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A Special Note To You Old Timers


CYBret
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First of all, let me say thank you to so many of you who come into the "Getting Started" forum and help out with answering questions. There are days when I have very little time to monitor this section like I should, but there are certain usernames that I see in threads and know that all is well. Thank you for your contributions.

 

I would like to remind all of us, though, that this forum is where new people come with a lot of questions--many of which may seem like second nature to more experienced cachers. The temptation is to respond with a witty comment or outright screwball answer. These are often really funny and beget more of the same.

 

I'm here to ask you to fight the temptation. :rolleyes:

 

This isn't a matter of asking you to be kind or respectful, because I know you are. It's just a matter of asking you to be aware that people are here looking for help. Many of them are very new at this and very eager to get started. Your first impression is key to their continued activity. Please make sure your comments are helpful. If you're trying to just be funny there are other places to do that.

 

Thanks again for your help!

 

Bret

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I'll agree. Having been away for the forums for the last week in December (and kind of avoiding the tumult of this week's heated discussions), I'm still catching up with my caching life.

 

Please remember that this forum has people that are looking for answers, not smart aleck remarks. Yes - we've answered the questions many, many, MANY times about finding coordinates from an address or how to enter the coordinates on their GPS, but not everyone knows how to search, and many people don't read the sticky threads at the top.

 

If you're frustrated with repetitive questions from newcomers, don't read the threads that don't interest you. If you DO read the threads, and you have a good (and not sarcastic or belittling remark), by all means, help the moderators out by answering as clearly as possible.

 

By the way - my post contained here is NOT a slam on any particular person or individual post. It's all generalities. B)

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I am kind of surprised when the first 3 or 4 answers to a straight-forward question are abrupt and unhelpful, even if intended to be funny. Then I remember the number of times I've wised off around a newbie.

 

[tail between legs]Thanks for the reminder, CB[/tail between legs]

 

Edit: In the Units and Software forum, a noob recently asked, as between Garmin and Magellon, if one was better than the other. The first 4 replies (one of them mine) were: yes; no; it depends; I agree with the prior 3 posts.

 

I thought it was pretty funny, but not too helpful. I felt bad, so did my best to apologize and provide a real answer, but not until post 5. I hope we didn't scare the OP off.

Edited by Sputnik 57
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Just my two cents worth, im a noob and it's not really my place to interject... but as a newb i even enjoy the funny comments.... if ya can't fight the urge (i usually can't cuz I'm a sarcastic sob but also like helping people) maybe a witty comment should be accompanied with the appropriate help? the humor also makes for fun reading... of course as long as it isnt rude or condescending. just airing thoughts.

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Just my two cents worth, im a noob and it's not really my place to interject... but as a newb i even enjoy the funny comments.... if ya can't fight the urge (i usually can't cuz I'm a sarcastic sob but also like helping people) maybe a witty comment should be accompanied with the appropriate help? the humor also makes for fun reading... of course as long as it isnt rude or condescending. just airing thoughts.

Well, that's the key - providing a welcome atmosphere and answering the question. B)

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Who you callin' an old timer, you young whippersnapper? B)

 

What a lot of folks forget when they're entering a response to a question is that the readers can't see that you're grinning while giving the answer. The reader doesn't know if you're being silly or sarcastic.

As Blackbeard said, be witty, then be helpful.

 

Wait a minute, isn't that what I just did? B)

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Another non-GC relate trade forum I belong to has the motto-

BEEO

 

Be

Excellent to

Each

Other

 

Lot's of responsible moderators help with the one's that get outta line, but in the end it is up to us as members to live by the motto!

 

D-man [8D]

Edited by gridlox
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Well, speaking from my memories of abject newbiehood, I'd far rather get a funny but not necessarily helpful reply than be told my subject had been discussed a thousand times before and here's a pointer to the most recent thread about it.

 

Part of the point is answering the question. Part of the point is building community. Each of the above approaches does one of those things but not the other.

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This is not intended to be a political statement, rather a point of interest.

 

Yo Leatherman

 

I'm amazed that someone else is aware of the meaning of this hand signal. With more than ten years working in the Arab world, Tilly and I learned first hand that the "thumbs-up" gesture has the same meaning there as the "middle-finger" in this area.

 

Every American expatriate sees it every day; only the newbies smile back at the toothy grin that accompanies the signal.

 

Despite the fact that we're doing a good job over there, it's absolutely hilarious to note how embedded reporters in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to report how the locals always "show their respect and support by giving the thumbs-up, 'the worldwide signal for good job' for our work.

 

Sort of like the CIA agents when we lived in Jordan. They used to spend all day, lounging around the pool at the embassy in Amman, Heineken in one hand and LeCarre in the other, gathering data to write their report.

 

Bless their pointy little heads; all the PTB needed to do was ask an expatriate worker.

Edited by valleyrat
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Back to our regularly scheduled topic.

 

Well, speaking from my memories of abject newbiehood, I'd far rather get a funny but not necessarily helpful reply than be told my subject had been discussed a thousand times before and here's a pointer to the most recent thread about it.

 

Part of the point is answering the question. Part of the point is building community. Each of the above approaches does one of those things but not the other.

 

Thanks for your input. However, so far no one has emailed me with complaints about people posting links to previously discussed subjects. I have received complaintS about "funny but not necessarily helpful replies."

 

The community in "Getting Started" is built first on helpfulness. After they've got their answers then they can figure out what kind of goof balls we all are.

 

Bret

Edited by CYBret
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Thanks for your input. However, so far no one has emailed me with complaints about people posting links to previously discussed subjects. I have received complaintS about "funny but not necessarily helpful replies." 

