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Author Topic: Suggestions for CH (And some reasons as to why we suggested these)  (Read 15934 times)

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Zylstra

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ComputerHope forums should in some ways approach people as they would in an actual computer business.

However, we dont get paid, so there is some excuse.

As for the live chat, it has its uses, but there is one major problem with it:
We dont have the variety of users in there to take all questions avalible.

I myself stopped using the CH chat (but plan to start again at the next upgrade) for two reasons:
I personally keep having to redirect users to the forums.
I dont see much use of myself in the chat, since my computer knowledge is very very scattered.

I would post an example chat log, but I dont think that very well complies with the privacy agreement.

unlovedwarrior



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    change naames

    i use the chat.. but every time i get on there, no one needs help so after 30 mins or so i close it

    Sid



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      1. Hardware/software details have to be filled out when registering.

      I agree, but it should be tied to a standardised way of doing so.  And it has to be idiot proof, ie: Go to URL and fill in this form with the info that is there.

      However I do think it might be harder for some people, especially those who can't access the internet on the problem machine, and don't know the full specs of said troublesome rig.

      I think maybe a 1 topic (not post so we can get the problem fixed) limit without full registration maybe, so they can get online with their preferred machine?

      2. A FORCED spellcheck before posting.

      Great idea, although people should just use Firefox...

      3. The option to provide an area of specialization/skill/hobby and the possible existence of papers to prove this.

      I think having that displayed under someone's avatar would be a very good idea indeed.  Also age should be displayed too, and maybe location, for interest?

      5. Some sort of three-strikes system.

      We'd need clear simple rules.  No more than 10, that could end up in a strike.  And an expiry period, like driving license points.

      7. Postcounts should be hidden

      They're rather pointless...

      WillyW



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      While always being open to changes that bring improvement is a good thing,  often changes that, on the surface,  look good -  and are well intentioned -  have detrimental side effects.

      Remember -  these forums would not be so popular if they were so bad - just as they are now.   :)




      ...

       ComputerHope could be more efficient if the forum was handled in a more strict manner through software, not just rules. As people don't pay attention to the rules anyway. A filtering system


      Much of what you are discussing is summed up with that -  a filtering system.
      That's what you are trying to accomplish -  filter out some things.

      It is a commendable idea -  but I question if it can be implented without
      undesireable side effects.    If nothing else,  creating a stricter, more rigid atmosphere.    That would keep some people away.     
      Too many rules and restictions is not a good thing.

      Personally,  I like the tone of "Hey.... it's a friendly place... don't be afraid to just ask"


      It is difficult to fit everything into a rule or filter when you try to write it down.   But beyond any doubt,  the absolute best filter in the world is -  right between your ears.   
      Your, my,  ... everybodies' ability to think about individual conditions and either proceed or blow on by  - is far better than any filtering system that can ever be set up.



      Quote
      —ike having to fill out your hardware when you register an account—revents people who have the attention span of a goldfish

      In my opinion,  while you may be right,  comments like this are not good for CH.   
      Think about it.    That post can be searched up and read for a very long time.
      The person reading it could be a total, complete, honest-to-goodness,  computer know-nothing.   It's not their fault.
      But that person would not be as likely to join in with a request for help, after having read that.... it gives a negative feel.


      Quote
      to come and annoy the h**l out of everyone.

      Now seriously....   ::)   ...    just like my words here now....  whatever anybody says here is just some electrons lighting some pixels on your screen.
      How can it annoy you?  ....  when all you have to do is ignore it?     ;)

      Don't think I don't understand.   I do.    Because I catch myself getting annoyed at times!    And have to remind myself.


      Quote
      ... we shouldn't answer people who are A) Incoherent B) Wasting our time

      How can anyone here waste your time?      Just ignore 'em and move on.
      It is your choice.

      Quote
      C) Just plain ignorant.

      You shouldn't call anyone ignorant on a help forum like this that claims to be willing to help "newbies".     
      Again,  it gives a bad impression.

      Besides,  that is just your opinion.       :)          You aren't special, in that you get to decide who is ignorant, and who isn't.


      Quote
      Free help doesn't mean we have to put up with some of the things people would want us to put up with here.

      "put up with"  ??    You don't have to put up with anything here.
      Just don't.    It is your choice.     Ignore whomever you want to ignore.


      I have a suggestion,  regarding the  repetition that you mentioned.   I've considered this myself,  but just haven't gotten around to doing it.
      Find posts that contain the answer -  to whatever it is at the moment that is on your mind as being continually repeated.
      Save the url to a text file.
      Slowly build yourself a little library of  'canned' answers.
      When you see that same ol' question coming up again -  don't frustrate yourself with typing that which you know you've typed several times before.
           
