Why Do People Never Provide Feedback

Micro-star international / Ms-7360
March 24, 2011 at 12:54:06
Specs: Windows 7, 2.67 GHz / 6143 MB
I'm sure this question has been asked before, so bear with me. I've been using these forums for 3 or 4 months now and I can't help but notice how infrequently posters leave feedback.

A question is asked and requests for further information are made. Hurdle One - in a lot of cases there is no more contact from the OP.

And then there is more of a dialogue and various suggestions are made. Hurdle Two - in a lot more cases that's the last that we hear from the OP.

It's really discouraging. We don't get any feedback as to which suggestions were useful. This means that people will keep on making useless suggestions and that those who do make useful suggestions get no reinforcement. So, in the end, why bother?

I came here via Toms Hardware; there they have a system of "best answer" and posters are prompted to provide this information. It gives one a small glow to be selected as having given the best answer and it also lets you know that you are giving useful information (or not, as the case may be). I wonder if there's a place for similar feedback here?

And don't get me started about the number of people asking for others to do their homework/coursework for them! What is it about this site that attracts so many of those people? But, I guess, that's another question for another day.


See More: Why Do People Never Provide Feedback

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#1
March 24, 2011 at 16:44:55
It boils down to "manners" and lack of "forum etiquette" and downright sheer laziness. The OP in all probabilities has posted the same question on a number of forums and then scouts around later for the answer that best serves his question which in most cases could have been answered by s a simple Google search or by referring to the user manual/help file. It is far easier to let someone else do the work for you. This is evident by the quality of the bulk of the questions asked which of late have ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous.

I agree that it is disheartening to some helpers when they receive no thanks for their efforts. Tubesandwires comes to mind in this respect. Sometimes his answers will occupy four or five long paragraphs full of useful information and the OP never bothers to acknowledge... why does he bother?


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#2
March 24, 2011 at 18:18:25
I completely agree with Ewen. If you don't tell us if a solution worked or not, we can't help you any further. And if someone gives you a five-paragraph solution that works perfectly and solves your problem to the word, at least acknowledge it and give the person a thank-you or something.

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#3
March 25, 2011 at 14:15:40
Why should they give us a reply telling us that we helped them? They got what they want, so they go. So much like our society.

We don't need a rating system about our answers. Most of us here know when we're good.

Still, a thanks would be nice.

Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible player.

Albert Einstein


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Related Solutions

#4
March 25, 2011 at 15:09:47
"We don't need a rating system about our answers. Most of us here know when we're good."

Actually I'm not too sure of that. (I've no doubt given a few dud answers myself, but if no-one says "that didn't work" or "thanks", how do I know?) Today alone I've seen one factually incorrect answer, given in great confidence, to a thread I've been following, and have been berated in another one for answering - as far as I can see - exactly the question that was asked. Perhaps I got it wrong; but unless the OP comes back and tells me I misunderstood his question, or else says "Great, that's just what I was looking for.", then I won't know for sure how useful or useless I have been to him.

I might know that I have give good, factually correct advice, but that may not be the same as giving the answer that the poster was looking for.


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#5
March 25, 2011 at 15:57:43
I may have shot from the hip on that one.

I know I've given good advice only to find out that OP changed what the original problems was.

But most of the old timers here usually give good solid advice. In spite of really dumb questions.

Anyway, I don't think we'll ever change them.

Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible player.

Albert Einstein


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#6
March 25, 2011 at 23:50:02
Perhaps, to put it another way, the question is "how do newcomers know whose advice to trust?". There is the medals system, but that doesn't seem useful to me. As far as I can see, medals are awarded on the basis of how many times a user posts, rather than how useful their posts are. It works differently on Toms Hardware. There medals are awarded on the basis of how many "best answers" a poster has given.

If I have a gold medal here it just shows that I post a lot, but those posts may be useless or worse. On Toms, if I have a gold medal in, for example, the Windows 7 section it means that 50 people have found my advice useful. This gives newcomers a criterion with which to judge my advice.

Anyway, just thinking out loud.


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#7
March 26, 2011 at 23:23:18
The quality of posts have been declining for years. There used to be interesting or challenging discussions going on, whereas now people only want facts regurgitated for them. As if it's easier to read it here than from some other forum.

