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Why can't some people figure it out themself?

Sorry but i have to mention this. This site i always understood in a matter like "help yourself, then help others". It seems that in recent weeks its been flooded with single line questions. No problem but i think that some people take it too lightly and don't bother to figure it out themselfs. It's "iFixit", not "can you fix it for me"!

Sometimes a little google will find the answer and i don't see why i have to do the googling for somebody else who is apparently just too lazy.

It might be that this post gets deletet, but i made my point - what do you think?

Answer this question I have this problem too

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+ for the discussion this will start. Ralph

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Hi, this conversation needs to be moved to Meta, as it is off topic here I will close it and it can be resumed over there. I agree it is important to discuss, but this is not the place and Meta is intended for this purpose.

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Oh and I have flagged it to Alert an Administrator so that they can move it to Meta for you (I believe they have been doing that).

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I'm going to migrate this, but I've got a bit of a server issue at the moment and I'm at Maker Faire without connectivity. I'll move it the first chance I get.

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Have fun at Maker Faire!

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If I see another question about what to do about a wet iPod, iPhone or spilled water, coffee, wine, beer, juice, urine on my keyboard I may just go off on them.

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Right on + Ralph

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I personally think that's just uncalled for. Everyone here is representing the iFixit community, think about how you want them to see us

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I think it's really important to find out what *kind* of beer, wine, juice, etc. they spilled. So I can judge whether to help them based on their taste preferences.

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I imagine you have never been frustrated and said something on the spur of the moment you wish you hadn't later. I can understand mayers frustration--I feel it myself at times. If I could delete the remark I would but not the uptick. And WHO made you sheriff rab? It seems to me you spend all your time looking to play nanny--I think in all the time I've been here (and I was at the start) I've only issued 3 or 4 downticks. How many dozen have you issued? Kyle I appreciate your attempt at humor here and will get off my soapbox now. Just felt the need to answer his reference. Ralph

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Everyone is right on this, it's just a matter of perspective. Casting downvotes costs a little reputation, so it's up to rab whether he wants to spend his reputation to impact the site. I actually think there probably should be more downvotes on overly brief drive-by questions. Mayer, I'd take out your frustration by voting the question down (and, if you feel generous, leaving a quick suggestion on how to improve it). Poor questions help no one, including the asker. The important thing is to get things fixed, and having to replicate guesses when the questioner doesn't give enough information to answer accurately is just frustrating. I suggest focusing on answering people who put effort into their question, and link answers to repeat questions to a single canonical answer.

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I thought at one time we were creating a FAQ

At the least there should be a "before you post" statement requesting a search.

Also are searches returned by date of post or by answered? I ask because this post had much to offer but was on the second page of results.

In my opinion there should be some sort of mechanism for users to:

  1. Search for answers.
  2. track their replies -
    1. I suggest using a required registration before you can post, with a notice given of replies (like we get), and in that notice a reminder to accept a solution when a successful answer is provided.
  3. After which they can unsubscribe. (Can't unsubscribe if no answer is accepted.)

N.

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I was JUST about to make a post saying we should make a FAQ!!!

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Making it hard for people to post makes them just go somewhere else then, or just leave.

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We should be able to mark questions as duplicates, and point them at the comprehensive answer for that precise question. At the same time, it's important to know get the question asked in language that will help others find it on google. We're building a long-term resource, and everyone describes the problem a little bit differently.

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Making it hard for people to post makes them just go somewhere else then, or just leave. Yes they could do that - but how does framing a question so poorly it can't be understood or answered benefit anyone?

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Speaking as one of the great unwashed masses who wouldn't know what to do with a wet iPhone if you handed me a paper towel, I can say that it's no wonder the world at large sees tech experts as standoff-ish, socially retarded, coke-bottle-lensed basement-dwellers! This is the problem with tech geeks, and it will perpetuate the image problem you have as long as you whine about the "quality" of the questions you get. Wouldn't you say that the expertise that you have at your command has been somewhat hard-earned? Like it has taken a lot of time, effort, experience, and thought to get to the level of understanding you have? Why do you discount all of that value by insisting that the answers are "so simple" or that any questions we have after reading the back of the box are ill-considered? The people that haven't spent all that time developing the knowledge that you possess have likely been developing skills that you in turn will someday value. When you disrespect their reliance on you, you disrespect yourselves.

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Oh, also...I think I speak for a good many people by saying that I'm very relucant to start screwing with a gizmo I just paid eight kajillion bucks for because of my past experience of only messing it up further and/or not knowing how to get it back together once it may or may not be fixed.

Oh also...lots of tech things warn you that if you open said unit, the warranty is null and void.

Oh also...as a wise former employer once said, "The only stupid question is the one you do not ask".

