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Suggestion: Better handling of posters who don't mark responses as answered

    General discussion

  • A problem that all forums face is posters who do not mark responses as answered. My suggestion is that a poster should not be allowed to start a new question thread until any outstanding thread is closed by the poster. To be fair, there should be a couple of additional options for closing a thread:

    Confirm Answer - If a moderator has marked a response as answered, then the OP must confirm the answer before posting another question. After confirming an answer, the answerer should get the additional points that they would have gotten if the OP had marked the response as answered in the first place. The Confirm Answer option should appear only if the OP didn't mark the response as answered (e.g. marked by the moderator). The OP can unmark an answer, and continue the current thread until and appropriate answer is provided, or the OP deems that no answer satisfies the original question.

    No Suitable Answer - If the OP decides that no answer is appropriate, then the thread can be closed by using the No Suitable Answer option. However, the thread can be reopened if someone has a suggested answer. In this case the OP will have to reclose the thread before a new thread can be started.

    A user should be able to start a new thread if there are no responses to any prior threads that are open. There are situations where someone requests additional clarifications to the OP's question. In such cases, it is unclear whether the OP should be forced to respond before starting a new thread. If new threads can be started under such a condition, then it might mean that the OP's responsibility to close a thread begins only after a response is marked (minimally) as proposed answer. 

    Thursday, May 3, 2018 3:18 PM

All replies

  • Are we discussing this issue idealistically or realistically?

    In reality, the problem is that the members do not participate as much as they should. Your suggestions assume they will participate. For example, if they are required to close a question and if they do not participate as well as we want them to then they will do something but not what we want them to do.

    As for confirming an answer, I assume you have not been active lately. Moderators now don't mark posts as answers, I certainly have not seen that being done recently.

    For your "No Suitable Answer" you say reopened, implying that a question would be closed if there are not suitable answers. That sure sounds impractical to me. You say it can be reopened if it gets an answer but "closed" implies that no one will look at it.

    We seem to currently have the problem of an abundance of members with zero points, there seem to be too many of them for it to be normal. Evidently members are able to create new users for new questions. Sometimes the user name is a portion of the question, implying the user exists for just that question. Either that does not happen in the forums you have been looking at or you just have not been active recently.



    Sam Hobbs
    SimpleSamples.Info


    Thursday, May 3, 2018 5:26 PM
  • Hi Sam,

    I apologize for my presumptions. They were based on activity in the Power Query forum and comments found in some old threads. It would appear that some things mentioned in the old threads perhaps still only apply to the Power Query forum.

    In reality, the problem is that the members do not participate as much as they should. Your suggestions assume they will participate. For example, if they are required to close a question and if they do not participate as well as we want them to then they will do something but not what we want them to do.

    No, my suggestions have nothing to do with one-off member participation. In the Power Query forum, it is not unusual for a member ask new questions before they respond to a previous thread that someone has taken the time to provide a potential answer. I don't think that such behavior is appropriate. If a member asks a question and never returns to the forum, then nothing that I have mentioned applies (nor is there anything that can be done about that).

    As for confirming an answer, I assume you have not been active lately. Moderators now don't mark posts as answers, I certainly have not seen that being done recently.

    No, your assumption is incorrect. In the Power Query forum, moderators regularly mark responses as proposed answers, full answers, or both. 

    For your "No Suitable Answer" you say reopened, implying that a question would be closed if there are not suitable answers. That sure sounds impractical to me. You say it can be reopened if it gets an answer but "closed" implies that no one will look at it.

    Actually, I don't really know if a thread is ever considered "Closed." However, the state is the same as if the member doesn't respond to a previous thread before starting a new one.

    Evidently members are able to create new users for new questions. Sometimes the user name is a portion of the question, implying the user exists for just that question. Either that does not happen in the forums you have been looking at or you just have not been active recently.

    That's definitely news to me. I cannot imagine how creating multiple user names would benefit anyone. However, as I've mentioned already, I'm not addressing one-offs.

    As for recent activity, would you consider participation an average of three of four times a week for the past five years recent? 


    Thursday, May 3, 2018 10:50 PM
  • not unusual for a member ask new questions before they respond to a previous thread that someone has taken the time to provide a potential answer.

    I would call that "members do not participate as much as they should".


    Sam Hobbs
    SimpleSamples.Info

    Thursday, May 3, 2018 11:13 PM
  • ... it is not unusual for a member ask new questions before they respond to a previous thread that someone has taken the time to provide a potential answer ...

    Right now, I have 3 threads that deal with the same subject. I did that because I need to multi-thread the issue.

    The issue is discovery of a method to force NumLock to be ON (or OFF) on start-up. There are 3 potential methods: 1, Windows settings, 2, Registry settings, and 3, A scripted task that runs prior to Winlogon. (I have not found one that works.)

