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How to Get Help Online (2013 Edition)

Shlomi Fish (3362) writes | about a year ago


Shlomi Fish (3362) writes "The document How to Get Help Online (2013), aimed at inexperienced and not too net-savvy people, aims to summarise and spread the knowledge, of where and how to get help with one’s problems (especially technical and software-related ones). While many Slashdot visitors will not gain many new insights from it, it may be useful for them to recommend less experienced people to read it. Furthermore, its Creative Commons licence (the CC-by-nc) allows others to reuse it and build upon it. And comments and suggestions for improvements are welcome."

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Well... (1)

J053 (673094) | about a year ago | (#46168877)

Obviously, you don't post a question to /.

Fscking /. beta (1)

J053 (673094) | about a year ago | (#46168893)

Won't even let me comment. All it posts is the title. Furrfu.

Surely (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about a year ago | (#46171889)

If you are tech savvy you only come in here to waste time and complain about the new interface

Really? IRC and StackOverflow for beginners? (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | about a year ago | (#46170359)

The subject says it all. Why would IRC and StackOverflow be on a short list of help for a beginner? Are they trying to figure out syntax for the C++ app they are writing, but just can't figure out how to adjust the screen resolution?

Why I recommended IRC and StackExchange (1)

Shlomi Fish (3362) | about a year ago | (#46187717)

Hi iamhigh! Thanks for your comment.

First of all, I should note that I tried to cover the general method for finding help online with an issue you've run to (especially a technical one). My target audience also doesn't include ultra-laymen who cannot figure out how to adjust their screen resolution. Arguably, I may have been too encompassing in the scope of the article (like we say in Hebrew “Try to catch a lot - and you shall catch nothing.” (or “ ” in Hebrew)), but I didn't want to write similar guides that will essentially say the same thing.

Anyway, I recommended the Freenode IRC network and the StackExchange network (not only StackOverflow mind you - it has other sub-forums like the English StackExchange [stackexchange.com] and many others), because from my experience, they are both relatively friendly and the quality of the answers there tends to be very high. I hesitate to recommend someone to get help on a random Internet web-forum (though I'm sure many of them would be OK).

That put aside, I noticed that many IRC clients are hard for inexperienced people to figure out, but I think there are some easy to use ones, and some IRC networks also provide web-interfaces.

Regards, -- Shlomi Fish.

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