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Eric, I understand, and I agree that the frustrated tone a lot of techs have is often misplaced. This is strictly a volunteer forum, and if people are annoyed, then they should simply not bother.

But I think the most valuable part of this issue is not about insulting the customer, but instead about finding ways to get the customer to provide information that is more useful in solving the problem. That is an issue worth exploring. Currently the site asks you to type a subject line and a description of the problem. If it, for example, also required you to select from a few drop-down menus information relating to whether or not the machine powers on, whether it boots into the operating system, whether the screen is dark or lit up, etc., information like that would go a long way in allowing the tech to give a useful response. In other words, if the website asks the customer the right questions, then the techs will have the tools they needs to provide a relevant answer, and that benefits everyone.

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I see your point here Eric. I didn't want to insult anybody but as some others stated, it gets sometimes a bit weary to answer the same questions over and over again.

rdklinc, the idea with the drop down boxes is good, but were not dealing with computers only. Recently there where a lot of questions regarding lawnmowers, cars, mopeds, even toasters. But a FAQ would be a good start, i think.

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We are trying to repair "any" device. Context sensitive drop downs would be difficult because answering if you bike "turns on" seems worthless. Automatically figuring out what drop-downs would be useful is very difficult. However, allowing you power users to create context-sensitive diagnostics things for specific devices (or family of devices) seems like a fun idea. I may shoot that idea around...

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Working with the general public for 30 years has made most of my answers over simplistic. They'll generally let you know if you're talking down to them. I try to make my links obvious instead of tying "here".

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I agree there seems to be a lack of info at times you have to guess what the OP needs. It would also be nice if people would let you know if your suggestions worked or not after you research and post an answer for them. Ralph

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Exactly - credit where credit is due. I'm not here for reputation points - it's just nice to know if ones suggestion has worked.

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I agree RJ, I believe people should take the time to let whoever answered their post know wether the suggestions worked or not. This serves many purposes; closes the question out and an accepted answer with positive results might help the next person with the same issue, thus less posts and repetitive answers. I believe the staff should put some type of reminder in place when the PO is posting his/her question that reminds the PO to please provide information on the results of the answer and accept it if it indeed solved their issue. Great idea Rj. ++

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Possibly also that we do not work for iFixit and receive no compensation.

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Well I hear that they get emails if there are unaccepted answers or something

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On a positive note relating to what machead3 stated I have made a folder in my ifixit folder called answer info. Every time I have to look up something I save the bookmark there. Speeds up answering considerably as I believe a faq section would do for all of us. Something to consider. Ralph

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I feel your pain, and I'm also reluctant to spill out a ten-paragraph lecture in response to an incoherent single line question (although I often find myself doing just that). However, I think, at the end of the day, it's a matter of "the customer is always right", and the people asking the questions are, in this context, the customers. I've been in customer service my whole life, and one thing I've learned is that you can dictate terms to the customer, but the customer always has the right to walk away, so being too demanding can often be self-defeating.

It may be possible for iFixit to alleviate the situation by compelling the questioners to more specifically define the problem, or give specific symptoms of the problem (and not let them click "submit" until there is something in the field). I also agree with Machead3 that a FAQ, or some easy way for us to point questioners to a definitive answer to commonly-asked questions would be very useful. That way we can give a personal touch by stating, "Hi there questioner! Thanks for the question, and here's a link to what is probably the answer." So that way we're both personal, and yet saving time by not having to rehash something we've written a hundred times. I have to admit, I pretty much ignore "my backlight is out and I see a faint image" questions, because I just don't want to write the answer for that one again -- it gets to a point where it's just not fun anymore. If you pay me to do it, that's one thing, but if it's on my own time, I'm going to pick and choose the questions I feel like bothering with.

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So you know how when you type the title it has a completion bar? I think that would be a good thing to have for the answer body, as a step toward encouraging longer more descriptive answers.

Also, suggestions would be good if they popped up when you were posting. Maybe with a list of common tags/issues and such.

Also maybe if when you hit ask a question, something asks you if you maybe want to search for your question before asking it.

Or maybe it's asking to much to have the site recognize common terms and ask the user to see some related posts?

Overall I think this is a good discussion that we're having, just as I stated before, if it gets to complicated or cumbersome, or the community members here are rude, then this will just alienate the askers.

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These are all good ideas that are possible to implement. What do the rest of you think? How can we point people at information that's already on the site?

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I don't think a mandatory length for questions is a good idea - sometimes you can accurately and concisely state a question without needing to reach a certain length. Requiring a certain length may cause users to type "blah blah blah etc etc" instead of adding real content.

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On a positive note, I think it would be good to have a pop-up for the best answers for your device immediately after entering the device. This pop-up would stick around until you have 100+ rep (or so).

