Author Topic: Trying Something New...  (Read 7510 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

TomW

  • Super Hero Member Plus
  • *******
  • Posts: 5130
  • Country: us
Trying Something New...
« on: February 07, 2008, 04:50:12 PM »
I see a lot of posts that should be better thought out and that should include more information to get a useful answer.


These stories often go on with lots of posts requesting additional information. This is wasteful of everyones time especially when the poster never responds.


The new policy [in test phase] I am implementing is when a post is obviously lacking in coherent text with enough information to allow discussion without a bunch of replies asking for info will be set to read only with a comment stating it should be reposted with understandable questions and sufficient information to get answers.


This seems to me to be a fair compromise that should benefit everyone. At least it is doable on this software.


I am doing this in an effort to improve things for everyone. I kind of made an "executive decision" over the weekend to do this.


The newbies section has created an area that folks think anything goes and thats a big mistake, IMHO.



Comments welcomed but, until I get orders otherwise, I am implementing this action as I find them. If we don't at least demand understandable questions with enough info to help we waste too much time on grubbing out enough data to help. This should allow folks a chance to post a good question and eliminate confusion when an incoherent, vague question gets hidden. It will also kill off those "join to dump a question and never return" posts which seem more common now.


Cheers.


TomW

« Last Edit: February 07, 2008, 04:50:12 PM by (unknown) »

DanG

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1018
  • Country: us
  • Twin Cities Minnesota
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2008, 01:32:07 PM »
I like it.


To keep data clean for future searches it sounds good, if someone remembers to delete the locked post. Remember it's all done by hand y'all.


It sounds like a lot of extra work for the powers that be.


Perhaps we need a 'SandBox' section that things get moved to once they are closed.


Send the user a notice, if the author keeps reposting in open forums they'd just keep getting sent to the 'SandBox'....

« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 01:32:07 PM by DanG »

vawtman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1425
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2008, 04:33:33 PM »
Hi Tom

 Good idea and i know how newbies work.Most give up but some crawl out.When i first joined all i had was a turbine that spun and many crazy posts later i think i'm there.Thanks All.


I just thought about this,

 Maybe an online test that when passed would bump one to posting abilities.I know i would have flunked it early on.

« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 04:33:33 PM by vawtman »

byndhlpng

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 42
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2008, 06:37:21 PM »
yup, keep them newbies out.  Way to much time is being wasted. They should go elsewhere to find inspiration for their curiosities.  Excellant
« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 06:37:21 PM by byndhlpng »

David HK

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 504
  • Country: hk
  • Hubei Province China - wind farm control room
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2008, 06:50:33 PM »
Yes, its a good idea to be flexible and not deal with the web site as if it were cast in iron.


Once people have become accustomed to the way in which the forum works it's not that difficult to get along with it. Searching for previous articles instead of asking questions is still a difficulty, but perhaps that may be resolved one day.


Best wishes from Hong Kong and all the best in the Lunar New Year - starting on the 7th February 2008.


Towards the end of this month I shall be posting photographs of two Piggot 8' turbines that I am building at the same time.


David HK

« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 06:50:33 PM by David HK »

electronbaby

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 407
  • Country: us
    • Windsine.org
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2008, 06:57:46 PM »
Couldn't agree more Tom. There has been an influx of this lately.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 06:57:46 PM by electronbaby »
Have Fun!!!  RoyR KB2UHF

TomW

  • Super Hero Member Plus
  • *******
  • Posts: 5130
  • Country: us
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2008, 07:13:29 PM »
png;




yup, keep them newbies out.  Way to much time is being wasted. They should go elsewhere to find inspiration for their curiosities.  Excellent


If thats what we wanted to do the posts would disappear.


This is an attempt to remedy a situation that I get complaints about the way it takes great effort to get the proper info to help.


This simply gives them a chance to ask after they think it out a bit.


Nobody gets turned away who is genuinely interested.


It is obvious to a few of us that a lot of people just excitedly ask some half thought out questions then disappear never to read the post again.


This will avoid that and anyone truly interested will read the comment about reposting and do so.


