Excessively brief first posts

Thread Starter

Adjuster

Joined Dec 26, 2010
2,148
It seems that many people's first posts here consist of very briefly expressed questions, often with a miserably small amount of description of the problem that they would like help with. Despite having spoken on this matter before (more or less) , I think this is something that may merit further attention.

As I understand it, the only requirement on such posts is that they contain more than 10 (?) characters. I wonder whether it would not be reasonable to require more than this for say the first 10 posts, or at least the very first post.

What most surprises me is that these characters don't see fit to post more than a sentence or two in the first case. We can leave aside the idiots trying to hide from their teachers: a lot of these questions seem to come from hobbyists, or people hoping to build something for their home or business.

I'm aware of being a grumpy sick old grouch, but is it really too much to expect a little more effort from folk who hope that we will help them? I enjoy trying to do this, to the limited extent that I still can, but this "20 questions" lark is doing my head in!!!

End of rant.
 

Georacer

Joined Nov 25, 2009
5,182
I don't know the possibilities of the admin panel. If this rule is site-global, though, we will have a problem in answering those posts. 40 chars, for example, are too many for an answer.

I don't think it can be restricted to the first post only.
 

Thread Starter

Adjuster

Joined Dec 26, 2010
2,148
LOL.

For the very first post it might be a good idea to increase the minimum number of words.
Poor guy who just wants too ask: What is this component? (and then he posts a picture) :)
If the software permitted it, the picture might be given its traditional value - 1000 words!
 

wmodavis

Joined Oct 23, 2010
739
I agree somewhat. But I have

A different view....

I think you should remove the 10 character minimum. The reason is that I have to put in a bunch of filler characters just to say 'What?', or 'Huh?', or 'Explain!', etc.

Might work to have some one click, selectable, 'stock replies' in the header so knowledgeable responders can respond by selecting one and then get on to replying to a clearly stated question without wasting so much time trying to figure out the question and possibly answering the wrong question which just adds to the gobbledegook.

Or maybe original posts should be moderated. The moderator would simply check for a clearly stated question that people could respond to before allowing the post. If it does not exhibit clarity - NO POST.
Of course as busy as this forum is you'll need more moderators with thicker skin, thus higher pay.
 

DerStrom8

Joined Feb 20, 2011
2,390
Would it be too extensive to add a feature to the first, say, ten posts that has text bars for the poster to fill in? For example:

Bar 1*(required): Background--I found this component in an old TV set I found in my attic

Bar 2*(required): Description--It is a 16 pin chip with the part number xxxxxxxxxx

Bar 3: Picture--Here's a photo [Posts photo]

Bar 4*(required): Question--What is it, and what does it do? Where can I find a datasheet?

Bar 5: Extras--I want to make a robot and I am wondering if this chip would help


These are only very basic ideas, and they could be improved upon by other members and/or the mods.

What do you think? Is it possible?
 

Georacer

Joined Nov 25, 2009
5,182
I agree somewhat. But I have

A different view....

I think you should remove the 10 character minimum. The reason is that I have to put in a bunch of filler characters just to say 'What?', or 'Huh?', or 'Explain!', etc.

Might work to have some one click, selectable, 'stock replies' in the header so knowledgeable responders can respond by selecting one and then get on to replying to a clearly stated question without wasting so much time trying to figure out the question and possibly answering the wrong question which just adds to the gobbledegook.

Or maybe original posts should be moderated. The moderator would simply check for a clearly stated question that people could respond to before allowing the post. If it does not exhibit clarity - NO POST.
Of course as busy as this forum is you'll need more moderators with thicker skin, thus higher pay.
This is the whole point, so that you don't only ask "What?", but rather explain your question, pointing in the same time to possible answers and things to note. This is not a chatroom, it's a forum. Think of it like mail. You won't write a letter to someone to ask him "What?".

Would it be too extensive to add a feature to the first, say, ten posts that has text bars for the poster to fill in? For example:

Bar 1*(required): Background--I found this component in an old TV set I found in my attic

Bar 2*(required): Description--It is a 16 pin chip with the part number xxxxxxxxxx

Bar 3: Picture--Here's a photo [Posts photo]

Bar 4*(required): Question--What is it, and what does it do? Where can I find a datasheet?

