Re: user expecttations - web-based help
...That's why help forums are almost always
a complete waste of time.
I think the utility of a forum depends on its structure and its users. There are many ways to structure a help forum and rules help to maintain the usefulness of the forum.
Email lists used in part as help forums, like TechWr-L, generally have threaded discussions.
Google has its own style, https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!forum/en.
Drupal uses the basic bulletin board forum and I have found it generally useful, https://www.drupal.org/forum.
I do not agree that help forums are a waste of time but they do need to respond to the needs of the users of the forum. If the users need live discussions and searchable help, then forums are great.
Sometimes, a forum will not provide a definitive answer to a problem, like discussions about the serial comma never really end.
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