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> Posting in Help - UPDATE Second Post 10/29, Asking and Answering; Please Read
SockPuppet Strangler
Posted: Jan 6 2011, 02:13 AM
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Wednesday has been canceled due to a scheduling potato.
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Group: Global Moderators
Posts: 30,224
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Joined: 19-July 08



A guide to Posting in Help

It's been pointed out that the help section can be a scary place to post in. People get tired of the same questions over and over again and they get tired of people telling them to use the search function when they did and etc. It came up that there should be a guide to posting in help, so here it is. The first part is on asking questions in help and the second is on answering questions in help.

! Posts that break DragCave Forum Rules or the DragCave Terms of Service may be deleted at any time without warning or explanation.


Asking
  • The FAQ
Whether you joined the site and forum five seconds ago or two years ago, the FAQ is the first place to start in looking for your answer. I update date it pretty regularly with questions I see floating about often in the help section.
  • Searching
If you don't see the answer in there, the next step is to search the help forum for your answer. The FAQ has a guide to using the search feature, to help cut down on pages of random search queries. The Help section is also kept clean and small, so it's not that hard to just peek at the titles of the threads to see if your question has already been asked.
  • Asking
If you still don't see your answer, it's time to ask, either in the Tiny Little Questions thread or creating your own topic. When creating your own topic, make sure that the title of your thread is informative and gives users some idea as to what you're asking. This way, if someone else has the same question later, they can use the search function and more easily find your thread and their answer, and when people are browsing help to see what questions they can answer, they'll know right away or not if there's a chance they can answer your question.
  • Editing
If something new comes up in your question or problem and no one has posted in your topic yet, please edit rather than double posting. The edit button is found near the top of all your posts. If your question has not been answered 24 hours later, then you may bump your topic up. Fortunately, people are pretty good at quickly answering questions in the help section, so it's rare that you'll need to bump your topic.
  • Closing
Once your question has been answered, it is perfectly fine to thank those who helped you. It helps me know that it's okay to close your question as answered. Topics get closed so that they can be cleaned out automatically (for a smaller help section to make it easier to find answers) and so that users with the same question can easily read through the topic to find their answer. If you have another question, it's perfectly fine to create a new topic for it, especially if your previous topic has been closed.
  • Mentors
If you have lots of questions and need more help figuring out this game and the forum, you may want to look into getting a mentor. They can give you more attention and individual help. Yes, it's fine to post your questions here in help, and if you feel more comfortable doing that, please don't feel afraid to. Just know that there are mentors out there who can spend lots of time giving you good information on this game.
  • Reporting
Near the top of all posts is a report button. If another user is being rude to you or snapping at you, please report them to let a moderator deal with it, and then ignore them.


Answering
  • Kindness
Please keep in mind that answering questions in the help section is completely voluntary. If a question annoys or frustrates you, walk away from it. As per board rules, politeness is a must. It's not a very welcoming environment to come try to ask a question and get snapped at. Name calling, sighing that a topic has been answered before, calling a question stupid, and etc. would all be considered rudeness.
  • Tone
Tone is hard to tell over the internet. While you may not mean to come off as rude and are simply being blunt instead or may not mean to come off as condescending, that is in the eye of the beholder. We can't read body language or hear your tone, so it's always a good idea to read back over your post as if it were someone else answering your question. Would you be okay with having that answer directed at you? If not, you should re-write it a bit. If so, it's probably fine to post. Don't be afraid to sticky a smiley in your post, either, as they can help in place of body language.
  • Informative
Questions often do come up more than once in help before the topic is cleaned out, and so it's important that when a person searches through a topic to find their answer, they don't have to wade through spam. If you don't know the answer to a question, move on rather than posting. Saying that you have no idea doesn't help answer the question and it doesn't help people searching the topic for their answer.
If the topic is about a problem or glitch, it's okay to say "I'm also experiencing this", but please try to keep these replies down to just a few people. This way we know that this is a common problem, and we don't create a thread with ten pages of people just re-stating they have the same problem.
  • Chatting
Chatting is spam and doesn't help answer questions. Please take chatting to PMs, the CPA thread in games, or the IRC. Chatting in a thread also makes it harder for users to come in and see what the question is, if it's been answered yet, or if a new problem has arisen.
  • Piling
It's great that so many people want to answer questions! However, in help, we often have the problem of ten people repeating the same answer over and over again. Piling the same answers upon each other spam the topic, make it harder to see if there's more to be expanded upon in someone else's answer, and can make people bog through many replies of the same thing. I understand being ninja'd (having someone else answer the question before you do without your knowledge), as I've been ninja'd quite a few times, but if you look back on the topic and see that someone answered before you did and you're adding no new information, please delete your answer.
Now, if you see a question has been answered already, but you have more information to add, please do so. It may help answer future questions users may come up with or have.
  • Reporting
I know that sometimes duplicate topics and even spam topics pop up in help. While it is fine for one person to post a link to the original topic, posting "duplicate" or "spam" or even "reported" is also spam and can also start drama. If a topic needs to be closed for whatever reason, please just report it to a moderator and let us do our jobs. In the case of drama, it's easy for things to get out of hand, and posting to "tell off a troll" or whatnot usually just starts more drama.
Reporting can also be used for answered questions. If you notice that an OP has gotten their answer, it also helps to report the thread as answered so I can close it.

