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RE: st: responses to new users
At 02:24 PM 7/16/2006, Nick Cox wrote:
This is a very good point. I tend to just ignore those posters I am
starting to find annoying, but if everyone did that the poster might
never find out how to get a better response or solve the problem on
their own. This listserv does seem to have a bit more of an "edge"
than some others I have been on, but overall the mix of styles seems
to work pretty well. Also, those responses that might seem a little
harsh or abrupt almost always seem to contain an answer to the question.
Similarly, it is quite correct to say that you can ignore posts which
you think are wasting the time of the list. But to repeat a point often made,
including in this thread: most people do respond to reasonable criticism that
includes constructive advice. Many Statalist members have morphed
from clueless newbies to good citizens and even to pillars of the community.
If everybody ignored every poor question, this would be
less likely to happen.
I sympathize and even sometimes agree with people who feel offended;
on the other hand, you could just take the attitude, what do you care
how somebody thousands of miles away treats you so long as you get
your answer! Those who happen to have the knowledge you need aren't
always the people whose personal style you feel most comfortable
with, and that is something you have to put up with on Statalist and
the rest of the world. (People have thanked me for answering "basic"
questions, but I do that partly because those are about the only
questions I know the answers to!)
This reminds me of my colleague who was having a terrible time
getting his car fixed. He said "The mechanics were really nice, but
they could call my mother names if they would just fix the thing." :)
Richard Williams, Notre Dame Dept of Sociology
OFFICE: (574)631-6668, (574)631-6463
WWW (personal): http://www.nd.edu/~rwilliam
WWW (department): http://www.nd.edu/~soc
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