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Wazoo

Split off from What should I do ??, Attack

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If you feel the need to chide, chastise, or criticize the user, then don't post.

If you feel the need to chide, chastise, or criticize the volunteers, then don't post.

...Stu

...Understanding where you're coming from, Stu, I thank you for your support of us volunteers. However, if the choice is between Don posting here and including an occasional criticism of us volunteers or his not posting at all, I'll take his posting and the occasional criticism. His posts are amongst the most valuable because he's actual SpamCop staff and the only one of the staff who visits here with any frequency, and IMHO we must be appreciative of that! :) <g>

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Wazoo provides the support. IME the ones who take it as rudeness are the ones who didn't get the hand-holding, all-work-done-for-them answer they were expecting/felt they were owed

That's what I keep saying. Though IMHO, Wazoo should learn to ignore them and not waste his time by even pointing them to the FAQ. All it does is add unpleasant posts (from the ones who take it as rudeness who are the majority since the polite ones have found out how to ask a question in the FAQ or ignore his post and answer one of the others who have tried to help).

Miss Betsy

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Though IMHO, Wazoo should learn to ignore them and not waste his time by even pointing them to the FAQ.
A tempting proposition to be sure, however, it can't be determined ahead of time how a poster will react. I've see quite a number of people take the FAQ-pointing in stride, learn, and have their issue resolved. The set of people who don't know to lurk (or don't know how to lurk effectively) but who are willing and able to learn and do some leg work is clearly non-empty. Not providing an initial FAQ-pointing post would deny those in that set the opportunity to receive the help they are seeking.

In all fairness Don's suggestion of having a canned response is probably the way I would go were I in Wazoo's shoes. Wazoo, here's a suggestion:

Hello, and welcome to the SpamCop forums. These forums are a user-to-user space and not supported by SpamCop.

This is a canned response.

I'd like to help you, but you have provided insufficient information for me to do so. Please read carefully How To Post A Question and then add a reply with further information. You'll want to provide some or all of the following:

  • the IP address of the server sending the email that was blocked
  • the full text of the error message
  • the full email that was blocked, including headers
  • the Tracking URL

The How To would make a good canned response as well.

...Stu

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After reading all this, I am actually surprised that the mods/staff here are not paid employees of SC/Ironport, which is what I was under the impression of. Providing all the free help that they all do is extraordinary, and I hope you at least get a free SC email for it!

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After reading all this, I am actually surprised that the mods/staff here are not paid employees of SC/Ironport, which is what I was under the impression of. Providing all the free help that they all do is extraordinary, and I hope you at least get a free SC email for it!

Nope. I do this because I like the service and want to help others see the benefit of blocklists.

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We are all unified by our hate of spam and spammers. The service SC provides is one of the few surviving effective tools that make a dent in spammer's business. Of course we want to share our insights to newcomers here, eventually many of them volunteer their time as well.

Edited by dra007

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After reading all this, I am actually surprised that the mods/staff here are not paid employees of SC/Ironport, which is what I was under the impression of. Providing all the free help that they all do is extraordinary, and I hope you at least get a free SC email for it!
After being admin of these forums for several years, Wazoo, who previously did not have access to any SpamCop email accounts was finally given a free account which he now is able to use for testing purposes. The moderators get no freebies.

As far as individual relationships with SpamCop please see Section 8 - SpamCop's System & Active Staff User Guide of the Forum FAQ

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Though IMHO, Wazoo should learn to ignore them and not waste his time by even pointing them to the FAQ.

Miss Betsy

[irony on]

hmm, mey be not just pointing out that there IS A FAQ YOU HAVE TO READ.

Probably correct link to that particular FAQ topic could be provided.... as FAQ part of SPAMCOP and this forum, look at it... just look at it... is so messy and so hard to navigate... because there is too much topics, too much pinned threads + there is that wiki... It makes a really hard time finding anything at all, not to mention the right place. Maybe FAQ about finding correct FAQ locations could be invented... or MAYBE - JUST SPRING CLEANING should be put on the list?

Call this Bitching.

[irony off]

The procedure in this case maybe should be that "do not post at all" if You do not have an adequate ANSWER, or don't have the time to "guide" the newbie to CORRECT FAQ THREAD.

"Bitching" by users marked "Admin" about FAQ being overcrowded-so-admin-cannot-find-in-few-clicks the correct FAQ thread is just ridiculous.

sorry.

