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what to think about a post when responses stop coming

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  • Hi db

    After posting a comment like:

    "I got an answer and suggestion from a local MS representative after growing impatient and less confident with the responses in this thread..."

    I would not expect any further responses?

    Hope this helps.

     


    Ronnie Vernon MVP

    Friday, April 3, 2009 8:06 PM
  • thanks Ronnie.  That was entered only after I gave up hope of communicating with the fellow who thought he was helping and only after we went a day or two with no useful info.  Please try to answer my question based on what you see prior to that criticism.
    Friday, April 3, 2009 9:55 PM
  • You say "Maybe this particular forum is short on staff", but I see no evidence that the person that was trying to help you was "staff". Looks liek just another user that was trying to be helpful, and when he ran out of ideas, gave up.
    Matt Fraser, STO Forums Software Developer
    Saturday, April 4, 2009 1:18 AM
  • I've often come across the impression in some users that if I post a reply to their question (and sometimes my replies are only to ask for the particular version of the product that they are using) that I am committing myself to having a conversation with them that lasts only when the problem has been solved or when the user agrees to accept that there is no solution.

    I might well work that way with paying customers of the company I work for, but forums are one person asking a question followed my many people trying to help *in their free time* (if we exclude Microsoft support people). There is no commitment of any kind from the responders to a thread.

    So my replying to a post once is very likely to be the only reply that person gets *from me*. It's hopefully useful or hopefully contributes to someone else being able to fully answer the post, but that's all it is. It is NOT a commitment to "continue the conversation".

    In fact as a Moderator as well as occasional contributor of answers (as opposed to replies), my working method is to look at all new (unread) threads to see if they are in the right place and to see if I can contribute to the thread in some way and then to move on to the next unread thread. Once I've done that initial pass I don't look at unread threads again. The only exception to that is if a post has been proposed as an answer when I check it to see if that WAS an answer.

    WSS FAQ sites: WSS 2.0: http://wssv2faq.mindsharp.com WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007: http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com
    Total list of WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 Books (including foreign language titles) http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com/Lists/v3%20WSS%20FAQ/V%20Books.aspx
    Saturday, April 4, 2009 7:27 AM
  • thanks Matt, but maybe the fact that a staffer didnt look in and notice that the thread was going "south" (nowhere) is a sign that this forum is under staffed, I'm just trying to get a handle on how this works behind the scenes.  Maybe you are telling me to be more paient and not give up if two days pass without an answer to a seemingly trivial question the answer to which I cant find elsewhere online.  So what is a good rule of thumb for waiting, especially if the question seems like it would be trivial to folks using RS daily? 

    I've removed my negative comment from the post in question but left the suggestion from our local MS guy. 

    Saturday, April 4, 2009 4:35 PM
  • thanks Mike, that is some pretty good insight for me personally because I would definitely have thought you were commiting to an answer if you asked "what version", especially if I saw MSFT or MVP after your name.   Now I know better.

    So it sounds like you are saying moderators dont seek answers for stale posts, and there really is nobody beyond moderators who can be "expected" to respond.  That really anything beyond the moderation practices you described is out of the goodness of peoples' hearts.  I think I heard of one exception where Jamie from Conchango was making a concious effort of making the SSIS forum (I think MSDN's) more responsive to posters.  I believe I read somewhere that he was disappointed in the stats they'd gathered about responsiveness in that forum.  But I guess that's still out of the goodness of his heart.   

    Still, I have to ask, do people who think they are helping, but really arent, tend to make folks with the real answers steer clear of my post?  If so, is there an etiquette for getting them to cease even perhaps remove their comments if it seems that those comments are having an unintended effect?  I am not trying to be mean, I am really just trying to understand how this stuff plays out, and if there might be an upside to getting responders to be more careful.

    Generally, I believe that my posts are helpful to other people.  I make a point of coming back to the post and entering a final answer if I find that I need to answer a question myself, either by burning a subscription or spending the dreaded hours experimenting.  My questions are usually intended to help others in setting strategies that involve choosing MSFT features to solve business problems.   In this particular case I was helping a peer who finally gave up on this particular RS feature and asked me to help.   I'm assuming that you see no problem in the way I asked the question initially.

    I'm also starting to wonder if the Forum readership is down.  I remember a day when hundreds of views were normal, now it seems that 20 or 30 is a big audience.     

      
    Saturday, April 4, 2009 5:17 PM
  • Your case is pretty typical for any forum.  There is usually a select group of contributors who volunteer to answer questions.  They keep a black-list that has names of users that in the past were consistently argumentative, rude, ungrateful or never formulate questions that document their problem well.  Such users see responses to their questions dry up after a while.

    One thing you could try is to create a new user account to get off those lists.  However, that rarely works, your style will typically quickly be recognized.  The only other option then is to start paying for your support.  Although that gives you lot more justifiable reasons to be vocal about the quality of services rendered, commercial support outlets have their own way of dealing with difficult customers.  They'll patch you through to Bangalore.
    Hans Passant.
    Saturday, April 4, 2009 7:02 PM
  • thanks nobugz, this is the first time in a long time this has happened to me on a simple/straight forward question.  But I'll be more careful in hopes of getting off the blacklists.

    Either way, the readership I'm asking about is after a post is answered.   In the past you'd see a sudden large spike (hundreds) in views after your post is answered, now not so large.   Do the masses who used to wait for a post to be answered before viewing also keep blacklists? 

    Saturday, April 4, 2009 11:10 PM