Is my signature difficult to understand?

My signature, at present, starts:

Please post technical questions on the forum, not by personal message. Thanks!

I've had two personal messages today, asking for help on a project.

Is there a better way of wording it?

Not really Nick, as it looks to me your signature is as descriptive as needed.

It could be that those who do send you personal messages know how knowledgeable and helpful you are.
I wonder if they were students from a far away land who in their hast, don't actually read a great deal and don't care to do their own research.

Unfortunately, it may appear it could be that they are expecting to gain their engineering qualifications with as little effort as possible, just a few clicks of the mouse and a few pm's.

Sorry, I don't see any better way to word what you have as being very clear already.


Paul

Is my signature difficult to understand?

I really don't know since I have selected 'Don't show users' signatures' in my forum preferences.

I was under the assumption that the primary purpose of providing a 'signature' area was so that someone could identify themselves if their real name was different from their forum ID.

There is so much garbage in so many signature areas that I just decided to take advantage of the option and get rid of all that junk.

Don

Still, new forum members probably don’t go and select the “hide the signature” option, however you make an interesting point.

To anyone who thinks that my attitude is a bit snaky:

It's not that I don't want to help you, it's just that I don't want to help only you. If you post a question on the forum, then everyone benefits. It becomes a "knowledge base" that people can search, maybe years in the future.

Private message conversations are limited to helping one person. Forum messages potentially help hundreds of people. What would you do in my position?

Plus, there are plenty of very competent people on the forum. If you post a message publicly, you may get an answer from someone else, who can help you more quickly, or better, than I can.

Also, I make mistakes. Everyone does. If you post a public message, any mistakes made can be picked up and corrected by others.

Posting questions on the forum is a win-win situation. Private messages are not.

Its not that your sig is hard to understand. I think its just people are ignoring it or not grasping it.

Although you might emphasize the NOT

Nick, for what it's worth, I have replied to such personal messages specifically asking the person to post the question on the forum, including a link to the appropriate section, and they often still do not post on the forum. In one case they replied with "yes, I agree with what you said, but..." and continued trying to get personal assistance.

The last one not only sent a personal message but also posted on the forum. Which is aggravating.

I suspect they fall into these camps...

  • Very shy. A few seem terrified to participate in a public forum.
  • Narcissist. A few seem convinced that the world, including me, owe them a favor.
  • Confused. A few seem overwhelmed.

I suspect local workshops would be very beneficial to the first and third groups. (Any entrepreneurs reading this? College professors?). My momma taught me, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." so I will reserve comment on the second group.

Unfortunately, short of a actually providing personalized assistance, I don't know what we can do to help.

Oh, and your signature is fine.

My momma taught me, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." so I will reserve comment on the second group.

Funnily enough, my mother gave me very similar advice. :slight_smile:

[quote author=Nick Gammon date=1414654172 link=msg=1941138]
To anyone who thinks that my attitude is a bit snaky:

It's not that I don't want to help you, it's just that I don't want to help only you. [/quote]
My attitude is exactly the same as yours - including the stuff I deleted to keep it short.

Also, there have been one or two situations where I feel I would have been drawn into an interminable and fruitless exchange of meaningless words. In that situation it is much better to get input from others to provide balance.

...R

Maybe it's because the forum font is so small they don't notice it.

Nick,

I just noticed that in the notification preferences section of the profile settings you can set the setting ‘Personal Messages’ to be just from your ‘Buddies’ rather than from anyone.

Is this an option for you?


Paul

rockwallaby:
I just noticed that in the notification preferences section of the profile settings you can set the setting ‘Personal Messages’ to be just from your ‘Buddies’ rather than from anyone.

I hope Nick does not (or other people do not) choose that option.

It would create another barrier layer between “ordinary” members and some “elite” just like the barrier that already exists between users and the people who manage the Forum software. Rather than create more barriers I am hoping we can persuade the Forum management to come out from behind their barrier.

Technology gives the illusion that we can protect ourselves from every risk - but I prefer to run some risks rather than have closed and compartmentalized societies. For example it would not be nice to have a loved one killed by some criminal acting in the guise of some political or religious group. But I would much prefer to run that extremely small risk than to have big-brother peering at everybody’s emails and text messages.

…R

I would, and do - exactly that.

On another forum, where I am one of two prime "answerers", I publish an email address, but make it perfectly clear that whilst not averse to helping people individually, the advice is general and relatively universal. Even though it refers to a very personal matter and where the desire for privacy and anonymity is entirely understandable. I refrain from mentioning that if they were quite correctly to consult me in my professional rooms, my time would be worth a quite reasonable amount of money, albeit mostly paid by the government.

Another aspect is simply the old aphorism: "When every other effort fails, it may be as well to resort to reading the instructions!"

Which of course, describes many of the problems people encounter.

I like

Please post technical questions on the forum, not by personal message. Thanks!

and may steal borrow it for my sig on the Raspberry Pi forum.

Funnily enough, my mother gave me very similar advice. :slight_smile:

Henceforth, you shall be known as "Thumper".