Frankly, I am not going to waste time justifying this to anyone who has not put in equity here because the main problems are the newbies and many  expect some kind of drive thru service with a smile.


OK there it is and, frankly I am not too concerned what folks think unless they have a better idea this forum software will allow. Another time waster deterrent would be a no post time after joining [say a week] before they can post to give them time to study up on things.


Cheers.


TomW

« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 07:13:29 PM by TomW »

ghurd

  • Super Hero Member Plus
  • *******
  • Posts: 8057
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2008, 07:25:00 PM »
I don't mind the newbie questions either, at least if they are coherent.

But it does kind of make me wonder when people spend a lot of time typing a good reply and nobody even checks back in.  It may help other people with the same questions.  Most of the time it looks like more unregistered users than registered.


Even a 24 hour waiting period would be enough I think.

G-

« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 07:25:00 PM by ghurd »
www.ghurd.info<<<-----Information on my Controller

elvin1949

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 645
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2008, 09:05:32 PM »
Tom

 I agree 100%.

later

Elvin
« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 09:05:32 PM by elvin1949 »

wiredwrong

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 105
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2008, 10:05:30 PM »
Just a thought, but what about putting a "system profile" link under the user info, everyone could just refer there to see #of turns, coil and magnet size,diameter, height turbines, panels, feet per minute, average output, uptime, ect....


If a question is asked and the info is not filled out reject the question until the "profile " is complete, then the all the info needed to answer these questions is just a click away, and you can get straight to an answer. The person asking is more than likely to fill that form out than remember to put all of it in a question.


a simple boilerplate form so that its the same for everyone no fancy colors or pics, just simple strait forward info, that is always asked for.


Just a thought.

« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 10:05:30 PM by wiredwrong »

TomW

  • Super Hero Member Plus
  • *******
  • Posts: 5130
  • Country: us
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2008, 10:25:30 PM »
wiredwrong;


Totally not doable under the current board software. But it is a good idea.


This is the cost of popularity in a current "buzz word" field lots of marginally interested people excited about something.


Seems like most replies find the idea at least not "bad" so far.


Time will tell. The boss man has not endorsed the idea yet so still probationary.


So far 2 of 3 posts I treated this way have not reposted so they must not have been very serious about the question?


All I know is what I see /read and a fair # of first posts seem to just never revisit the post. Not all but enough to be annoying to users if the email and irc comments I get are any measure anyway.


Posters need to have at least the courtesy to post coherent questions with sufficient details to get assistance. Just raising the bar a little.


Cheers.


TomW

« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 10:25:30 PM by TomW »

Basil

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 249
  • 3 rd shift made me this way.
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2008, 05:08:18 AM »
I'm a newbie and I'm slowly learning the board and how it works and what it offers. I also jumped in asking question that has been answered hundreds of times. The older members must get frustrated with us. They all seem to know it's lack of  knowledge  that make most questions be dumb. I have only seen a few wise cracks about questions from the older members. It was not a dumb question to the one asking but more like he did have the knowledge to ask it so it could be understood. And they did try to help after the wise comments. The board could be more user friendly. With a little time I'm learning to navigate it. Being new all I seen was a place to ask questions for fast info. Now I have learned the board enough to search for it. The information is there. Make up an email that will be sent to them with great detail on navigating the board when they join. Ask or make them start in one spot. Like newbies to keep it in one spot for awhile. You can control it at the start. I'm new so it's a newbies view. Under each topic you could have. How it's made or How it's done.Let The older members post links to there info of projects that they have done and work.

I know (Done forget I'm new) If I went to the steam topic and seen How to make a flash boiler for up to a 3 hp engine. I would have read it before asking a question.

I thank the board is great once you learn how to look for what you need.

« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 05:08:18 AM by Basil »

Volvo farmer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1026
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2008, 06:29:06 AM »
The problem with editing is it's all subjective I suppose.


The fellow who posted about looking for fuses? I had an answer for him. A 600W inverter is almost certainly going to be 12V. I know where to get cheap, high amperage fuses for 12V applications, complete with lugs for "big honkin wires".


I guess if that fellow was serious, he would re-post with his system voltage, or maybe he'll go elsewhere looking for answers.  Heck, maybe he doesn't even really want the information since he's seemed to have disappeared.


