Tips For Providing Great Answers (694 Views)
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Tips For Providing Great Answers

Thank you for your participation in the IDOL OnDemand Developer Community. One of the most rewarding parts of the community is having a chance to help other people. Here are some tips that will help you provide better answers.

 

Do No Harm 
Don’t break anything. If you have suggestions for doing something that could potentially be harmful, please include instructions on how to back it up first.

 

Be Nice 
Keep a friendly tone and refrain from making personal attacks. Absolutely no flaming. We are building a community and while we don't all have to agree on topics, we do need to keep things civil and polite.

 

Be Patient 
Remember that even though the answer may be obvious to you, it may not be obvious to others. It is possible that your intermediate steps may not be obvious - you may need to break them down as well. Even though you may feel an answer has been provided, you may need to show how friendly you can be by providing further help if required.

 

Depending on the frustration the original poster is having, you may have to be extra patient and friendly with them.

 

Read the Question 
Make sure you understand what the member is asking before posting a reply. Read the question carefully and give it some thought. Explicitly state any assumptions you make. If you don't understand a question, it's OK to ask for clarification (nicely). Sometimes people make mistakes, and you can point those out to them. But it's important not to assume that the poster is incompetent.

 

Read the Answers 
Sometimes you'll come upon a question to which you know the answer, but the question has already been answered. What to do? You should always read the existing answer and think about it. If it's a great answer, just move along. But if the answer omits some important details, you might reply and add the missing information. If you think the answer is wrong, you can reply and say so -- nicely. The important thing is to read the whole thread before getting involved.

 

Admit When You Are Guessing 
Nobody knows everything. There are even some things that no one knows. If a member asks a hard question, it's OK to guess at an answer. But please, please, let them know when you're guessing.

 

Deja Vu All Over Again
If you know that the question has already been answered in another thread, politely direct the original poster to that thread or suggest a search phrase that can be used in the search tool.

 

If you have more suggestions, please let us know and we'll add them to the list.

Former HP Community Manager
† The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HPE. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation