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Topic: Please make sure that your answers are correct before posting!

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Subject: Please make sure that your answers are correct before posting!
Date Posted: 2/13/2009 8:56 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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Everyone here on this forum does such a wonderful job of supporting other members who have questions. 

The only comment that I have is to please make very sure that you are posting a correct answer to a question. I am a Tour Guide and help people all day with problems and I still double check my first gut answer in the Help Center before I post it. I almost always copy and paste the supporting information in my answer as well. More often than I would like to admit, I find that the answer that sounded right to me, was not completely correct when double checked in the Help Center and if it can happen to me then it can happen to you.

There have been a number of times this week that I have found answers to questions here that were absolutely wrong and against the PBS policies. Again, every member here has the best of intentions and is trying to help. just please check the help center and make sure that your answers follow PBS policies.

I for one am so thankful for each person here who takes the time to help someone else. Y'all Rock!!

Date Posted: 2/13/2009 9:03 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2006
Posts: 35,010
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I love this forum and I'm so thankful we have members willing to help others.  But I'm in complete agreement with what Margaret said.  Please check the HC if you have any doubts as to the correct answer/solution.  And if you're still not sure, we have plenty of Tour Guides on duty to help.

Date Posted: 2/13/2009 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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You're both right, of course.  And I hope when I'm wrong or confused you'll be sure to correct me!  I'll be the first to admit I don't know everything.  I'd like to but I don't!! ;D

Ruth

Date Posted: 2/13/2009 9:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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More often than I would like to admit, I find that the answer that sounded right to me, was not completely correct when double checked in the Help Center

Margaret, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who still checks the HC a lot!  I, too, almost always double-check the HC *just* to be sure, and sometimes it is a darned good thing.  The rules have also changed, or been tweaked, along the way so what "was" right, might not be quite right anymore.  So, yes, checking an answer before posting is definitely a good idea. :-)

Date Posted: 2/13/2009 9:56 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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Well sometimes I answer off the top of my head.  If I'm wrong I am sure there is SOMEONE who won't hestiate to correct me.     We can't all be perfect.

Date Posted: 2/13/2009 10:22 PM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 1,883
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No one is asking anyone to be perfect. Just double check their answers so everyone gets the right information :)

Date Posted: 2/14/2009 12:09 AM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2008
Posts: 836
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Speaking for myself, I wouldn't respond to assist someone unless I believed I could help them. 

Everyone can check the HC, everyone is assigned a Tour Guide....yet someone decided there was still a need for this forum ..... in spite of those things.

I believe there are enough of us here, that if  incorrect info is given, another poster will be able to offer clarity......and my hope would be that the concept of a "discussion forum" would not become a "closed club".....

Date Posted: 2/14/2009 1:11 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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Thank you Cynthia - you said that very nicely.

Date Posted: 2/14/2009 6:34 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2006
Posts: 2,463
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We're not asking that folks don't give help, just that they check their facts with the help center first. :)

Just wanted to add one more thing, please tell the OP to ask a tour guide before sending in feedback to TPTB.

 

Date Posted: 2/14/2009 7:18 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Cynthia sez:

<<my hope would be that the concept of a "discussion forum" would not become a "closed club".....>>

I don't think anyone is trying to go in that direction -- Tour Guides don't have sole ownership of helping members with questions -- we can all do that.  Anyone with sufficient membership experience may join the Tour Guides, (or the Data Team or the Image Team) so they aren't any kind of "closed club" either.

A lot of new members don't always seem to be able to find the Help Center or Tour Guide right off, or are a bit lost or overwhelmed, hence the forums.  I do think that minimizing confusion among newer (and older) members by ensuring answers match current PBS policies is a reasonable idea, rather than one requiring perfection :-)

Cheers,

Catt

Date Posted: 2/14/2009 3:45 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,201
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I think the suggestion is just a reminder to verify what we are stating as fact and make sure the Help Center hasn't changed (it does that more and more these days). I also hope that this is reminder to all members, incuding Tour Guides because lately I have see a lot of wrong answers posted by people with the TG under their name, and that's scarier than a general member because the posters are more likely to take a TGs answer as rule.

Often the discussions are just that, discussing the opinions of members, and I think most of us are good at making it clear when it is jsut our opinion.

Date Posted: 2/14/2009 4:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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It feels it's going in that direction to those of us who happen to NOT be TG's.   Since most of you answer ARE ONE, I'm sure you have no idea how it makes the rest of us feel.

Date Posted: 2/14/2009 5:08 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Two points: the Help Center can be quite hard to use, and sometimes contradicts itself. And a lot of the questions asked here are ones to which there is no clearcut answer in the HC.

