How do we post questions within this category or any category for that matter so that others understand the meaning and intent of the question. A recent question was closed for discussion because it became fruitless and detrimental to our list and a meaningful discussion.
Can we help each other and future posters here by offering ideas and thoughts on how to word a question so that we don't have to read into the questioners intent and reason for asking the question.
What ever is offered up here will and can apply to all topics and category's.

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specificity is TOTALLY the key. for instance, if opening a coffeeshop, an appropriate question might be "what experiences have members of BX had with the SBA and getting a loan guarantee in the rough amount of ~$75,000?" or "what was the single biggest barista workflow issue you've experienced in designing a bar?" if you ask questions like that, you get proper answers. if you say "do everything for me, please, i can't be bothered to use the forum search function," you don't get proper answers.
1. Use common sense.

2. Don't whine when professionals respond with sound advice because you wanted coddling, rather than help.

-- Really. Criticism with some specificity = Caring. Be thankful people care enough to respond with what someone may need to hear rather than with what they want to hear.

3. See number 1.
Here, here.
1. Don't be a douchebag when responding.

2. Perhaps ask a poster what exactly his or her intentions are when they make a post that for some reason you don't understand. Even if it's in perfectly plain English.

3. See number 1.
Jared is right on target. The more specific the question, the better the quality of the responses.

I would also suggest that the questioner include as much background information about their experience/situation/time frame as possible. This is mostly for new folks who haven't already shared their info with the group.

Ron, the Country Guy
Not a bad thought, but...

I'm not sure it'll make much difference, since a poster would have to actually read these "posting etiquette" guidelines. Many of the principles are already covered in "Acceptable Use" policy, though I suppose we could add some tips if the community thought it would help.

I'm not sure it would have helped in the case of the discussion you are referring too. If you start a discussion off on the wrong foot and then get mad at people's reaction its pretty hard to recover.
In all honesty though, was the "offending" post so horrifically worded that the snarky attitudes direct towards said poster were even necessary?

I suggest everyone not take themselves so seriously and just respond to people's posts without the unnecessary hostility. It seems to me, getting bent out of shape over one apparently poorly worded post wouldn't be nearly as helpful as just addressing the poster's issue. Period.

Or, here's a suggestion, if you do see a post that you take the wrong way, why not privately contact the person responsible and explain to him or her what it was that you didn't dig. We all have profiles and we all have inboxes, it's not that hard.

I mean after all, this place is not just a Facebook for coffee nerds is it?
OK, before we go too far down a road here... let's make sure this discussion stays on topic and, in the spirit of Joseph's original post, constructive. Insulting any members of this community, new or old, will not be tolerated.

I do think the key in keeping these discussions fruitful is just remembering why we're here... to share coffee knowledge and help build a better barista community.

What new members need to remember is that this is not a helpdesk. None of us are paid to be here answering questions. We spend our limited free time here for a variety of reasons, but mostly to learn from each other and help each other out.

You get what you give here... sometimes more, sometimes less. We've all had times when we've offended each other and gotten the response you'd expect. Kinda the nature of human interaction, no?

Reggie, speaking to your specific discussion... yes, there was quite a bit of snark in many of the responses to your original post. If you could read it again from our eyes, I think you'd see that a little snark was justified? Surely you can see that?

To your question, the part I personally found way more offensive than your original post was that you got LOTS of on topic feedback, yet chose to focus only on the snark with your followup posts. Even now. Members of this community collectively spent hours sharing advice with you, and you didn't even acknowledge that. So you asked a question in a bit of a (intentionally or unintentionally) rude fashion, got a bunch of on-topic answers as well as smacked around a bit, got pissed off for being smacked around, and insulted everybody. Not cool.

This leads to my big tip for new posters...

If you get useful responses to your question, please acknowledge the people that took the time to do so, then follow up to let us know if it helped.

