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Per Westermark
09/24/09 04:31
Read: 910 times
Sweden


 
Msg Score: +1
 +1 Informative
#169096 - My view
Responding to: Andy Neil's previous message
Sadly, this thread is in need of a clean up.

I still think that there is a need to debate the amount of posts or number of visitors to the site, so I think there is a need for the thread.

But I do not think that any drop in traffic is caused by school kits with urgent needs of complete solutions getting told that a forum can help, but full prioritized attention and turn-key solutions requires them to hire a consultant. The flooding of "give me" threads can be seen on almost all forums around the world, and could most probably be measured and used to show to what degree different countries got wide spread Internet access available to the youngsters. The "give me" visitors have most probably had access to Internet from before they could read and write and have not learned that Internet isn't a magic machine that can solve any problem but a carefully crafted tool driven by a huge number of dedicated people that constantly adds content. But to spend voluntary time adding content, there has to be some form of meaningful feedback - tthat it is worth the time, and that the information is helping others. "give me" people don't ever say "thanks" or "please" or "great idea". They just consider instant solutions to their problems their birthright.

An earlier comment here was that if people behaved the same in real life, a lot of people would be missing a lot of teeths. In real life, people would not run into private peoples homes or into company R&D departments and "require" solutions to problems they have. And in real life, people would not be so interested in supplying turn-key solutions to a student, since it would be obvious that both the student and the helper would be part of cheating. When moving to the net, a lot of people gets very happy when they see a problem they know the answer to. They are just dying to produce a full solution to the problem, to prove how good they are, without thinking about the implications.

On one hand, a student are not really helped by getting a solution without any involvement of own work. You can't learn without work, even if it would be nice to just go to sleep and wake up with a new set of skills magically integrated. Students that gets their grades without the required knowledge are an economical burden for the society. They are also a danger, since they may be involved in products where human life/health may be at stake.

On the other hand, a student who do want to learn, must be given help at their current level or slightly above their level. Jumping 10 steps forward will not really help. Before someone may learn how to design a solution, they must already have the requierd knowledge to look at a finished solution of similar complexity and understand how it works. Getting a turn-key working solution that is too complex to understand will not overbridge that requirement.

The next thing here, is that people creating "give me" threads, haven't even spent enough time figuring out what the original problem was. Jumpping ahead and "helping out" with the most obvious solution may be the very wrong thing to do. Maybe the suggested solution is trying to solve something that shouldn't be solved. Not just as in "have no need for that solution", but as in "would be a counterproductive solution".

So in the end, people who want to get help on a forum just have to spend their time focusing on their needs, and then try to compose a descriptive message. Problems with the language is seldom a problem, as long as it can be seen from the post that the requester have spent time focusing on the problem.

Besides showing that own time has been spent, it does help if a requester comes out at least slightly likable. Not a requirement, but all the "urgent", "need to", "must" etc are strong words that does strongly affect the readers. But not in the way the poster intendended them. A professional forum is likely to have a lot of professional members. To a professional, the word "urgent" is a request for VIP treatment. It is a very wrong attitude for people to expect to receive VIP treatment for free. Basically assuming that other people who asks questions on the forum should get less priority. Or that a professional should stop their ordinary work and make themselves available for helping out a student who after two months of their allotted project time suddenly realises that it is time to turn in a solution.

No, Chris. I really do not think people are dropping off from the forum because we are not bending backwards to help students cheat, or not ignoring rude implications. And I do believe that it is meaningful to not just ignore the posts, but to notify the poster that they will not give the requested help unless they are willing to get involved in the process, and also are willing to show some form of professionalism (remember, you don't need to be a payed professional to show professionalism).

And when discussing a subject, it does not carry the discussion forward using constructs like "I laugh at" etc. It is way better to spend time trying to make a post where the arguments matches perceived evidence, and to try to motivate subjective arguments.

My guess is still that a decline of visitors is related to the choice of processors being introduced at school. 8051 chips have existed for a long time, so neither the staff nor distributors thinks it too sexy to have the schools supplied with 8051 development boards or processors. But the school system is an important route to introduce people into the 8051 world. When a user already have 5 years of experience with a number of processors before introducing a 8051, he/she is expected to have enough knowledge to be able to solve most problems without need to ask questions on the net. So I would expect that there is a very small trickle of professionals looking around for a forum dedicated to 8051 chips, unless that forum is also very strong on generic hardware issues.

By the way, I would probably limit my Key Skills to subjects I have spent at least a year or two with (and hopefully not too many years in the past, since there is progress in most areas). On direct request, I would mention knowledge in other areas by qualifying them with "I have also done some work with xxx".

