Rant about forum replies.

I’ve recently been spending a bit of time on TechNet trying to help others.  I’ve been searching through the a couple of my favourite forums for threads I may be able to help on.  If you’ve ever done this you are probably aware that answers come thick and fast usually from industry experts and it can be hard to keep up but don’t let that keep you from answering or posting up an idea.  Bouncing ideas off people and sharing a problem is the key to getting a resolution. A problem shared is a problem halved, so they say.

The reason I am posting this rant is because I have noticed a trend that doesn’t sit well with me. A trend whereby people think that their reply to a question (a reply that doesn’t answer the thread topic, I might add) justifies clicking the ‘Proposed as answer button’ just so they can get more points.  Like its some sort of OCD tick, “I’ve replied therefore that must be the answer”.  No it isn’t, stop doing it. Stop it! Now.  Isn’t TechNet supposed to be the main ‘go to’ place for experts (although I hear that's soon to change)? Where knowledge is shared and the end-game is to help answer someone's question? It is not to get points for some form of digital street cred’?  Keep your points, if you ask me, only the OP should be allowed to mark a reply as answer and the proposed non-sense should be stopped.  Forum admins should only be allowed to close a thread after a certain time frame.

It does rather annoy me that I can post a lengthy explanation for someone and give them some pointers to go away and look into, maybe even prompt the answer to be found yet someone else can come along, post a simply reply without really answering anything and through force of habit click the ‘Propose as answer’ button in the hope that it will be marked as an answer possibly by a passing admin who doesn’t have time to read the full thread.

But who are you!? You have just a mere few hundred points! I am an almighty technical warlord with over 10,000 points on TechNet!  You must bow before me and mark my pointless reply as the answer!

I don’t think so.  Give me the answer and I will – which is fair play, otherwise, jog-on.

Where I come from we tell it like it is, if you’re not helping or providing an answer, then don’t claim you are just for the sake of raising your TechNet points.  That would be lovely, thanks internet!

Prime example:  “Have you checked xxxx log?”  is not an answer.  It is a ‘helpful’ post.  It may lead to the answer, granted.  But an answer it is not.

In addition, manners cost nothing.  Don’t type in a condescending way to those with lesser ability than you, show some patience, some courtesy and try to help the OP rather than embarrass him/her. Nobody like a dressing down from someone half way across the world with an avatar of a {insert latest popular cartoon figure here}, you just look like a {expletive}.

/rant

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