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LQ Questions of ... Question

Posted 07-23-2015 at 02:50 PM by rtmistler
Updated 07-27-2015 at 07:20 AM by rtmistler

In volunteering to monitor LQ questions, I'm looking at new questions that are incomplete or just bad questions.

These are my notes intended to submit to Jeremy once this monitor period has progress sufficiently.

Update 7/27/15 - Stopping this activity. Conclusions + follow-up (some shown within) Due to my time requirements this week I likely will not have sufficient time to keep pace as I did a few days last week. Not all the questions were ideal for the canned response. Only one of the questions ended up being solved. Someone seems to either have self-solved, or the follow-up questions aided in them solving. They did mark the thread as solved. The rest speak for themselves. A cited problem is that people can edit their posts, which is great in the events of: typo, totally incorrect information, rudeness where they realize they ought to fix it. However if that obliterates the original question, it can be useless. I do recall seeing threads which were in whatever state, open or solved and the OP self-solved, so they deleted their question leaving a one or two post thread that was useless. Or other similar situations. Note also that people can edit the titles of their threads. That makes it further difficult. I see "need help with bash script to delete a directory" and I remember that, if they change the name to be "I want to rename my files" ... OK I may be subscribed to it, but it again obfuscates the question. I don't know how to fix those issues I'm raising. I like that I can edit an "oops", just to me I really do edit the "oops" and if I feel my original thoughts were important, I note them and leave them, but show my correction. Perhaps a history which privileged users such as Moderators and above can view and override to bring back?

I don't know if I was the sole volunteer on this subject or if there are others following this experiment. What I'm doing is browsing when I can for zero reply threads as well as threads which have 1-3 responses or so as an attempt to determine if someone else has asked a followup question and the OP has nothing for them, or the OP doesn't help much with their followup.

And an issue which plagues all of this is that people can edit their posts. OP's completely get rid of questions they may be embarrassed by, or have determined that they're not going to get an answer for, or just because they're not thinking right on the subject. As a result, a very bad question may be edited to a not so bad question, or worse ...

Here is the link for the canned response

There are however just poorly worded questions and also ones which are answered, to a degree, or asked. So not fully sure that I'd post the "How to ask a question" but I'll at least identify them here:

7/23/15
(1) http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...0/#post5395330 - did choose to post the recommended feedback. Update 7/27/15 - OP never returned.

7/24/15
(1) Interesting. Here's a question that came up a few days ago where the question was perfectly fine. I happened to offer my $0.02 along with other persons and the OP has never yet returned.
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...9/#post5394145
One could argue that the OP should've cited a particular wireless adapter they have in mind. But a bit nasty to just send them the default "you asked a bad question" link. The canned response was not used. It's sort of another example of a first question asked by someone that is apparently superfluous, or merely that the OP doesn't get email, went on a trip, or found a solution somewhere else and doesn't care, problem was solved some other way. Update 7/27/15 - OP has not returned with any updates

(2) New question where behaviors of an application changed after update, but no information such as pictures or distribution, etc http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...27#post5395727 Did choose to use the canned response here. Update 7/27/15 - OP has not responded

(3) New question where someone changed their video card and now X won't start. Did not post their log, but did post the cited error. Used the canned response. http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...28#post5395728 Update 7/27/15 - OP has not responded

(4) Another question from a member who registered in 2008 and asked where their newsletter is ... http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...31#post5395731 Yes, canned response was used here.
UPDATE: The OP replied 2-3 times with further confusing comments. Weird almost to a point of oddness such as they are being intentionally odd like a troll. This further becomes off because .... gee, they signed up for LQ back in 2008 and this oddball question was their first post. Now they've sort of wasted posts 2, 3, .... by reiterating their odd requests. One wonders if this is someone who "found" someone else's login and is using it for fun. Update 7/27/15 - OP stopped responding/sending awkward questions

(5) Question posed about running a compiled program on different versions, not worded too well, edited later and still not worded too well. http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...-a-4175548724/ canned response offered after a few other posters have offered questions or prospective answers. On this one it is very hard to tell, I did not see the original question and how poor or worse it was worded. The edit does not seem to be very helpful. Meanwhile experienced members' responses may be right on due to the original question, or perhaps a bit tough. And some are tempered, with intentions to help. Issues to remember are that we are all busy, trying to help and many times we take the time to type something, edit, review it, hold off for a bit and eventually do respond, only to find that 3-5 other responses have already jumped in there. Update 7/27/15 - I fixed my link above. OP has not responded.

