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st: RE: Repeated posts are not advisable


From   "Lachenbruch, Peter" <Peter.Lachenbruch@oregonstate.edu>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: RE: Repeated posts are not advisable
Date   Thu, 3 Sep 2009 08:50:20 -0700

I agree wholeheartedly.  However, a few years ago I found that many of
my posts were not answered or commented on (please don't make the
obvious snide remark).  After a while, I realized that I had an
incorrect email address for the list.  So it's worthwhile to check your
address for the list.  Also, check to see if your post has gotten
through.

Tony

Peter A. Lachenbruch
Department of Public Health
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97330
Phone: 541-737-3832
FAX: 541-737-4001

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
[mailto:owner-statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu] On Behalf Of Nick Cox
Sent: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 8:51 AM
To: statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject: st: Repeated posts are not advisable

So many posts have been repeated very recently that it seems,
unfortunately, necessary to draw the attention of all to Statalist
policy on this matter. It is repeated at the bottom of this post, or
alternatively accessible at 

<http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/res/statalist.html#noanswer> 

Repeating a post to which no reply was received is _not_ banned, but
equally it is _not_ recommended and on the whole _not_ a good idea. 

Some two thousand people are members of Statalist and many of those
follow the list carefully and contribute when they can. However, life is
short, and it is to be presumed that all those people are just as busy
as anybody else and sometimes delete mails that are too difficult to
answer helpfully. 

If your post was not answered, sorry about that, but don't just repeat
the post: wonder why it was not answered. 

A further point to ponder: Anyone who repeats a post shows that they
have not read the FAQ carefully enough to register list etiquette. That
perception inclines some people yet further to instant deletion. 

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

4. What to do if you do not get an answer

Sometimes, a posting gets no reply. It is possible that your posting got
overlooked, but this is much less likely than you might like to 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 those who read 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 have the 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.
    * Whether what you are doing is "correct" is very difficult to
discuss helpfully.
    * 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
that 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 that is
cryptically brief. The best advice is to rewrite the question so that
the key issue is made as clear as possible but also is stated 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.



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