The real disappointing part, is knowing that they'll never be able to implement the fix before you start writing the post. So why bother? They'll never understand it anyway.

Trying to keep the interesting posters around is the key part. I've almost never started a thread (only one, actually) because nobody here could or would answer my questions... but I keep hoping for some kind of interesting discussion.

But, there seem to be less and less by the day.

The quality sites nowaday seem to be:
http://serverfault.com/
http://stackoverflow.com/

Although I almost never hang out there. I always find good results in google.


Sorry to promote a different forum on here, but this site is really....eh, getting bad...


A few suggestions for computing.net -

- Get a better tagging system.
- Get a new design, the sidebar/column 6 year old look sucks.

(Higher level items)
- How about a chat (AJAX-style) system? Most of these lusers only hang around for one post anyway...
- A float/sink (slashdot) style rating system for posts - so crap can 'disappear'
- Wiki markup?
- Wiki style deletion? (Group sourced) ( for posts with no replies )

Eh I realize that's probably a wish list that will never happen, no money, no people, I know how it goes. But lately, this site sorta...sucks.



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#8
March 27, 2011 at 06:01:58
You're still here fmwap???

I thought you were sick of this site and were leaving

(Response #51 from the following thread)

http://www.computing.net/answers/th...

Isn't it time you just stfu and left.

You'd be doing us all a favor...............lamer.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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#9
March 27, 2011 at 08:27:01
fmwap:
Let me grab my cane here . . . .

- How about a chat (AJAX-style) system? Most of these lusers only hang around for one post anyway...
Like IRC? What's the point? Typically chat rooms are filled with the regulars. The only difference would be our griping would be real-time.

- A float/sink (slashdot) style rating system for posts - so crap can 'disappear'
Those systems destroy the chronological flow of a discussion, which is important when you need the OP to clarify something.

- Wiki markup?
What's wrong with HTML markup? (If we were going for a different markup language, I'd vote for bbcode, because that's what I'm familiar with.)

- Wiki style deletion? (Group sourced) ( for posts with no replies )
I'm not sure a question needs to be deleted just because no one wants to respond. After all, even silence is a form of response. If there is something wrong with a post, then the moderators should step up.

I know the amount of "poor" questions / askers has increased, and I'm not sure what can be done about it. I'm not sure Stack Overflow's model of, "Yell question into crowded room; see if anyone speaks up," is the solution. More to the point, I like CN's model of mingling amongst the crowd. (This BTW is why the scoring system checks participation, and not "correct" answers.)

There needs to be a way to limit the amount of new posters, but I don't have a good solution. Given the broad newbie target audience, you can't charge for admission. Tests are impractical. Placing a mandatory wait period after sign up might make potential good posters wonder off. Tying privileges (like asking questions) to points is too easy to abuse while simultaneously alienating the newbie audience.


Now get off my yard. *grumble* hippies.

Curt R:
Chill, dude. Life's too short, and this pastime is too inconsequential to merit such anger.

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way


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#10
March 27, 2011 at 09:56:35
One thing I have noticed and realized I was guilty of myself is that many posts are posted at like 2 AM. This is after getting home at 6 PM to the wife saying "Something is wrong with "YOUR" computer" and me spending several hours trying to google out the problem before asking here. Since there is no instant gratification here afterall this isn't a chat room after another half an hour I gave up and went to bed. By the time I get home again at 6 PM the next day either I had pondered out the answer to my problem and forgot about my post or there were several answers to my post many of which caused me to go back to google because I didn't understand the lingo. By the time I get it worked out two maybe three days have passed. Again the instant gratification thing hits and I am thinking at this point my post has moved so far down the list no one is paying attention anymore. With this in mind I fear that if I do respond I look like a jerk because everyone here has moved on to someone elses problem.

I did this a few times before I discovered that some may still appreciate a thank you even a week or so later. Once the lounge came to be, I don't recall it being here when I first started, I noticed that many that helped me in the past made many posts in this forum so I would also post a thank you in here directed at them from time to time as well.