List of 132 messages in thread
TopicAuthorDate
Slowing down      Per Westermark      09/12/09 19:41      
   Its because...      Jez Smith      09/13/09 01:03      
      Never been a problem before      Andy Neil      09/14/09 03:48      
         How many Questions can be asked?      Neil Kurzman      09/14/09 10:52      
            This is why we need to diversify      Jez Smith      09/15/09 09:51      
               Share all your embarassing illnesses      Andy Neil      09/15/09 10:46      
                  poetry corner      Jez Smith      09/17/09 14:23      
               diversification      Erik Malund      09/21/09 15:56      
                  OK      Erik Malund      09/23/09 07:48      
   I agree      Steve M. Taylor      09/13/09 06:48      
      Slow down?      Joseph Hebert      09/15/09 09:12      
         School affects processor of choice for projects      Per Westermark      09/15/09 09:41      
   Just wait another week or two ...      Richard Erlacher      09/13/09 10:51      
   maybe      Erik Malund      09/15/09 10:48      
      Atmel AVR      Per Westermark      09/15/09 11:16      
      Aye, ... there's the rub ...      Richard Erlacher      09/15/09 13:47      
         ARM competes with both 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit competitors      Per Westermark      09/15/09 14:38      
            gcc isn't bad, but it doesn't match the code quality      Andy Neil      09/15/09 15:43      
               gcc may catch up      Per Westermark      09/15/09 16:12      
                  being unhappy with gcc      Andy Neil      09/16/09 00:04      
                     They have different roots      Richard Erlacher      09/16/09 10:59      
            It's all about cost      Richard Erlacher      09/16/09 10:45      
               Diversity      Per Westermark      09/16/09 13:11      
                  The jury is still out ...      Richard Erlacher      09/16/09 15:55      
                     Everyones needs are different      Per Westermark      09/16/09 16:28      
                        You can't "test" it that way      Richard Erlacher      09/16/09 21:46      
                           Still, majority of embedded systems are small      Per Westermark      09/17/09 02:38      
                              An evaluation board with a gazillion features are of no use      Andy Neil      09/17/09 02:59      
                              It's not a replacement for the target      Richard Erlacher      09/17/09 08:10      
                           none, but few care      Erik Malund      09/17/09 05:43      
                              Compare its cost ...      Richard Erlacher      09/17/09 08:29      
                                 Assuming that matters        Neil Kurzman      09/17/09 13:50      
                                    Eval Board Cost irrelevant      Andy Neil      09/17/09 14:02      
                                       Not likely, but possible      Richard Erlacher      09/17/09 15:24      
                                    That's not why I use 'em      Richard Erlacher      09/17/09 15:22      
                                       Then make one      Neil Kurzman      09/17/09 17:27      
                                          and look at the cost!      Richard Erlacher      09/17/09 18:40      
                                             what cost      Erik Malund      09/18/09 06:58      
                                                Free!      Andy Neil      09/18/09 07:05      
                                                   Can only confirm      Per Westermark      09/18/09 07:36      
                                                      Sometimes it gives you insight      Richard Erlacher      09/18/09 07:50      
                                                         Relations with distributors may affect freebies      Per Westermark      09/18/09 08:25      
                                                            Perhaps, and because ...      Richard Erlacher      09/18/09 12:29      
                                                               and so what      Erik Malund      09/18/09 13:40      
                                                                  and so, I didn't take it      Richard Erlacher      09/18/09 15:45      
                                                         Insight      Andy Neil      09/18/09 13:51      
                                                            it reflects the manufacturer's attitude about his customer      Richard Erlacher      09/18/09 15:52      
                                                   Just try to get one when you NEED it!      Richard Erlacher      09/18/09 07:42      
                                    It's the platform ... not just the target.      Richard Erlacher      09/23/09 09:52      
                        and '51s      Erik Malund      09/17/09 05:41      
   Maybe all the brow beatings......      Chris Bertrand      09/16/09 10:34      
      There are simple reasons      Richard Erlacher      09/16/09 10:54      
         How to get good answers - Ask Questions The Smart Way      Andy Neil      09/23/09 07:20      
      Which that attitude chris        Jez Smith      09/17/09 04:52      
         Thanks for proving my point for me      Chris Bertrand      09/18/09 14:20      
            Not so fast, Chris ...      Richard Erlacher      09/21/09 23:57      
               Verbally beating them up is the only option.      Andy Neil      09/22/09 01:40      
               You must be joking      Chris Bertrand      09/22/09 19:34      
                  Nobody "lumped you in" ... except you      Richard Erlacher      09/22/09 23:54      
                     Again you are wrong      Chris Bertrand      09/23/09 09:21      
                        If you hadn't demonstrated your unwillingness to search        Richard Erlacher      09/23/09 10:00      
                  A forum is not a tutorial      Andy Neil      09/23/09 00:39      
            I didn't get where I am today...      Andy Neil      09/22/09 00:22      
               You have good points, but think about this...      Chris Bertrand      09/22/09 19:40      
                  Kids; homework      Andy Neil      09/23/09 00:42      
            ASKING for help        Erik Malund      09/22/09 05:03      
               Interesting but I must disagree.... to a point      Chris Bertrand      09/22/09 19:59      
                  Examples?      Per Westermark      09/22/09 21:20      
                     many moons ago before I worked were I do now      Chris Bertrand      09/23/09 09:26      
                        Well, the reason you're "getting it" from me ...      Richard Erlacher      09/23/09 09:48      
