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Effective posts: How to make posts that attract relevant experts and get REAL help

Posted 05-08-2009 at 12:12 PM by chitambira
Updated 05-11-2009 at 03:03 AM by chitambira

Many new members stumble at LQ desperately looking for help with a failed server or after getting stuck following a HOWTO.
Most fall into the temptation (of amateurs) of thinking that you get quick help by "shouting out 'HELP'".

The general populacy (those not intellectually privileged) believe that they can ploy the same attention seeking tactics they use in near/in sight (mouth-to-mouth) conversations, to out of sight (forums) conversations. For example, they think you can shout by use of capital letters in forum, or repeat words/letters, or put an array of question/exclamation marks.
Unfortunately this thinking is not only misleading, but wasteful, especially of the precious bandwidth, and the user's own time (=money)
Better ways of showing these emotions have existed over time by use of emoticons (which take up to 2 characters only) but some pple seem to ignore them.

With reference to LQ linux-server forum, I think its best to give an indication of the server type in the title of the post, so that experts in that type of server can easily and quickly pick it and offer help. Its no use if a titlee is like "PLIZ HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

-capitalisation --> not very inviting, actually turns off
-exclamation --> a real turn off, esp without any detail
-help --> how boring it is to try and help somebody who seems dumb and clueless.

posting guidlines are there for new members to read. A good post title might be something like "Samba server: getting error 'connection reset by peer'" then you move on to describe full details in the post.
Details should include:

-your architecture (server hardware, linux distro, specs etc)
-what you did (eg tried to install a module/rpm etc)
-response/error(error generated by your action)
-logs (whats reported in the relevant logs e.g /var/log/samba/smb.log)
-what you tried to do to resolve (if you did try, and the outcome)
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