View Full Version : There's no point in complaining about the support offered here

November 21st, 2006, 12:09 AM
Every now and then, someone feels the need to complain about the quality of the forums here, and I'd like to address those complaints on two fronts: logic and practicality.

It doesn't make sense to say, "No one's answered my thread or solved my problem, so the support here sucks" unless you can link to a thread on another volunteer-supported forum where you posted the exact same problem and got more helpful responses.

In my experience, I've never seen this to actually occur. People complain, "These forums suck" or "Why won't anyone help me?" and don't realize that no one forum will have the solution to every conceivable problem you could come up with, let alone a forum composed of other users like yourself.

Most of us are not Ubuntu developers, only Ubuntu users. The fact that we can help with anything at all is amazing. The fact that we desire to help at all is amazing. No one is paying us, and we're not any more privy to how Ubuntu works than you are.

The only criticism that makes sense is if you know someone does know how to solve your problem but refuses to solve it out of spite. You can fault a forum for its attitude but not for its knowledgebase.

Which leads me to the next problem: practicality. Unless you believe--for some strange paranoid reason--that people are able to help you but simply unwilling to do so, what good does complaining about it do?

We can't suddenly draft more knowledgeable volunteers to help out. We can't magically gain knowledge about your problem if we were unable to gain that knowledge through experience or a Google search.

Complaining about the quality of help on a volunteer forum makes about as much sense as complaining to a pen that's run out of ink that it doesn't store enough. If the free pen you got runs out of ink, and that's not enough for you, buy a new pen.

My take, from having seen literally thousands of threads here, is that the forums are generally helpful, but there are a lot of obscure problems out there. And even if the forums could be more helpful than they are... well, we are who we are because of who you are. The only difference between you and the people trying to help you is they're trying to help, and you're asking for it. There aren't customers and support staff. We are all just Ubuntu users trying to help each other out.

Don't like the support here? Make it better by answering other people's questions, paying Ubuntu for support, or finding another forum you think is better. Complaining about the support on the forums doesn't make it any better.

November 21st, 2006, 12:16 AM
Aysiu, thanks for the initiative. Let me tell you about how I started... first time I came across these wonderful forums, which I find to be absolutely amazing, I carefully read all the announcements and stickies. Then I figured out that I should first do some "digging" before asking a question.

All went fine for about 2-3 weeks... Until I had a problem I couldn't solve. So that's how I got a user account and started posting.

I think it would be great if anybody could see this thread, it could help to clarify some ... ummm... misunderstood things.

Could we please make this a sticky ? :mrgreen:

November 21st, 2006, 12:22 AM
LLRNR, like you, I had a positive experience with these forums. If I didn't, I wouldn't have stuck around for the past year and a half.

By the way, there's a kinder and gentler version of this with a slightly different emphasis:
To all those with zero-reply threads... (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=82471&highlight=zero)

November 21st, 2006, 12:26 AM
Oh, yes, I know that one... ! I was sooo sure to 2x-3x-... read it and fully understand it before posting... :D

Yes you're right, it IS kinder and gentler :D

November 21st, 2006, 12:36 AM
...for some strange paranoid reason--that people are able to help you but simply unwilling to do so, ...

They're not?!?! When no-one has a helpful answer, I took it to mean dig in and dig deeper. Perhaps, be more concise in one's question? Although, it seems often that folk have a difficulty in forming the question, and a lack of technical knowledge to implement the answer, unless walked through.

just a thought,