A new approach to answering forum posts!

[applogies for grammer]

Hey Guys,

So I have been using Garuda for the past 5-6 months... I love you guys to bits, and the distro is just awesome!

And the best part about Garuda is the hyperactive forum! You typically get a response within a couple of minutes to mostly an hour!

Such great job, guys! Highly appreciated!

But with that... I have sighted a couple of issues on the forum, and I want to provide a potential "cure for the itch."

Compared to other forums, Garuda does a great job with the placeholder text. Asking users to share info of attempted fixes for their problems, relevant system information, and the lots.

And when a user bypasses it and still asks a "dumb question," it can get really frustrating... I understand that!

However, Garuda and the Linux community as a whole are growing rapidly. This means that ppl who are used to Mac and Windows are migrating to Linux. If that is the case, they are used to the Mac and Windows ways.

They might have migrated OSes but they haven't migrated mindsets.
And let's face it! It is going to take some time!

Now, instead of lashing out at users (which I sadly see happening a lot of time), this is my alternate approach..

These ppl who you are angry with - they don't want static text! They feel it's "not human." They want to talk to someone.. (speaking from my experience as a copywriter and customer support)

As such, in spite of the placeholder (do keep it, it's a great idea) if a user still asks a dumb question, I propose we reply(cause we are reply if we choose to lash out) with something similar to the following text:

"
Your question didn't have sufficient data..

  • show self-research you have done yourself
  • tell us why you thought the problem you discussed was unhelpful
  • use the search button on our site to see if similar question has been discussed
  • refer to the related questions beside the writing area for well ... "related questions" that might solve your problem
  • Provide data and information on your system
  • Place your problem

We require you to do this research because we are a small team of members who help out as volunteers. We are not paid, and answering questions that have been previously tackled only eats up our time!

Help us by helping yourselves...

(The Linux way is not that of spoon-feeding and handholding, but for learning how computers work)

Thank you
"

Of course, I am not telling you to use this verbatim... It is open-source :stuck_out_tongue: so fix it as you like and keep a draft default response...

Instead of saying things like "RTFM", "Garuda is not for you," etc, which can feel hurtful to some people.. using the corporate tongue which they are used to, and telling them the same thing- "do research" - might be an alternative!

5 Likes

I have huge respect for you for writing such a thoughtful post about this, and I have to agree with it. Although I am personally able to see through the snarky remarks and enjoy the teaching style of the grand Garuda masters, I can definitely see the possibility of people getting offended to the point of turning away from the distro. Using a template but making it a little more human by tweaking it each time is a good suggestion, because I think a lot of the frustration is due to the mods not wanting to waste time. Hopefully this improves as there are more of us now too.

A lot can be gained here from the perspective of a copywriter :slight_smile:
Even though the creators of this distro are not trying the sell anything (and are very clear about that, and I am very happy about that), they have successfully created a brand. Not every distro has that. People may what to try Ubuntu. They want to install Debian. They want to use Arch (btw). But we here, we want to be Garuda. We live and breathe this OS. And we want to share this joy with as many people as possible. And if the first impression that people get is that of exclusivity, then that is not good for the brand.

6 Likes

Yeah... completely agree..

and no i am not talking about turning Garuda into a product..

Linux is a project not a product.. that's what is beautiful about it! And this is the fact which allows it to become a community..

I am just saying.. to get more ppl participating with the "project" we need to be a bit more welcoming.. I can see that the intention is placed in a good place.. but the execution needs to be slightly more thoughtful..

The Garuda forum is far better than some other places that displays "snobish" and "superior" attitude..

However, if we want to grow and be the "bigger man" and really help convert ppl coming from "Windows and Mac" just a little more patience can go a long way to help them!

1 Like

What you say is certainly true in many respects and in a perfect world everyone would be given the golden treatment on all Linux forums. However. after spending years providing support and after answering many thousands of help requests, some of us simply don't have that level of patience left. If you had spent years responding to help requests you might find you would have a similar outlook to many of us.

I think what you call "mindsets", many of us would simply call laziness. Most of us spent a decade (or decades) using Windows before migrating to Linux. When I started using Linux I'm pretty sure there wasn't such a thing as Google. Most of us didn't know anything about Linux when we started off either and information was far harder to find. Yet, even without the resources and information available today we still managed to get our systems working. How did we do this without all of today's resources at our fingertips. I'll tell you how. we actually did some learning. Sorry, there were no awards for trying in those days. You actually had to work at it to be rewarded.

I know this is starting to sound like a story about walking to school barefoot in the snow (uphill in both directions) when we were young, but in many ways it is comparable. With the resources available today there's not much excuse for being a search invalid.Simple questions should be searched thoroughly first before opening a help request.

That is what those who developed this distro expect. It is uncool to simply blow users off with an RTFM as a response, but expecting users to do their due diligence is the standard expected on our forum.

That doesn't excuse rudeness, but there's no excuse for laziness either.

8 Likes

That is not the goal here

What we do is provide a system that works for us.

To convert people you need to bombard them with the gnu/Linux doctorine
And I think they do get bombarded by it when they get a little comfortable anyway.:rofl:

9 Likes

I fully understand and respect your sentiment...

I am also not trying to give excuses on behalf of users who are lazy... Yes, that attitude does appear "entitled" and for some users that is also true...

I believe I might have not expressed my thought clear enough! So let me try again...

Let's say the person asking the questions is - "John"

And the person replying is - "Garuda" :stuck_out_tongue:

So john asks a super dumb question on the board... right! They are completely unaware of the trouble, dedication, passion required to make a distro like Garuda.. They are fully oblivious! They just installed it.. they feel its a product.. they come to the forum and ask a question.. Ignorant little SOB - I know!

Now, Garuda can do two things.

  1. He/She can either not respond! If that is the case and John asks again then Garuda can just say - "you didn't follow guidelines.. if you do you will get a reply!" Simple!

  2. Alternatively, Garuda can choose to reply! In this case, Garuda can spoon-feed this person, again iterate the principles, or tell them - "Garuda is not for beginners" "Garuda is not the distro for you" "go to M$" - (These are responses I have seen in the forum which is why I wrote this post!).

The last part is NOT HELPFUL - and that is what I am trying to point out in this post.

It doesn't help John. And it doesn't help Garuda. After getting a scolding, John is not going online to learn Linux and create a better distro and "show you." However, a more "considering approach" might motivate John to become a better user.

Alternatively, not replying at all is also great! Instead of saying something "snobish". If Garuda stays quiet, then John will be forced to do his own research online, because his core problem wouldn't be solved anyway!

I mean even RTFM is standard and an okay reply. it tells the person he is being lazy and the answer is in the ARCH wiki.. go and find it yourself..

But responses like "Garuda is not for you," "Don't use Garuda," this just feels wrong!

I hope I was a bit more clear this time around!

1 Like

I disagree, RTFM has too negative a connotation and reeks of snobbishness/superiority.

While this should not be a commonly used response, I have used it once or twice because some people truly are not ready (or suited) to use a rolling distro.

2 Likes

When we created this forum we had the choice to be friendly until we quit due to exaustion
Or we don't become too friendly and continue as long as it doesn't become a burden

7 Likes

but it could be...

I just feel Garuda can be so much more!
And with more ppl coming over to Linux, especially Garuda for its aesthetics and ease of use featrues like Garuda Assistant, having a welcoming approach in the forum with a bit more patience towards users can help..

At least that's my perspective! :slight_smile:

You can try to provide support then.
As long as you can continue this for more than a year.

6 Likes

Feel free to hand hold all you want. Some people do that on the forum and that is their prerogative. No one is ever rebuked for hand holding, but that is not the philosophy of most members of the Garuda team.

4 Likes

I understand the exhaustion aspect..

I fully understand that its hard to respond to such entitled users (customers)

This is why i recommended using "draft responses" for this types of cases.. That was the solution i proposed in this post to tackle the exhaustion you guys face..

When you see people ignoring what's written
You will understand

6 Likes

@Dibakar again feel free to do so. If you wish to post a template such as you've written that is fine.

As @librewish stated, after it's been ignored many times maybe you will tire of bothering to do so.

4 Likes

I have a feeling that this convo is going south!

I am not telling you that you guys are doing bad! I am not telling you i am better!

I am not trying to start a fight! I understand the pain! I also worked as customer support! Currently i work as a Copywriter!

I can't code like you guys to make Garuda better! But from a Copywriter perspective I thought what i could contribute! And these are my thoughts! That's it!

Not trying to start any quarrels.. I am a new participant of the "Garuda Project." I am new, you guys started it. Total and complete respect in that regards!

These are just some points I wanted to share! Thanks all..

Cheers.. :+1: :upside_down_face: :slight_smile:

1 Like

I know what you are trying to tell.

We all have been through this phase.

But there is also a next phase.

3 Likes

No.. I mean,.. you guys already have a template used as a placeholder text when a user tries to ask a question! It's a good and thoughtfull one -- i addressed that in my post!

Now from the experience i have in my work.. these placeholders don't work for a portion of the population..

All i am saying is that you can easily reach out to these users (the better half of these users.. some are SOBs no doubt) by replying to them with the template! You (in particular) don't have to reply.

Whoever is replying can use the template!

You (the responder) sees a dumb question.. instead of lashing out.. take a deep breath.. and copy paste the template that is usually the placeholder text when asking questions ...

that's all i suggested.. Its free advice from my experience that does work! That's all i meant to say.. not trying to talk down the support team/volunteers at all..

You need to walk a mile ( or year) in our shoes to truly understand.

Your attitude is the way most people start off when they provide support. After a while though, you will burn out if you try to maintain that level of support on a constant basis.

I don't consider this an argument, only a difference of opinion (which you are entitled to). However, try it for a while and your opinion may change. :wink:

Absolutely, feel free

6 Likes

I have been here since very early on - and have seen the 'evolution' of support here on Garuda. It really is debilitating to have what is written be ignored so studiously - so I have gotten used to the way things are around here. If YOU do a bit of research in old posts, you will see that you are not the first to propose a 'better' way (see MY posts from a good time ago!) - and it HAS been tried - multiple times.

I am also on EndeavourOS, where an attitude closer to your suggestion still holds sway. I can only speculate that the nature of Garuda (gaming capable, and good-looking, and very tool-assisted) tends to attract a greater percentage of the entitled and oblivious... at least briefly.... whence the noted result.

After a while, you will come to value the QUALITY of the help that is often shown, especially the sources! If your presence will be frequent enough to make a difference, by all means try to soften the response - while prehaps the burn-out builds up in the background...

9 Likes

@Dibakar , I think perhaps you remind some of us of when we were new to Linux and new to Linux forums. I often felt like you, and when I had enough experience under my belt did as you would have Garuda's team do.

It's been 10 years+ and I still can't get the taste out of my mouth (head). I'll never do it again.

It's all about the fishing lessons. Learning how to ask for help is a part of that. And over time, Linux users learn that lesson if they want their help questions answered. It then becomes incumbent on them to teach those lessons to newer users. And the beat goes on.

Scott Fitzgerald posed that life's lessons can be learned on either the soft, sandy beach or on the hard, relentless rocky shore. One thing is for sure; stick around Linux long enough and the same lessons will be learned.

7 Likes