(6) The next question I also used the canned response http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...55#post5395755 however I offered some added responses because the question was partially adequate and it just sounds like the OP has a mis-perception about daemons vs services. Update 7/27/15 - OP solved this and marked the thread. Seems like follow-up questions helped lead them to their solution.

(7) New question asking about IP tables and a particular SSH port. http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...44#post5395844. Posted the link to the canned response. Update 7/27/15 - OP has not responded
Posted in LQ Information
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    I continue to think as I posted in the discussion thread. Full moderation of new threads by posters who are LQ Newbies will be extra work, but it will help eliminate a larger number of users getting involved for cases where:
    1. OP either doesn't care or is intentionally spamming
    2. OP just doesn't "get it" and never will
    3. OP really did ask improperly and a minor exchange with the Moderator will straighten them out and make for a clear question with clear answers and a solved thread that is useful
    Another option would be "software" which would limit/guide the poster in creating a thread. Letting them know that a title is poor and looking at their question and concluding it is unclear. That's very difficult ... and I'd be a proponent instead of the human option over the software one.
    Posted 07-27-2015 at 07:32 AM by rtmistler rtmistler is offline
  2. Old Comment
    4th thread does not at all sound like a troll post.
    IMO, he was asking about the newsletter LQ sends to
    all the members containing a list of zero reply threads, so
    that some one interested can answer them.

    His English wasn't very nice though but I at least could
    read his intent.
    Posted 07-27-2015 at 08:11 AM by TheIndependentAquarius TheIndependentAquarius is offline
    Updated 07-27-2015 at 08:15 AM by TheIndependentAquarius
  3. Old Comment
    The elephant in the living room being missed time and time again here is that the user who can't be bothered to construct a properly worded post, won't be bothered to read that either. Plus, the way it's worded, it just comes across as generic "customer services" twaddle. It in fact helps to perpetuate the idea that the forum is some kind of helpdesk.

    As I said in the thread, it's a step in the right direction, but it needs to be non generic. It needs a lot of long standing members to get on board with this and just agree what the problem is and how to tackle it. When all is said and done, it's members who answer these questions and it's members who need to decide on the best course of action. Without the generic reeled off spiel, the OP of such threads needs to be informed that their post is lacking info and that they are unlikely to get any more help until the provide this or research their problem. Generic scripted stuff, will simply be ignored or "filtered out" (like all generic scripted stuff).

    Finally, it's no good in blaming the new user or attempting to "educate" them. Those answering these questions and spoonfeeding (probably to gain reputation) are doing the real damage and encouraging this.
    Posted 07-27-2015 at 10:34 AM by cynwulf cynwulf is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Agreed cynwulf. And yes Aquarius, I came to learn that the poorly worded questioner was really asking about a subscription email service for zero reply threads. I've never used that.

    Fact is the trick I learned with this study was in the Quick Links I've known about the zero reply threads option, there's also a "View New Posts" option and using that you see threads which have recent activity, newly posted or just newly answered. And for purposes of this study I concentrated on threads which had 0-2/3/4 replies. And you can quickly open a 5 or less reply message and figure if it's going anywhere or instead there are 3-4 regular posters who all parallel posted a question back to the OP.
    Posted 07-27-2015 at 10:51 AM by rtmistler rtmistler is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Nice job/work here , rtmistler . Thanks for volunteering.

    From the walmart greeter member of LQ who tries his best to put new users at ease, when possible.

    When they ignore me. No damage done here. Just self inflicted wounds is all I see. Because. I am not the one with the problem.

    Keep up the good work, from another bro.

    Edit:
    Quote:
    answering these questions and spoonfeeding (probably to gain reputation)
    Guilty raises his hand. Just the spoonfeeding. Not the rep or post count. I just try and link them to what other members are saying since I figure they have no clue on searching word terms like "md5sum" or whatever.

    I give a lot of benefit of the doubt to folks I think are not as sharp as this uneducated, linux using scooter tramp.

    Who already has a rep, even in the the real world.
    Posted 07-27-2015 at 01:55 PM by rokytnji rokytnji is offline
    Updated 07-27-2015 at 01:59 PM by rokytnji
  6. Old Comment
    Hi rtmistler...