Date Posted: 2/14/2009 5:09 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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double post



Last Edited on: 2/14/09 5:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 2/14/2009 5:18 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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I know when I had a problem I couldn't understand what the HC was telling me.  I just didn't understand the answer.  When I asked here I got the same answer with less verbiage.  A much clearer explanation about my problem.

So, I say thanks to all who answered my questions!

Date Posted: 2/14/2009 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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Well, I gotta say, I'm with Cozi. If I'm reading a forum and a question is asked that I think I know the answer to, I'll answer it with what my experience has been or what I think is the right answer. Often times I'm popping in quickly at work or when I have a few minutes at home and have a couple minutes to whip out an answer. If I must feel obligated to take the time to go to the HC to double check my answer, then I might as well just refer the person asking to the HC to do their own searching. Or just not bother answering at all.

Cheryl

Date Posted: 2/14/2009 5:39 PM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2008
Posts: 836
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YW  Cozi....ty

Just wanted to add one more thing, please tell the OP to ask a tour guide before sending in feedback to TPTB.

Why Cyndi???  Why must I ask a TG before sending feedback?  I do not recall reading anything in the HC about needing  "permission" or a "check in" prior to sending feedback...... is that something new? 

A lot of new members don't always seem to be able to find the Help Center or Tour Guide right off, or are a bit lost or overwhelmed, hence the forums.  I do think that minimizing confusion among newer (and older) members by ensuring answers match current PBS policies is a reasonable idea, rather than one requiring perfection :-)

I can agree with you, Catt.  Minimizing confusion is what this forum is all about.   And that would be why many members participate to help aleviate the confusion another member is feeling.  Great group of people, supporting each other as best we can....  

Although this concept may have been the intent of the OP, my perception was that some of the responses came across as territorial..... Not branding a TG tag, does not make me unworthy of supporting fellow PBSers.

 

 

Date Posted: 2/14/2009 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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I think the wrong idea is being gotten here, truly I do.  I feel absolutely certain no offense was intended. :-)

1).  Anyone, and everyone, ;-), who is not absolutely sure of their answer should check the HC first.  Being a TG is irrelevent to this thought.   The HC *does* change, and what was correct before may not be now.  At least 2 of us who posted that we DO double-check ARE TGs. 

2). No one is suggesting that things shouldn't be asked here.....it's the Questions forum, after all. ;-)  We are suggesting that before answers are given the poster make sure it is accurate info. 

3).  Yes, it is true that someone else will probably come along and correct inaccurate info.  Except, maybe the OP already acted on the first info they got.  Oops.  That really can lead to hassle down the line for the people involved in X transaction. 

Everyone can check the HC, everyone is assigned a Tour Guide....yet someone decided there was still a need for this forum ..... in spite of those things

Actually, this forum predates both of those things. Of course, it's STILL here and it's still useful, but it's not here "in spite of", it's was here *before* them. 

As was mentioned already, if anyone would like to be a TG, by all means inquire about it!  :-)  I think people are getting hung up on the fact that a TG orginated this request, but that shouldn't be a focal point.  She's a member, just like everyone posting here; one who would just like to make sure people get the most accurate info. when they do ask questions. 

Date Posted: 2/14/2009 6:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 54,837
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Not branding a TG tag, does not make me unworthy of supporting fellow PBSers.

Of course not!  I think people are too hung up on the fact that a TG is the OP and other TGs replied.  A lot of the people who reply here ARE TGs, so, some threads are full of them.  I know Margaret mentions being a TG, but I think she was just trying to say "even those of us who do this EVERY DAY need to double check", so the reality is that people who are NOT reading the HC every day are more likely to be mistaken.  Not intentionally!  No one is suggesting anyone *isn't* trying to help, just that the rules get tweaked pretty often and checking is a good idea.

Why must I ask a TG before sending feedback? 

You don't have to, of course.  You are a member and perfectly able and within your rights to send in Feedback anytime you like.  The reality, though, is that IS one of the things TG do; keep the amount of Feeback to a minimum.  (hopefully!)  Do you know how much time Feedback takes?  Can you even imagine?  I just answer LH questions and that can be very time consuming some days. I don't even want to think how much time answering Feedback for the whole site (only a small percentage of people use the forums!) must take.  Any time that the Team has to spend answering Feedback is time they cannot spend doing things to keep the site running smoothly.  Unnecessary Feedback is simply not a good use of the Team's time.

Date Posted: 2/14/2009 6:25 PM ET
Member Since: 11/22/2008
Posts: 836
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I think people are getting hung up on the fact that a TG orginated this request, 

Beth, 

IMO the OP was quite diplomatic.   It was others giving the impression of:   move over....the TG's will handle it.

Date Posted: 2/14/2009 6:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 6,447
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Lately I've gotten a lot of LH questions to which going to send feedback is the only option.

