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K J Jan 22, 2007 2:29 PM

Don't you think that too many users start new topics asking the same basic things eg. "help-what is shutter speed/iso/DOF...". Most of answers to them are RTFM, read FAQ/Sticky, search forum/web... just put some effort - the answers are already there (not mentioning that those questions should be rather posted in 'Newbie Help'). I wonder if moderators could take better care of this - generally make people respect a Forum Guide more?

Bob Nichol Jan 22, 2007 5:21 PM

I've had a long career in computer technical support and based on the questions I get at work the forums are about the same. Sometimes I think I have a job just because I can read and am not afraid to experiment a bit but the customers can't or won't!

The impression I get from many of the questions on the many forums I frequent is that people don't know how to research, they don't know how to read the owner's manual, and they don't know how to experiment. The latter is unforgivable with a digital camera. They also seem to be afraid to make a decision. Maybe it's the Dr Spock generation who had everything handed to them.

Over the years I've read the manuals, studied books and magazines and accumulated a bit of knowledge about photography. It hasn't helped my composition skills but at least I can point the camera in the right direction and press the shutter release!

When it came time to go digital I studied the various websites and made my own decision on what I wanted and was prepared to live with the results. I knew what I wanted when I went to the store and had a shopping list ready with exactly what I thought I needed. Still took a few trips to get what I missed however!

slipe Jan 22, 2007 5:35 PM

I think the moderators are doing a great job. I've left boards where they became something akin to the Gestapo and I didn't much like it.

When someone asks a question it is everyone's choice to answer or ignore it. Or to suggest there is a recent topic that covers their question – hopefully with a little kindness.

I've tried to find recent topics I know are there and have had trouble finding it with the search function. I doubt many more people read the forum guide than carefully read the terms and conditions of their new software.

It would probably be a big help if a member kept a list of threads that do a good job on common questions so they can just link them. Since I'm too lazy to do that I wouldn't suggest it to anyone else.

Jan 22, 2007 8:27 PM

K J wrote:

Don't you think that too many users start new topics asking the same basic things eg. "help-what is shutter speed/iso/DOF...". Most of answers to them are RTFM, read FAQ/Sticky, search forum/web... just put some effort - the answers are already there (not mentioning that those questions should be rather posted in 'Newbie Help'). I wonder if moderators could take better care of this - generally make people respect a Forum Guide more?
I've posted a guide for Newbies in that Forum that addresses many of these points. However, it's amazing to me that many them 1st post a question without looking at that Forum or even trying to so a Search. I may make that post the 1st one in every Forum (I've tried not to, but I don't think it would help that much really...seems the same on most boards I've been a member in).

amazingthailand Jan 22, 2007 8:41 PM

I think people are just lazy. They don't want to have to do any work to find the information they are looking for, they just want it handed to them on a silver platter.

They won't read the manual, google or try and do any kind of independent research to come to their own opinion. They want others to tell them what to do, what camera to buy, how to use it, etc. Kind of makes you wonder sometimes how the world continues to function.

As Slipe stated, I have been in forums that have been very heavily moderated. They really were not much fun. Here, the moderation is moderate and not too heavy handed. I think it is well done. You have the choice to ignore the silly posts and dumb questions. That's mostly what I try and do.

granthagen Jan 22, 2007 9:40 PM

I've been on this forum long enough to notice the frequent questions posted that a basic degree of critical thought and a simple google search could answer far more comprehensibly (usually) than the necessarily limited answers provided by the responding posts.

I'm sure that some of these querists (No, this is not a slur.) are just plain lazy. I read a post from a guy a few days ago that openly admitted that he knew the question he was asking had been discussed many times before in these forums but that he was just too lazy to search for them. Got to admire the guy's honesty, at least. But, I think that many of these questions come from people who -- for whatever reason -- just enjoy the personal response of a real person.

Firing up your favorite search engine can yield a lot of good information, but it's sort of a cold, mechanical operation. There's something to be said for asking real people questions and having them respond! It's validating and it breaths life into what could otherwise just be a bunch of words aimed at no one in particular. Many of these posters might not have anyone in their "real" life who shares their interest in the subjects discussed here. That can be rather lonely, making the "personal touch" these forums offer as valuable as the information conveyed.

With these things in mind, I don't think that a heavy hand by the Moderators is required or even advisable.


Bob Nichol Jan 22, 2007 9:50 PM

Grant may be on to something that the posters want personal validation. The Canadian banks have a problem with customers who prefer to deal with a live teller rather than an ATM just to have the human contact.

MichelleBuerre Jan 23, 2007 2:51 AM

I agree that the moderators do a great job and I agree that some people are just lazy. When I first came here, I was so scared of you people that I searched and searched and searched and went through every single page of the forums that would pertain to me. My aim was, the more I read first, the better I would be able to direct or word my question.

In all the searching though, I developed major complaints about the search function here. I still haven't found an 'advanced' search that is on most php-type message boards. I would search for a word, and then I would get the option to search a particular forum, and then then it would say 'no results' when I could SEE that word on the first page in a title on that forum. Then I would do other searches that would say it found 20 pages of results but as soon as I clicked on the 2nd page, it would say 'not found'. So it can be really frustrating - even if its not 'broken' (but i think it is), then it sure isn't intuitive either - and I consider myself a master with message board search buttons. :lol:

At any rate, there are people like me. Smart, non-lazy people who might seem to ask dumb questions anyways. All of the time I try to do a search, I always read the manual, but sometimes I get bogged down by something. Then there are the REALLY annoying people (and you know, once i get to know my own camera and photography better, I will probably want to change my stance and say REALLY REALLY annoying people). So I just hope everyone else can see the difference. :?

K J Jan 23, 2007 10:13 AM

Why not make 'Newbie Help' the default place for repeating same basic questions, OT, saying 'hi' etc. but 'more technical' places deserve to be more restrictive IMO. Keeping place in order doesn't exclude being nice and polite.

JohnG Jan 23, 2007 11:28 AM

I agree with a lot of what's being said:

some people are very lazy

moderators do a good job IMO

But having said that, the search mechanism here just doesn't work correctly. the result set is not ordered by date OR by forum. I can't tell what the ordering is, to be honest. So, it's frustrating when trying to search and find recent posts on a subject.

Perhaps there should be a sticky thread with reading material for photography concepts - like there is in the lighting forum - there are a dozen links I think for reading material. Principles like DOF, exposure, ISO, etc could be referenced in such a thread. As well as links to more glossary info on the web.

But, I think Bob hit on an important part. I think there are a large number of people that just don't know how to research a topic. Using google is only a start and even then can be troublesome. So I think you'll always get posts that you may feel are too basic and easily answered. But in all honesty, the traffic level on this site is pretty minimal. I don't think the forums get unnecessarily bogged down with novice questions. So, I just don't think the problem has a high enough cost associated with it to justify too much concern.

Just my opinion.

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