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Allow us to reply to posts that are unclear.

  1. #1
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    Allow us to reply to posts that are unclear.

    What is the harm?

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    Forum Moderator AliGW's Avatar
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    Re: Allow us to reply to posts that are unclear.

    I've asked in the past, Harry, and the bottom line is that this forum's moderators are very rigorous in applying the forum rules: they fear a slippery slope of sloppiness from those seeking help!

    Joking apart: most of the forums I frequent are not as strict as this one, but we have to respect the rules wherever we are. The problem with responding to posts with unclear titles is that the questioner will never learn that his/her thread title was inappropriate if we let it go. In addition, the forum is a searchable database, so anything with an unclear title, however good the replies might be, is not going to be found by anyone coming here and searching for help with a problem they are encountering.
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    Forum Moderator AliGW's Avatar
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    Re: Allow us to reply to posts that are unclear.

    Sorry - duplicate.

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    Re: Allow us to reply to posts that are unclear.

    People who come here for quick help may not have the time/knowledge to further expand their questions.

    Are we saying that in order to help someone, they themselves must know exactly how to seek that help?

    If someone writes a thread that is titled "Quick Question" with the body - "Why doesn't =IF(A1=B1,"DOG,CAT") work?"

    Why can we not just answer it? Why must he go through the rigmarole of re-titling, then the moderators have to go through the rigmarole of deleting any replies... etc.

    Just seems like a lot of effort; I can appreciate it improves the overall quality of the posting, but surely a measure of leniency should be applied. Where do these moderators find the time to vet everything?

    Cheers,

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    Forum Moderator AliGW's Avatar
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    Re: Allow us to reply to posts that are unclear.

    Harry,

    Much as I sympathise with what you are saying, the expectation here is that any user will have actually read the forum rules before posting. When you join up, you have to agree to them, so it's not entirely unreasonable. If you have been served an infraction for helping in a thread where a moderator has put a stop on replies until his requests are fulfilled, as I think I did in my early days here, and are a bit cross about it, as I was, then I would advise you not to bother pursuing this: you will get nowhere. Except raise your own blood pressure, that is!

    http://www.excelforum.com/forum-rule...rum-rules.html
    Last edited by AliGW; 10-30-2015 at 10:21 AM.

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    Re: Allow us to reply to posts that are unclear.

    Quote Originally Posted by AliGW View Post
    Harry,

    Much as I sympathise with what you are saying, the expectation here is that any user will have actually read the forum rules before posting. When you join up, you have to agree to them, so it's not entirely unreasonable. If you have been served an infraction for helping in a thread where a moderator has put a stop on replies until his requests are fulfilled, as I think I did in my early days here, then I would advise you not to pursue this: you will get nowhere.

    http://www.excelforum.com/forum-rule...rum-rules.html
    I've already pursued it; and yes I didn't get anywhere. Still interesting to see view points.

    I don't read the rules of every forum I post on; just as i don't read the terms and conditions of any software I buy . I am however going to abide by them.

    I've said now that in future, i'm just PM'ing people support, as opposed to posting it. That way they get the help they need without having to re articulate their questions.

    Cheers,

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    Forum Moderator AliGW's Avatar
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    Re: Allow us to reply to posts that are unclear.

    I've said now that in future, i'm just PM'ing people support, as opposed to posting it. That way they get the help they need without having to re articulate their questions.
    I can't agree with this approach as it does not benefit a wider audience. What about the next person who comes along and could have benefited from your help? I think you might find yourself getting your wrists slapped if you start doing that, anyway.

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    Re: Allow us to reply to posts that are unclear.

    Quote Originally Posted by AliGW View Post
    I can't agree with this approach as it does not benefit a wider audience. What about the next person who comes along and could have benefited from your help? I think you might find yourself getting your wrists slapped if you start doing that, anyway.
    True, but then the rules of the forum may instigate that.

    As far as I know, I can PM anyone with help without breaking the rules. (hope i'm not wrong there).

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    Re: Allow us to reply to posts that are unclear.

    Hi Harry,
    Re: Allow us to reply to posts that are unclear.
    Quote Originally Posted by HarryGreenwood View Post
    What is the harm?
    AliGW makes some very good points.
    And it is good that Moderator’s Often step in and say that no replies should be made until the OP clarifies. Especially with a good descriptive Title to the Thread. That benefits everyone.
    I have found a good compromise if you wish to answer an unclear Thread, is to reply and say that you have a reply or possible answer to the OP’s problem and will post further when the OP takes the action requested by the Mod. The rules are not 100% clear on if you should reply after a mod has stepped in with his request for clarity,
    http://www.excelforum.com/the-water-...n-request.html

    but a reply of the sort i described is usually acceptable to everyone
    _ .........................................
    As for PMing help....
    Quote Originally Posted by AliGW View Post
    I can't agree with this approach as it does not benefit a wider audience. What about the next person who comes along and could have benefited from your help? I think you might find yourself getting your wrists .....
    Quote Originally Posted by HarryGreenwood View Post
    .....
    As far as I know, I can PM anyone with help without breaking the rules. (hope i'm not wrong there).
    I think you are “sort of” taking an answer away from the Forum by helping via PM. ( It is there but not .Visible!! ), ( like VBA hiding sheets ).
    I do expect Mods, Administrators will criticise that.

    Alan
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    Re: Allow us to reply to posts that are unclear.

    My point being: if I understand the question enough to give an answer; why cant I?

    Not knocking the moderators, they do plenty of work!

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    Re: Allow us to reply to posts that are unclear.

    Hi Harry,
    Quote Originally Posted by HarryGreenwood View Post
    My point being: if I understand the question enough to give an answer; why cant I?
    Not knocking the moderators, they do plenty of work!
    Good Points.
    I guess if you understand the problem it would be good , if you have the time, to reply and clarify the problem. I often do that , including screen shots explaining how i understand the problem. This has proved very helpful to OP’s with poor English, so have therefore great difficulty in explaining very clearly. But you need a lot of extra time for that. I have sometimes needed weeks or even months of replies to answer some such Threads!!!!

    But unfortunately you cannot change the title for the OP. Only he or a mod can do that. But again if you have time you can reply and suggest to the OP a good Title and show him how to change the title.

    But again this is lots of extra work for you

    Very encouraging how far you are prepared to go to help.
    It just needs a little extra to help “keep it all visible" for everyone’s benefit.
    Alan

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    Re: Allow us to reply to posts that are unclear.

    Responding via PM is violating the spirit of rule 4. You might as well just email each other if you're going to do that.
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