This post has been edited by SockPuppet Strangler on Dec 15 2012, 11:54 PM
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SockPuppet Strangler
Posted: Oct 29 2013, 10:13 PM
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Wednesday has been canceled due to a scheduling potato.
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Group: Global Moderators
Posts: 30,224
Member No.: 7,406
Joined: 19-July 08



Update! Please Read.

This post is a while in coming. I have received a few complaints about behavior in help from a variety of users, and I'd like to address them. These points may be later added the the first post of this thread. If you don't want to read through it skip to the italics in each section where I summarize.

And please don't take this post to mean I think you all are awful or anything. I think sometimes we just become so comfortable somewhere we forget that others haven't been here nearly as long, and we can forget what it was like to be new. I love you all and love your dedication to helping out here! <3

Mentors

It's great that you all recognize how helpful mentors can be! Our mentors do a fabulous job.

But please don't overwhelm new users by suggesting or telling them to get a mentor. I know that sometimes new users have lots of questions and they post individual threads for all of these instead of using one thread. I know this can be frustrating, but please, have a little patience. If you're tired of answering their questions, simply don't. Others will come along to answer.

It is getting to the point where it is abrasive, having several users telling one user to go get a mentor. If myself or another mod thinks they could benefit from a mentor, we will post in the mentor topic requesting a mentor for them. If they know the topic exists and they want a mentor, they will ask themselves. But please stop telling new users they should go get a mentor just because they have a lot of questions or even just because their question is too simple for you. You don't have to answer every question you see! If you need a break, take a break. And if you see someone has already let the user know they can request a mentor if they'd like more personalized help, please leave it at that. Do not repeat the request to the user. If it seems like they're ignoring the request, it's probably because they don't want a mentor, not because they didn't see it.


tl;dr Please stop piling on and telling new users to get a mentor. Mods can request a mentor PM the user if they think it is necessary.


Thread Closures

It's not a race to the end to close threads. Sometimes mods will even leave 'answered' topics open for a while longer if they think users might benefit from it. Other times, perhaps I give you the idea that it's best to close threads ASAP since it may seem like I close without the OP having seen the answer. However, please realize that sometimes users report their threads to be closed and other times they may PM a mod to request it without posting in the thread. Sometimes there is something else going on behind the scenes. Perhaps a mod has reason to PM the user themselves and closes the thread in the meantime for whatever reason.

So please don't panic if a thread isn't closed. You don't need to tell the user they need to request the thread get used. If they ask, that's fine. You guys know several ways of getting our attention - reporting, PM'ing, or the OP editing the topic to say "answered" in the title.

But if they do not ask, please do not push. This is also becoming abrasive having users tell OPs that they *need* to notify mods to have the thread closed. Mod action is pretty quick in Help as is, and just because you think a thread needs to be closed doesn't mean the OP is ready to have it closed. Please leave that up to the OP or mods.

If you think a thread is answered and people are continuing to post anyway and are creating spam in doing so, then please simply report it to a moderator. Near the top right side of the post will be a "report" button you can press and explain the situation to us.


tl;dr Please leave the decision to have a thread closed up to the OP or mods. Please don't tell an OP when they need to have their thread closed.


Mini-modding

It's great that users know the rules so well and want to help so much! It really is appreciated. However, leave modding to the mods. It is our job to mod, not yours, and we have been given the privilege of mod tools to make our jobs easier and the authority to carry out our job.

Please leave it to mods to make requests that fall along modly lines. Remember that tone doesn't carry well over text, and keep this in mind when posting. I've seen several times where users have let others know they need to use lineage links for growing dragons and how to get a lineage link, and this is fine! That's you helping out another user. But telling a user they need to close their thread or telling a user they need to post in their own thread (unless they've obviously accidentally hit reply in the wrong topic - it happens, I've done it myself), etc. border the line of mini-modding.

Mini-modding is spam and it can be disrespectful to other users, so it is best to leave the modding to the mods. If you see something where a mod needs to step in, please make use of the report button. On the top right side of every post you can find a "report" button next to the quote and etc. buttons.


tl;dr Please leave the modding to the mods. If we need to step in somewhere, please simply use the report function to let us know.


And finally, just a reminder:

Piling

It's great that so many people want to answer questions! However, in help, we often have the problem of ten people repeating the same answer over and over again. Piling the same answers upon each other spam the topic, make it harder to see if there's more to be expanded upon in someone else's answer, and can make people bog through many replies of the same thing. I understand being ninja'd (having someone else answer the question before you do without your knowledge), as I've been ninja'd quite a few times, but if you look back on the topic and see that someone answered before you did and you're adding no new information, please delete your answer.
Now, if you see a question has been answered already, but you have more information to add, please do so. It may help answer future questions users may come up with or have.


tl;dr If a question has already been answered and you have no new information to add, then please don't post.
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