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[irony on]

hmm, mey be not just pointing out that there IS A FAQ YOU HAVE TO READ.

Probably correct link to that particular FAQ topic could be provided.... as FAQ part of SPAMCOP and this forum, look at it... just look at it... is so messy and so hard to navigate... because there is too much topics, too much pinned threads + there is that wiki... It makes a really hard time finding anything at all, not to mention the right place. Maybe FAQ about finding correct FAQ locations could be invented... or MAYBE - JUST SPRING CLEANING should be put on the list?

Call this Bitching.

[irony off]

The procedure in this case maybe should be that "do not post at all" if You do not have an adequate ANSWER, or don't have the time to "guide" the newbie to CORRECT FAQ THREAD.

"Bitching" by users marked "Admin" about FAQ being overcrowded-so-admin-cannot-find-in-few-clicks the correct FAQ thread is just ridiculous.

sorry.

If you could be more specific about the housecleaning: IMHO, the FAQ introduction is 'historical' and the 'spamcop official FAQ pages' should be identified as different than the User Created FAQ, for instance. I also think that there should be only two pinned items in each forum - one pointing to the FAQ and one that has specific answers for that forum.

I am one of those people who have a very difficult time finding what I want in a FAQ. Maybe it is related to being tone deaf? I can't sing Happy Birthday on key either. And many times after a futile search, I find that what I want to know is not a frequent question. Therefore, it is useful to tell people that their question can be answered in the FAQ, IMHO. I don't always have time to even 'do a few clicks' and as I have pointed out, most of the people who get mad are those who don't /want/ to look for themselves instead of saying, 'Sorry I am hopeless, but I can't find it'

Miss Betsy

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I don't always have time to even 'do a few clicks' and as I have pointed out, most of the people who get mad are those who don't /want/ to look for themselves instead of saying, 'Sorry I am hopeless, but I can't find it'

Miss Betsy

aha... they get mad because they cannot find anything in that/this FAQ... then they turn here, by posting a question.... and - voila - 1st thing they get turned back to FAQ. Yes. Very helpful.

As i noted, if You (poster) cannot give correct ANSWER (ANSWER is in Caps!) or point to that particular FAQ, not just the that page of different FAQs, then don't post. There is no time for You already, but still You manage it. Post useless blah blah... by bitching in mind: :blush: pheeeew... even i can't remember where that s#%t was.

Thewre is Way TOO MUCH FAQS, Pinned THREADS... etc.

Edited by karlisma

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aha... they get mad because they cannot find anything in that/this FAQ... then they turn here, by posting a question.... and - voila - 1st thing they get turned back to FAQ. Yes. Very helpful.
...When someone posts and says they can't find what they need in the FAQ, I (and most of the other members who reply) try to give them a specific reference. In fact, even if they don't say they looked at the FAQ, first, I often try to point them to a specific place in the FAQ. However, when they don't mention in their first post that they looked at the FAQ and couldn't find the answer, I don't think it's reasonable to expect anything other than a "your answer is in the FAQ" reply.
As i noted, if You (poster) cannot give correct ANSWER (ANSWER is in Caps!) or point to that particular FAQ, not just the that page of different FAQs, then don't post. There is no time for You already, but still You manage it. Post useless blah blah... by bitching in mind: :blush: pheeeew... even i can't remember where that s#%t was.
...I don't think it's up to us members to tell other members what and when they can post. IMHO a suggestion along these lines is appropriate but saying "if you don't want to answer the way I want you to, then don't post at all" is not reasonable.
Thewre is Way TOO MUCH FAQS, Pinned THREADS... etc.
...SpamCop has a lot of features and functions. If you have any concrete suggestions, please post them, otherwise complaining about this just adds to the list of complaints but doesn't get us anywhere.

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aha... they get mad because they cannot find anything in that/this FAQ... then they turn here, by posting a question.... and - voila - 1st thing they get turned back to FAQ. Yes. Very helpful.

As i noted, if You (poster) cannot give correct ANSWER (ANSWER is in Caps!) or point to that particular FAQ, not just the that page of different FAQs, then don't post. There is no time for You already, but still You manage it. Post useless blah blah... by bitching in mind: :blush: pheeeew... even i can't remember where that s#%t was.<snip>

I will repeat I think that if a poster has posted without saying that s/he has looked in the FAQ, that it is a reasonable answer to say that it is in the FAQ without pointing to it. It takes me a long time to find what I want in any FAQ.

