new videos
hot off the press!  
    more about rocket
mass heaters here.

more videos from
the PDC here.
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Zero replies - Anybody out there?  RSS feed

 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 703
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
68
books dog fish food preservation forest garden hugelkultur hunting solar trees
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just scrolled through the list of zero replies. Counted 60 in the last two weeks. I know all of the Permies upper eshalon is very busy but if one volunteer could just post a generic " That's a great question/idea/project .....". I bet the person who posted it would at least feel like somebody was listening ( beats silence and crickets chirping. ) You could set time limits, like no replies in x amount of time gets a courtesy response. Sending it back to the top of the Resent Posts list could interest someone who looks mainly at the most resents ( like me).
 
Chadwick Holmes
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
27
forest garden fungi goat trees wofati woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've done this in the past, funny thing is that I seemed to be catching too much flak from the "you didn't answer that perfectly crew" ...so I quit. Haven't had an issue since I quit..........
 
Dan Boone
gardener
Posts: 1786
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
195
forest garden trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One of the things I do as a volunteer here when I have time (and I know I'm not the only one who does this) is go through the "zero replies" posts trying to find ones I can answer. Sadly my keyboard time has been very limited in 2016 so far and I haven't done this in weeks.

Something that may help in individual cases is for people who don't get answers to invoke the so-called "48 hour rule", which is described in a few places but most recently by Paul Wheaton here:

For all of your permaculture questions, please post to the appropriate forum. If you don't get an excellent answer within 48 hours, start a new thread in the tinkering forum with the subject line "invoking the 48 hour rule" complete with a link to your thread.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 703
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
68
books dog fish food preservation forest garden hugelkultur hunting solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Chadwick and Dan,
Thanks, I figured there was a good answer. I just want everyone to feel recognized and considered.
I try to add what I can, when I can. Hope others will too. I just feel limited by having only a small cell phone. And I type slow.
 
Chadwick Holmes
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
27
forest garden fungi goat trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I too have thought about how a person can get an answer more easily, some of my ideas were decent but didn't really play well with the culture, others were proven troublesome as soon as thought was given to them.

There is nothing more disheartening than asking a question and getting no answer or the super friendly look around its already been discussed....

Permies doesn't seem to have the " go look through years of stuff, we already answered that" culture, that is a no deal for me, for the most part it is friendly and informative around here.

There are a few topics that are popular and a few that aren't here.....some that seem to be the place where people will argue with you and measure body parts in an attempt to be alpha person.....that's something that I steer clear of, and has the effect that I don't give advice where I am most informed......the first time I replied to someone I got a fight, I almost didn't come back to permies, and the fight was childish and needless, as it didn't change the advise I was giving it only was semantics of what I said.......real fun
 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 703
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
68
books dog fish food preservation forest garden hugelkultur hunting solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Chadwick,
I'm sorry you had that kind of encounter but very glad you're still here.
 
Nicole Alderman
gardener
Posts: 1432
Location: Pacific Northwest
167
cat duck forest garden hugelkultur
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm not a Volunteer, but I am a "Pollinator" (which pretty much means I can give out an apple a day and see some behind the scenes stuff). But, because I've got a fancy title does not mean I know that much! I just means someone somewhere thought I was helpful and gave me a title and the ability to give out apples (I really have no idea how pollinators/volunteers get picked). So, while I really try to answer people's questions as much as possible, I honestly don't know that much, as I'm relatively new to actively doing permaculture/homesteading/growing things, etc. Most of my posts are something along the lines of "I think.... but hopefully someone else out there has more expertize and can chime in!" I don't even try to post in things like building and rocket mass heaters, as I have no knowledge in there. All I could do would be saying, "BUMP," which isn't really helpful.

I have to assume that some of the Volunteers are like me, not necessarily experts in permaculture, but are trying to help out as much as they can. There's also quite a few people I've noticed that are new here that really seem to know a lot. But, they don't have fancy titles or anything. Getting all these questions answered, I think, weighs on everyone's shoulders. I try to make a point to--at least--answer someone's question a day. It's a way of furthering permaculture and helping others.

I think if we all spend as much time asking our questions as we do answering other's questions, a lot more information will be shared, knowledge will be built, and people will be helped. I know a lot of us can't spend much time, because, well..LIFE gets in the way. But, if we all help as much as we're helped, we'll attract and keep more knowledgeable people and more people will be helped.

As an aside, I don't know if you've run across the definitions for Steward, Volunteer, etc, are. I frequently forget exactly what they entail and have to do searches for the info. Anyway, for anyone confused about those terms, here's some quotes & links:

From: http://www.permies.com/t/40562/tnk/receive-apples

paul wheaton wrote:Pollinators are able to give away an apple a day.

Volunteers are able to give away three apples a day.

