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Forum Posting Rules
By Richard Rost   Richard Rost on Twitter Richard Rost on LinkedIn Email Richard Rost   2 years ago

If you need help, here are the rules for posting questions in the Forums. Please read them. I try to run a quality web site, so anyone who violates the rules will lose posting privileges.

Update: This list goes equally well for people posting questions in the comments section of my YouTube channel. I get a ton of people posting "it's not working" with no details. See Rule #2.

Rule #1: Before posting your question, check to see if it's already been answered. You can use the Search feature to look for keywords. Save the moderators some time having to only point you to another post where your question has already been answered.

Rule #2: Make sure you post exactly what you're doing, what the specific error message is, what you've tried, and any other details we might need to help you. Don't just say, "I get an error." Tell us what the error is and what you're doing. We're not mind readers. I wish. Also, be sure to read this article on Context. It matters!

Rule #3: Links to files or images on other sites are NOT allowed. Don't try posting a link to your database on Dropbox or any other web site. If you have someone specifically offering to help you, you can email them your database. You can upload screen shots here using the Upload Images link provided on comments. Post your question, then you can upload a screen shot.

Rule #4: Before you ask for help in the Access Forum with a WEIRD problem, meaning Access isn't behaving normally, then make sure you run down the Access Troubleshooter which covers solutions to many common problems. If you have a weird problem and you don't say "yes, I ran down the Troubleshooter" then I'm just going to point you there.

Rule #5: I encourage students to help each other out. I love seeing that. However, don't take advantage of someone else's good will and ask to send them your database or call you for free tech support. I don't work on projects for free, and I don't expect my Admins, Moderators, students or Access Veterans to either. If you're looking to have someone else fix your database, you can post a request for service in the Developer Network. Likewise, if you're not already working with somoeone for paid support, don't just email your unsolicited files to them. Post screen shots in the Forum, sure, but I don't accept email attachments, and I don't expect them to without compensation.

Rule #6: You may also want to try a quick Google search too. While I'd love to keep you here on my site, there are millions of other helpful articles on the rest of the InterWebz you can search through too. Sure, we'll do our best to help you, but if you need an answer now, try using the Google machine (or Bing if you prefer).

Rule #7: If you're posting a new conversation (thread, question, etc.) then please try to use a meaningful subject line. Don't just use "Access," "Help," or "Question." We should know what it's about just by looking at it. "Help with Input Masks," or "Print Mailing Labels." Something. It's like when I ask people on my post-order survey where they found out about me, and I'm looking for something specific like "Your YouTube channel" or "Google Search for Access Lessons" and they type in "Internet." Really?

Rule #8: Don't post a whole ton of your source code asking for us to troubleshoot it. A few lines are OK, but anything more than, say, 10 lines is too much. That's not what we're here for. If you want someone to troubleshoot your code, paid help may be available in the Developer Network. Remember, you pay for my videos. Technical Support is not included. We volunteer our time to help out here in the Forums answering specific questions, and we don't mind reading through a little bit of your code, but don't go crazy.

Rule #9: Keep it brief, please. Ask your question as succinctly as possible. I'll be completely honest with you, if I see a post that's going to take me 5 minutes to read, I'm likely just to skip it and maybe come back to it later. Maybe. Time is precious folks. Sure, give me enough information so that I can answer your question, but I don't want to have to read War & Peace to be able to finish your question. If your question makes sense without Detail A, then leave it out.

Rule #10: No cross-posting, please. Do not post the same thing in multiple Forums. This isn't Facebook or Twitter. You're not reaching a different group of people. The admins and moderators here read all of the new posts in all of the Forums. It's just extra work for us having to delete your duplicate posts. Don't do it.

Rule #11: Before posting a question here, ask yourself, "is this something I could figure out on my own?" If the answer to your question is "yes," then Try It Yourself. See that link for details. Experiment with your database. Try figuring it out on your own first. You'll feel better about yourself and save everyone some time if you just try it yourself first.

Rule #12: On the flip-side of the coin from Rule #5, if you are a developer seeking to help others, please keep all solicitations or self promotion in the DevNet Forum as well. Please don't go posting your email address or number in other forums in an attempt to solicit paid work. You're welcome to tell the student, "if you are looking to hire someone to help you, please post in the Developer Network forum." I don't want to turn all of my forums into classified ad postings. Remember, as it says on the Rules Page for the DevNet, "I'm only allowing my Developer students who have completed my classes to offer assistance on projects here." So unless you're a developer who has been personally invited by me, unless you have completed my Developer series of classes, please don't attempt to solicit paid work. 

Rule #13: I shouldn't have to even list this, but this is a technology-based website. Please leave all discussions of controversial topics including religion and politics to other sites. Thank you. Well... unless, of course, you want to get into the political ramifications of the Romulans entering the Dominion War... then we can chat...


Comments for Forum Posting Rules
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