RE: Suggestions for new tool options

Subject: RE: Suggestions for new tool options
From: "Swallow, William" <WSwallow -at- courion -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2001 17:02:32 -0400

:: > After reading his comments
:: > regarding your sarcasm, I am feeling rather @#!* off that
:: you wasted your
:: > time and more importantly mine! I subscribed to this
:: listserve hoping to
:: > have some place to get and offer some legitimate
:: suggestions. If you sent
:: > your response as a legitimate answer to my questions,
:: forgive me for not
:: > heeding your well-intentioned advice. Although I do not
:: know you, this
:: > first encounter has caused me not to trust you. In the
:: future, please do not
:: > respond to my posts.

Personally, I'd like to see where in the terms of use for this list it says
that we are entitled only to legitimate answers to our questions. The
anti-trust post filter sounds like a wonderful idea. ;)

Sorry, I might be out of line here, but this stuff just sets me off.

Think of this list as a gigantic community room full of people. Some are
having good days, some are having bad days. Some are shooting pool, others
are glued to their cell phones and web-enabled PDAs. Some have a sense of
humor, some do not. Now picture yourself shouting a question into this group
of people. Now picture the crowd's reaction. Heck, I'll describe it...

90% of the group was too busy or too far away from you to hear your
question, so you don't get a reply from them. Of the 10% who did hear you,
7% decide your question isn't worth answering, or they don't know the
answer. Of the 3% who do respond, 2% know little of what it is you're really
asking about. Of the 1% who do, a third of them are in a good mood, a third
are in a bad mood, and a third are just so-so.

Let's say that last 1% was comprised of three people...

The person in a bad mood knows the answer, but also knows it was just
discussed 3 days ago, so he points you to the historical logs. The so-so
person knows the answer but replies on a tangent because she is interested
in a slightly different angle to the problem you're having. The person in a
good mood knows the answer, and decides, because he's in a good mood, to
play with the reply.

Now, you got three valuable answers, but none in the format you wish. So now
you have these three people standing in front of you. What do you do? Well,
you can thank them for their input and continue on, or you can yell at them
for not anticipating your mood/disposition and answering accordingly. Which
seems proper?

Posting a question on a mailing list does not entitle you to an answer. It
does not entitle you to a correct answer. It does not entitle you to a
proper answer. All it entitles you to is the *possibility* that someone out
there might take a few seconds/minutes out of his/her day to help you with
your problem, if they feel like doing so.

We're all busy, and we all have questions of our own to answer day in and
day out. Sometimes we post our questions here, sometimes we chase down the
answers on our own. Sometimes we stop to help others out, sometimes we're
too busy to be bothered. Sometimes we're in a playful mood, sometimes we're
not. So by posting your question, you're gambling at the quality and
quantity of the responses.

Of course I could be wrong, but I'm in a good mood, so I thought I'd play.

Technical Writer
1881 Worcester Road
Framingham, Mass. 01701
T E L * 508-879-8400 x316
F A X * 508-879-8500


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