Stewards are able to give away unlimited apples a day.


paul wheaton wrote:Staff can pick pollinators. Basically, it's a title upgrade that comes with some small benefits.

"Volunteer" is like "volunteer tomato". A volunteer is selected by the staff and has staff superpowers, which includes the ability to delete posts and approve name changes.

"Steward" has all of the volunteer superpowers, plus a bunch more system superpowers. A steward is selected by current stewards making suggestions to Burra.


And from: http://www.permies.com/forums/posts/quote/0/262595
paul wheaton wrote:All of the staff are currently named "volunteer" (like a volunteer tomato) or "steward" (like "land steward"). We also have people tapped as "pollinators" - they are not on the staff, but they do have the ability to give out apples - they are hand picked by the staff as the best contributors.

Yesterday I asked Burra to be the permies.com community manager. She's been pretty much filling that role for a long time. And whenever there seems to be a problem, I must confess that if I see Burra is on it - I tend to move on to other things.

In trying to keep with the "pollinator, volunteer, steward" theme, the staff spent some time trying to dream up what the name for this new role might be. In the end, Burra selected "Mother Tree"



I hope that helps!
 
Dillon Nichols
pollinator
Posts: 597
Location: Victoria BC
27
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I try and hit the 'zero replies' list and answer where I can, but when the rest of life gets busy it tends to slip.

Karen Layne wrote:
Chadwick,
I'm sorry you had that kind of encounter but very glad you're still here.


Ditto that, I enjoy your posts.

Chadwick Holmes wrote:
There is nothing more disheartening than asking a question and getting no answer or the super friendly look around its already been discussed....

Permies doesn't seem to have the " go look through years of stuff, we already answered that" culture, that is a no deal for me, for the most part it is friendly and informative around here.


I totally agree that these sorts of responses, very common on many forums, are disheartening, and I enjoy the lack of them around here.

Plus, the idea that old threads are a resource, and adding to them is good... seems like a no-brainer, right? Yet so many other places, you post in an old thread, and you get nothing but zombie jokes and flaming...


Back on the original topic of posts that don't get answers... it's certainly not true of all of them, but sometimes questions are posted that clearly took 30 seconds to post; it seems like not a single search was made, and there is very little of the necessary information for anyone to actually provide any help. It can be a bit tiring sometimes trying to walk people through asking their question in a competent way, so that you can then spend more time, attempting to help them. It can feel like a poor use of time; if the question was important to them, shouldn't the effort put into the post - the details, context, and necessary information - reflect this? And if it's not important to them, why should it be important to anyone else? I am much happier spending my time providing a thoughtful, fact-checked, link-including reply to people who are clearly working to solve their problem!

I wonder if anything can be done to encourage better question etiquette, if that is the right word...

This post struck me as an example of doing things really right. OP has an urgent problem, but still takes the time not only to provide lots of detail, which is critical, but to deliberately make the post one that is informative enough to help others in the same boat: http://www.permies.com/t/53847/goats/diagnosis-wanted-sheep-feed
 
Tobias Ber
Posts: 474
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
15
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
heya... nice to see that your re on a good way to improve the culture and the helpfullness here.

would it be a good thing to have a "text - brick" for the volunteers, pollinators, stewards etc. to copy n paste into the zero reply threads?

with things like:

- i m sorry, i can t help you. but other people here might. so this answer will BUMP your question
- here s the 48hour rule
- here s an explanation of the search function
- please make sure that you ve included your details, we need to answer your question
- we appreciate your question and really want to help you,. you re welcome here...


stuff like that. copy and paste that from a text document takes a few seconds but COULD help alot


blesses and keep on
tobias


EDIT: and explain people how to use the EDIT button to improve their initial question/post
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
Posts: 9893
Location: Portugal
891
bee bike books duck forest garden greening the desert solar trees wofati
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Y'know, it doesn't need a title or any superpowers to answer a post.

Absolutely any member could welcome a new user, or bump a post up back up to the top of the queue, or write a little 'text-brick' to help them find their way around.

Just sayin...
 
Tobias Ber
Posts: 474
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
15
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
yay... any member could do that. it s good, when it happens just like that. the problem is, when it does not happen "naturally-organically" (out of that what the members do because it s normal for them, or it s in their nature to help/post/welcome on that certain post). when it just not happens just like that ... then help is needed.

ok, let s expand the circle from "title-holders" to "anybody who cares and is willing to help"
 
Chadwick Holmes
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
27
forest garden fungi goat trees wofati woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dillon I try to always remember that at any moment it could be a person who just found permies because they are into *blank* and are in search of some info that they know nothing about, so the question is poorly worded because they just heard a term and found us.