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No, not requiring a length, but just a progress bar saying how good your question is, like how there already is with the title

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I do agree.

it is getting really annoying, answering questions like: i have dropped my iPhone, how can i fix it?

GEEZ, just use common sence...

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It would also be common sense to consult a dictionary

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I agree with you rab, let's not insult people or demean them. I believe this is your quote from the previous question, "people aren't going to come back here or contribute or buy from iFixit etc., if the people they meet offend or insult them."

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I agree with you too, which is why if you scream: "GEEZ, just use common sence" I disapprove. That's gonna alienate posters.

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I would suggest one thing:

to make filling boxes with device type, short description of the problem and steps already taken mandatory to post any questions in here.

only this way, you can force people to use their brains and try to make it easier to help them...

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How can you force someone to put a proper description? It's impossible. And for device I love it when they write "computer" or "mac" etc... No way to stop that.

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We need to make the barrier of entry low for people to post questions. Better to have a few bad ones than none. We allow editing in hopes that people will improve their questions/answers.

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I'm with Chris on this, as in my comment on the previous answer.

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Hi,

the idea itself is not bad. To ask a new question, i would suggest that you have to pick your devive and a description of your problem from a list.

This way the forum could show matching already answered problem-device combinations.

And you can only post a new question if your device question combination is not in the list or you checked a box that answers already given doesn't fit.

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Please open a new post with this suggestion.

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done

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My idea is, when posting a new question, to have something like the "auto complete function" in the device field you can pick from. It shows you "iPhone 1G, 2G, 3G, 3GS" when starting to type in "i p h o n e".

If he/she types something new like iPhone 4G, it should be accepted normaly and picked up in new/uncatalogued. Otherwise we will soon have the problem of many different devices, because of possible spellings like 3GS, 3 GS, 3G S and so on. Take a look in new or uncatalogued devices and you will know what i mean.

The next two fields should be filled as usual. The tags field should again have the "auto complete function" again. This way a search engine running in the background can search for the filled in device-tag combination and show them on the right hand side of the question field with something like "Answers to a question like yours."

I shouldn't be a new barrier before asking a question, more like a usefull tool.

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Thanks to this side I opened my MacBook and fixed a stuck fan.

But before opening it again I should first have some info....

I will eventually open it again (I am not a technician but a musician)

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Good for you. You've got the skills and hand to eye coordination and confidence to do what the site was intended to do.

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Some people don't have googling skills but they are able to answer simple questions. You have to know keywords before you can get worthwhile results. Googling "MacBook doesn't turn on" isn't going to help you much if you have no technical knowledge but posting that here probably will.

On the note of repeat questions we have tried to implement tools to address this issues but it is up to you the community to use them.

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They don't have to have good search skills - just search this site. Maybe START HERE should be in front of the search box.. If they typed their question first then things like wet electronics would return a quick answer about how to dry them out which would IMO benefit the customer. As part of the results they can be told to submit a question if there are 0 hits to the search. Can we include ifixIng self-help skills as a part of this DIY site? N.

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Yeah something like that is good, or if maybe there's a "have a problem?" sign, and first it asks you to search, and then asks you to ask a new question.

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I kinda like the "I have a problem" page. Goes to a page that has something like 1. Identify your device, 2. Specify the problem 3. Check if we have solved it already or if it's in a troubleshooting guide (search), 4. Post a question

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That sounds good, it would also help with device classification

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Here's a major problem, as I see it. willem's answer precipitated this. It's one thing to exchange a fan, re-seat some RAM, check cables, fix a screw. It's a different picture when replacing a inverter board. Some of these repairs are hard for me and I've been doing it over 30 years. It's fine to read a book on surgery but another thing to do a heart transplant. I feel we sometimes lead people in over their heads. I think the difficulty level should be emphasised to a greater extent. I charge about what an attorney does for giving the advice I do and doing the work because very few can do what I do. I give it away here but that doesn't make it easy. You can't baffle 'um here. You have to dazzle 'um with brilliance or your peers will be all over you. That's not to say we don't have our share of BS artists ;-)

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That's one of the things I like about iFixit's guides, they have clean and simple terms, pictures, and steps on how to do otherwise difficult (for the avg layperson) repairs. You have a point there with leading people over their heads, for example I never recommend replacing logic boards (one factor is the cost, but the other is that if someone has the skills then they'd know what the problem is). What's good though, is even if someone has to hire a technician, they know what needs to be done, and that way they can't be taken advantage of as easy, and can save on charges for diagnostics, etc. Also, if someone has a technologically inclined friend or family member, they can just ask them to do that one repair, once they know what needs to be done.

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remacberlin will be eternally grateful.
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