I wish people would just to a basic Google search

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bw123
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Re: I wish people would just to a basic Google search

#21 Post by bw123 »

GarryRicketson wrote: I think something that would really be a benefit to the forum, would be if some one started a new "Beginner's Guide", one that is more up-to-date, and can be applied to the current Debian versions. If it is well written, I am sure the admins would consider "sticky" it, so it stays at the top.
Garry, That's brilliant. I like that idea better than editing/replacing Absentminded's posts. That guy is a legend, I'd sure like to see his posts retained and prominently displayed on the forum, forever.

I think a good FAQ, especially for network issues would really be helpful also. I think you have good prose, and with some editing, you could make a really fine start on something like this.

Let me know if there's anything I could do to help make it happen.

Thanks for all the work you do, and everybody else. The forum has lost some good posters, for whatever reason. I hope they haven't passed away, we all will eventually... That doesn't mean it all falls apart.

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NFT5
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Re: I wish people would just to a basic Google search

#22 Post by NFT5 »

Writing, or re-writing, a Beginner's Guide while it would be great, is likely to be a lot of work. More than most people have the time to devote to such a task.

An alternative, which we've used with great success on another forum that I'm involved with, is to create a Forum Directory. This was done to try to address being besieged by new threads asking the same old questions. Just a single post with the problems/issues in alphabetical order and a link to a thread that has the solution. In essence, an index to important topics in the forum. It's much easier to set up and can be added to as issues come to light. We keep the thread locked, but Mods and Admins can add to it, of course. Naturally the thread is globally stickied and we have a link in the forum header.

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stevepusser
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Re: I wish people would just to a basic Google search

#23 Post by stevepusser »

Make them pass a simple captcha quiz on what we expect them to know before they can join! :twisted:

Such as "These forums are best for help with: (check all that apply)"

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Bulkley
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Re: I wish people would just to a basic Google search

#24 Post by Bulkley »

I'll second stevepusser's suggestion. :)

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Thorny
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Re: I wish people would just to a basic Google search

#25 Post by Thorny »

Yeah, good suggestion!

However, I suspect that would only eliminate some of the issue.

And, it would not get rid of all of the "help vampires" who sap the strength and endurance and often, the sense of humour of the most knowledgeable and helpful posters.

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bw123
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Re: I wish people would just to a basic Google search

#26 Post by bw123 »

Thorny wrote:Yeah, good suggestion!

However, I suspect that would only eliminate some of the issue.

And, it would not get rid of all of the "help vampires" who sap the strength and endurance and often, the sense of humour of the most knowledgeable and helpful posters.
You are right. I think the best thing is to try and answer questions as fully as possible, and use the friend/foe feature of the forum to remind myself not to fall for the same user twice.

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Thorny
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Re: I wish people would just to a basic Google search

#27 Post by Thorny »

bw123 wrote:You are right. I think the best thing is to try and answer questions as fully as possible, ...
I've been considering if I should make this comment or not but what the hell! Perhaps not as fully as possible, maybe just fully enough that someone who deserves an answer can do what they should do, a bit of research, and then answer more fully and/or answer whatever smart questions they come back with.

That is totally subjective and would not be appropriate for a commercial help line, but that does not describe DUF.

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sunrat
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Re: I wish people would just to a basic Google search

#28 Post by sunrat »

You know the old saying "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day; show him how to fish, he eats for a lifetime".
I often like to give pointers to how they can solve their problem rather than detail every step required.
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Thorny
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Re: I wish people would just to a basic Google search

#29 Post by Thorny »

sunrat wrote:You know the old saying "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day; show him how to fish, he eats for a lifetime".
I for one am certainly familiar with it. It is a clearly understandable philosophy. When I first started with GNU/Linux it was a common phrase (or some form of it) that appeared in Newsgroup posts. It makes sense if one is working with users that want to learn, unfortunately, some users just want the answer they want and they want it, right now. I suppose I'm nostalgic but I would like to see the saying you quoted show up more often but skeptical that it would change things much. I'm a dinosaur. :-)

[edit] Hey, maybe I should change my avatar to a dinosaur. :-)

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Thorny
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Re: I wish people would just to a basic Google search

#30 Post by Thorny »

As a corollary to the topic, "I wish people would just do a basic Google"(or whatever search engine you choose)"search", I wish knowledgeable posters would read all of the posts in a thread before posting, especially when they are posting advice that has already been given or asking for data that has already been shown in the thread. It makes it appear that they have only read the last post of a thread before writing their post.

That written, I do consider it appropriate to support answers that have already been given, it lends credibility to them and can be a benefit for the OP and others reading.

Now I do understand how some could consider just reading the last post in a thread efficient from their point of view, especially on long threads but sometimes it makes their answers look ignorant, even when they are generally knowledgeable and helpful in the forum.

This is not directed at any of the posters here, please just read it as my general opinion.

[edit] In order to be more clear. I don't mean the case where one poster is composing at the same time as another and their posts are a few minutes apart because one finished first.

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Re: I wish people would just to a basic Google search

#31 Post by CwF »

interesting discussion, some test to sign up a good idea, but to the original point:

Even for a fluent user the signal to noise ratio of a google search nowadays is very low. I'm thrilled when a lengthy specific query yield NO results. Google couldn't figure what to sell me... Identical Google searches from different credential don't even return the same results anymore. Well written guides and how-to's are the best bet, organized in maintained communities like this.

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GarryRicketson
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Re: I wish people would just to a basic Google search

#32 Post by GarryRicketson »

Yes , but , well Google, is certainly not the only search engine, fortunately.
I do agree, google is the last choice , when I do any searches.
For those same reasons, all the results are just advertisements and spam sites. I guess they pay google to make sure they are in the first results but that would be another topic.

The other search engines usually get better results.
Other search engines that are better then google

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debiman
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Re: I wish people would just to a basic Google search

#33 Post by debiman »

  • searching the web is an underrated skill. it's not that easy, and providing the troubled newb with a useful search phrase or link is better than just saying "wtf, it literally took me 5s to find a solution for you". plus: still adhering to the "teach a person to fish" principle.
  • google == filter bubble. it can get positively annoying sometimes. for computer-related stuff i found duckduckgo.com to yield better results.

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