I agree there's a lot of posts lately lacking in clarity. Perhaps the signal to noise ratio has become unacceptable because of it. One thing is for certain, disabling comments and scolding people will drive them away from the site. Maybe that is what is wanted and needed here. There seems to be no end to the supply of newbies willing to ask stupid questions, maybe culling them down a bit would make for a more substantive forum. If you want to thin the newcomers even further, do that week long waiting period. I guarantee that almost all stupid questions would get asked in other places on the 'net with that policy.

« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 06:29:06 AM by Volvo farmer »
Less bark, more wag.

byndhlpng

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 42
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2008, 06:36:57 AM »
You are a victim of your own success.  As long as this continues to be a "Public" forum then the uninformed newbie and their miswritten questions will continue to annoy and frustrate.


Thirty years ago I began an apprentiseship in carpentry. I had many questions and still have some today.  I was able to learn from experienced journeymen who were willing to listen and guide me.  I hope I live a long life and can continue to serve our young apprentices with the knowledge I have.  There will be simple questions with simple answers but I will answer any and all questions to the best of my ability and with encouragement. I will do my best to see that the answer is understood.  Will I hear that same question again? I probably will, and I will answer it again and again and again until the line of apprentices ends.  I had to start somewhere and so do the ones with the questions. Today that apprentice can build a set of sawhorses by himself.  Eventually he will be building a house.  When he is building that house, I hope I have encouraged him in such a way that he will pass on his knowledge to another youngster needing to understand.


Please be careful in the way this problem is addressed.


Byndhlpng  

« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 06:36:57 AM by byndhlpng »

TheCasualTraveler

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 398
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2008, 06:56:57 AM »
     I understand fully. I am as guilty of asking dumb questions as anyone and realize from trying to search for answers just how much the board is cluttered with useless threads. It's a self fulfilling problem. The searcher can't find the info in the clutter so they post a question that leads to more clutter.

     As long as your going to post a reply that, "asking for info will be set to read only with a comment stating it should be reposted with understandable questions and sufficient information to get answers." How about a pat answer that helps them understand a little more what they have done wrong, maybe like this...

     Whoops! Looks like you didn't do your homework. This board is designed to provide as complete a referance source as possible and the forum should be used AFTER you have searched our data. Before you re-post try doing a Google search of our site as well as reading through the FAQ's and if you don't find an answer at least familiarize yourself with the aspects of the area your interested in. Then you can repost your question with all the pertinant info someone will need to give you an answer. You wouldn't ask your freinds, "I'm having a dinner party, how many onions do I need? Yet those are exactly the type of questions we often get.

     So please, gather a little more information so we can help you. We look forward to new members and their projects and will be waiting to hear back from you!

                                         The Staff at Otherpower.

     I realize this is a repeat of what is already said in the Before Posting information but who of us is not guilty of skipping over the fine print. I think it will be followed more closely when it comes back as an answer to a post and specifically for them.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 06:56:57 AM by TheCasualTraveler »

TomW

  • Super Hero Member Plus
  • *******
  • Posts: 5130
  • Country: us
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2008, 07:46:51 AM »
CT;


And who is supposed to spend their own free time to do this pampering and coddling?


You see, there is no incentive for me to do more than click a button so just commenting it needs clarification uses my time.


It is far from simple thing. The long standing hands off attitude here has led to this conundrum.


This editing thing is like bailing water out of the boat with a sieve. Can't bruise any egos, Dan doesn't want to drive folks away and has patience I could never show.


All I can do is internal board things.


Stuff like contradictory internal web pages and long outdated FAQs, etc I cannot fix so I essentially am working with no tools and no authority to do what I have to do.


I am trying very hard within those confines to make it better for everyone.


I will and do help anyone on any level quite happily, but I have no time to waste on spoonfeeding lazy twits which we get more of every day.


I have put in uncounted hours on this forum, the IRC and a couple other online RE resources to further the goals of this hobby and now everyone with a higher electric bill thinks they can stroll in and get an instant education it took me most of 57 years of life to gather. Just my angle on it.


You are welcome.