      Copy-n-paste the url,  with a    "Read this".
      Done.
      I come close sometimes.    I use the extensive information that can be found right here on CH.     In a heartbeat,   I'll direct someone to one of those pages.



      In conclusion: 
      I think an atmosphere/tone of welcoming with open arms the people that know nothing about their computers is a good thing.

      I think anything that is a move away from that should be scrutinized very, very carefully before moving in that direction.

      I think that anyone that realizes that they are finding some posts frustrating, should learn to simply blow on by such posts.
      This includes posts from the legitimate, honest person that doesn't know any better.   If you don't feel like holding their hand and leading them,  then don't.   No one is obligated.
      This also includes posts from people who should know better.    If someone like this is continuing to not understand - or worse,  just not trying -  to  get with the protocol.... then just blow on by their posts too.    No need to beat your head on a wall.


      .



      Zylstra

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      Two chat examples, randomly chosen
      A quick note:
      Names, and IP have been removed to keep the ComputerHope privacy policy
      http://www.computerhope.com/legal.htm
      ComputerHope makes their users aware that their information may be logged for statistical purposes, so it seems to comply that the following information can be provided.

      Quote
      User Agent :Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0; SLCC1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; Media Center PC 5.0; .NET CLR 3.0.04506)
      OS :Windows
      OS Version :Codename: Longhorn
      Browser :Internet Explorer
      Browser_Version :
      Type :browser
      Ip :
      Cookied :Y
      New Session :N
      "Chat Operator" : Hi, how's it going?
      "Chat Participant" : im ok
      "Chat Participant" : and u
      "Chat Operator" : Fine thanks
      "Chat Participant" : i need some help with my computer, its not acting right
      "Chat Operator" : OK, what seems to be the problem?
      "Chat Participant" : well i have windows vista, and i put a dvd in my computer the other day. and when i took it out because it froze my computer, something happoned to my computer and now i can't make a new folder, i cant put links onto my start menu, and its become really slow and i just got this computer in february
      "Chat Operator" : I've never used Vista myself so I won't be able to help you
      "Chat Operator" : If I were you I'd use the warranty
      "Chat Participant" : ok thanks
      "Chat Participant" : i guess i'll take my computer to best buy later then lol
      "Chat Participant" : i just dont want to pay for them fixing it
      "Chat Participant" : nullstring
      "Chat Participant" : thanks have a nice day
      Quote
      computer help and support
      Status:chat
      Departments Computer Hope Support
      E-mail :

      User Agent :Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; YPC 3.2.0; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; IEMB3; IEMB3)
      OS :Windows
      OS Version :XP
      Browser :Internet Explorer
      Browser_Version :
      Type :browser
      Ip :
      Cookied :Y
      New Session :N

      "Chat Operator" :  when did this happen??
      "Chat Participant" : ma computer display had flipped
      "Chat Participant" : how can i make it like before
      "Chat Operator" : what windows do you have
      "Chat Participant" : u mean xp
      "Chat Operator" : ok hold on
      "Chat Operator" : right click on the desktop go to graphic options rotation normal
      "Chat Participant" : ok thanks man
      "Chat Participant" : i got it
      "Chat Participant" : really thanks a lot
      "Chat Operator" : welcome
      "Chat Participant" : bye haeva nice day
      "Chat Operator" : you too

      These are just two randomly selected chat sessions.

      One major thing to keep your mind focused on would be that a lot of our CH Chat visitors do not speak English as their first language, and some speak it better than others. This creates a [size varying] language barrier between the participant, and the operator.

      GX1_Man

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      2. A FORCED spellcheck before posting. (It doesn't have to come out clean, just force people to go through the words that the speller thinks are misspelled.)
      yes  we do need this, i for one really need it, yes i'm one of the Americans that have poor english

      unloved warrior, you could start this immediately. We can judge your progress.  ;)

      Raptor and Chris,

      I think your plan, while commendable and obviously took some work on your part, is a bit excessive for a computer help forum for the unlearned. The repeating questions are a bit tiresome, but I doubt that a person who does not understand what a BIOS is will be the one to start in the FAQ section. That is already one of the first things they see when they first log on - the Read Me file at the top of every sub-topic on the forum. Some people do not know what components are in their computer and don't know where to even look to get that info. Every question is an education opportunity.

      As WillyW stated if you don't want to participate in a thread, just move on. The freedom of the Internet, and even the randomness of it, are not necessarily a bad thing.

      I think what you really need is a Jp filter.  ;)
      « Last Edit: May 17, 2007, 02:41:29 AM by GX1_Man »

      Raptor

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      Quote
      It is a commendable idea -  but I question if it can be implented without
      undesireable side effects.    If nothing else,  creating a stricter, more rigid atmosphere.    That would keep some people away.     
      Too many rules and restictions is not a good thing.