    Thank you for volunteering and trying to help combat this issue. I would agree that by itself, I don't feel canned responses are going to help very much, at least in the short term.

    Regards...
    Posted 07-27-2015 at 05:09 PM by ardvark71 ardvark71 is offline
    Updated 07-27-2015 at 05:11 PM by ardvark71 (Added word.)
  7. Old Comment
    I have literally given up replying to posts that can be answered on Google.
    I have better shit to do.
    Posted 07-27-2015 at 05:55 PM by Habitual Habitual is offline
  8. Old Comment
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cynwulf View Comment
    ...Plus, the way it's worded, it just comes across as generic "customer services" twaddle. It in fact helps to perpetuate the idea that the forum is some kind of helpdesk....
    What are you referring to as twaddle? The canned response? If yes, then could you tell specifically how can it be made better?
    Posted 07-28-2015 at 03:19 AM by TheIndependentAquarius TheIndependentAquarius is offline
    Updated 07-28-2015 at 03:20 AM by TheIndependentAquarius
  9. Old Comment
    It needs to be less "canned", i.e. the response needs to be an attitude shared by a significant group of members rather than this generic message being posted by a few people (which may ironically lead to those few "burning out" rather quickly) and it needs to be directed at the OP. Every member involved needs their own spin on this, but every member needs to be basically saying the same thing.

    "You haven't provided enough info" should be enough of a response to a typical one sentence "Help!!!" post. You could link to the FAQ and provide a tremendous amount of info and guidelines on posting etiquette, but "Help!!!" isn't going to read it. "Help!!!" may however ready a few words which get straight to the point.

    However - and this goes for canned responses as well - if you don't have all members on the same page, then it's all pretty pointless as there is not much sense in you posting such a message if four willing spoon feeders follow you with their replies.
    Posted 07-28-2015 at 05:09 AM by cynwulf cynwulf is offline
  10. Old Comment
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cynwulf View Comment
    However - and this goes for canned responses as well - if you don't have all members on the same page, then it's all pretty pointless as there is not much sense in you posting such a message if four willing spoon feeders follow you with their replies.
    Hi...

    This is something that Jeremy and the moderators are going to have to take charge of and lead. With as many members as we have, I think even getting the majority in agreement and on the same page would be next to impossible.

    Regards...
    Posted 07-28-2015 at 03:26 PM by ardvark71 ardvark71 is offline
  11. Old Comment
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    I'd consider any issue that is causing long time LQ members to lessen their participation here to be a top priority.
    in a similar thread.
    Posted 07-28-2015 at 03:29 PM by Habitual Habitual is offline
  12. Old Comment
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ardvark71 View Comment
    With as many members as we have, I think even getting the majority in agreement and on the same page would be next to impossible.
    Yes, poorly worded. I was referring all of the members involved in trying to resolve this, not "all members".
    Posted 07-29-2015 at 09:19 AM by cynwulf cynwulf is offline
  13. Old Comment
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cynwulf View Comment
    Yes, poorly worded. I was referring all of the members involved in trying to resolve this, not "all members".
    Ah, thank you.
    Posted 07-29-2015 at 11:29 AM by ardvark71 ardvark71 is offline
  14. Old Comment
    Whether scripted responses are used or individual members create their own messages to use when necessary, nothing will change without a concerted effort to change the board's culture. Whether it is because of the belief spoon-feeding is helpful, desire to accumulate reputation points, or other reasons, those people will continue to do it. That means Jeremy and the moderators educating current members by PM or e-mail when they habitually spoon-feed. Is it viable? Can the board's culture be changed? Maybe, maybe not. The point is, unless it does happen, things will not change. Personally, I doubt the culture can be changed, because it has developed over about fifteen years and is deeply ingrained in the habits of members. So I am not optimistic about the initiative's success.
    Posted 07-30-2015 at 01:28 AM by Randicus Draco Albus Randicus Draco Albus is offline
  15. Old Comment
    I still think that canned responses only go as far as the questions added to the canned response. Simply posting the canned response will never be successful if members are not asking questions as well.

    As far as burnout goes, I think that canned responses only make it worse for every one.
    Posted 07-30-2015 at 08:30 PM by mralk3 mralk3 is offline
 

  



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