And even if they have looked in the FAQ and haven't found it, it may help those who are willing to help themselves to find it if they know it is there. The ones who get mad are the ones who are either not willing to say that the FAQ is confusing to me or don't want to do the work, but have someone else do it for them.

There are several regular posters so that if the person can't find what they want, another poster will come along and give them a link (or an explanation) even if the first poster doesn't. Usually the ones who get mad don't pay any attention to any other helpful advice that is presented, but prefer to vent because they weren't given 'customer service' IME.

Miss Betsy

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It takes me a long time to find what I want in any FAQ.

There are several regular posters so that if the person can't find what they want, another poster will come along and give them a link (or an explanation) even if the first poster doesn't. Usually the ones who get mad don't pay any attention to any other helpful advice that is presented, but prefer to vent because they weren't given 'customer service' IME.

Miss Betsy

See. It takes a long time for You, being a long time member/user of this forum and service.

When a newbie posts, it is visible right under his nick, it's the first post. He is already mad that something isn't working as he expects. He, as a newbie, doesn't have the knowledge nor the skills to navigate in system where he has gotten, because he HAS NOT. Even You cannot find it right out the bat. What can he do? Wait for the answer, and most of the times he HAS THE PATIENCE to wait for USEFUL answer, not USELESS bitching ala: We can't find it either, go look Yourself, You incompetent and lousy bastard.

So, as You write here: another poster will come along and give them a link (or an explanation) even if the first poster doesn't.

Why post if YOU DO NOT HAVE THE ANSWER?

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Why post if YOU DO NOT HAVE THE ANSWER?

First of all, although I am a regular here, I am technically non-fluent. Although I have learned to open other windows, etc., it is not something that I do on a regular basis and it takes me time. Since I also am not able to find things in /any/ FAQ easily, I have sympathy for those who can't. Often, when I have searched for an answer in other than spamcop's FAQs, it turns out that what I want to know is not a frequently asked question. For that reason, I think it is helpful to tell people that the answer really is in the FAQ.

When I have asked questions in other places, it is a little disheartening because only one person usually answers and the first post is all he has to say. No one amplifies it or helps to explain it a different way. If one is impatient to get an answer, to know that someone is looking his post, is good news and that others will also be looking and may have the answer. If they are inclined to look further in the FAQ while they are waiting, then they might either find the answer or be able to add needed info.

Though I tend to agree with you, that it is generally a waste of time to answer without being more specific since the ones who get mad are looking for customer service and that's definitely not customer service-sounding.

I also consider that there could be better organization of the FAQ, that there are too many pinned items. I have offered specific suggestions. One of the reasons for so many ways to access the FAQ is that not all people get to the forum the same way. It both solves a problem and creates a problem to have so many 'entry' points. Sometimes, a specific suggestion can be implemented or sometimes there is a reason why which would modify the suggestion or realize that there are limitations.

Miss Betsy

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<snip>

We can't find it either, go look Yourself, You incompetent and lousy bastard.

...That may be how you and others interpret the message but that isn't the message. The message is: read the FAQ to understand a bit about SpamCop and to see if the answer to your question is already there; then, if you can't find the answer in the FAQ, come back with a question that has sufficient information for us to be able to answer.
So, as You write here: another poster will come along and give them a link (or an explanation) even if the first poster doesn't.

Why post if YOU DO NOT HAVE THE ANSWER?

...Two reasons: (1) as Miss Betsy replied, to let the OP know that someone has taken the time and had the interest to at least post some reply and (2) to convey the message I described, above.

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...That may be how you and others interpret the message but that isn't the message. The message is: read the FAQ to understand a bit about SpamCop and to see if the answer to your question is already there; then, if you can't find the answer in the FAQ, come back with a question that has sufficient information for us to be able to answer....Two reasons: (1) as Miss Betsy replied, to let the OP know that someone has taken the time and had the interest to at least post some reply and (2) to convey the message I described, above.

If "we" may interpret it that way, then it is not the right answer, is it?

if "some reply" does any good, i can ask my grandma. If the user is first time poster, believe - he has hard time navigating overcrowded FAQ and pinned posts. It is hard for some users "been here" since 2004.

no ANSWER, no post.

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If "we" may interpret it that way, then it is not the right answer, is it?

if "some reply" does any good, i can ask my grandma. If the user is first time poster, believe - he has hard time navigating overcrowded FAQ and pinned posts. It is hard for some users "been here" since 2004.

no ANSWER, no post.