Just a assume the best type of deal.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5858
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
346
bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I like the idea of everyone helping out with 'zero replies'. I think right now there are only a dozen or so on the page that are actually questions...the rest are events or videos to share, etc.
...and as Burra says, we can all welcome someone and even if you're not staff, you can add the post to another more helpful forum if you have PIE Sometimes that helps as much as anything in getting the question to the folks who can answer it...you can then bump the post just by replying that you've done that.
Surprisingly, there are also long threads here that are almost the opposite of this....where a new member posts a first post question and gets a welcome and pages of discussion going and then never returns.....
 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 703
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
68
books dog fish food preservation forest garden hugelkultur hunting solar trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you all for such good suggestions.

Tobias,
These are the kind of things I mean by generic, courtesy replies. Good ones.
with things like:

- i m sorry, i can t help you. but other people here might. so this answer will BUMP your question
- here s the 48hour rule
- here s an explanation of the search function
- please make sure that you ve included your details, we need to answer your question
- we appreciate your question and really want to help you,. you re welcome here...


Burra,
We DO all have "super powers" to at least encourage others. We may not have an answer but to know someone hears you goes a long way. You're right!

When I first started exploring this site, I didn't go to Tinkering With This Site because I thought it was a place for IT and Admin. When I finally did, it was just a "happy accident". Lots of good info hidden there. I wonder if other people overlook it too.
 
Dillon Nichols
pollinator
Posts: 597
Location: Victoria BC
27
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Chadwick Holmes wrote:Dillon I try to always remember that at any moment it could be a person who just found permies because they are into *blank* and are in search of some info that they know nothing about, so the question is poorly worded because they just heard a term and found us.

Just a assume the best type of deal.


Absolutely, that's definitely the best mindset to come at it from. I try and include a gentle nudge along with some sort of helpful response if I can come up with anything. With brand new members I make an extra effort to provide *some* sort of answer when I spot a zero reply post.


Karen Layne wrote:
When I first started exploring this site, I didn't go to Tinkering With This Site because I thought it was a place for IT and Admin. When I finally did, it was just a "happy accident". Lots of good info hidden there. I wonder if other people overlook it too.


Great point. I certainly didn't/wouldn't head to 'Tinkering With This Site' in search of basic user guide type info. Perhaps a subforum called 'super awesome useful tips for using the site!!' would help folks land on their feet? Or just a well organized, concise thread providing some consolidated tips and guidance, that we could all point new folks to as part and parcel of the friendly welcome?
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 3979
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
165
bee books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Food for thought folks... I am the kind of person who feels bad when a question doesn't get answered... so when I was new at permies I would read and read and when someone would ask a question I would search around for another thread, where that had been talked about, and post the link.

I also try to welcome new folks here and encourage them to look around.

Everytime I did these things, little did I know but it was being noticed by the staff folks. After a while I got a nice PM asking if I would like to be staff member. And the rest is history.

So the staff here will see you helping and will greatly appreciate it !
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
Posts: 9893
Location: Portugal
891
bee bike books duck forest garden greening the desert solar trees wofati
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dillon Nichols wrote:Or just a well organized, concise thread providing some consolidated tips and guidance, that we could all point new folks to as part and parcel of the friendly welcome?


I could put links to one in my signature! And bump it up incessantly in the hopes that people will find it.

OK, I'll go away now and switch the sarcasm off. Sorry guys...
 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 703
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
68
books dog fish food preservation forest garden hugelkultur hunting solar trees
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Burra Maluca wrote:
I could put links to one in my signature! And bump it up incessantly in the hopes that people will find it.


That link is great, but not always immediately visible to a newbie. What if it was added to the dashboard and called something like - "Permies Site Tutorial"? Or " Navigate This Site " or "New to Permies? Start Here".
 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 703
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
68
books dog fish food preservation forest garden hugelkultur hunting solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Woah, we've got an introductions board? [Brought to you from Western Washington]
Kyrt Ryder Original Poster
Pie
Posts: 366
Location: Graham, Washington
posted 20 hours ago
Somehow I missed this when I started contributing to the forums.


This is a great example of what I've been talking about. He's posted 366 times and just now realized that there's a place for introductions.
 
Rebecca Norman
gardener
Posts: 1246
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
125
food preservation greening the desert solar trees
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Karen, thank you for reminding us about the Zero Replies list! Because of this thread I went and posted to a sourdough thread that hadn't gotten any replies in ten days, and now that thread is rising nicely.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 703
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
68
books dog fish food preservation forest garden hugelkultur hunting solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Rebecca Norman wrote: Because of this thread I went and posted to a sourdough thread


And that prompted some really informative posts. Thank you. I applaud anyone who has bread making talents.
 
Casie Becker
gardener
Posts: 1474
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
116
forest garden urban
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Karen Layne wrote:
Burra Maluca wrote:
I could put links to one in my signature! And bump it up incessantly in the hopes that people will find it.