      Actually, I think the opposite is true. More rules and stricter regulations would allow for a more professional environment.

      Quote
      Remember -  these forums would not be so popular if they were so bad - just as they are now.

      They're a tad too popular and not because every poster here is intelligent and caring but because people can get away with asking stupid questions and wasting everyone's time.

      Quote
      Personally,  I like the tone of "Hey.... it's a friendly place... don't be afraid to just ask"

      Friendliness is a state of mind, it doesn't depend on the type of forum used. I could give someone a hard time on the forum as it is now as well should I be in a bad mood.

      Not a very good argument, but I see your point. I don't think that would change when people are forced to do a spellcheck and have to list their hardware before posting unless they ... Do not have an attention span!!

      Quote
      Now seriously....   Roll Eyes   ...    just like my words here now....  whatever anybody says here is just some electrons lighting some pixels on your screen.
      How can it annoy you?  ....  when all you have to do is ignore it?     Wink

      Don't think I don't understand.   I do.    Because I catch myself getting annoyed at times!    And have to remind myself.

      ....You have to remind yourself that they're just pixels?

      If you consider everything 'just pixels' do you stop to remember that there are real people communicating with one another? And that we're here to help others out of a situation? Somehow, the word 'pixels' just doesn't describe what we try to do here.

      Quote
      I have a suggestion,  regarding the  repetition that you mentioned.   I've considered this myself,  but just haven't gotten around to doing it.
      Find posts that contain the answer -  to whatever it is at the moment that is on your mind as being continually repeated.
      Save the url to a text file.
      Slowly build yourself a little library of  'canned' answers.
      When you see that same ol' question coming up again -  don't frustrate yourself with typing that which you know you've typed several times before.

      We tried that. Even if we were to do so, the forum is a mess. There are lots of topics that are completely irrelevant and lots of subject lines that make no sense.

      Why should I do the searching when the OP can as well? It's not my problem, I'm here to give advise, not over-load Google search engine. I've got better things to do with my time than doing a google... Like.. Giving advise!

      Quote
      "put up with"  ??    You don't have to put up with anything here.
      Just don't.    It is your choice.     Ignore whomever you want to ignore.

      No, that was an argument against those who would argue that the help is free and that we therefore haven't got a choice as to how things should be ran. Which was used a while ago, I'd look it up, but I got so tired of digging through countless meaningless posts I'll let you do it as you obviously haven't done it often enough.

      Quote
      You shouldn't call anyone ignorant on a help forum like this that claims to be willing to help "newbies".     
      Again,  it gives a bad impression.

      Besides,  that is just your opinion.       Smiley          You aren't special, in that you get to decide who is ignorant, and who isn't.


      Bad impression? I'm not santaclaus, I have a limit on how far my patience will go.

      Besides that, the ignorance part was on the rules of said corporation. For example, not replying to automated E-mails. Doing so anyway even after specifically being told not to means you're ignorant and therefore a waste of time as you obviously have a problem paying attention.

      Quote
      I think that anyone that realizes that they are finding some posts frustrating, should learn to simply blow on by such posts.
      This includes posts from the legitimate, honest person that doesn't know any better.   If you don't feel like holding their hand and leading them,  then don't.   No one is obligated.
      This also includes posts from people who should know better.    If someone like this is continuing to not understand - or worse,  just not trying -  to  get with the protocol.... then just blow on by their posts too.    No need to beat your head on a wall.

      The way the forum is now makes me force to click and read everything because people A) can't think of subject titles and B) the forum does not properly list categories it is posted under, nor does it immediately let me know what kind of PC i am dealing with.

      Information is imperative when it comes to fixing PCs. I'm not getting enough and that is frustrating. It's not about simply ignoring posts, I still have to click on each single one of 'm and waste my time closing them again. The forum categories only go so far and people who have a severe lack of attention span will post in the first section they come across, anyway.

      You just don't get it, do you? I'm not talking about Nazi-CH, I'm talking about a more stream-lined CH with more information, less hit 'n run posters, less junk and better communication!







      GX1_Man

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      Well, let's get Nathan's ideas as he is the supreme leader.  ;)

      CBMatt

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      Quote
      3. The option to provide an area of specialization/skill/hobby and the possible existence of papers to prove this.  This information will be available in your profile to help everyone recognize your level of knowledge/understanding.
      ummmm. this should be optional just so we have a little more info, but should not be important
      This idea is optional.  It would just be there to give everyone a better idea of who's good at what.

      Quote
      Quote
      2. A FORCED spellcheck before posting.
      Great idea, although people should just use Firefox...
      Perhaps people should, but they don't.  You can't force someone to use a certain software; especially if they don't want to (I don't).  Forcing a spellcheck is easier and less abrasive.