Bar 5: Extras--I want to make a robot and I am wondering if this chip would help


These are only very basic ideas, and they could be improved upon by other members and/or the mods.

What do you think? Is it possible?
Do you want to put me out of business?
 

thatoneguy

Joined Feb 19, 2009
6,359
Adjuster: You should have just put "See Title" for the text of the OP.


Seriously: There isn't a vB native method for controlling first post length, but there is a plugin for it (well, was, unsure if it is alive still), where first posts had their own requirements, leaving all other posts with the native requirements. Might be something for jrap to look at.
 

praondevou

Joined Jul 9, 2011
2,942
Bar 1*(required): I have no experience in electronics and I need help!!

Bar 2*(required): I want to build a remotely controlled helicopter but never touched RF.

Bar 3: Picture--

Bar 4*(required): How do I do it, Have any ideas?

Bar 5: Extras--

:) Like this?

Just kidding. Your idea could help, yes. At least they would see right at the beginning what is needed to get an answer.
 

Thread Starter

Adjuster

Joined Dec 26, 2010
2,148
das question?
I wonder whether it would not be reasonable to require more than this for say the first 10 posts, or at least the very first post.
I must admit that my question was rather well buried - hardly a model of the clarity that I'd like to encourage in others.

As for getting the moderators to triage all this stuff for us, I expect they have enough to do weeding out the illegal, insulting, spam and so forth. I won't be surprised if this turns out to be quite impracticable, but at least I've got it off my chest.
 

wmodavis

Joined Oct 23, 2010
739
As for getting the moderators to triage all this stuff for us, I expect they have enough to do weeding out the illegal, insulting, spam and so forth. I won't be surprised if this turns out to be quite impracticable, but at least I've got it off my chest.
I was not being clear myself. That was a 'tongue-in-cheek' comment.

And I am as likely as you to be a grumpy sick old grouch. If you look back at my previous posts in response to an OP there are too many of them I have responded with a somewhat grouchy 'Please clearly explain what it is you want.'

After all clear communication is the key to learning and teaching and asking questions.

And maybe the answer is to only respond to posts that you clearly understand. I believe from what I've seen since participating on AAC that we want to help but I also believe it is a two way street. If you want help with this wonderfully exciting world of electronics you must be able to ask so that those reading your query don't have to scratch their head wondering what you are asking.
 

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,226
Let's not try to make this idiot proof. Just idiot unfriendly. For the first 10 posts, regardless of post length, when the user clicks "submit", the following popup will appear:

"Are you sure you're done?
This forum experiences a high volume of badly worded, partially thought out questions with underwhelming amounts of supporting information. Our senior members have come to a consensus to make no attempt at responding to such posts. Our senior members will need all of the following information if applicable to effectively respond:
  • An appropriate title. Entering "need help, quickly!" ensures your question will not even be read.
  • A detailed description of the problem you are experiencing.
  • A clearly worded question
  • A schematic. Schematics are difficult to decipher when drawn in Roman Alphabet. Drawings with lines representing conductors are highly preferred.
  • Pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words. If you are having problems with a piece of consumer electronics, a picture of the front and back of the circuit board is almost always required.
  • Part numbers of components, or even better, links to the datasheets of components so senior members do not need to waste their time looking for your datasheets.

It would be in your best interest to refrain from using n00bish. EX: "guyz i rly need yr helpz in thissss its sooooooooo important!" - Things like this turn our members off and decrease the likelihood they will help you. Proper English is preferred."
 

Thread Starter

Adjuster

Joined Dec 26, 2010
2,148

Thread Starter

Adjuster

Joined Dec 26, 2010
2,148
oh that guy, yeah we'll use him as an example. put a link to that post in the popup: "don't be like this guy"
I'm not sure that particular thread would be so good. Perhaps the initial post could stand as an example of unreasonable expectations, although my original thought was about posts with almost nil content.

More seriously, I feel a bit uncomfortable with some later comments. To my foreign eye at least, some of these sound like parodies of regional or ethnic speech forms. Many people especially foreigners might simply not understand them, while others may find them insulting. I can imagine this bringing down a storm of very unfriendly input.

Whatever views may taken of different races, or the way they speak, does it make any sense for us to use provocative language?
 
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