                  It's not a default response!      Andy Neil      09/23/09 00:09      
                     i don't disagree.....        Chris Bertrand      09/23/09 09:23      
                        code of how to post a question      Andy Neil      09/23/09 10:02      
                           I get it....seriously      Chris Bertrand      09/23/09 10:40      
                              Arguments doesn't add up with real world      Per Westermark      09/23/09 11:52      
                                 Per, its not about the logic.....      Chris Bertrand      09/23/09 12:10      
                                    Oh yes you did!      Andy Neil      09/23/09 14:14      
                                    Illogical!        Andy Neil      09/23/09 14:37      
                                       Its a resume.....      Chris Bertrand      09/23/09 18:45      
                                          Key Skills      Andy Neil      09/24/09 00:11      
                                             My view        Per Westermark      09/24/09 04:31      
                                                Key skills...      Jan Waclawek      09/24/09 05:04      
                                                decline in 8052.com traffic...      Jan Waclawek      09/24/09 05:16      
                              not really 'grammar'      Erik Malund      09/23/09 13:14      
      with Google, its difficult to wade through the material      Andy Neil      09/22/09 01:45      
         I agree, but seriously.....      Chris Bertrand      09/22/09 19:50      
            If it's overwhelming, you need to find another pursuit.      Richard Erlacher      09/22/09 23:37      
               I really don't know what your problem is      Chris Bertrand      09/23/09 09:20      
                  You haven't improved your syntax ...      Richard Erlacher      09/23/09 10:15      
                     thanks for the chuckle      Chris Bertrand      09/23/09 10:36      
                        I've been a teacher of English since 1952 when I learned it      Richard Erlacher      09/23/09 16:52      
                           You aren't my father or teacher      Chris Bertrand      09/23/09 18:43      
                              pray tell which dictionary has this      Erik Malund      09/23/09 18:46      
                                 it doesn't      Chris Bertrand      09/23/09 18:54      
                                    It seems as though the only one who's "uptight" is you      Richard Erlacher      09/23/09 23:32      
                              To (sic) bad      Andy Neil      09/23/09 23:37      
                                 And this is the petty stuff I'm talking about Andy      Chris Bertrand      09/24/09 06:12      
                                    this is almost hilarious      Erik Malund      09/24/09 07:40      
                                       bravo Erik      Chris Bertrand      09/24/09 07:42      
                                          high standards???      Erik Malund      09/24/09 15:59      
                                             You knew      Chris Bertrand      09/24/09 17:39      
                                                I have no problem ...      Erik Malund      09/25/09 06:31      
                                                   Guess this must be the only site you frequent      Chris Bertrand      09/25/09 07:21      
                                                      Incorrect      Andy Neil      09/25/09 08:26      
                                                         ...      Chris Bertrand      09/25/09 09:51      
                                                      very well, thank you      Erik Malund      09/25/09 08:40      
                                                      two wrongs does not make a right      Erik Malund      09/25/09 08:41      
                                                         Well,      Chris Bertrand      09/25/09 09:53      
                                                         Yes, but a.....      Chris Bertrand      09/25/09 09:54      
                                    Goodness! You said you were done ...      Richard Erlacher      09/24/09 07:40      
                                       Not for you to worry      Chris Bertrand      09/24/09 07:44      
                                          There's another syntax error!      Richard Erlacher      09/24/09 13:25      
                                             Your pathetic      Chris Bertrand      09/24/09 13:36      
                                                was that deliberate...      Andy Neil      09/24/09 13:57      
                                                   He's not that clever ... nor is he that well-versed      Richard Erlacher      09/24/09 14:38      
                                                      Speak for yourself      Chris Bertrand      09/24/09 17:37      
                                                Another syntax error!      Richard Erlacher      09/24/09 22:12      
                                                   Again and again      Chris Bertrand      09/25/09 07:15      
                                    If you think that's "petty"...        Andy Neil      09/24/09 14:47      
                                       Apples and Oranges      Chris Bertrand      09/24/09 17:38      
                                          All apples, to me      Andy Neil      09/25/09 00:41      
                                             Whatever works for you I guess      Chris Bertrand      09/25/09 07:20      
                                                all my programs are 0 warnings, 0 errors.      Andy Neil      09/25/09 08:22      
                                                   Well I guess if it runs      Chris Bertrand      09/25/09 09:52      
                                                      err        Steve M. Taylor      09/25/09 10:01      
                                                         fixed...      Chris Bertrand      09/25/09 10:06      
                                                            Mud throwing      Per Westermark      09/25/09 11:11      
                              You were defeated before you began, Chris      Richard Erlacher      09/23/09 23:46      
            Missing the point      Andy Neil      09/23/09 00:25      
               seconded      Erik Malund      09/23/09 05:24      
            coming to think of it 'how' and 'what'      Erik Malund      09/23/09 05:21      
   "How it's made"      Stefan KAnev      09/25/09 13:08      

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