Oh, dear. And here I am a year late to file an official newbie's complaint. I can assure you, it annoyed the bejesus out of me.

 

Perhaps the humorless are more inclined to whinge than the merely irritated?

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Well, speaking from my memories of abject newbiehood, I'd far rather get a funny but not necessarily helpful reply than be told my subject had been discussed a thousand times before and here's a pointer to the most recent thread about it.

I'd rather the link(s) to previously discussed topics so I can get all the info I need now, not wait for people to re-type what has already been said. Mind you there is a way to do it, and a way not to do it. :rolleyes:

 

One builds community, one damages it.

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I still enjoy the occassional banter over there, but as Cybret pointed out...this isn't the place.

Whaddyamean this isn't the place? Who do you think you are? Wanna fight?

 

Garmin sucks!

 

Micros suck!

 

Anyone who takes a travel bug without leaving one is a jerk!

 

Anyone who doesn't carry a gun while geocaching is a wussy, liberal, girly-man!

 

My Pa can lick your Pa (and mine's been dead for forty years)!

 

Your Mama ends her sentences with a preposition!

 

C'mon...put 'em up! ;)

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I agree. I have seen a couple of posts lately--in response to a naive question--that seemed unnecessarily sarcastic. That just discourages others from asking for help

Now I'm wondering if I'm the cause of this thread???

my theory on this is if you think it might be you, it probably is. ;)

 

hope that helps! ;)

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Well, speaking from my memories of abject newbiehood, I'd far rather get a funny but not necessarily helpful reply than be told my subject had been discussed a thousand times before and here's a pointer to the  most recent thread about it.

I'd rather the link(s) to previously discussed topics so I can get all the info I need now, not wait for people to re-type what has already been said. Mind you there is a way to do it, and a way not to do it. ;)

 

One builds community, one damages it.

I think Robert is right. Links to old topics can be very helpful. There are certain threads that are full of great information. Every time someone asks about cool cache containers I link to the Cool Cache Container thread which has 7 pages of really cool containers. Do we really need to start that one or others like it from scratch?

 

Its all in how you do it. "It was discussed recently in this thread and you'll find some great info there" is way better than "How about using the search function? We just discussed this topic".

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I think Robert is right. Links to old topics can be very helpful. There are certain threads that are full of great information. Every time someone asks about cool cache containers I link to the Cool Cache Container thread which has 7 pages of really cool containers. Do we really need to start that one or others like it from scratch?

 

Its all in how you do it. "It was discussed recently in this thread and you'll find some great info there" is way better than "How about using the search function? We just discussed this topic".

Expanding on this, the topic dictates whether or not you link to another thread or simply answer the question. Using Brian's example:

 

- Cool cache containers

 

vs

 

- How do I log a TB?

 

The first one, a link (or two!) is more appropriate. The second one should just be answered, while gently suggesting the search function for future questions. ;)

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- Cool cache containers

 

vs

 

- How do I log a TB?

 

The first one, a link (or two!) is more appropriate.  The second one should just be answered, while gently suggesting the search function for future questions.  :huh:

Well, I dunno. Only if no brand new cool cache containers have been made since the original thread happened. A link to the older discussion is definitely good, but without killing new discussion. (And don't get me started on bumping the old thread when you invent a new container. When I first arrived, complaints were simultaneously being made about starting new threads and bumping old ones. Very confusing for a newbie).

 

As for the TB question...eh. Just answer it. Honestly, they aren't paying by the electron. Certain topics are just going to come up again and again. It is the nature of newbies to ask newbie questions. What GPS do I buy? What's your signature item? Is 20' accuracy bad? What's the coolest trade item you've ever found? If you're sick to death of hearing these questions, you probably shouldn't be hanging out on the Getting Started forum. The number of new and intriguing questions ever to arise around here is likely to be quite small.

 

Newbies who try to answer their questions through search are often stumped by the way it defaults to "last 30 days." And even a successful search may not call up the specific datum he's looking for without a lot of digging, when "what GPS do I buy?" really means "can I fit all of Ohio topo on an 8 meg unit?" Why not just to answer the question the best you can and not give the poor noob a homework assignment?

 

And don't discount the pleasure moderate newbies get answering the questions of rank newbies. Jaded old hats may forget. If you've got three months and a few dozen finds, it can feel awfully good to tell someone just scoping out the game how much you love your little yellow, hate lame micros or caught an embarrassingly particular case of poison ivy pooping in the woods.

 

Whew! That's better. Year-old forum angst released at last.

 

We're each of us newbies as many times as we try new things. Hooray for the newbie!

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Thumbs-up.gif

That's a rather offensive gesture. :D

 

I hope no one from the Euro/Mediterranean region are reading this.

You mean Europeans are offended by a thumbs up? I thought it was Italians (Romans) who came up with this hand signal in the Coliseum.

 

Actually, it's the "V" victory sign, with the palm turned towards yourself, that is THE offensive gesture in Europe that will undoubtedly get you thrashed.

:D

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Thot Posted: Jan 8 2005, 03:42 PM

You mean Europeans are offended by a thumbs up? I thought it was Italians (Romans) who came up with this hand signal in the Coliseum.

 

Everybody knows how a crowd in ancient Rome told one gladiator to kill another -- by the thumbs-down gesture. But then everybody may be wrong, Anthony Philip Corbeill figures.

 

The University of Kansas associate professor of classics, having slogged through hundreds of references to ancient Roman thumbs in literature and art, has concluded that the thumbs-up gesture was the kill signal.

 

The Full Article

 

See how easy misconceptions in our communication with others happens.

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