Way too many times, people join this community, ask one or two questions, get good feedback, then leave. With a couple of exceptions, we never find out if that tip fixed the problem. We never know if you got that job. We never know if your store successfully opened. Kinda gets old after a while... We are a community, not a helpdesk.

I hope this has been constructive, that was my intention.
My tips!

1) Invest the time

2) Read, read & then read some more!

3) If you don't get the response you expected to your question, look at your question again and maybe reframe it.

4) Any response is better than no response!

5) Drill into topics that you see relevant

I learn something new here everyday whether I post a question or just reading new topics!
Brady,
Very good point. It's my hope through a discussion/discussions like this we can prevent "getting off on the wrong foot" and help people new to this forum understand the basic's of being very clear about our individual experience and what we would like to learn with our very clearly worded question/topic.
Joe

Brady said:
Not a bad thought, but...

I'm not sure it'll make much difference, since a poster would have to actually read these "posting etiquette" guidelines. Many of the principles are already covered in "Acceptable Use" policy, though I suppose we could add some tips if the community thought it would help.

I'm not sure it would have helped in the case of the discussion you are referring too. If you start a discussion off on the wrong foot and then get mad at people's reaction its pretty hard to recover.
Brady,
Thanks for laying some ground work here. Sometimes a list needs to be refreshed like this. Thanks again for keeping us on a path of constructive exchange.
Joe

Brady said:
OK, before we go too far down a road here... let's make sure this discussion stays on topic and, in the spirit of Joseph's original post, constructive. Insulting any members of this community, new or old, will not be tolerated.

I do think the key in keeping these discussions fruitful is just remembering why we're here... to share coffee knowledge and help build a better barista community.

What new members need to remember is that this is not a helpdesk. None of us are paid to be here answering questions. We spend our limited free time here for a variety of reasons, but mostly to learn from each other and help each other out.

You get what you give here... sometimes more, sometimes less. We've all had times when we've offended each other and gotten the response you'd expect. Kinda the nature of human interaction, no?

Reggie, speaking to your specific discussion... yes, there was quite a bit of snark in many of the responses to your original post. If you could read it again from our eyes, I think you'd see that a little snark was justified? Surely you can see that?

To your question, the part I personally found way more offensive than your original post was that you got LOTS of on topic feedback, yet chose to focus only on the snark with your followup posts. Even now. Members of this community collectively spent hours sharing advice with you, and you didn't even acknowledge that. So you asked a question in a bit of a (intentionally or unintentionally) rude fashion, got a bunch of on-topic answers as well as smacked around a bit, got pissed off for being smacked around, and insulted everybody. Not cool.

This leads to my big tip for new posters...

If you get useful responses to your question, please acknowledge the people that took the time to do so, then follow up to let us know if it helped.

Way too many times, people join this community, ask one or two questions, get good feedback, then leave. With a couple of exceptions, we never find out if that tip fixed the problem. We never know if you got that job. We never know if your store successfully opened. Kinda gets old after a while... We are a community, not a helpdesk.

I hope this has been constructive, that was my intention.
Brady,
As you read by my topic here I did not mean to drag an old topic back up but get some ideas on how to stop wild fires before they start. We have a great bunch of professionals here and I want this forum to be here a long time. It has be invaluable to me and our business.
Joseph

Joseph Robertson said:
Brady,
Very good point. It's my hope through a discussion/discussions like this we can prevent "getting off on the wrong foot" and help people new to this forum understand the basic's of being very clear about our individual experience and what we would like to learn with our very clearly worded question/topic.
Joe

Brady said:
Not a bad thought, but...

I'm not sure it'll make much difference, since a poster would have to actually read these "posting etiquette" guidelines. Many of the principles are already covered in "Acceptable Use" policy, though I suppose we could add some tips if the community thought it would help.

I'm not sure it would have helped in the case of the discussion you are referring too. If you start a discussion off on the wrong foot and then get mad at people's reaction its pretty hard to recover.

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