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  • A slighty off-the wall suggestion, perhaps, but.....

    Can we make it impossible for new ID's to respond to a thread without first asking a new question?

    This would dramatically reduce the number of erroneous 'me-too' posts, and make life simpler for all

    Also - how about limiting the Subject length to 40-60 characters - I'm fed up with having to read the Subject, rather than the question! - and the opening post in any thread should have a higher minimum length - say 150 characters. If the minimum isn't met, then the forum response should be an advisory that there is not enough information in the question to formaulate a proper response, and the questioner should add more detail.

    That should reduce the number of times we have to ask for more detail!


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 2:09 PM
    Answerer

Answers

  • Can we make it impossible for new ID's to respond to a thread without first asking a new question?

    An unintended consequence might be people posting pointless questions just so they can get full access.

    Sincerely,

    John Boncek

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 2:52 PM
  • (Replying to the original post in the thread)

    1. Me too posts are a nuisance (especially to threads where the last post was from 2008 or 2009) but I'm not seeing them as a major problem.

    2. More irritating is the habit of some people replying to old (typically closed) threads with a new question (often about a completely different product version which is off-topic in the forum it was posted to).

    3. Equally annoying (going back to the starter post again ..) are people who post a new question (i.e. new thread) and also add the identical question to one or more existing threads (some of which are the 2. case). Luckily they always post these at the same time so a My Forums Threads list makes them easy to find (if the moderator is properly awake) but still.

    4. I agree with cutting down the possible subject length as mostly those long subjects include "nice" / "chatty" words (example: Help me please to find an answer to a problem with ...) that have nothing to do with a problem description. (and long error message quotes can be shorter in the title "<short description>..." and in full in the text.

    5. I don't however agree with a minimum length post. The people that can't think of a better text than repeating their subject won't think of anything useful to fill those extra characters in any case and in "my" forums they invariably say right at the end of the post which product they are using (50% in the wrong forum set!) so I'd need to read more words to get to that key fact.

    Mike


    SP 2010 "FAQ" (mainly useful links): http://wssv4faq.mindsharp.com/default.aspx
    WSS3/MOSS FAQ (FAQ and Links) http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com/default.aspx
    Both also have links to extensive book lists and to (free) on-line chapters




    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 6:04 PM
  • Another issue with the "required to ask question" idea is what if they land on a page and have the answer? Then they have to go ask a question in order to answer a question? That seems like a bad problem.

    And Mike has a good point (#5) about the problems with limiting the characters (there's already a tiny limit--so they thought about this some).

    All that said, you do present a good problem. Any other solutions?


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Experience Program Manager (Blog, Twitter, Wiki)

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 6:26 PM
    Owner

All replies

  • Can we make it impossible for new ID's to respond to a thread without first asking a new question?

    An unintended consequence might be people posting pointless questions just so they can get full access.

    Sincerely,

    John Boncek

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 2:52 PM
  • Yes, I also don't think we should add such requirements. Limiting thread's title to something reasonable - perhaps.

    For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert. - Becker's Law


    My blog

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 3:34 PM
    Moderator
  • (Replying to the original post in the thread)

    1. Me too posts are a nuisance (especially to threads where the last post was from 2008 or 2009) but I'm not seeing them as a major problem.

    2. More irritating is the habit of some people replying to old (typically closed) threads with a new question (often about a completely different product version which is off-topic in the forum it was posted to).

    3. Equally annoying (going back to the starter post again ..) are people who post a new question (i.e. new thread) and also add the identical question to one or more existing threads (some of which are the 2. case). Luckily they always post these at the same time so a My Forums Threads list makes them easy to find (if the moderator is properly awake) but still.

    4. I agree with cutting down the possible subject length as mostly those long subjects include "nice" / "chatty" words (example: Help me please to find an answer to a problem with ...) that have nothing to do with a problem description. (and long error message quotes can be shorter in the title "<short description>..." and in full in the text.

    5. I don't however agree with a minimum length post. The people that can't think of a better text than repeating their subject won't think of anything useful to fill those extra characters in any case and in "my" forums they invariably say right at the end of the post which product they are using (50% in the wrong forum set!) so I'd need to read more words to get to that key fact.

