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May 8, 2016 6:36 PM CST
|When new members join they are (in my opinion) not being encouraged strongly enough to fill in their profile information. Is there a way to politely ask them to finish filling in their profile information before they post questions? I realize not everyone wants to give their name/rank/serial number/shoe size and all that personal stuff, but at least a state/zone/country would be helpful.|
Those folks here on ( ...not ATP)...National Gardening Association who are trying to answer questions posted by the new people often need to know this information in order to give decent answers.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
May 8, 2016 8:15 PM CST
LOTS of new members posting questions recently, the majority seem to require a request to add info about their location and instructions how to do so.
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C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map
May 8, 2016 9:33 PM CST
|I wonder if a "sticky" at the top of the forums would help...or a line in the instruction for starting a new thread? The plant id forum is the pits with all of the new members asking for id when no one knows what continent they're on, let alone region.|
May 9, 2016 4:32 AM CST
|The same thing is happening in the Ask a Question forum. Perhaps there could be a reminder, or optional profile fields at the initial subscription? Or maybe something added to the right-hand sidebar where these forum's purpose is explained?|
May 9, 2016 4:59 AM CST
|I just updated the ask a question area to include the location field, so they can give it at the same time that they ask their question. I bet this'll fix that problem.|
May 9, 2016 7:10 AM CST
|Thank you Dave, is that supposed to show when they click on "post your own question"? I looked just now and didn't see it.|
May 9, 2016 7:34 AM CST
|It only shows up if you don't have a location already entered. So in your case since you previously entered a location, it doesn't show up.|
May 9, 2016 7:34 AM CST
May 9, 2016 9:01 AM CST
|Well that makes sense! Thank you, Dave.|
May 9, 2016 9:36 AM CST
May 9, 2016 10:24 AM CST
|I realize it is meant well, but I always kind of cringe when the first response a brand new member gets is being slightly chastised (in my opinion) for not properly completing their profile. As with any web site, it takes a while for people to become comfortable adding personal information and learning to navigate the site. I think a better approach is to just answer the question as best one can, and let the poster rather figure out for him/herself that most responses have locations included (some give very specific information, others are much more general). |
Edited to add: I think Dave's addition of location to the Ask a Question is much more gentle and will likely encourage new members to have an 'ah-ha' moment.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
May 9, 2016 11:21 AM CST
|Yes, and I'm noticing that most of the questions posted today are including their location now.|
May 9, 2016 11:57 AM CST
| @dave, that should help a lot. |
Bonehead said:...the first response a brand new member gets is being slightly chastised (in my opinion) for not properly completing their profile.
It was because of the many times that our members have had to request location information...and not always with tact ...that I had started this thread. Some folks do the best they can to answer the questions and gently ask for more information. But others just dive in and (the way it looks to my eyes) make the poster feel intimidated.
As far as other sites are concerned, there are many sites that do not allow new people to start a thread until they have responded to 5 or more existing posts; probably to make sure they are not robots or something alien. Some sites will not allow a post unless and until the profile is completed. Our site is much more trusting and friendly.
Edited to change "post" to "thread".
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
May 10, 2016 1:01 PM CST
Bonehead said:I realize it is meant well, but I always kind of cringe when the first response a brand new member gets is being slightly chastised (in my opinion) for not properly completing their profile.
I too, cringe when given the impression that someone is being chastised for not including their location or when I perceive that they are being told in a not so kind or gentle way to go to their profile and add their location. Many are totally new to gardening and there are also those who may be totally new to chatting and asking questions on internet websites. It wasn't so long ago when I was an "older" newbie and I found the DG site. It was the first time in my life that I'd ever visited an on line website and asked a question. I distinctly remember being a bit intimidated when someone told me that she was tired of newbies asking the same questions over and over again and that maybe if I read through older posts, I'd learn something! Wow, even at my age ... I was a bit taken aback and it deterred me from asking questions and chatting on forums for awhile. I think we should try to put ourselves in others shoes and use a welcoming approach by answering questions as best we possibly can and in a kind way.
I too think that Dave's addition of location to the Ask a Question forum is much more gentle and will likely encourage new members to add a general location to their profile.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
May 10, 2016 6:49 PM CST
|I agree with Lin, but any info given could be wrong if the location is unknown. I think Dave got a good start, but it needs to be somewhere on the plant id forum too. I personally look through threads before asking a question so I won't be too embarrassed, but many don't. If they are new, they have to read the instructions to start a new thread. In my opinion that would be a good place to politely suggest they let us know where this plant is growing. I know security is a major issue these days, but a country, or state shouldn't be that dangerous , and if you ask where the PLANT is growing, it may be something seen on a vacation, so not where the person lives.|
May 10, 2016 7:28 PM CST
|And on the same note, I suspect this is why Dave asks that we, as seasoned members, do not tell the OP to "go ask the question on another forum" and also that we stay on the subject, and not ramble or veer off topic. |
There's a reminder right above every message reply box in the Ask a Question Forum:
May 10, 2016 7:52 PM CST
|I'm certainly guilty of suggesting posting some questions on specific forums when it seems like a topic that needs someone experienced in a particular plant. To be honest I think I must tend to be focused on composing the answer and tune out the notice above it - or I once read it and then forgot about it. I know some people get around it by calling in someone from the specialist forums with the @ but I've also see someone complain about having been called in that way. So if a question seems to need someone versed in a particular topic and who doesn't check out the Ask A Question forum, what are we recommended to do?|
May 11, 2016 5:09 AM CST
sooby said:I know some people get around it by calling in someone from the specialist forums with the @ but I've also see someone complain about having been called in that way. So if a question seems to need someone versed in a particular topic and who doesn't check out the Ask A Question forum, what are we recommended to do?
I still think calling in someone using @ is a perfectly fine idea.
Also, I move threads from Ask a Question over to other forums all the time. I've been giving thought to letting other members have the same power, so that the threads can be moved in a more timely manner.
May 11, 2016 6:01 AM CST
|Thanks Dave. If one doesn't know who on a particular forum to @, would posting on that forum that there's a question on Ask A Question that needs an answer be appropriate? I won't suggest to an OP to ask on another forum any more now that it's finally sunk into my brain as being a no-no.|
Yes, I've noticed some threads get moved. I've had some puzzlements when I tried to go back to a few later and they were no longer where I thought I saw them I assume there's a way that the OP knows where they've gone?
May 11, 2016 7:13 AM CST
|I am guilty of suggesting someone check another forum for an answer. But I don't tell them to go post there as an order. First, I try to answer their question if I can (which I usually can't) and I just point out that there are specific forums where "experts" may be better equipped to help. I also include a link to that forum. Many times the member posing the question thanks me and mentions they didn't even know we had such a forum.|