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    4 Replies Latest reply on Mar 21, 2009 11:54 AM by bmt2008

    What are the rules for asking for help or advice?

    Iwrite Pioneer
      Should there be rules for requesting help or advice on this forum or not? I don't know. I don't think so.

      What I do know is that there are questions or request that I am more than to answer and there are some that I will never answer, and it is all because of the way the person asks. Looking back on some of my responses, I have recognized several things that get a response from me and several that don't. Here they are in no real order (feel free to add to the list):

      1. Provide some real information that we can work with - it is hard to answer a question sometimes when you don't know anything about the person or business asking.

      2. Be specific with your question - the more specific you are the better the answer can be. Broad questions have too many variables.

      3. Be open or receptive to the advice or help - watch the tone and wording of your request, by telling folks you only want certain people to answer your question you are limiting the responses you can get.

      4. Be polite - it really is true that you catch more flies with sugar.

      5. Be honest in the asking of your question - questions that are really set-ups for a sales pitch are never big hits, and can backfire on how you and your business are perceived.

      I don't pretend to be the "forum police," I am simply posting some of the things that I use to decide whether or not I am going to respond to your question or request. Take it with a grain of salt. And please if you have things that you use to determine whether or not you are going to respond to a post feel free to add to this list.

      thanks.
        • Re: What are the rules for asking for help or advice?
          puzzleman Tracker
          Iwrite, I do not respond to anyone who says "Now what do I do?" in their question. Maybe I am being to judgemental but it seems that when they get an answer that requires work, they don't want that. They don't want to do the research, work and sweat that it takes to get to the result.

          Jim
            • Re: What are the rules for asking for help or advice?
              Iwrite Pioneer
              Jim,

              I was struggling with the wording of that one, too. I am not sure you are being judgmental, part of being receptive is being willing to put in some work. It is odd that folks post questions that a simply web search could easily answer. I mean, you are already online, you know how to work a computer.

              Let me pull up. I started this so that people could possibly get better answers and responses.

              (You know, I think I am going to use my name more)
              derek
            • Re: What are the rules for asking for help or advice?
              Lighthouse24 Ranger
              My 8 tips for "asking wisely" are here:

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdY2TUEfCr0

              While the 4-minute video is not specifically geared to asking for help within an on-line community, the guidelines are intended for people in leadership roles (such as small business owners) who are seeking any type of information or assistance from others. The video includes or elaborates on some of the key points you've made.

              (Note: There's a short book promo at the end of the video -- hope you stay for it, but you obviously don't have to).
              • Re: What are the rules for asking for help or advice?
                bmt2008 Adventurer
                I find that the question sets itself up for a response. Bad questions - usually get bad reposnses. If I read a question that compels me to answer - I will. I try not to think to much about the reason someone is asking - I don't know them. I just think three things. 1) maybe they are just starting and really have no idea where to start. 2) while my or your answer may not help the person asking the question, it might (and usually does) help others. 3) Thinking out answers helps me - helps me remember things that I should be doing or have not done for a awhile. I try not to think that there are some who just want a quick answer and it is done - or that, what I have been seeing a lot of lately, is people asking a question under a different login then aswering their own question as their true person.

                I just think that there are many more that read your answers or advice than just the person asking the question.