Retired ThatGarenGuy
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Tips For Providing Great Answers

The information in this topic will be updated soon to reflect the new design of the community

 

Part of being in the community here is helping other people. Here are some great tips that will provide some ideas to use when you are answering questions. We love having you as part of our community forum and hope to have you participate and help answer questions.

 

Do No Harm 
Don’t break something on someones computer. If you have suggestions about doing something in the registry for example, please include instructions on how to back it up first.

 

Be Nice 
Try to keep a friendly tone and refrain from making personal attacks. Absolutely no flaming. We are building a community and while we don't all have to agree on topics, we do need to keep things civil and polite.

 

Be Patient 
Try to remember that even though the answer may be obvious to you, it may not be obvious to others. It is even possible that your intermediate steps may not be obvious - you may need to break them down as well. Even though you may feel an answer has been provided, you may need to show how friendly you can be by providing further help if required.

And depending on the frustration the original poster is having, you may have to be extra patient and friendly with them.

 

Read The Question 
Make sure you understand what the poster is asking before posting a reply. Read the question carefully and give it some thought. Explicitly state any assumptions you make. If you don't understand a question, it's OK to ask for clarification (nicely.) Sometimes people make mistakes, and you can point those out to them. But it's important not to assume that the poster is incompetent.

 

Read The Answers 
Sometimes you'll come upon a question to which you know the answer, but the question has already been answered. What to do? You should always read the existing answer and think about it. If it's a great answer, you might just move along. But if the answer omits some important details, you might reply and add the missing information. If you think the answer is wrong, you can reply and say so -- nicely. The important thing is to read the whole thread before getting involved.

 

Admit When You Are Guessing 
Nobody knows everything. There are even some things which no one knows. If somebody asks a hard question, it's OK to guess at an answer. But please, please, let them know when you're guessing.

 

DejaVu All Over Again
If you know that the question has already been answered in another thread, politely direct the original poster to that thread or suggest a search phrase that that can use with the search facility.

 

Avoid UPPERCASE, exaggerated underlines, large fonts or in strong colors

Keep in mind that the more readable the message, the better! The use of many words in capital letters, exaggerated underlines, sources with large dimensions or in colors such as red can be interpreted as shouting, anger or arrogance. To emphasize words, use the emphasis moderately or in bold;

 

Cite, do not copy

When publishing content from other sources inside and outside the Forum, mention them. Otherwise, you may violate copyright, in accordance with the Terms of use of the community.

Do not exaggerate with the Citations.

Although citations may be useful in a timely manner, in most cases, their use is not necessary, damaging the conversation by making it less readable. If you want to respond to someone in particular, just direct your message to this user, mentioning your name or your login.

 

Protect privacy - yours and that of others 

Everyone has the right to privacy. You should not post contact information or other personal information - your own or that of other people - or any other content you receive in private communications without the author's consent. Communications between you and the Forum team are also private - do not post the content of these messages in the community;

 

Remember that erring is human

We all make mistakes sometimes, either because of misunderstanding or lack of knowledge. Spelling and typographical errors are the most common, and we should not publicly draw users' attention because of them. If the number of errors affects the readability of the text, please notify the moderator and he / she will help the author of the post through private message. Sometimes users provide wrong, incomplete or simply confused information. If you want to share your knowledge and participate in the conversation, give your contribution in a cordial way, avoiding criticism of the other's error.

I worked for HP.
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Tips For Providing Great Answers

Excellent list,Garen.I have on occasion referred posters to 'Rules of Participation', but this is more relevant to issues I often see.I will be adding this one to my macros.
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