TomW

« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 07:46:51 AM by TomW »

finnsawyer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1560
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2008, 08:43:01 AM »
I guess you could come up with a standard (read that as one key press) response that among other things directs them to the FAQs section.  I'm currently being driven to distraction by the confusion when going from a single winding to two in hand, whereby the induced voltage is cut in half and the resistance by a factor of four.  This is not just an error shown by the Posters but also by the responders.  It should be in a FAQ.  It's not my job to teach basic circuit theory here nor is it yours.  No one's paying me to do so.  Don't know about you.  They could also read "Circuit Theory for Dummies", or something like it.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 08:43:01 AM by finnsawyer »

TheCasualTraveler

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 398
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2008, 08:55:38 AM »
     My goodness Tom! Let me make one thing clear. I in no way expect you to coddle anyone, nor waste your valuable time. I agree you should not have to do anything other than point and click the offending posts. BUT, you said they would be answered

      "with a comment stating it should be reposted with understandable questions and sufficient information to get answers. "

     I only suggested the response go into more detail. I assumed you would not waste time writing a response like this every time but would have a pre-written response that you would paste in or have filled in automatically. It would take no more time to insert one than it would the other.

     So you see, it is the same work either way. I only wrote what I thought might best get the point across to a newcomer. Having built a working machine and with some background in electronics I feel I am in between new to this field and experienced (still closer to new). Having this perspective I feel I often see both sides. Many times I see a response that is absolutly correct yet I think there is no way the newcomer is going to understand it. There are many knowlegable people out there but that doesn't make them teachers.

     I thought, taking an extra minute or two, ONE TIME, might save more time in the long run and not discourage the newcomers.

     Sorry if I offended you, I thought I was supporting your decision.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 08:55:38 AM by TheCasualTraveler »

DanG

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1018
  • Country: us
  • Twin Cities Minnesota
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2008, 09:35:52 AM »
A heart warming bit of propaganda but you've mixed metaphors; on this forum there are ZERO chances of earning wages to show peers and family from the time invested quite unlike the Trades presented as a model. In your thirty years I'm sure you saw a lot, the welcome, options and rewards earned and given through those years may have been more noble than a mercenary drive for cash. Kudos to you.


Individuals you are trying to push into fabricated niches have invested a lot of themselves, their time and money to merely continue to attend before you. No one here has ever heard of a Master Tradesman who apprenticed seven years for free. Or any Trade Mechanic who let or gave away tools and advice to pedestrians walking by who merely looking curious.


Please be careful in the way this problem is addressed.


Yes, please do.


 

« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 09:35:52 AM by DanG »

feral air

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 293
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2008, 10:09:27 AM »
You see, there is no incentive for me to do more than click a button so just commenting it needs clarification uses my time.


If your plan is to give a fresh "needs clarification" comment to each mal-poster then I think you're setting yourself up for more work, not less.


If this was my problem I would make a new 'Story Rejected' page. That way all I'd have to add is something like, "Thread Closed (Read-Only). See <link> for possible reasons and remedies." A simple copy/paste and it's done.


That way the admin's frustration is left out of it and the user is set on the right track - quick and relatively painless for both parties. Anything else is asking for trouble, imo.


take it easy

« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 10:09:27 AM by feral air »

TomW

  • Super Hero Member Plus
  • *******
  • Posts: 5130
  • Country: us
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2008, 10:26:52 AM »
Well, I am beginning to wonder what part of:



I cannot change how the board itself works


folks don't get.


Frustratedly yours.


TomW

« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 10:26:52 AM by TomW »

HenryVG

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2008, 10:36:12 AM »
I'm probably as guilty as anyone at not having enough info in my questions. Perhaps if there was a "guidelines for asking a question" thread that just had the necessary information needed for various types of questions (alternator design, battery banks, etc) many folks would at least look there and find out how to phrase their questions. That also would make us newbies look up some of the basic facts that we don't really know about that might just answer our question, jsut to fill in the blanks.


So far as having people post, then not check back for an answer. That just doesn't make sense, so I have no idea how to deal with that kind of craziness.


