There are literally thousands of different message boards on the Internet where you can find technical information from fellow IT professionals. When asking questions on these boards there are some basic guidelines which most people like to have followed. They are sometimes informal, but they are fairly common across most of the boards.
- Don’t use topics like “Help!!!” or “It doesn’t work”. Using a descriptive topic will make more people want to read your thread and help you out.
- Be polite when talking to the people who are trying to help you. They aren’t getting paid to do this, so be nice to them. It’s always nice to get a thank you from the poster.
- Check your spelling and grammar. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but many people prefer proper spelling and grammar. (Mine isn’t the best, but I do try.) If English isn’t your first language and people are giving you a hard time about your spelling or grammar some people will be a little more forgiving once they know that you are not a native English speaker.
- If the message board is in English and you are posting an error message which is in another language, please translate it to English. More people will be able to read it that way. You may not get the translation perfect, but it’s usually close enough to get the point across.
- Don’t post just the error number. There are thousands of error messages and we need the entire error message.
- Don’t just say that it’s broken. Be specific about what isn’t working.
- Let the readers know what you have done to try to fix the problem already. That will save you time as the people trying to help won’t have to have you try stuff twice.
- If you find the solution your self post it to the thread. This will help the next person who has the same problem. These forums are all about helping others and this is a great way to give back to the community.
- Please remember that the people responding aren’t computers. It may take time for someone to read your thread who knows the answer.