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Unhelpful Replies

Posted by jimster z7a MA (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 2, 06 at 15:20

O.K. Ready to join a rant?

There are certain easily identified categories of replies which are notoriously unhelpful to those asking for information and which have become tiresome. Tell us your least favorite, most often seen type of reply.

My first one is this:

The automatic reply. This is an all purpose reply which the poster can effortlessly paste in on a moment's notice and without a momen't thought. It need not precisely address the original poster's question if it is sort of close to being on topic. It is a universal cure for nearly any garden problem. You can identify the author without reading the header because you've seen it a hundred or so times. Here are some examples:

a. Too much nitrogen.

b. Miracle Gro kills plants.

c. Chart of Planting Dates.

So what are your unfavorites?

Jim


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Unhelpful Replies

Ok, I'll join the rant. I've seen people ask questions in sincerity and people have answered back with a Google search. I'm sure the person asking the question is fully capable of doing a Google search, but the amount of information to weed through can be overwhelming.


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RE: Unhelpful Replies

Ones where the post has obviously not been read. Happens all the time.


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RE: Unhelpful Replies

Here's a rant. The absurd way that Conversations, Discussions, and Exchanges are out-of-sight, out-of-mind to 99% of GardenWeb members unless they are already familiar with those microscopic links. I'm aware of them but never think about checking them out. They should be tabs at the top of the forums area.

TIRED: Chart of planting dates from Oregon State posted for someone living in Arizona, Florida, New Hampshire, etc.

WIRED: Chart of planting dates appropriate to the original poster's area.

I think we got rid of organic_nut and all his permutations (Miracle Gro/Daconilboy).


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RE: Unhelpful Replies

To above, I add:
Sincerely offered, personalized replies which are met with derision and out-right rudeness.

This one has me really ready to rant today. I recently posted a thread elsewhere gently suggesting people be more tolerant of differing opinions. Today, it's vanished, despite 46 pages of older threads remaining.


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RE: Unhelpful Replies

How about this one.
I don't really know the answer to your question but maybe the next person can help.
Jim


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RE: Unhelpful Replies

It really bothers me when people reply to posts without reading what the other replies are. Especially when one of the replies has useful information such as "I already tried a, b, and c and that didn't help." Of course, then you have twenty people chime in with "You need to try a, b, and c." Obviously they didn't read the replies.

I know that some posts can get very long but it's very arrogant for someone to think that THEIR reply is worth reading, yet they ignore everyone else's replies.

Stumpy


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RE: Unhelpful Replies

One of my least favorite is, "Ask your extension agent!".
A- the farm agents in our state are SO overworked
B- those i have met do not have as much knowledge as so many of the good and sharing folk on lists like these. They are not often educated on organic practices or plants/vegies unknown in the culture of their particular area.

I am SO thankful we are all here for each other - for the most part, gardeners are a wonderful bunch of people!


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RE: Unhelpful Replies

>The absurd way that Conversations, Discussions, and Exchanges are out-of-sight, out-of-mind to 99% of GardenWeb members...<

I agree, since I only now got curious about the "microscopic" link, and followed it. Kinda wish now that I hadn't, since I have used a few of these replies myself on occasion (hanging head in shame). Well meant, I assure you... sometimes you keep seeing the same reply, because people keep asking the same question. ;-)

My least favorite replies are the knee-jerk responses by the proponents of certain garden philosophies, who preach their method to the exclusion of all else. For instance, I garden 99% organic by choice; but I respect the right of others to choose differently. Can't say the same for some organic proponents, and some of square-footers.

There's more than one way to skin a cat, and in gardening, there is often more than one "right" answer.

I was once commenting on the difficulty of growing potatoes organically in my location, and a frequent poster suggested that I grow taro instead... in zone 5???

That is why I always preceed any advice I give to those in SoCal with ..."I used to live there" (grin).


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RE: Unhelpful Replies

Another kneejerk reply, similar to those of the "organic" zealots and the square footers:

"Use lasagna gardening."

