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st: various Statalist conventions: multiple posts, leaving base


From   "Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: various Statalist conventions: multiple posts, leaving base
Date   Tue, 1 Jul 2003 18:26:14 +0100

It seems appropriate, unfortunately, to 
remind some members of some conventions. 

1. Leaving base?
================

Setting your email to tell members that 
you are away is not a good use of Statalist. 
Please leave the list temporarily rather 
than do that. 

2. Multiple posts 
================= 

The FAQ details our policy on multiple posts. 
I'll copy it just below. 

Sorry, but no one is _obliged_ to 
answer anything! Just repeating the question 
is not usually the best strategy if you 
don't get a reply a first time. 
 
I'll just add a detail: violating this policy 
makes you stand out and may well _reduce_ the 
chance that you get an answer, not _increase_ it. 

================ extract from FAQ 

Sometimes, a posting gets no reply. It is possible that 
your posting got overlooked, but with several hundred pairs 
of eyes scanning Statalist, this is much less likely than 
you might think. 

If you get no answer, you might be tempted to repost the 
question, but please think twice before you do that. 
The same post reappearing repeatedly strikes many 
Statalist members as impatient and inconsiderate. 
You had your chance, but no one wanted to answer the 
question. Sorry! 

If your posting gets no reply, it may be the fault of 
the question, of the questioner, or of who is reading 
the question. Who knows for sure? However, it is most 
likely to be for one or more of the following reasons: 

No one knows of any such Stata program. You need to 
write your own code or use some other software. 

Your question really should be answered by using the 
manual, or the online help, or by typing -findit- 
in an up-to-date Stata, but no one felt blunt enough to 
point that out. 

We do not share your knowledge of your project, 
needed to work out the best thing to do in your 
circumstances, and in any case it is really your call. 

You did not provide enough information. For example, 
postings of the form "I tried using -foobar-, but it 
did not work" are usually impossible to answer, 
except by asking for more information. 

Your question is too unclear or too complicated to 
understand. For example, very complicated data management 
tasks or large chunks of code which are not working 
are usually too much like hard work to understand, 
even for Stata experts. 

It is possible that you may benefit from trying to make 
your problem much clearer or simpler. Remember that a 
very long posting with a mass of detailed explanation 
is just as offputting as a question which is cryptically 
brief. The best advice is to rewrite the question so 
that the key issue is made as clear as possible, but 
also as briefly as possible. 

But in all circumstances, there is a simple rule of thumb: 
A rewrite or even one repost of the original is tolerable, 
but more than one repost is not. If after two attempts 
you have not received an answer, there is too slim a chance 
that you will get an answer on Statalist. Please try elsewhere. 

==================== 

Nick 
n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk 

*
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*   http://www.stata.com/support/statalist/faq
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