fruitoftheloom
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:10 am

davidcoton wrote:Please accept this post in the spirit it is intended. :lol:

Jamesh is busy rounding up all the ponies and unicorns. He will train them into a cavalry brigade to support the mods by dealing with rogue veteran posters.
I'm not volunteering to be the first sacrificial victim. :evil:
Looks like DL and my days are numbered :?
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joan
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:14 am

A simple change may be to alter the Registration boilerplate. At the moment it serves no purpose as children are encouraged to use the forums. Perhaps a reminder to use the search engine before posting a question.

gordon77
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:56 am

Sadly the search engine isn't very good :roll:

fruitoftheloom
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:01 am

gordon77 wrote:Sadly the search engine isn't very good :roll:
Direct them to use Google Site Search, for example noobs:

noobs site:raspberrypi.org/forums
Thinking outside the box is better than burying your head in the sand...

Massi
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:16 am

this is not the first topic i can remember regarding "welcoming new members"
and it's always something related to who answers and who helps, NEVER something for who asks.
can we say that the level of "askers" is getting lower and lower?
even problems discussed tons of times are posted pretending to be solved with no effort by the asker.
the last one i saw (and, sadly, i could not resist answering) said "If someone just help me be cool" when i suggested to make a brief google search.

even this is education and teaching, but it seems that behavioural rules are requested only to who helps..

and i know we all have been noobs, some of us are still noobs (here i am!) but "i have this problem, please help me understanding what to search" is different than "i have this problem, i do not want to waste my time, solve this for me"

hello world :-)
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:47 am

tausciam wrote:I'm a new member and didn't realize that, when you post or comment, it doesn't automatically subscribe you to that thread...... They really should do something about that.
FYI, there's an option in the UCP (click your username to access the UCP, I think the option's in the Preferences>Board Preferences section) that lets you turn that feature on. It just isn't on by default. Admins, It Should Be. (although I'm not sure it's possible)
EDIT: Board Preferences>Edit Posting Defaults
Last edited by hello world :-) on Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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tausciam
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:53 am

Massi wrote:this is not the first topic i can remember regarding "welcoming new members"
and it's always something related to who answers and who helps, NEVER something for who asks.
can we say that the level of "askers" is getting lower and lower?
even problems discussed tons of times are posted pretending to be solved with no effort by the asker.
the last one i saw (and, sadly, i could not resist answering) said "If someone just help me be cool" when i suggested to make a brief google search.
I would venture to guess that the more comfortable YOU get with the Pi, the more it seems the level of "askers" is getting lower and lower. I would throw it out there that, even though a 'brief google search' might help the person find the solution to their pi problem, it does not solve their problem.

These people are uncomfortable with the pi. It is something new and they have no confidence in it. So, they are looking for encouragement and confidence as much as anything else. That is why they are looking for personal one on one interaction. Someone who has "been there, done that" getting all snarky with them and telling them to RTFM is the last thing in the world that is warranted....not saying that you personally WOULD do that.

Koeshi
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:54 am

hello world :-) wrote:
tausciam wrote:I'm a new member and didn't realize that, when you post or comment, it doesn't automatically subscribe you to that thread...... They really should do something about that.
FYI, there's an option in the UCP (click your username to access the UCP, I think the option's in the Preferences>Board Preferences section) that lets you turn that feature on. It just isn't on by default. Admins, It Should Be. (although I'm not sure it's possible)
There is that, but sadly there isn't an option to be automatically subscribed to a thread when you post in it. Which is a pretty standard option across most forums.

hello world :-)
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:56 am

Massi wrote:this is not the first topic i can remember regarding "welcoming new members"
and it's always something related to who answers and who helps, NEVER something for who asks.
can we say that the level of "askers" is getting lower and lower?
even problems discussed tons of times are posted pretending to be solved with no effort by the asker.
the last one i saw (and, sadly, i could not resist answering) said "If someone just help me be cool" when i suggested to make a brief google search.

even this is education and teaching, but it seems that behavioural rules are requested only to who helps..

and i know we all have been noobs, some of us are still noobs (here i am!) but "i have this problem, please help me understanding what to search" is different than "i have this problem, i do not want to waste my time, solve this for me"
All very true, especially the last bit.
I do moral support. Here: https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/search.php?search_id=egosearch
I know I use too many parentheses. Problem?
Topics I have posted in: http://bit.ly/1NbDdr5
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tausciam
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:57 am

hello world :-) wrote: FYI, there's an option in the UCP (click your username to access the UCP, I think the option's in the Preferences>Board Preferences section) that lets you turn that feature on. It just isn't on by default. Admins, It Should Be. (although I'm not sure it's possible)
I agree....it should be the default. The burden for anything that requires hunting through the settings should rest on those who are familiar with the board...not to the first time user. Defaults should be geared towards the behavior that would make most sense for a first time poster. The person who is a regular contributor can always change things to suit them later on, but you don't want to lose first time posters because they think they didn't get any response.

Massi
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:07 pm

tausciam wrote:I would venture to guess that the more comfortable YOU get with the Pi, the more it seems the level of "askers" is getting lower and lower. I would throw it out there that, even though a 'brief google search' might help the person find the solution to their pi problem, it does not solve their problem.

These people are uncomfortable with the pi. It is something new and they have no confidence in it. So, they are looking for encouragement and confidence as much as anything else. That is why they are looking for personal one on one interaction. Someone who has "been there, done that" getting all snarky with them and telling them to RTFM is the last thing in the world that is warranted....not saying that you personally WOULD do that.
that's not the point.
the point is that i see much more "newbies" coming here not for an help to learn something, but for someone fixing their problem.
This is not "comfortable" or "uncomfortable", this is a wrong approach to what the pi is (and, in my opinion, a big lack of respect towards everyone else on the forum)
and it seems to me that the forum is always ready to give rules to who is helping (don't say that, don't joke, don't, don't) but i've never seen any rules for newbies.

i can survive with that, but i admin i feel a little bit sad when i see an answer given to who only wants "his homerorks made" and is not willing to learn anything..

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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:11 pm

Koeshi wrote:
hello world :-) wrote:
tausciam wrote:I'm a new member and didn't realize that, when you post or comment, it doesn't automatically subscribe you to that thread...... They really should do something about that.
FYI, there's an option in the UCP (click your username to access the UCP, I think the option's in the Preferences>Board Preferences section) that lets you turn that feature on. It just isn't on by default. Admins, It Should Be. (although I'm not sure it's possible)
There is that, but sadly there isn't an option to be automatically subscribed to a thread when you post in it. Which is a pretty standard option across most forums.
This option (the one I mentioned earlier)...
Image
automatically checks this box.
Image
Case closed.
I do moral support. Here: https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/search.php?search_id=egosearch
I know I use too many parentheses. Problem?
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My topics: http://bit.ly/1ObnKqQ
All my posts: http://bit.ly/1OHzje7

6by9
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:14 pm

tausciam wrote:I agree....it should be the default. The burden for anything that requires hunting through the settings should rest on those who are familiar with the board...not to the first time user. Defaults should be geared towards the behavior that would make most sense for a first time poster. The person who is a regular contributor can always change things to suit them later on, but you don't want to lose first time posters because they think they didn't get any response.
Er, guys, there's a little tick box below the submit button when you post "Notify me when a reply is posted". (I've even switched back to raspite to check it is there under that skin too).
Perhaps people are too used to software licence agreements these days and just find the "submit"/"agree" button without looking at anything else.
Ah, I see "hello world" has found it too.

When I first signed up I believe I did get notified for every update, and it got very annoying so I found the option to disable it by default. Then again, that may be my memory going.
Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi Trading. Views expressed are still personal views.
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hello world :-)
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:19 pm

tausciam wrote:
hello world :-) wrote: FYI, there's an option in the UCP (click your username to access the UCP, I think the option's in the Preferences>Board Preferences section) that lets you turn that feature on. It just isn't on by default. Admins, It Should Be. (although I'm not sure it's possible)
I agree....it should be the default. The burden for anything that requires hunting through the settings should rest on those who are familiar with the board...not to the first time user. Defaults should be geared towards the behavior that would make most sense for a first time poster. The person who is a regular contributor can always change things to suit them later on, but you don't want to lose first time posters because they think they didn't get any response.
Sorry, made a mistake. The option is under Board Preferences>Posting Defaults
I do moral support. Here: https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/search.php?search_id=egosearch
I know I use too many parentheses. Problem?
Topics I have posted in: http://bit.ly/1NbDdr5
My topics: http://bit.ly/1ObnKqQ
All my posts: http://bit.ly/1OHzje7

tausciam
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:25 pm

6by9 wrote: When I first signed up I believe I did get notified for every update, and it got very annoying so I found the option to disable it by default. Then again, that may be my memory going.
Right...and no one is saying it should be changed where you can't do that. Think about the two options here:

1. On by default: Everyone gets subscribed to posts they reply to. It annoys some frequent posters, so they go in and change it. But, first time posters have the behavior they were expecting, get notified of replies, and everyone is happy.

2. Off by default: As it is now. First time posters never get an email and think they never got a response. They may even forget where they even found the board. At any rate, they posted....never got an email....they give up.

6by9
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:41 pm

tausciam wrote:
6by9 wrote: When I first signed up I believe I did get notified for every update, and it got very annoying so I found the option to disable it by default. Then again, that may be my memory going.
Right...and no one is saying it should be changed where you can't do that. Think about the two options here:

1. On by default: Everyone gets subscribed to posts they reply to. It annoys some frequent posters, so they go in and change it. But, first time posters have the behavior they were expecting, get notified of replies, and everyone is happy.

2. Off by default: As it is now. First time posters never get an email and think they never got a response. They may even forget where they even found the board. At any rate, they posted....never got an email....they give up.
I was implying that if it has been changed in the past, then track down who changed it and their rationale as it may be valid to revisit that decision. It's not something that the community can change, so one for RPF and potentially the mods to discuss.
At a guess the change would have been around Summer 2014.
Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi Trading. Views expressed are still personal views.
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liz
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:15 pm

It's staying off by default. We'd be inundated with complaints otherwise.
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W. H. Heydt
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:30 pm

Massi wrote: can we say that the level of "askers" is getting lower and lower?
I'm not sure why you would be surprised by this effect. I can think of two major causes, one "internal" and one "external".

The internal one is...you are more experienced and knowledgeable with Pis than you used to be, so newcomers who only know as much as you knew when you started *appear* to be less knowledgeable. This is akin to the case of visiting a college campus years after you've graduated. You'll be quite startled by how young all the students appear to be.

The external cause is actually a feature, not a bug. The early adopters of the Pi (or any tech, really) tend to have a background that is a good fit. As the news of, information about, and interest in the Pi spreads, it sweeps in people with less and less background knowledge. While it can be frustrating, and tempt old timers to respond with "RTFM" to a really basic question, the less knowledgeable need to be *gently* led to how to do research to answer their own questions.

I have a personal policy that I try to follow (I don't always succeed). That is, when answering questions in the Beginner Forum, I try to not only answer the question at hand, but explain *why* that is the answer. In Troubleshooting, I cut back on the full explanation because, presumably, asking a question there implies (to me) a higher level of existing knowledge. In Advanced (on the rare occasions I comment there), I'll just supply an answer because anyone posting there *should* know how to run with that. I'm not saying that anyone else should follow the same procedure, only that one ought to be cognizant of who is likely to read a given answer and at least try to fit the answer to the question.

In addition to the above...I consider posts that appear to be "homework" to be a special category. We are not here to do someones schoolwork. I'm willing to provide some guidance, in the sense of pointing the questioner in the right direction, but not to directly supply the answers the person is *supposed* to discover on their own. (That is, asking a question here is *not* "research".)

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Burngate
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:43 pm

One of the things I've noticed - questioners aren't necessarily aware of the level of knowledge required to find the answer.

So "I've got a led and a Pi - how do I make it light up?" requires Google.
"My Kodi set-up doesn't do what I want" requires RTFM, though Google might find the manual.
"I've got a Merlin engine - how do I build a plane round it?" requires a three-year course in aerodynamics, and Google isn't going to be much help.

But a Noob may not see much difference.

FlexibleSigmoid
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:35 pm

Burngate wrote:But a Noob may not see much difference.
Agreed, but a Google search on those three terms (individually of course) would return:

1) A large number of How-To's and READMEs with the direct instructions. (And YouTube videos if that's your learning style.)
2) How-to's and READMEs and links to the Kodi forums where questions are more likely to be answered on the first go around.
3) Very technical posts and discussions that would hopefully clue the new user into the complexity of their endeavor.

To echo some previous posts, it really does appear that the questions are starting to skew from "Teach Me" to "Do this for me". I'm shocked, although maybe I shouldn't be, when there are posts of "I have this assignment in school, can you give me the step by step directions." People have moved to the end goal as being the reward and not the process being the reward. And that just leads to more "Do it for me" posts by the same people the next time they hit a difficult patch. (Anecdote, on Reddit there was actually a post in the RasPi reddit from a user who wanted to go to Uni for computer science, but wanted someone else to give them ideas on what to do as their project showing their interest in CompSci? If you can't figure out why you want to be a CompSci student, don't do it!)

Maybe we are harsh in responses to posters sometimes, but if it begrudgingly gets the user to learn to think for themselves and research, then Yay!

tausciam
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:50 pm

FlexibleSigmoid wrote: Maybe we are harsh in responses to posters sometimes, but if it begrudgingly gets the user to learn to think for themselves and research, then Yay!
I doubt it does that. We're far from the Dead Poet's Society here. I'm a case in point of what happens when you don't get help and I bet a lot of other people are in here as well.

I bought an Odroid. I had problems and posted in their forum. I didn't get answers. My Odroid DVR project became my Pi DVR project and here I am today.

People might go elsewhere, but more than likely they're going to give up if they don't receive help. It might feel good to put the newb in their place, but you're not helping them when you do it nor are you helping the community

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davidcoton
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:27 pm

tausciam wrote:People might go elsewhere, but more than likely they're going to give up if they don't receive help. It might feel good to put the newb in their place, but you're not helping them when you do it nor are you helping the community
A blunt reply is (IMO) justified for those wanting their homework done for them. Similarly a reply with just a link to another current thread in the same topic or another obviously related one -- surely we can expect people to scan for relevant threads before posting. Beyond that, we should take the poster's experience (post count) into consideration -- new posters deserve more help and explanation of how to get help. However I think we risk banning humour (including the in-jokes about poppycock, balderdash, ponies and unicorns) at our peril. Maybe they are not appropriate for new members, certainly not as a first response. But they do keep us amused when trying to answer the same point for the umteen-and-oneth time.

I think a suggestions topic (with a stickied list) would help -- at least those who don't want to talk about USB3, SATA, and POE yet again don't need to read it. And as is well known and equally frequently forgotten, we can find pearls and diamonds amongst the trash.
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W. H. Heydt
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:47 pm

davidcoton wrote: -- surely we can expect people to scan for relevant threads before posting.
Well... No, you can't expect that, largely because so many subject lines are either not descriptive at all, or don't really relate to the actual query. Indeed....look back over this thread and what is under discussion to see how (non-) descriptive the title is--and this thread is better than many in that regard.
Beyond that, we should take the poster's experience (post count) into consideration -- new posters deserve more help and explanation of how to get help.
Much as I agree with this, it depends on two things. The first is *noticing* that one is answering a new poster (I generally don't even look at post counts) and the second is effective choice of sub-forum. new users with basic questions really ought to post in the Beginners forum. Some do that, but by no means all. Given the overall traffic volume in General, I can understand why some would conclude that General is the place to get answers, but it isn't really the most effective choice--for either a newcomer with a question nor for an experienced poster with answers.
I think a suggestions topic (with a stickied list) would help -- at least those who don't want to talk about USB3, SATA, and POE yet again don't need to read it. And as is well known and equally frequently forgotten, we can find pearls and diamonds amongst the trash.
Do you have a suggestion for getting people to *read* the stickied threads? I certainly don't, and it's a *very* long standing problem...30 to 40 years ago you couldn't get people to read newsgroup FAQs. Fundamentally, nothing has changed in that regard.

One other note on stickied threads....they need to be maintained. There are some that gave effective advice anything up to three years ago, but most of the answers are no longer applicable because of hardware and software changes. (And these Forums are the only--or the worst--about that. Last time I looked, Adafruit still had a procedure for installing an RTC that assumed Wheezy without overlays.)

FlexibleSigmoid
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:57 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote: Do you have a suggestion for getting people to *read* the stickied threads? I certainly don't, and it's a *very* long standing problem...30 to 40 years ago you couldn't get people to read newsgroup FAQs. Fundamentally, nothing has changed in that regard.
A support site for a project I'm involved with can't even get that far. Just like folks under 30 don't know what the acronym ASL means, a large number of people don't know what FAQ means. I get dozens of posts a day to the FAQ section that consist of people asking questions, thinking FAQ means 'Place to ask questions frequently', and not a repository of questions frequently asked with their respondent answers.

Brings around a question asked earlier in this thread (or the other one that caused this thread.) If first posts are moderated, why are there so many questionable ones getting through? I think the mod's are doing an amazing job and as volunteers I applaud their dedication, but is the forum and userbase growing too large for the number of mods? Should there be a separate group of mods that just handle first posts and leave the existing corps to what they do best in moderating conversations?

Heater
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Re: Welcoming to new members

Thu Jul 07, 2016 8:05 pm

OK, I'm nearly 60. What the hell is ASL?

Google is not helping.
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