion, it's in the Conduct Guidelines and reinforced in the Staff Conduct Guidelines. If you see examples of grumpy idiots - whether they be new users, senior members of even Staff - please use the Report to moderator link at the bottom of the post. No-one is exempt from the rules here, least of all our senior leadership who are in charge of setting the tone.

I'll end off with a slight amendment to CDN Aviator's post:

CDN Aviator said:
e) We dont owe you anything

I disagree; we owe every visitor respect and civility. Yes... even if they fail to show us the same by flaunting the rules or becoming argumentative. We have a well defined warning system that does not require or encourage personal insults or jabs but allows users on the wrong road to be clearly notified. For those occasions where it is warranted (and don't kid yourself, there are plenty) the warning system also accommodates permanent bans from the site. However none of this gives us the right to disrespect our users, and again, I'll encourage folks to report problems when they see them.

If you still have questions after reading this and the threads linked above, I'd be happy to discuss further.


Cheers
Mike
 
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aesop081

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Mike Bobbitt said:
I disagree; we owe every visitor respect and civility.

Absolutely. I will try and rephrase :

"We do not owe you an answer"
 

kawa11

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Come on. You don't think it's funny when people derail threads with multiple post, one line statements about not posting irrelevant information?
The irony kills me.

CDN Aviator said:
e) We dont owe you anything
you owe me everything! Will I be able to keep my asthma inhaler in my rucksack? If I'm missing 1 Gr.10 credit in Ontario can I still join in Quebec? Wait, since this is two questions I think I'll start a new thread..


Seriously though, my  :2c: sticky and lock this bad boy up. It's short, it explains everything in a conducive manner.
New members can see it and not get discouraged as well as get a grasp of the site and how to use Google (something I admit I have been guilty of)
 

Fishbone Jones

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Most new posters will never see this thread. Locked or not. They go right to New Topic in some obscure forum.
;D
 

CFR FCS

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One of the biggest challenge in the recruiting forum is that many of the posts and their detailed responses have been over taken by time. Changes in policy and recruiting policy makes many of the threads very erroneous and misleading. Maybe a purge is in order.
 

George Wallace

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Tollis

Just the fact that you started this thread indicates that you are part of the problem you identified.  This topic has been "done" before.  As you see from some of the answers, we have tried to accommodate people, and if you follow Mike's (the site owner) post you will see there are solutions in place.

Instead of being part of the problem, you can be part of the solution.
 

Tollis

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The topic was originally about the Q&A superthread idea which I found nothing of (for recruiting) when I searched.  The attitude of members towards other members kind of branched off and I am aware that has been discussed before.  I will clarify that I wasn't on the attack about it I simply brought it about in a way that would stir up some discussion.  In my opinion discussion, heated or not is the best way to bring about better ideas and solutions to on going problems

Never the less I feel like some very good points have been made and some good discussion has ensued within the thread.
 

George Wallace

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Tollis

I agree.  I didn't mean my post as an attack in any way on you, but just to point out that we do have means to allow you to be part of the solution you are asking about.  Mike has created the "Mentor Program", but even without being a Mentor you can still be one in your actions.    Often it is a combination of lack of knowledge about the site, as well as a lack of "internet surfing skills", that creates the problems that newcomers run into.  There is no way to stop that problem less cutting off access to a computer of such posters.
 

Tollis

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I didn't think it was an attack on me just wanted to clairify if anyone thought I was attacking anything.  It's hard to express certain things in typing as opposed to talking.  I joined the mentor program after reading about it and think its a great idea and I do plan on being as much a part of the solution as I can. 
 

Journeyman

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George Wallace said:
even without being a Mentor you can still be one in your actions.
...through sarcasm, ridicule, and the relentless mocking of those who post stupid things.  ;D


Michael O'Leary said:
- OR STAYING OUT OF THE THREAD
I guess that could be an option too.  ;)
 
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