People do interpret remarks in different ways. If the 'intent' of a post is to insult people, then I agree that the post should not be made. OTOH, not everyone interprets a post saying to look in the FAQ as being insulting. They may feel really foolish (I did - and do - many times because, as I said before, I have a difficult time with any FAQ) and the combination of feeling foolish and being agitated because they have a problem, probably does create a negative feeling.

But there are some people who are able to withhold judgment who do find the answer long before someone with the time to either point to the answer or retype it has posted. And it does show that the forum is active. There are lots of forums where posts can go unanswered for months. Again, the people who are quick to see the 'insult' often /are/ the ones who are lazy and incompetent and want to blame others for their inadequacies. Not always, sometimes the problem that brought them here makes ordinary people very grumpy, but, in that case, any answer can get an angry reply.

How do you think the FAQ could be made less 'overcrowded'? One of the problems is interpretation. Lots of people search the FAQ and miss all the discussions about why suddenly they are getting bounces of spam they never sent because they are using a word that no one else has to describe the phenomenon. In spite of two ways to say that everyone here is 'non-official' posted at the top of every screen, even posters who have been involved in several discussions don't realize that all posters are just 'people' - not employees.

My solution to overcrowding was to have a series of posts with links to the answers for more common questions that linked to more and more FAQ in the 'Start here...' forum. It didn't receive any support and now resides in the 'big red announcement' as 'how to find things without tearing your hair out' and I doubt that anyone ever looks at it - at least those who need to. I also think that the 'big red announcement' should be called 'Look Here First' which covers both announcements and first time posters.

Miss Betsy

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There are so many factors that influence how people react in this virtual space...many are not different from everyday interactions in real time.. We all have a short fuse and get impatient when tired and confused, and few of us have the discipline and patience to stand back and refrain form outbursts that may seem aggressive if not impulsively insulting at best..

If moderators can be helpful, at least they should consider the big picture and avoid taking the dirty laundry in public. I just hope this discussion does not turn us into total cynics and we can keep our sense of humor and positive attitude in spite of what transpired here. As a group we all benefit from the mentainance and up keep of this board..

Edited by dra007

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If "we" may interpret it that way, then it is not the right answer, is it?
...I respectfully disagree. A reply may be interpreted by 99 people as helpful and 1 person as insulting (or even 51 as helpful and 49 as insulting) -- to me, that suggests that it is the "right answer."
if "some reply" does any good, i can ask my grandma.
...I have no idea what your grandma has to do with this discussion. I probably don't want to know, either. :) <g>
If the user is first time poster, believe - he has hard time navigating overcrowded FAQ and pinned posts. It is hard for some users "been here" since 2004.
...IMHO, that is not a good reason for not trying the FAQ, first, or for being rude after being referred to the FAQ after failing to mention having first visited the FAQ.
no ANSWER, no post.
...You seem to be wanting to tell other participants what they should and should not do in replies to questions. If that's your opinion, so noted; if that's a demand, then it is rejected.

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Some people really like to think that things are "black and white," but that's a defective view of the world. To state that "if you're not going to answer their question, then don't post," smacks of dichotomous thinking, while in reality, this issue has room for an infinite amount of shades of gray. One can post a reply that fully answers a query, or that partially answers one, or that only give a slight hint at where the answer may be found, but all of those are typically found in this type of venue. This is not an official support venue staffed by paid employees. That's not to say that rudeness on anyone's part is desirable, but neither is this "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood." :P

Wazoo's RTFM-style answer wasn't all that helpful, but the OP's response to that was clearly out of proportion. I'd prefer to see Wazoo simply post a link, either shallow or deep, to the FAQ when he encounters a post that suggests that the OP hasn't done his or her homework. In fact, although some of Wazoo's initial answers might appear a bit gruff or curt, or even cryptic, many more are quite helpful and get right to the point. Upon encountering a post as defective, ambiguous, and vague as the one that started this fuss, it probably would have been better to point to the FAQ on Tracking URLs and to ask for clarification about the rest.

I also agree that in general, there are too many pinned items and that continued consolidation/simplification of the Help/FAQ resources would probably be helpful, but I also think that this is an incredibly rich resource and much of that is thanks primarily to.....Wazoo. :D

Peace,

DT

Edited by DavidT

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