Jim


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RE: Unhelpful Replies

Aw Jim, I am a firm believer in lasagna gardening; I mean while I'm out there gardening I feel that my hubby really SHOULD be in the kitchen with an apron on cooking lasagna for dinner!

[cheeky grin]

Actually, I have built a few flower beds the lasagna gardening way and its fine as long as A] you have plenty of stuff to dump on top of the cardboard and newspaper and B]you actually wait for it all to rot in before planting anything there.

I've been not-so-secretly pleased that FINALLY the one person who irritated me with repetitive posts of growing guidelines for her state finally quit repetitively posting that blasted chart [not to mention the pictures that were hacked from the SFG site...not even her pictures and she was using them to chronicle her method of "hand crumbling" soil.]

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGH.

I also get tired of the spammers hopping into the forums to tout their snake oil herbal remedies for everything from cancer to acne.


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RE: Unhelpful Replies

Any reply that infers or outright states that the poster is stupid. Okay, I know I'm stupid--that's why I asked the question!
I have been guilty of referring posters to their county extension agent. Ours is fantastic, hard-working, responsive, knowledgeable, and cute as a bug. I thought all extension agents were the same!


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Pet peeves

  • Posted by anney Georgia 8 (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 21, 09 at 10:26

People who come in, ask a question, get responses, and just disappear. No "thank you", no agreement or disagreement, no discussion, just nothing. You don't know if they ever read what was posted or benefited from it. This happens fairly frequently as most people try to make newcomers feel welcome.

Another is when a poster starts a topic just like one that's in the window. I don't know if people are just unwilling to hunt around for answers that may already exist or if it's a thrill to post a thread all by themselves!

Or people who make firm recommendations they obviously haven't tried but picked up from somebody else. Not helpful.

But let's face it. The longer you're here at GW, the more you've seen and answered the same questions over and over again. When it's all new, it's great fun. When it's old-hat, well, it ain't so fun except on really good days, I suppose.


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RE: Unhelpful Replies

Someday I plan a ranking of those above as unhelpful in my opinion. Tossing people to search or Google without more information would rank high. 'I don't know...' as a first response sending a new thread toward the bottom of the page would rank high. Organic admonitions unrelated to the subject line would be up there.

I would then might just perhaps add linking thusly;

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/followup.cgi rather than

Unhelpful Replies


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RE: Unhelpful Replies

I was re-reading old posts yesterday and found a beaut - someone in Malaysia posted a query and the reply was to ask the local extension agent.


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RE: Unhelpful Replies

Of course, who on this board is likely to know anything about food production in Malaysia? Plenty of the questions are pretty off-the-wall so it's not too surprising that the replies are also.

The stock responses are mighty tiresome to me. Also the stock questions - most I don't look at. Common sense and newbies are not mutually exclusive.


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RE: Unhelpful Replies

؟؟


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RE: Unhelpful Replies

I've noticed an improvement since this thread began. I don't see a lot of the highly opinionated replies which usually were based on guesswork and speculation. These days I see a lot of thoughtful replies solidly based in experience and knowledge.

It also seems that those who post replies have usually read the original poster's question and understand what was asked. I like that.

Jim


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RE: Unhelpful Replies

I wonder if I spoke too soon...

Jim


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RE: Unhelpful Replies

Jim,

Nah, you didn't speak too soon. Actually if I had clicked on this "conversation" link I would not have posted my "Just a rant....." query. GW sent me a 'read the instructions' email and that is what got me to 'read the instructions' :-))

Cheers,
DL


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RE: Unhelpful Replies

The smart azz replies bother me ALOT. If John Doe has nothing to contribute to the thread besides derision and ridicule....I really wish he'd just keep quiet. Like the old Disney line "If you cant say something nice, then dont say nothing at all". The poster asked a question for a reason, and not because they wanted to be poked fun at.


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RE: Unhelpful Replies

While I concur with most of the responses here, the practice I find most irritating is the Ambiguous Topic, when a poster begins a thread with the Subject "Need Help" or "Does this Happen to You?" It certainly doesn't encourage an engaged participation.


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