    Mike


    SP 2010 "FAQ" (mainly useful links): http://wssv4faq.mindsharp.com/default.aspx
    WSS3/MOSS FAQ (FAQ and Links) http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com/default.aspx
    Both also have links to extensive book lists and to (free) on-line chapters




    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 6:04 PM
  • Another issue with the "required to ask question" idea is what if they land on a page and have the answer? Then they have to go ask a question in order to answer a question? That seems like a bad problem.

    And Mike has a good point (#5) about the problems with limiting the characters (there's already a tiny limit--so they thought about this some).

    All that said, you do present a good problem. Any other solutions?


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Experience Program Manager (Blog, Twitter, Wiki)

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 6:26 PM
    Owner
  • (To Ed)

    The reason most people who are not already members 'land' on any given thread is surely that they Googled it (or perhaps Binged it) - the chances that they did that to reply rather than ask a question must be fairly limited.

    What is the current limit  on Subjects? I was able to enter over 200 characters ito the box!! (didn't post it, obviously)

    If you can't get a reasonable Subject in 60 characters there's something wrong.


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 6:46 PM
    Answerer
  • > Can we make it impossible for new ID's to respond to a thread without first asking a new question?

    It seems to me some habitual posters here have become territorial and will resort to various underhandednesses to impede newcomers.

    Maybe they just don't want fresh competition.  Or a level playing field.

    Sly,

    Ha! This could result in an argument.

    I think the reasoning is that newcomers sign in to say "me too" too much, and that's becoming frustrating. However, I agree with you that impeding newcomers isn't the best idea.

    Thanks!


    Ed Price (a.k.a User Ed), SQL Server Experience Program Manager (Blog, Twitter, Wiki)

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012 11:54 PM
    Owner
  • Since the requirement to first ask a question would only seriously discommode those who habitually create new identities, I can see the reason for your objection, sly.

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth

    Thursday, February 16, 2012 8:08 AM
    Answerer
  • > implement a provision and policy to close threads that are actually answered

    There is no provision / policy but I lock threads where the OP has marked a post as an answer or has otherwise indicated that his question has been answered.

    I do not lock threads that have been marked as answers by MS Chinese Moderators because there has been no reply in the thread for a couple of days.

    Thus there becomes in time a sort of quality seal - if they are locked, they (by and large) have been "actually answered". If they are not locked but marked as answered then maybe the thread contains an answer but maybe not.

    Making this a provision/policy means you need to have someone to do it. For obvious reasons I wouldn't want the people who mark threads because a couple of days have passed without a reply to be the ones given the task of locking the threads.

    The main advantage of locking threads is that thread spread stops (in those threads) as no further questions are possible in an actually answered (and thus locked) thread. There is also no possibility of several years later asking a question about a then more current (and thus different) product. Also MS Statistics for % of answered threads are more accurate as there is one question per thread.

    The main disadvantage that occasionally the OP says he was too quick to mark a post as an answer (or to say, thanks [that solved it]) and thus would want to continue with the thread. He can of course do this in a new thread by referring to the locked one or ask for it to be unlocked. That happens, thankfully, rarely.

    (I don't regard it as important that no further points for Helpful can be given to posts in the thread once it has been locked. The key thing is that the OP has an answer not that replies get (more) points. Some of course would see this as a drawback to locking.)


    SP 2010 "FAQ" (mainly useful links): http://wssv4faq.mindsharp.com/default.aspx
    WSS3/MOSS FAQ (FAQ and Links) http://wssv3faq.mindsharp.com/default.aspx
    Both also have links to extensive book lists and to (free) on-line chapters

    Thursday, February 16, 2012 10:12 AM
  • I agree with points Mike Walsh made in his first reply. While all things you listed in your original posts can be annoying, I don't see them as valid reasons to add restrictions you listed. The only somewhat reasonable restriction that can be added is the length of the post title.

    For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert. - Becker's Law


    My blog

    Thursday, February 16, 2012 1:27 PM
    Moderator