That link is great, but not always immediately visible to a newbie. What if it was added to the dashboard and called something like - "Permies Site Tutorial"? Or " Navigate This Site " or "New to Permies? Start Here".


This is a great idea. Another option could be to send a Welcome to Permies email with the important links when someone registers with the site,possibly if you want some more redundancy. I was lucky that someone bumped the thread that has this information consolidated up in the forums soon after I signed up. I especially liked the list of questions to ask yourself before you post. I think it was in the publishing standards post, but it might have been in the be nice one. I think it's possible that relatively experienced forum members have missed some of these posts.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 703
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
68
books dog fish food preservation forest garden hugelkultur hunting solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Casie. Good suggestion.
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 1823
Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
90
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
And I am another who used to be very attentive to the zero replies list, but have been very busy, almost not on line at all, or anyway a lot less than a few months ago. I'm glad for the reminder.
 
Rick English
pollinator
Posts: 261
Location: Central Pennsylvania, USA
36
books dog forest garden hugelkultur toxin-ectomy trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Isn't there a post, or maybe multiple posts, acting as a primer for folks new to permies? I think someone posted it recently, but I can't find it now...

I really like the idea of a welcome email to new subscribers that gives them a bit of a guide for how things work around here.

Maybe that type of email is even worth sending to all subscribers, especially if we put enough goodies in it to appeal to long-time subscribers.

Anyone have a list of good posts for new folks?
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 5858
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
346
bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Rick English wrote:Isn't there a post, or maybe multiple posts, acting as a primer for folks new to permies? I think someone posted it recently, but I can't find it now...

I really like the idea of a welcome email to new subscribers that gives them a bit of a guide for how things work around here.

Maybe that type of email is even worth sending to all subscribers, especially if we put enough goodies in it to appeal to long-time subscribers.

Anyone have a list of good posts for new folks?


this http://www.permies.com/t/34193/tnk/permies-works-links-threads#267492 it's in Burra's signature and is bumped up often.

and this http://www.permies.com/t/43625/introductions/Universal also included in the above link in the list of important topics.
 
Tobias Ber
Posts: 474
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i do not know if the forum/board software will allow for modified welcome emails after activation of your account.
the above mentioned introduction links could be send automatically if the software will allow that. and make sure to include that "be nice"-link.

i like the idea that new members get these informations right from the start.

for a welcome. paul could make a small video explaining the basics and the "forum-culture". this could be linked in the welcome-email (if possible)


have a nice week!
 
Robert Alcock
Posts: 59
Location: Cantabria, N Spain
5
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just answered three of the zero reply threads... seemed like time to pitch in! Hope the answers are of some use.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 703
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
68
books dog fish food preservation forest garden hugelkultur hunting solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good job Robert and thanks for your contributions. I read your posts and thought they sounded very helpful.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22170
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One thing to keep in mind is the similar threads at the bottom of a thread. So if a new user asks a question, it is possible that the answer will be at the bottom of their thread the moment that they post.

And staff have the ability to look at the similar threads list and merge the new question with an existing thread.

When we designed the zero replies feature, we intentionally made it available to all users. I think a lot of people have gotten a lot of answers to their questions and feel that they wish to help others in an attempt to bring balance to the force. I think that is one of the primary ingredients for building community.

Besides, when you try to answer the question of somebody who is struggling to learn, you often learn even more about permaculture. And I think a lot of us are so bonkers about permaculture we wish to find an excuse to learn more and more and more.

Plus, when you answer a question like this, in a forum like this, you aren't helping just one person, you are helping the thousands of people that will read that thread over the next 10 years. Take a look at some of the older threads that we have that have just one reply: scroll down to the bottom and look at the total number of views - often times it is well over a thousand. This is how permaculture, as a whole, is moved forward globally. When somebody gets stuck on a teeny tiny bit, the answer is there and they are no longer stuck.

I feel it is important to point out that this feature is for the community, not limited to just the staff. I further need to point out that the staff are volunteers. Basically we select people for the staff based on how they are already very helpful. And when we select them, we tell them that we are giving them extra tools to help them with their helpfulness. They have no obligation to do anything more than what they have already done. I don't want people avoiding joining the staff because it will mean some sort of obligation or workload. Although, I am happy to say, several people get on the staff and they do far, far more then they did before. And without that, this site would be much less than what it is.

 
Karen Donnachaidh
pollinator
Posts: 703
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
68
books dog fish food preservation forest garden hugelkultur hunting solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
world domination! - one step at a time. What a wonderful group of volunteers they are too, as we are all volunteers.
 
What a show! What atmosphere! What fun! What a tiny ad!
This is an example of the new permies.com Thread Boost feature
https://permies.com/wiki/61482/Thread-Boost-feature
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!