I already know this is going to start a fire, but I need to get it off my chest. This is my favorite forum, so I won't do this anywhere. This is partly to just have fun and provoke you guys into an interesting discussion, and partly to try to understand the situation.
OK...as google continues to fail me in my research, I continually have to turn to my trusted forums to find information. I am disturbed by the trend of answers that I continue to see. A lot of the time when someone asks a question, the answer given usually boils down to (more or less):
"Just google it"
Now, a lot of people don't say that literally, but that's essentially the meat of their answers. For example, someone will ask a question about software, and someone will respond with a link to the developer's site and maybe even regurgitate some information found on the website. To me, this usually indicates that the responder hasn't actually used the software, but just read the website and thought it would be helpful to post the information. The intent is fine, but it's not really helpful. I mean, we all know how to google, we all know how to read. That's not the point. What is it that YOU know that is not generic information available on product websites? I mean, really?
Often times, people will also give a link to somewhere that may contain an answer. That link may be to a forum thread, an article, etc. But, if you truly want to be helpful, why not past the actual sentences that are helpful into the thread yourself in a quote or something? By just posting the link, you are making the other person go through the work sifting through all the threads, posts, paragraphs to find the relevant info. If you indeed saw the information, why not be a good person and post it for the person?
The answer (in my opinion) is that people who do that don't really know the answer. The THINK the answer may be in that forum or article, but they probably haven't really read it. it's like a guess. Which is bad, because now you are sending the poor guy to read a bunch of stuff that may not lead to anything. I just don't get that. At the very least, say in the post that "this MAY have something for you, but I'm not sure." But I think people are afraid to say "I don't know".
Anyway, just venting a little. I'm sure you guys have noticed in a lot of the threads I've started recently a little more surly sentences and stuff. For recommendations, I usually explicitly state that I want to hear of YOUR personal experiences and opinions with things you have actually used. That is valuable to me. Sending me around to read third-party reviews and such is rarely helpful at all. I have no trust in the reviews that are out there usually. i don't know those people! Most of the time, people who write reviews just write based on first glance impressions. It's not like they have used the stuff for a while and are posting their reactions. No. They usually just open a box, play around for a few minutes, and write a "review". It's useless. Same goes for a lot of software reviews. They install, click around for a minute, then write a review regurgitating the same info listed on the website. Nothing substantial at all. Again, useless.
Why do we do this to each other?