Just a question for the regulars


Old 12-16-17, 11:59 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,399
Just a question for the regulars

Not a survey or a poll, just a question for regular contributors, moderators or not.

How often do you get a PM from a new member asking your advice? How do you deal with them? Do you ignore them or gently try to get them to post in the open or do you give them a detailed response. And IF you give a detailed response, does the OP return to thank you or to continue to press you for more information? Is there a point where you tell them to post in the open?

I get them periodically, another today. These new members have no public posts and indeed seem to be afraid of posting in the open forums. I reply that I don't do private consultations and that they are always better off to post in the open forums because with many talented people reading they have a far better chance of getting a useful response. I try to be gentle but I also wonder if I come off as aloof and uncaring.
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Old 12-16-17, 12:10 PM
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If it's a basic reply.... I leave one. I usually leave an actual link to the "new thread" page in the forum they need and ask them to start a thread. I'll watch for the new thread and take it from there.

I usually get from three to ten PM's a week. Most are not new members asking for help.
Old 12-16-17, 12:29 PM
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I have shut off all mail from here except private PM from members. Found out my jail box was full all the time. I finally looked at my folder for mail and see mail stopped 2015
Old 12-16-17, 02:08 PM
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I get the occasional PM from members. In all cases it's been about a thread so I PM back that all questions or comments should be put in the forum where others can see and learn from them.
Old 12-16-17, 02:27 PM
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On average I probably get 2 or 3 per year. Often it's someone who read another thread that I answered and they have an additional related question. I will usually answer them... i have never thought anything of it. Sometimes it's just a thank you.
Old 12-16-17, 03:07 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,399
I probably get them two, maybe three times a year. This is what I got today"

" Flushing my system

Hey Furd I have the same system you responded to 1-14-16, 11:30 PM..... I want to flush out my whole system, should I use the main drain on the boiler to do this???? any help is greatly appreciated....Thanks!!! my system http://i.imgur.com/NrHwI1A.jpg"

This was my response:
"I have over 18,000 posts on this board. I have no idea of what I may have written almost two years ago and I'm not going to spend any time searching for that post. Further, I do not do private consultations.

I strongly suggest that you open a new thread in the appropriate forum concerning your problem. There are many talented people here and many that are currently employed in the trades or recently retired. I've been retired for more than 12 years and I am NOT "up" on all the latest developments. You will get far better answers by asking questions in the open forum and you will also be helping others like yourself that may have similar questions.

I wish you well.

Maybe a little gruff.
Old 12-16-17, 03:13 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,341
Or maybe a little rude? Why not just leave out the snippy 1st paragraph?
Old 12-16-17, 03:42 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,399
I disagree, CW. Someone I have never heard from asks me out of the blue to help him/her with a problem and the only reference they give is that I helped someone else two years ago. The least this person could have done was to give a link back to that ancient post. Please explain why I should have to do a search to find that particular post?

Secondly, although I admit to being curt the truth is that I DON'T do private consultations. I've actually received offers to share my expertise on different websites in exchange for a fee. I simply don't work that way. I give my knowledge freely, but only openly.

Third, the link to the poster's system was nothing more than a picture of the manufacturer's label on the boiler. How am I supposed to comment with such a dearth of information?

Of course I could have simply ignored the request and deleted the message. THAT would have been rude. I DID give him/her an answer, albeit not the answer they wanted, but nonetheless a good answer.
Old 12-16-17, 05:46 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: U.S.
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I have received PM's asking for advice or even asking if I want to do some work on homes in SOCAL.
My standard answer, if I answer, is please post all questions in the forums so you can get several ideas/input. That's it.

Furd, I would take it as a complement that someone trusted your word and just send a simple reply saying no thanks.
Old 12-16-17, 11:56 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
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I agree...a simple reply to post in the open forums so that they'll get more accurate responses than just my opinion, AND so that others may learn from any discussion that occurs. I normally also give some very basic directions on how to start their own thread, since a "New Thread" button doesn't really say "START a New Thread Here".

I have no real problem with your first paragraph, esp since he apparently read it. Why didn't he provide a link? Heck, I can't remember what I said last week w/o a reminder, let alone 2 yrs ago.
Old 12-18-17, 04:59 AM
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Depends on my mood and maybe my schedule as far as how much time I have for the boards that day but I'll either tell them to post in the forums or ignore completely. Based on the content, I have been known to ban but that would be for advertising and other such things which would have gotten them banned if they had posted the same content on the forums.

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