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From "William A. Rowe, Jr." <wr...@rowe-clan.net>
Subject [users@httpd] Simple problem with this forum
Date Fri, 31 Jan 2003 21:30:58 GMT
I recently joined this forum to monitor Win32 traffic.  This list seems
especially prone to users who 'forget' to point out

 . their OS or platform
 . the version of Apache they are trying to run

I don't know how we can help educate users on the way in the 'front
door' of participating in this list... but just some offhanded suggestions:

* provide a "How To Participate" summary within the subscribe 
  confirmation message.  Should point out just the highlights and
  then refer folks to read http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
  since Eric Raymond has done a most excellent job of highlighting
  the etiquette and philosophy of "how to get your question answered."
  But really he asks how to figure out what your question is in the
  first place :-)

* Provide the same from the how-to-subscribe page.

Does this make sense?  A final option is a self-moderation of first posts
to the list, which come back to the originating user and ask them to
confirm their own message.  It can also ask them if they remembered
to add what OS or Platform they are running (and it's version) and if
they have mentioned which version of Apache they are writing about.

Finally, those same pages should probably take a paragraph to describe
who the list is for, what the Apache webserver is, who are users@ (e.g.
not website visitors to "It Worked" pages) and point them at the foundations
pre-FAQ for further quick help.

Lots of great observations and productive traffic here!  I'd only hope to see 
the signal to noise ratio improve and get folks better answers, faster, and
that means receiving clearer questions in the first place :-)

Bill


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