More recently I don't ask many questions anymore not that I am so much better at fixing my computer problems more that I have become better at research. I am a male that means I do not read instructions before I break something and it can be embarrassing to ask for help. With this in mind it actually bothers me more when a poster asks a question that requires more from them ie; system specs or what have you when I ask for this information they disappear. Okay maybe I still can't fix your problem but maybe with more information one of many here could. I have gotten to where if I have to ask for more from the start then I won't bother.

Likely


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#11
March 27, 2011 at 12:07:18
Curt R - Yea well I haven't left yet, still trying to participate in this sinking ship that is computing.net. way to encourage the positive contributors, though, asshole.


Chat system
------------------------
- Like IRC but in AJAX/JS
- It keeps regulars interested
- Faster to ask for clarification (when post makes no sense)
- Because it's different than most other forums
- Sometimes I am posting and replying while somebody else is sitting at the keyboard replying to me, instant chat would facilitate this quicker.

And because it's kind of cool? It'd be almost fun to write something like that.


Float/sink moderation
---------------------
I was referring the actual POST (not replies), so we could rank the entire thing as: STUPID, MOREINFO, HOMEWORK and this crap would be hidden automatically unless you're browsing at a lower threshold. ( So the community is the moderator )


Wiki markup
--------------------
HTML is hard to parse & sanitize, the HTML cleaner on this site is still broken. After all these years we still can't post code inside of PRE and have the server not convert HTTP's and strip out SCRIPT"s and generally muck the whole thing up.

Also, have you seen Github's markup language? It automatically converts things like the above (-----------) into header tags. It's alot easier to use because it uses the standard TEXT flow of the document to generate the TAG's. Honestly, HTML can be a pain in the ass, but this limited set of HTML also sucks.

With this, we could do <code> tags for syntax highlighting too - but that might be too cool for this website.


Wiki style deletion
-------------------
The problem is, the moderators DON'T step up. You have to REPORT crap to them, but we only have options to report offensive posts? Not just stupid/will never get an answer/you didn't tell us what we need to know posts. This kind of crap could be done by the community so the forum is cleaner & the acutal INTERSTING Discussions can be seen.

Just like an earlier poster said - once it 'falls to the bottom', further activity is unlikely.

Oh, how about a RESOLVED or UNRESOLVED marking for the posts? '1 answer', '2 answer' is lame, BECASUE THEY'RE NOT ALWAYS ANSWERS!

This is just crap I hammered out at 2AM because there were no other interesting technical discussions going on...AS USUAL.

But IMHO - the current site is not attracting new POSITIVE CONTRIBUTORS - which is what makes it INTERESTING. This has a negative effect on the REGULAR's - I do like the site, but I don't like what the site has BECOME.

And yea, I should leave I guess, I've said I will enough. But StackOverflow feels like Information Overload, I have a hard time even navigating the site directly (I prefer to find it through google). And computing.net just seems simpler.


What I"m trying to say with my negative attitude is -


I like this site, and it sucks to see how irrelevant it has become as of late. I'd like to see chances taken in bigger directions like the above, then to let the site rot away completely.


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#12
March 28, 2011 at 08:11:14
Curt R - Yea well I haven't left yet, still trying to participate in this sinking ship that is computing.net. way to encourage the positive contributors, though, .

Considering the last few posts I've seen of yours it's safe to say you're not on the "positive contributors" list . I suspect you won't go though, you're the type of whistely noisey gearbox who'd rather post ignorant rants and threaten to leave than just get up and go. You're an attention whore.

Oh, and just for the record, you calling me an a-hole is actually a complement, and, it shows your complete lack of maturity. Don't get all whiney and pissy because you mouthed off and I called you on it. If it were my call, I'd ban you. Luckily for you it's not so you can continue to post in here what a lousy place this is and talk about how you should leave, without ever doing so.

You're a punk.

Don't go away mad boy, just go away........................

Razor

Curt R:
Chill, dude. Life's too short, and this pastime is too inconsequential to merit such anger.

It's not about anger. It's about rank hypocrisy. I hate hypocrisy and if you post in a forum that it sucks and is going down the toilet and you should leave because of that. Yet you stick around, it makes you a hypocrite in my books.

I'm not angry, I'm actually laughing at this idiot.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***


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