blogging gobbledygook and such

As a regular in the WordPress Forums, every now and then get a little miffed at the usual newbies who post their support thread in ignorance because they don’t make time reading or searching the FAQ and past threads in the forums. On one hand it’s incredibly frustrating because resources are at the tip of their fingers if they would just invest 5 minutes of their precious time clicking, especially when they’re absolute beginners in blogging or have really simple support questions. On the other hand, can understand somewhat the feeling of being overwhelmed by the mountain of information in past threads or the FAQ that it totally turns one off from searching for an answer and prefer the easy but annoying way of posting elementary support questions in the forums.

So, this is what self came up with something for total newbies in blogging.

7 Essential Basic Things You Must Know Before Posting in WordPress.Com Forums

1. Please Make Sure You Have a WordPress.Com Blog
The forums get at least one post every other day from bloggers who have a self-hosted blog who use the free WordPress blogging software. For these group of people, they have to post their questions in the forums. You are in the right place if your blog is hosted by

2. Please Try to Search The FAQ First
WordPress has an FAQ blog, and an FAQ sticky at the forums. You should read at least the sticky before posting, because if you might have a really elementary blogging problem and the answer is waiting for you there. Would recommend the FAQ blog though, since it comes with a search button.

3. Please Try to Search Past Forum Threads
If you can’t find a satisfactory answer from the FAQ, the chances are pretty high that your blogging troubleshooting has been experienced before, which is why all past threads are never deleted for the purpose of education for future users. Three attempts at the search button of the forums should lead you to the right thread, but you have to be a little specific and not just type one-letter searches to narrow down the search result. Self’s favourites are the threads marked [closed] because they’re usually juicy and dramatic threads.

4. Please Be Polite
Politeness is the absolute in WordPress forums. If you’re polite, volunteers will be polite in return. Politeness include saying thank you after your blogging issue has been resolved, because less than half actually do that. Do not be disheartened if you get a relatively rude reply in return, because it’s not usually meant personally. Just reply politely in return. Volunteers will remember that and are more likely to assist you better in future.

5. Please Be Specific
A lot of people seeking help from the forums are not explicit when explaining their problems. This lengthens the process of solving their blogging problems. The more specific you are in explaining your situation, the faster volunteers can solve your issue because they don’t have to spend time asking you more questions to help them help you. Sometimes the language barrier due to your lack of proficiency in English may hinder your being able to specify your problem. If so, there is a sticky marked International Forums, which provide links to other WordPress forums in different languages.

6. Please Remember the Forums are Mostly Made Up of Volunteers
There are people who create new threads thinking as if the forums are manned by staff only. This is not true; in fact, a lot of support questions are solved by volunteers and voluntary moderators. WordPress Forums works on a volunteer system. Occasionally, some people with the label Key Master help out in the forums. They are WordPress staff. If you want to contact the WordPress staff directly, look for the feedback button on the top right of your Dashboard. It should be there during weekdays, but not during weekends as staff do not work then. Writing to Feedback does not guarantee a reply, but it is guaranteed that your message will be read. So the forums are still your best bet of looking for a solution to your blogging issues.

7. Please Remember that WordPress.Com is a Free Blogging Service
There are people who complain in the forums and demand for things as if they are paying for this. Although there are certain paid options like customised domains, CSS and such, remains largely a free service and as such, you should ask for anything politely and respect any decision that rejects your request. Don’t give up though, because they could change their minds and offer a feature that you might have requested before if there is demand from other users.

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Comments on: "Are you sure you want to post that in the forum?" (4)

  1. I have a FAQ, what is a blog? lol. 😉

    you always have a good blog site going on.

    sulz: eh, didn’t you read what have written above? basically, we’re having blogs – we are hosted by wp, most of the techie part of blogging has been done for us (ie themes, stats etc). our counterparts are people who use the free wp blogging software at their self-hosted blogs, where they have total control of how customised they want their blog to be, the techie part of the blog, that is.

    thank you, what a lovely compliment to start sunday morning with!

  2. Well said but I’m afraid it’s like shouting into the wind. 😉

    sulz: so true, sadly. you think if this could be stickied at the forums? would probably make a catchier title than what is there right now…

  3. I would love it if they put something in there that didn’t let you post unless your account had a blog associated with it.

    I know they can’t do it because the forums are also used for Akismet, but still. That would wipe out 30% of the forum posts, easily.

    Please be polite is so important too. There’s nothing worse than those few who are very frustrated and running off at the mouth when the solution is usually that they don’t understand how things work.

    sulz: maybe they could put like a little survey before proceeding to the thread composing editor – first page would ask do you own a blog?, second page have you tried searching the faq?, a few more pages like this before showing the user the page to compose their thread.

    does it matter how much forum posts are wiped out, when that only ensures the ones received are of valid blogging troubleshooting? you’re right, they probably won’t anything about this.

    politeness is the absolute!

  4. Well, about the whole Do This Yourself thing to Help Yourself, it’s trial and error all the way for me. Politeness is nice also; gotta remember that there is a person behind the monitor and keyboard 🙂

    sulz: trial and error is good, because you tend to learn better when you make mistakes. yes, and people have to remember that the person behind the monitor is not the cause of your blogging troubles, they’re just there to help the best they can.

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