Best Practices For Starting A New Topic & Getting Help

Discussion in 'Website Announcements, Feedback, Issues, & Guides' started by Nifty-Chicken, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    A community forum's ability to be effective at providing help is only as good as how well the information is organized. That being the case, please make sure you follow these few small but VERY important policies:

    Try Searching First
    BYC has over 5 MILLION posts... that's a LOT of information. We have some very powerful search tools and encourage you to start by searching for existing questions and answers. In some cases you'll find the exact answer you're looking for. In other cases you'll find existing topics / discussion threads where you can jump right in and participate.

    Put your question or post in the appropriate forum
    We have many very detailed sections of our forum. Please familiarize yourself with the list and post your questions in the appropriate section. If you post in the wrong section it only causes more work for our staff to have to move topics to the correct section.

    Make Detailed Subjects / Titles
    You might be tempted to start a topic with "PLEASE HELP!!!" Unfortunately, that doesn't help anybody to help you. [​IMG] You should fill the subject line of your new topic with as much information as can fit! For example, you'll be helping the community help you if instead of a subject like: "EMERGENCY HELP" you instead say something like "Hen's leg caught in a rat trap - Leg not broken but bleeding"

    Add As Much Info As Possible
    If you're having problems, especially an emergency with a sick chicken, add as much information and detail as possible. The more information you provide, the better chances you'll have of getting the help you need! Think of it like you're going into the doctor with a problem. If you just say "I don't feel well", the doctor probably won't be able to help you much... but if you list all your symptoms, when / how they started, what you've tried, etc., then you'll probably have more success.

    Please remember, if your posts aren't getting a response, it could be for a TON of different reasons. Usually having very detailed subjects and posting additional information and details about the situation will often help get a reply.

    Following these simple steps will help you get the information you need faster and will make it easier for you and many others to get the help they need.

    A huge "THANK YOU" to everyone of our members that have been following these practices over the years and have helped make BYC such a wonderful place to get the help they need!
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
  2. DuckLady

    DuckLady ~~~Administrator~~~BYC Store Support Staff Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    Great post! I would like to add that if someone posts something that could have been found by a is OK. Really.

    Please don't chase away a new member by jumping on them about their question being asked a million times before.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    Quote:Aw Terrie, c'mon! Us older BYC'ers need to haze them young-uns somehow! Oh, alright! We'll be nice. (remembering that 3 years ago I new zero about chickens...)
    3 people like this.
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I think this should be made into a sticky. This is great information for newcomers.

    I also have one more suggestion: it would be extremely helpful if, after receiving assistance and perhaps problem resolution, posters would edit their titles to reflect this fact (when it becomes a LONG thread).

    An example might be changing the title of the post from: "Urgent- chicken eggbound," to "Chicken eggbound- problem resolved see post #197."

    That way folks don't read through many pages of information trying to offer an opinion, only to find out that the problem has been resolved (hey, it's happened to me!).
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  5. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I agree with Terrie. It is great to find something in "Search" but many newbies don't know what they are searching for. Besides, this forum would dry up if we stopped asking questions, even if they have been asked before.

    I know it is Nifty's forum and he sets the rules but I have never been offended by someone new asking a question that has been asked before. Those are usually the easy ones to answer.
  7. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    Good points! It is a tricky balance between encouraging members to use search while also making sure they feel comfortable with posting new topics.

    Each situation is different and it is hard to say, "In these cases don't start a new topic, but you can in these situations." Hopefully each member will know that the search tools exist and will give them a try before posting... if anything, having more information before posting your question will usually help you form a better question. For example:

    No searching - Poor Forum Post:
    Subject: "HELP ME NOW!!!"
    Message: "My chicken has a lump on her neck!!! HELP!!!!!!!!!!!"

    Has searched - Good Forum Post:
    Subject: "I think my chicken's crop is impacted, what should I do?"
    Message: "I've searched the forum and I learned that the lump on the side of a chicken's neck is their crop. My chicken's crop has been large and full for 3 days and she hasn't been eating. I read on another topic that..... and I tried..... but now I don't know what to do about....."​
    1 person likes this.
  8. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    Quote:That is a FANTASTIC idea! Imagine if every member that had a question and resolution did that? Wow that would be amazing.

    Even better: If the original poster (OP) went back to edit their first post and added something like:

    ----- UPDATE <date> -----
    I was able to fix my problem, here is a link to the post with info about what I did: <link>​
  9. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Quote:That is a FANTASTIC idea! Imagine if every member that had a question and resolution did that? Wow that would be amazing.

    Even better: If the original poster (OP) went back to edit their first post and added something like:

    ----- UPDATE <date> -----
    I was able to fix my problem, here is a link to the post with info about what I did: <link>

    Hey we need 'snapbacks' then its a little button (on other boards in the top right of each post) that would link to a post rather then a page number or a thread.
  10. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

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