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no info, no answer

COW Forums : Letters to the COW Team

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David Roth Weissno info, no answer
by on Jul 2, 2009 at 10:55:52 pm

Dear Very Big Cows,

This little Cow has a little gripe and a little idea for a fix that could be helped-along by a short Tim, Ron, or Kathlyn feature on the subject of, "Helping Cow Leaders to Better Help You." Can one of you please write a short piece directed at all of the Cows who come looking for help, but who fail to provide those of us who really want to help them the information we need to properly do the job.

As the number seven (when last I looked) most prolific poster of all time, I am keenly aware that much of my time, if not most of my time on the Cow, is actually spent getting info from those who want my help, rather than giving them the help they really want and need.

So, if you big Cows could generate some helpful messages for the herd within the context of your day to day posting and articles, I think it could go a long way toward increasing the bandwidth of the Cow and truly helping to make it "more signal, less noise."

THNX,
David

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Ron LindeboomRe: no info, no answer
by on Jul 3, 2009 at 12:57:26 am

[David Roth Weiss] "So, if you big Cows could generate some helpful messages for the herd within the context of your day to day posting and articles, I think it could go a long way toward increasing the bandwidth of the Cow and truly helping to make it "more signal, less noise.""

This presupposes that anyone will care or even read what we will write.

;)

We're willing to do it -- again -- but if our past experience is any portent of future patterns, I would not be holding my breath awaiting human nature to change much because of an article.

A grizzled, grayed, befuddled and somewhat jaded,

Ron Lindeboom

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry






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Tim WilsonRe: no info, no answer
by on Jul 3, 2009 at 3:28:11 am

[Ron Lindeboom] "This presupposes that anyone will care or even read what we will write."

If people read FAQs, or manuals, or anything else that might reduce the number of questions they asked...well, where the fun be in THAT?



Tim Wilson
Associate Director, CreativeCow.net
Associate Publisher, Creative Cow Magazine!


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David Roth WeissRe: no info, no answer
by on Jul 3, 2009 at 3:54:21 am

[Tim Wilson] "If people read FAQs, or manuals, or anything else that might reduce the number of questions they asked...well, where the fun be in THAT?"

Are you on commission? :)


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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David Roth WeissRe: no info, no answer
by on Jul 3, 2009 at 3:31:14 am

[Ron Lindeboom] "We're willing to do it -- again -- but if our past experience is any portent of future patterns, I would not be holding my breath awaiting human nature to change much because of an article.
"


You're probably right about that...


David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Rob JacksonRe: no info, no answer
by on Jul 3, 2009 at 5:50:04 pm

Sometimes people just don't know what to include, so they include nothing. I'm not a big poster here, but I read dozens of threads a week. I see this issue all the time. Could there be a comment on the post box, pictured here, that says "please include software version, computer specs, name of your 5th grade computer teacher, and whatever else you don't think actually matters but we promise it really does." Rather than an article that will be read by the faithful and not by the people looking to get quick answers. Or a button that needs to be checked before posting like an agree to service button that reads "I promise I've given all of the information I can even dream of giving about my problem."

I'm not a web designer and know adding things can be time consuming. Not trying to make things difficult, just a suggestion.



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Tim WilsonRe: no info, no answer
by on Jul 3, 2009 at 6:30:54 pm

[Rob Jackson] "Sometimes people just don't know what to include, so they include nothing."

I think that this might still be the right thing to do.

We had an epidemic last year of people dumping EVERYTHING about their computers - motherboard, MAC address (no kidding), etc. - and then pasting an ENTIRE error message into their post. In some cases, these went on for pages. We wound up deleting a ton of those because it made the pages too hard to read.

Not only that, the answer was usually something along the lines of, "Set your render to progressive frames." I don't know that I've ever seen one of those laundry lists of specs lead to the solution. Those extra details can actually get in the way of the answer.

If there's a missing detail or two in the original post, a follow-up question or two will get that information, and the solution follows after that. It works well for finding the answer, and I find that it engages people. Bring 'em back into the conversation, and they can find themselves moving from reading the Cow to posting in the Cow.

So it may seem on the surface that troubleshooting is faster when frontloading the details, but my experience is it doesn't work that way in practice. There are more benefits to letting things evolve on their own than trying to shape them too much at the start.

tw



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Bob ZelinRe: no info, no answer
by on Jul 3, 2009 at 10:48:27 pm

All of you know very well (and I have ranted about this) that there will be a thread about a particular subject (how come I can't do uncompressed HD on my laptop), with 26 answers to this thread, and the next post is "how come I can't do uncompressed HD on my laptop".

This is a fact of life. Other than making smart ass comments, this will continue to happen. No one wants help until it relates to their exact problem.

In praise of Cow, I am always amazed when I want to look up a topic (on Google), and it points me to Creative Cow (most recently, RS422 VTR control adaptors for AVID products).

Bob Zelin




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Abraham ChaffinRe: no info, no answer
by on Jul 3, 2009 at 10:52:33 pm

<3 Google

Abraham


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Timothy J. AllenRe: no info, no answer
by on Jul 16, 2009 at 6:01:30 pm

Have you ever been searching for an answer to a question and find that google points you to a thread on the COW that you yourself answered?

The COW can be a pretty good archive system for your brain sometimes. ;-)





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Kathlyn LindeboomRe: no info, no answer
by on Jul 3, 2009 at 11:20:48 pm

We actually have a great article written by David Battistella:
http://library.creativecow.net/articles/battistella_david/good_grazing.php

Written in 2006.





Kathlyn Lindeboom
Mistress of Mmmooooo
Join my LinkedIn network
Join the COW's LinkedIn Group


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David Roth WeissRe: no info, no answer
by on Jul 4, 2009 at 12:30:06 am

[Kathlyn Lindeboom] "We actually have a great article written by David Battistella: "

Forgot about that one... It should be required reading, and routine testing every eight years would be a good idea too. But the state would then probably require insurance and testing of eyes for old Cows, and it would seem way too much like going to the DMV.



David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Dan AsselinRe: no info, no answer
by on Aug 3, 2009 at 2:25:16 pm

David and Ron what about this.

Whenever I make a post to ask a question the 3 headings that come up are, of course, Name, E-Mail Address and Subject. Do you think it would be possible to add a "Search" button below them with a default search length of 3 months and default parameter of the present forum?
This search to be based on what is in the "Subject" line.

Then, allow them to use their back button to continue to create the post if they don't find the answer there. (Hey you might even be able to set it up that no post is created unless the search button HAS been used) I agree that everyone should use the present search engine as is before asking a question but we all know that this is not going to happen.

Just a thought;

Dan Asselin



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