Henry

« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 10:36:12 AM by HenryVG »

DamonHD

  • Administrator
  • SuperHero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3622
  • Country: gb
    • Earth Notes
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2008, 10:37:32 AM »
Some of us are hearing you loud and clear, I promise...


Keeping boards like this usable is a thankless task, I know from experience.


Which is why, for example, I have deliberately avoided even having a blog!


Not that it counts for much in the scheme of things, but you have my full support for whatever regulation you find necessary and practical, even if it p***es me off in the short term.


Rgds


Damon

« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 10:37:32 AM by DamonHD »

ZooT

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 187
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2008, 12:14:04 PM »
Well, I'll tell ya'......I'm just pleased that some of the dumb questions that I've asked have made it to the front page.....

Does that mean it was decent "general info" questions and put on the front page for the benefit of other newbies too?


Sorry if I frustrate the heck out of you folks sometimes, just as I'm sure you're sorry that you frustrate me sometimes.....and I know the folks that know do their best.....but can, or instead will only do so much without either info or looking at the thing in person lest that experimental controller become a fireball or those experimental blades become UFO's....


I know what I need to know.......but you only know and can or will answer what I ask......but sometimes the two are NOT the same thing 8^P

« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 12:14:04 PM by ZooT »

brkwind2

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 59
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2008, 12:42:26 PM »
I've searched frequently for answers & come up with nothing so I ask here.


People the world over are stupid.  You cannot change that.


No-one forces you to answer.  


If you guys pick on me like 13 or 14 more times I'm outa here.  

« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 12:42:26 PM by brkwind2 »

pepa

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 461
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2008, 12:46:24 PM »
hang in there Tom, you ARE doing a good job, pepa
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 12:46:24 PM by pepa »

ghurd

  • Super Hero Member Plus
  • *******
  • Posts: 8057
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2008, 01:00:39 PM »
Schwwnnffft-kka-ku...

Sorry.  Beer foam came out my nose.


I personally picked on a couple guys like 80 times, each, and they ended up with real nice stuff before it was over.  ;-)


I remember once, about 100 years ago, I asked a couple stupid questions. Might ask another too.

I expect everyone remembers the stupid questions they asked (or had) when they joined.

Except one person, who knew all this long ago, and has the patience of a saint. Not knowing who that would be means you didn't read enough.

G-


(TW- I enjoy this one more than other recent posts!)

« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 01:00:39 PM by ghurd »
www.ghurd.info<<<-----Information on my Controller

WXYZCIENCE

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 355
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2008, 01:21:47 PM »
TomW, the real value in this board for me is the diverse, combined effort of very well informed people who are will to share their knowledge. Someone will, most of the time jump in and give an answer to just about any question. I believe this is the direction of the future when it comes to the net. I look at the new members number and I believe they are over 10000 and more added every day. Will it last? I sure hope so but I am a realist and understand free has it's limitations. I find it hard to respond many questions for shear lack of time. Saying all that, I do have the time to Thank you for your time.
Joseph
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 01:21:47 PM by WXYZCIENCE »

TomW

  • Super Hero Member Plus
  • *******
  • Posts: 5130
  • Country: us
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2008, 01:22:51 PM »
Ok, folks, I whipped up this little nugget before I got drinking:


http://twelve.truetech.com/~tomw/why.html


It needs to be buffed up but its basically what I will try to do [link to it]. Once it is finalized I will store it in my files area so it is not hosted half a world away.


Cheers.


TomW

« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 01:22:51 PM by TomW »

alibro

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 102
Re: Trying Something New...
« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2008, 02:45:14 PM »
Have you ever noticed how little people appreciate something when they get it for free. The people I help for free are the ones most likely to be a complete pain in the bum. Even a nominal joining fee, around $5-$10 before you are permitted to ask a question would immediately weed out the casual observer. If the boss is dead set against charging then a cooling off period of 24 hours after joining should be a minimum.

Lazy badly written questions full of text type spelling should get the same treatment.

In these days of political correctness, respect seems to be a bad word, but newbies should realize if they don't show some respect they will not get any answers.


TomW, I don't envy your job, I bet you had the patience of Job when you started ;)


Alibro

« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 02:45:14 PM by alibro »