Members don't realize that tour guides cannot access their accounts. We can't see your credit registry or transaction archive. So questions of that nature that pertain to you and only you need to go to feedback. We can explain where to find the information you might be looking for and we can tell you the guidelines for what to do in the event of but we can't see your personal info. Only the PBS team can see it.

We're here to help. Just like the forum and the help docs are here to help. Other members are a great help too. I know I learned a lot from the other members before tour guides even became a regular addition. That's what this forum is for. It's a place that new members and old can come and maybe see if their question has been answered already or to post a question that they hope someone can answer. LH doesn't always have someone there immediately. I know that I've logged off and had a LH question come just at that point. I find it in the morning and hope that they got tired of waiting for me and asked someone else.

Date Posted: 2/14/2009 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2006
Posts: 5,751
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I am sitting here almost in tears over some of the responses to my post here. In absolutely no way was I trying to discourage anyone from answering a question or demeaning anyone who is not a TG. I am so impressed by the number of people here who are willing to take the time to help others. I meant this to be a supportive reminder to EVERYONE including and especially TGs to check our answers.I was not pointing any fingers and  I didn't want to make anyone feel badly, excluded or anything, and I am so sorry if I did. This was NOT my intent in any way shape or form.

I was not saying that you shouldn't answer questions.

I was not in any way saying that I am perfect or better than anyone else FAR FROM IT. I was pointing out that I am as apt to be wrong as anyone else could be  and that is why I personally check the Help Center before answering.

Please, please take this in the manner in which it was intended, that it is a good thing to check our answers before posting them so that we do not give out incorrect information. That's all.

Again, I am so impressed by all the people here who help others every day and what a wonderful job you do! Keep up the great work!



Last Edited on: 2/14/09 11:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/14/2009 11:42 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2007
Posts: 9,601
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Margaret - I'm so sorry that you've been hurt by responses here.  I certainly meant no harm.  I really want to learn and I'm always glad when a TG (or anyone else) corrects me.  I didn't think your post was offensive or hurtful - it reminded us that the rules and gidelines do change and we should always check.  My biggest problem with the checking is that I can't always find what I'm looking for and/or I can't seem to get the knack for posting a link to the approriate place.  Please know that I think most of the responses here have fallen victim to the anonymity and depersonalization that online posting suffers from.  Can't read a tone of voice or any facial features.  Please feel better - you were correct and you did help.

Ruth

Date Posted: 2/15/2009 11:00 PM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2005
Posts: 6,968
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Why must I ask a TG before sending feedback? 

I'm going to quickly chime in here and add to what Beth has so eloquently stated!  :)  Beth mentioned that the Help Center and this forum both predated TG's.  The TG's were implemented to be a way to help field the questions that the Team was being bombarded with on a daily basis.  They found themselves answering many of the same questions day after day and having to then neglect much of their site work in order to answer those questions.  The HC is mostly very clear to many people, but in the times that it isn't, they instituted the TG's to be able to field those questions.  They have asked us to encourage people to not immediately go to the Feedback page to send in their problem.  We as TG's have been asked to do everything we can to help keep their Feedback to a minimum.  Granted, we cannot see into member's accounts, so there are some things that HAVE to go to the Team.  But for the most part, we can help.

What was meant by the statement to 'check with a TG before sending in Feedback' was simply due to the fact that many times we have seen an OP with a question being advised to "send in Feedback" for an issue that could have been easily solved had they talked to someone who had a bit more knowledge or someone who perhaps knew where to find that particular piece of information.  But instead, the damage was done and the Team had a Feedback question that wasn't necessary.  That just creates more work for them, when they have put us (as TG's) in place to help curb some of that. 

So, no, it's not a requirement.  Not by a long shot.  Anyone can send in Feedback.  However, since the system is set up this way it is hoped that all members would have respect for the TG's and for the Team and follow that line of communication that they have designed.  It really does help all involved. 

And we're not perfect....we don't have all the answers.  Please don't take it as such.  We have questions just as often as the next member.  But we do our level best to use the Help Center to back up the information we do give, and we simply ask that all members have that same courtesy when answering questions.

Date Posted: 2/15/2009 11:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/19/2008
Posts: 2,007
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Speaking just for myself, the title "Tour Guide" does not come across to me as indicating someone who can help with a problem.  A tour guide, outside of PBS, is someone who points out features and gives a little historical or background material.  For the first 8 or 9 months on the site I just assumed that my assigned TG was there to show me where things were, not to resolve or help with problems.

Another thing I've noticed is that, quite often, the only help a TG can offer is to point out the corresponding section of the help center.  If you've already read that, and still have a problem, then turning to a TG usually results in a "leave feedback" response.

 

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