LQWiki:Answering Questions Guide

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Answering Questions Guidelines

As possibly the world's biggest base of linux help, we as members need to work on Answering Questions.

Many newbies find it difficult to ask questions, and when they get a bad answer, it could scare them off linux for good, and gives them a bad impression of the LQ Community.

  • Always be courteous.

Don't flame a newbie for a stupid question, they could be a valuable contributor to the community in the future.

  • Answer only if you are going to help.

(Bad: I have no idea about it, but I think your name is totally cool. Worse: Stupid Newbie!) Answer the question if you know the answer. Just replying to get rid of a "zero response thread" is not a good idea.

  • Answer carefully

Make sure that you are giving the right answer and explain it carefully, in an easy to understand way.

  • Be sensitive of newbies.

This doesn't mean giving specific steps each time you post an answer (a task many dislike) - but adding "if you need any extra help, just ask" to the end of the post then the newbie will be less likely to freak out. Another helpful thing to do is to link to past threads with similar solutions.

  • Post links where helpful.

Any howto's, tutorials, etc. that might be useful for the asker, and saves you the trouble of typing it all out again.

  • Read and Re Read the question

Sometimes you find the problem hidden in the asker's posts.

  • Be sensitive of ESL (english as a second language) users

The internet is an international place. Though the forum's language is english, be ready to explain things carefully, in an easy to understand way.

  • Remember you were once a newbie

8)

Remember our goal is to encourage and guide people in using linux, not to stop people from using linux.