…then you’re part of the problem

By | 2013/12/16

Sometimes, Internet forums make me want to scream.

Actually, I’ll rephrase that – most of the time, most Internet forums make me want to scream.

Assume a typical sort of question posted on an Internet forum:

Hi, I’m after a little bit of information.

I’m currently:

* Doing X;

* Doing Y;

* Doing Z.

Now, when I do all three of X, Y and Z, I need to collect the combined W, and I’m not sure how to go about that. Can anyone suggest how to collect W?

And here’s the typical answers someone will get:

Why would you ever want to do X? Don’t do X at all, do J.

And:

You should never do X and Y together.

And:

No-one would ever need W. Disregard it and move on.

And:

Maybe you should ask this problem elsewhere.

Then, six months later:

I’m wanting to do this too. Could you tell me how you did it?

I’m the first to say that there’s a substantial difference between answering a question and addressing the root cause of why a person is asking the question … but if you’re not going to answer the question, you need to attempt to find out the root cause of that question. If you’re doing neither, you’re not part of the solution.

Angry computer user

You’re part of the problem.