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Naming and Shaming Bad Forums with Bad Ethics

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In this thread, I want to highlight one main forum that I feel needs to be named-and-shamed.

The following forum, is a supposed programming "help" forum...well...they might have SOME programming info on there...but thier forum is certainly not worth bothering with.

You see...unlike here, at Donation Coder, where users take the time and effort to help, the following site seems to love to use the phrase "Search on Google".
That phrase is an obvious "Go away, I cannot be bothered", which makes you wonder...why do they bother replying, if its not of any help?

I'm starting a small application and in it I want a very simple IRC client.
I can't find anything using google to where to start or how to do this?
Is there anyone here that knows or have worked with an IRC client before and can help me get a very simple app started or direct me in the right place.
--- End quote ---
Quite a normal question right?

I thought so...Now heres the FIRST reply...which I should from a MODERATOR!

Re: Simple IRC Client

Posted 26 May 2009 - 07:01 AM
Google Search
--- End quote ---

After a few other posts of the moderator saying "GTFO and Google it" and the user actually not clicking on that these people dont care, another user says the following:

Well... you probably didn't click on the 3rd link did you, because it has a complete solution ready for use.

Btw: 2nd link on the google search, redirects back to this thread.. Infinite loops atw
--- End quote ---

Now...I'm pretty sure its common knowledge that google is dynamic, and what shows up #2 for one person, might be #8 for another person 10 seconds later...

The site im going to name and shame is.........

Click To Reveal The Mentioned Site

The forum post that the quotes where taken from is...........

Click here to see

This is the reason I love DC...I have NEVER seen a user dismissed and told to GTFO and Google It :D

Do you know any other major forums who are guilty of this?  If so, post them!

Do you know any other major forums who are guilty of this?  If so, post them!
-Stephen66515 (December 26, 2010, 09:03 PM)
--- End quote ---

GTFO and Google it~! :P

But seriously, yeah... Any guitar forum is full of trolls and tools. It's annoying. People haven't got the decency to be polite. RTFM is not an acceptable answer.

@Stephen66515: "Ethics" is usually more about maintaining moral principles in behaviour and business. It would seem to be just plain rudeness/bad manners to tell people to "google it" or "RTFM", and my principles prevent me from being rude to others.
After years of lecturing, consulting and generally trying to maintain a politely helpful and positive approach to people's questions (including being a volunteer on aardvark), I eventually decided on three (sorry, four) basic rules:
Rule 1: that there is no limit to our ignorance (including mine), and I should accept that;
Rule 2: to limit the contribution of my cognitive surplus to such people and their infinite ignorance/questions, by encouraging them to take more responsibility for seeking out/discovering their own answers.
Rule 3: that people generally seem to have little respect for and to have a limited capacity to internalise answers/knowledge which have come too easily to them, so generally avoid giving them any answers.
Rule 4: in any event, avoid "telling them the answer" or pushing my opinion forwards without substantiation in theory, experience and good practice (this takes work to communicate).

When I have strayed from these rules, I have usually regretted it (I think it has happened once in the DC forum).

Therefore, rather than tell people to "google it" or "RTFM", IF I decide to assist them at all, then - and even if I think that I know the answer already - I nowadays usually google it, or check Wikipedia (say) or RTFM for them, and then send them the results or source links, with the suggestion that  they could probably get even more useful information if they hunted around a bit more themselves or played about with the google search string. This is just helping people to help themselves.

RTFM is not an acceptable answer.
--- End quote ---


Never has been:

* it attempts to show [smug] superiority, usually by an inferior in one way or another
* it assumes that you haven't read the manual
* it assumes you have the same degree of comprehension as the poster
* it ignores that there often is not a manual, at least one worth reading
* it basically ignores any degree of human worth ...
I could go on - RTFM is one of my biggest gripes - but that list is adequate for the moment, methinks.

That sort of thing is what drove me out of Tek-Tips a decade+ ago, as well as several other forae.  The elitist stance infects many forae, or at least some of their branches - try looking at the Warriors Forum, for instance - and tends to be a creeping blight.  It's been an amazement and a delight to discover DC's lack of it :-* :Thmbsup:.

Well, part of me can kind of understand the angle. But there's a huge difference on how to go about it.

Personally, I am one of those people who only resorts to forums and other forms of communication to get a solution to an issue I am facing after I have researched it myself. If that is in your nature, it is _bloody_ annoying to have people ask the same simpleton 'how do I do X' or 'why does Y not work' question if the same question, when asked to almost unchangedly, throws up results on the first page. (Personally I tend to go 3-5 pages deep, and try different ways to summarize my issue as well.)

Is it so much to ask of people that they do a bit of research before they ask a question? News flash: you are usually not the first to run into a particular issue. News flash: nobody got hurt by doing a tiny bit of self-study as opposed to just angling for an answer.

If it was me, I would not have said RTFM. I would not have said 'google it'. I would have given a link to google search results (maybe use letmegooglethatforyou or wth it is named), and added the links of the results I found. I would have written that they could have done the same thing, had results faster, and not wasted my time: I love answering questions but it is a far more enjoyable matter for both sides if you have a discussion worth noting. "Yes, I looked around, but all of them seem to imply knowledge Y or ignore limitation Z."

So, please, I implore everyone: teach people who ask a question that studying for themselves doesn't hurt them. It makes for a far more pleasant forum that is far-less one-way.


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