    In my experience, respondants address only 1 issue when multiple issues are presented. To get full coverage, I multi-thread my questions. Also, presenting multiple issues in a single thread seems too 'busy' -- it causes many people to simply ignore the entire question (which appears more as a rant than a question). Also, presenting multiple issues in a single thread often confuses potential respondants.


    Monday, December 24, 2018 9:34 PM
  • Right now, I have 3 threads that deal with the same subject. I did that because I need to multi-thread the issue.

    The issue is discovery of a method to force NumLock to be ON (or OFF) on start-up. There are 3 potential methods: 1, Windows settings, 2, Registry settings, and 3, A scripted task that runs prior to Winlogon. (I have not found one that works.)

    In my experience, respondants address only 1 issue when multiple issues are presented. To get full coverage, I multi-thread my questions. Also, presenting multiple issues in a single thread seems too 'busy' -- it causes many people to simply ignore the entire question (which appears more as a rant than a question). Also, presenting multiple issues in a single thread often confuses potential respondants.

    Clarity helps. Avoid using terms and phrases that others are unfamiliar with. The phrase "multi-thread the issue" is not clear to me.

    As for asking multiple things in a question, you will understand the problem if you spend time trying to help others. This thread is primarily for those of us with experience with that. Most of us that try to help others get frustrated when there are multiple questions that can be separated. You are not clear enough however for me to know if that applies to anything you said. But absolutely I agree that only one issue should be responded to. When you become more experienced in these forums you will learn that a primay design feature of these forums is to provide assistance to the person asking the questions but also to others in the future. When you understand that you will understand why it is important that there be only one issue per question when possible. Sometimes issues are related in such a manner that they are actually one issue but otherwise issues should be separate. There are good reasons for that.

    If "multi-thread the issue" means you ask the same question in multiple places at the same time then please understand that that is something else that people that answer questions are likely to not like. If you are going to do that then at least make bi-directional pointers in the sense of posting a link in each one to the other questions.



    Sam Hobbs
    SimpleSamples.Info

    Thursday, December 27, 2018 4:18 AM
  • Hello Sam,

    Clarity helps. Avoid using terms and phrases that others are unfamiliar with. The phrase "multi-thread the issue" is not clear to me.

    This topic plus all the replies is called a "thread". By "multi-thread the issue" I mean that I create multiple, separate topics, and thereby multiple threads -- analogous to multi-threaded program code. I hope that's understood now.

    In my NumLock example, I created 3 topics.

    As for asking multiple things in a question ...

    I don't do that. By separating issues, even if related, into separate threads, each thread deals with only one thing.

    ... This thread is primarily for those of us with experience with that. ...

    Ah! So you do know what a "thread" is. Good. I hope you understand "multi-threaded".

    If "multi-thread the issue" means you ask the same question in multiple places at the same time then please understand that that is something else that people that answer questions are likely to not like. ...

    I believe that's called "cross posting". No, I don't cross post.

    I wrote:

    The issue is discovery of a method to force NumLock to be ON (or OFF) on start-up. There are 3 potential methods: 1, Windows settings, 2, Registry settings, and 3, A scripted task that runs prior to Winlogon. (I have not found one that works.)

    The 3 threads (topics) are:
    1 - Discovery of a Windows setting that forces NumLock to be ON (or OFF) -- this is still an open issue.
    2 - Discovery of a Registry setting that forces NumLock to be ON (or OFF) -- this is still an open issue.
    3 - Development of a scripted task that runs prior to Winlogon that forces NumLock to be ON (or OFF) -- this is still an open issue because, though have written the script, and though the script works, when run as a task that runs prior to Winlogon, it fails because a start-up task apparently doesn't run before Winlogon (though it should run before Winlogon).

    By separating these closely related issues into separate threads (topics), I'm much more likely to get responses. ...You see, I'm very familiar with support forums.

    Regards,
    Mark.

    Thursday, December 27, 2018 4:49 AM
  • I will assume you understand the other things I said.

    The 3 threads (topics) are:

    1 - Discovery of a Windows setting that forces NumLock to be ON (or OFF) -- this is still an open issue.
    2 - Discovery of a Registry setting that forces NumLock to be ON (or OFF) -- this is still an open issue.
    3 - Development of a scripted task that runs prior to Winlogon that forces NumLock to be ON (or OFF) -- this is still an open issue because, though have written the script, and though the script works, when run as a task that runs prior to Winlogon, it fails because a start-up task apparently doesn't run before Winlogon (though it should run before Winlogon).

    This is not the place to answer you questions but if you don't get answers then it is nearly certain that answers don't exist.

    There used to be a way to specify whether NumLock is on or off at login and I assume there still is. It probably overrides whatever is done before login. Everything else you describe would be impractical. It is probably something that would be managed by each application. I am being vague because this is not the place to provide answers to that.



    Sam Hobbs
    SimpleSamples.Info

    Thursday, December 27, 2018 5:08 AM