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Tips For Getting the Most Out Of What You Post
Forums and social media in general can be a great place to find solutions to technical problems. It can also be a great place to offer feedback about a product or service. However, when posting we sometimes forget to consider that the reader likely does not work with you, does not know your application, does not know your environment, and most certainly is not in your head.
Too often we see posts like this:
"I'm trying to use Forms and it does work. Help me fix it."
Do you really think anyone can offer any help with such limited information? Probably not. So...
Here are the 10 commandments for forum posters; divided into 5 rules for correct posting and 5 for being a good member of the community.
Five rules to getting a better solution (faster)
1. Have a meaningful subject line
- Subject lines like "I need urgent help" are useless. If your issue is urgent, don't use a free forum to get help. Everyone contributing to the Forum is a volunteer. Contact Oracle Support if you need urgent assistance.
- Your subject should specify the problem and not include personal emotion.
2. Give details about versions and technologies
- Are you using Oracle Forms, E-Business Suite, ADF, JD-Edwards, etc? And exactly what product version are you asking about? Remember that "12c", "10g", "6i" are not product versions. These are portions of a product name and do not accurately represent a technical product version and most times such references are of no value.
3. Give detailed error messages
- Don't say - "it throws an error" - tell us what the error is and give the stack trace and/or full error message text and the number associated with the error.
4. If possible provide steps to reproduce the problem
- If something doesn't work for you - we can't know why if you don't explain what you did (the steps) to expose the failing behavior. When possible, you can even post code that you believe reproduce the problem.
5. Search before you post
- It's for your own good - it brings you the solution faster. It is very likely that your question or some similar question has already been asked and answered.
- Search both the Forum and Google for your question - you'll be surprised how many times you'll find a solution that someone else got.
Five rules to become a better member of the forum community
6. Get a name
- In your Forum Profile you can set up a name or handle that will help us recognize you. Be sure to share some of the other details too.
- Do you really want to be known as user5667847?
- Using your real name is even better - then when someone meets you in a conference or an event they'll already know who you are.
7. Post the solution
- If your issue was solved, post/share the solution on the thread so others that run into the same error can fix it faster. Just writing "I fixed it" doesn't count.
8. Mark solved problems with [Solved]
- Once you found a solution to a problem edit the thread and add [SOLVED] to the subject line. This will help people identify solved problems. Also be sure to mark the post that solved the issue as the "Accepted Solution".
9. Monitor your threads
- In your forum Profile (upper right corner) you can quickly get to Discussion in which you've been involved, either created and/or contributed. This way you'll be able to get better response time and also answer follow up questions.
10. Don't just ask question - give some answers as well
- The forum is a "community". The community will only grow if you'll be an active participant. Posting the question is just one side of the coin. Answering other people questions is even more important. Please be a contributor too.
Original post can be found here: https://blogs.oracle.com/shay/10-commandments-for-the-otn-forums-member
Senior Principal Product Manager