RTFM can be frustrating for new users who just want a problem solved quickly so he/she can get on with life. Google (or web search for those who don't like google) is most helpful in that regard.
But since this is a rant thread there are two kinds of users whom I feel like smacking over the head. :)
1. Show up and post a terse question like "xxx doesn't work" and when getting no reply either just repeat it or bump the thread. Well how do you expect the doctor to help you if you just say "doc I am not feeling well" without any info?
2. Guy either originated or participated in a thread about some issue which no one has a solution. Then after a while just posted " Never mind,I solved my problem" then took off without giving any info about how he solved his problem so that others may benefit. What a jerk.
I do use don't track me, Google is untrustworthy, best to just not use at all. Seems contradictory to push Google on an Ubuntu (or any Linux site) to me. I use NOTHING Google related.
I ran a few searches through Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing and Start Page, most times DuckDuckGo had more relevant results than Google, Startpage was the worse (and they use Google search engine).
As stated, Google TRIES to refine your search from previous searches, more times than not that proves detrimental.
Back to the original rant..
I believe the OP would just like to see where the "non-beginner" has put forth an effort to solve the problem on their own and if so, what steps have already been taken.
Nothing like giving advice and getting "I've already tried that" a few times.
On the other side of the coin there are people who offer advise without even reading the original question and post pointless and useless 'help' that only get things more confusing. Most time those people just try to be helpful and we should be thankful for their inputs even though they don't directly solve the problems, but some are snarky and rude, I don't see that so much here, but in some other forums it is quite common. I recently had the pleasure of reading some threads on some forum, just pages and pages of useless crap from very rude people who think the OPs are too dumb while half of them who offered 'solutions' (if they did at all) demonstrated even less knowledge than the people who asked.
I don't need to "trust" google. I am just using some services which happen to be very good (search engine, translator, email, G+). I don't really care if they want to do some consumer profiling for ads, it is not like they know me personally or try to steal my credit card (and I almost never buy anything online anyway). I do install don't track me just out of curiosity. I draw my line at MS, no one goes out of its ways to attack FOSS and open standard and tries to lock down your hardware to its crap OS like MS does, not even Apple. :)
Spending too much time in the Absolute Beginner's forum can drive you crazy. I think what distinguishes this forum from other linux forums is the lack of RTFM attitude. There are over 4,000 webpages of Ubuntu documentation. Over 1,000 pages of vetted documentation in NewDocs. Pointing someone there just causes another problem: The pages are too long or too short or too difficult to understand or not detailed enough--it becomes an endless discussion.
Of course the premise of using a computer forum to solve computer problems is faulty.
Use Case 1: New User tries an install but can't get networking so has no way to access the forums.
Use Case 2: New User has a problem with hardware but it looks and acts like a software problem. User doesn't know the difference and through a forum it is difficult to diagnose.
Use Case 3: New User has lots of problems with a new install--10 things that don't work and proceeds to list them without listing any hardware specifications.
I could go on, but forums are just not the same as "being there" to solve a computer problem.
As far as manuals, new users need to understand that linux is built on frameworks and each framework has documentation. There is benefit to reading that documentation, but most new users feel they are getting an education in Computer Science. A class that they did NOT sign up for.
Imagine: Photographic Arts 101
Today class we are going to learn to manipulate photographs using a program called GIMP. But first, let me go over graphical image formats . . .
Bah! Real men don't read the manual.;)
Every time I've Googled for answer to a question, I find that answer is a response to someone whoasked the question.
Somebody has to ask.
Oh, and the more people who ask, the more good answers you find, since any individual answer may turn out to be mistaken.
So I'll never criticize anyone for asking.