I sometimes think that the SDN forums are nothing more than a kindergarten since some people behave like toddlers. As with kids, even if one says something repeatedly, some won’t listen.
Yes, it has been stated a multitude of times, and despite FAQ, the sticky :O Rules of Engagement — 2005-02-25 by Brian (in the BSP forum) and the sticky Welcome and Rules of Engagement by Craig (in each forum!), people still consider that the rules don’t apply to them and continue to:
- Ask for illegal content (copy of courses, etc.)
- Be cryptic in both the subject (eg. “Hi”) and question.
- Cross post problems
- Not come back to things when somebody asks for clarification
- Not reward points
- Not take things for granted if there is no solution for their problem or of they don’t like the answer
- Steal answers (yes, even questions) from others without referring to the original content
- Post in the wrong forums
- Post commercial messages
- Post things that have clearly been asked and answered a multitude of times before
- Provide e-mail addresses for the answer to be sent to and thereby preventing other people from learn from it too
- Say that things are urgent
- Stalk people for failing to answer or address people personally
You can refer to some of my earlier grumpies for more details on the afore-mentioned problems.
I want to finish by adding some personal “Rules of engagement”:
- As Brian says, ALWAYS reward points. It might not be a spot on answer, but at least someone has done their best to answer. I’ve done a little excercise and spent last Sunday afternoon endless hours on reviewing my last 1500 answers to forum threads. I’ve listened to Craig’s Is it good to be back? and made a list of all threads where the original thread initiator didn’t gave any points to NOBODY. After filtering out the doubtful or where people said it didn’t help or questions which weren’t marked as a question (in order that people don’t have to assign points?), I’ve a list of 255 threads. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, 255. Isn’t that a shame? Let’s presume that an avarage of 4 people spend 2,5 minutes to answer a question thread, we get 2550 minutes or 42.5 hours or > 1 man week of work without appreciation. Speaking in terms of points, this comes to at least 510, but more lickeable 1530 points – assuming that the answers are very helpful, but not perfect – waisted. Is it ignorance, egoisme or some kind of sabotage in order to prevent others getting points? It is by all means a disgrace.
So DO give at least 2 points to every answer for the effort. And no, it will not lead to abuse. It’s up to the poster of the question to check whether an answer is genuine or not. Also reward even if you don’t like the answer. You don’t need to punish others if you expected X as an answer instead of the correct answer Y. Posting a question in order to justify oneself should be prevented.
- Be brief, straight to the point and avoid epistles. You’re not writing a web log or article.
- Be careful when posting code.
- DON’T SHOUT. I’M NOT DEAF. In others words don’t use capital letters all the time. That’s a basic rule in netiquette. The Shift/Shift Lock key can’t be that far away. Even so called ergonomic keyboards do have them. Use a fluo marker if you have difficulties in finding them.
- Keep code as tidy and as short as possible in order for things to remain readable. Don’t post entire reports. Please also keep in mind that posting someone else’s code without permission is illegal.
- Not everybody is a native speaker and so keep your language as simple as possible. Some wordings can be wrongly interpreted by other cultures, thus remain polite and avoid slang. If you’re not a native speaker, try your best to make yourself understandable.
- Post a question in the correct forum. You’ll get quicker and better answers if you do so.
It is all about common sense, so why can’t some people simply comply wuth the rules and start reading the above mentioned rules of engagement. I hope everyone can read (my 6 year old son can), otherwise this Grumpy is useless too. Or maybe one is effectively stuck in the toddler phase.
Call me old fashioned or an old bore, but if they still can’t comply then the only recourse is either a good spank or to put them on their knees in the corner. Either of these might help or at the very least let them know that something is not right.
The World According to SDN. Put yourself on the SND world map and earn 25 points. Spread the wor(l)d!