      Quote
      Personally,  I like the tone of "Hey.... it's a friendly place... don't be afraid to just ask"
      I like that tone too.  Why should that have to stop?  A stricter forum policy doesn't have to change how friendly we are.  Heck, the atmosphere might even become friendlier because we'd be dealing with people who aren't as frustrating.  It's not like our attitudes/personalities should become more serious; but the way we run things should.

      Quote
      Now seriously....      ...    just like my words here now....  whatever anybody says here is just some electrons lighting some pixels on your screen.
      How can it annoy you?  ....  when all you have to do is ignore it?    

      Don't think I don't understand.   I do.    Because I catch myself getting annoyed at times!    And have to remind myself.
      You pretty much just cancelled out your own argument there.  Besides, ignoring text isn't much different than ignoring actual speech.  It isn't always easy to simply block out.  Like Raptor said, these are actual people we're dealing with.  These words are being generated by human beings (at least I hope so).  And it's upsetting to think about the general level of ignorance out there.  Even if I ignore the dumb/silly/pointless posts, I've still wasted my time and it's already infected my brain.

      Quote
      You aren't special, in that you get to decide who is ignorant, and who isn't.
      We're not deciding who's ignorant.  Really, I don't feel it's a matter of opinion.  Someone who is ignorant is someone who lacks knowledge, understanding, and common sense.  If someone can't perform a simple Google search and ask a coherent question with providing some information...newbie or not, that's ignorant.

      We're hoping to filter out posts like this:
      http://www.computerhope.com/forum/index.php/topic,35719.0.html

      And perhaps even filter out whoever would make the suggestion that Calum and patio refer to in that post.



      Quote
      That is already one of the first things they see when they first log on - the Read Me file at the top of every sub-topic on the forum.
      Yes, it's one of the first things they see.  But it's obviously not one of the first things they actually read.  If it were, we wouldn't be having this discussion right now.  We wouldn't have so many "puter help plz.  what to do?" posts.

      Quote
      Some people do not know what components are in their computer and don't know where to even look to get that info.
      This is why I suggested giving them some helpful suggestions (instructions, web sites, etc.) on how to find this information.  It's also why I suggested a General Help forum for those who are just completely oblivious.  Anyone who has the patience to deal with drive-by posters and posts that provide no information can be a helper on this board.  Despite the frustration involved, I'm sure I would help out there too.  But I would certainly prefer not having to pull teeth and drag information out of people that easily could've been provided from the beginning.



      Also...like I said to Raptor via PM...yes, it's a voluntary service and if we don't like something, we can just ignore it.  But that doesn't mean that something doesn't need to be done.  And because we're volunteers and we're the ones taking time out of our schedules for these people, we should have some say in how things operate around here.  People should accomodate to our standards, not the other way around.  When you work at a soup kitchen, do the homeless expect fancy four-course meals?  No, you serve them what you have, and if they don't like it, they don't have to accept it.  But because they need the help, most of them do.



      Quote
      Well, let's get Nathan's ideas as he is the supreme leader.
      That's what I'm hoping for here.  From the beginning, we've been sure that he'll disagree with a lot of what we say, but I'd still like to hear his take on everything.
      Quote
      An undefined problem has an infinite number of solutions.
      —Robert A. Humphrey

      M1CH431



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        Quote
        We're hoping to filter out posts like this:
        http://www.computerhope.com/forum/index.php/topic,35719.0.html

        And perhaps even filter out whoever would make the suggestion that Calum and patio refer to in that post.



        Whoa there, buddy.  With the loads and loads of information you have provided, I'm having a bit of an overload and it might take me a bit of time to process it all.
        Well, why not filter out the sarcastic not useful posts as well?

        CBMatt

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        Our suggestions would help filter out such posts as well.

        Coherent questions with helpful information = more serious responses.
        Quote
        An undefined problem has an infinite number of solutions.
        —Robert A. Humphrey

        unlovedwarrior



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          GX i wouldnt mind being the test dummy for spell check maybe it will help prepare me for english next fall

          Zylstra

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          Now, it is possible to get an addon for this forum to add spell check, but requiring it would be pointless.

          Raptor, you like to complain, don't you?

          GX1_Man

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          GX i wouldnt mind being the test dummy for spell check maybe it will help prepare me for english next fall

          Don't you use Firefox? Start now.  ;)

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          I have been to and joined forums that are very strict in
          comparison to this forum.That is why I am here.

          CBMatt and Raptor join the armed forces in your country.

          You will then appreciate this forum for what it really is.

          If you make this forum real strict and guidelines galore,
          hope you two enjoy the vacuum.

          I mean,where else can the Gerber Baby talk about
          Toliver Gravy and Liverscuits. ;D
          Sorry,The USA has ruined the language The United Kingdom loaned us. We do our best not to type gibberish. I Hope you can forgive us.