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Birds and Forums

Posted 05-12-2008 at 12:30 AM by Doug Nelson (Janitor's Closet)
Updated 05-12-2008 at 01:40 AM by Doug Nelson

A few months ago I moved to a new house. For the first time in a couple of decades I have a proper back yard. I've taken to doing the standard things, mowing, planting a few pretties, but my favorite thing so far is I've started feeding wild birds.

I've noticed a lot of similarities between the birds at my feeder and the visitors to our RetouchPRO forums here.

There are the wrens and sparrows that feed lightly but often, chirp and tweet the best they can, then quickly...
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Old

Composts

Posted 01-04-2008 at 10:13 AM by Doug Nelson (Janitor's Closet)

I hate blog posts that sound like they might be educational, but end up being nothing more than attempts to get conversation going. That strategy is welcome in a forum, I do it myself all the time. But blogs should be an offering of knowledge, opinion, or just interesting thoughts, not a plea for readers to supply same.

Here's an example: Do You Really Need Photoshop?

It has a great title, and got linked from another blog (the point, I expect). But the title question...
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Threadophobia

Posted 11-17-2007 at 11:53 AM by Doug Nelson (Janitor's Closet)

We have a very good post rate here on the RetouchPRO forums. Above average, actually.

But our thread rate is far below average. Add this to our propensity for threads to wander in and out of topics (see my "not a chatroom" blog entry) and there's really only one conclusion:

Our users are afraid to start new threads. They have threadophobia.

This causes me no end of puzzlement. Even though I score off the charts for introversion, I have absolutely...
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The forums aren't a chat room

Posted 11-15-2007 at 07:05 PM by Doug Nelson (Janitor's Closet)

Perhaps not enough forum posters realize (or care) that they aren't just talking to the one or three people that respond back in their thread. No, they're actually talking to thousands of people every day.

Yet they bounce around from topic to topic within a single thread as if they were in their own private chatroom. A serious discussion or solution to a problem shortly devolves into comparing hometowns, which eventually devolves into favorite coffee choices.

Why should...
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"You won't find an answer here"

Posted 11-11-2007 at 11:30 AM by Doug Nelson (Janitor's Closet)
Tags rant

This is probably my biggest forum peeve, and I have many, very large peeves, so that's not to be taken lightly.

Someone will post an earnest question, and the response they get will be "you probably won't find an answer here, but go to XXX forum and they'll help you out".

Bloody hell!

How in the world are we ever expected to improve as a resource if we keep sending away the very people asking us for help? The idea is to a) help them, but also...
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