An Answer is just an Answer


Noob Whisperer
A couple months short of my first anniversary here at Windows 7 Forums and without a doubt, it has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I have had the opportunity to learn so much and I hope, to have helped a few members as well as visitors along the way. I know to some, I'm still relatively a noob and believe me some days I really feel like it.

But, during the course of this time I have come to notice that although 99.99% of the members here are sincere and well intentioned in their remarks, comments and offers of help. It seems that we are from time to time plagued by a small .01% of folks that seem to think that it is as important if not more important to critique another members attempt to help, then to focus on the original posters problem and address his or her comments directly to resolving that issue. I am troubled by that because I have seen it result in the loss of members as well as staff by devolving into a relentless back and forth between a couple members as to who knows more about what and who is obviously correct and in the mean time the original poster’s issue is neglected and sometimes even left un-resolved almost as if the thread has been hijacked.

There is seldom if ever one correct or even best answer to any question and I suspect that most people, as do I offer their answers based on their personal experience with a particular problem and a solution that may have worked for them.

Permit me an example;
Q: I have an object floating in my pool and I need to remove it. The water level is so low that I cannot reach it but too high for me to wade in as I am unable to swim. I am unable to use any type of mechanical device to reach it. What can I do?
A: #1 Drain the water level until it is such that it is safe for you to walk in and remove the object.
A: #2 Raise the water level until it is such that the object floats within your reach.

Both good, practical answers, is one better than the other? I don’t think so, but perhaps. Is it necessary to critique the first before offering the second? I don’t think so, but apparently, at least to some people.

I just don’t see nor understand how criticizing another members attempt to help someone, helps to move the diagnostic dialog along. The one caveat being of course, if someone offers advice that is obviously going to result in catastrophic problems and cause more issues than it resolves. I don’t believe I’ve seen this here on Windows 7 Forums and if it has ever occurred I suspect it’s a very rare event.

So, while I suppose the Discussion Forum, may be a place for some back and forth regarding Windows 7 and other technical issues as long as it’s kept civil and free of personal attacks. I would hope that in the future everyone could reserve the actual help and support forums, to focus on the original poster’s problem with more emphasis on support, in the broadest sense of the word. An answer is just an answer, just one persons, best attempt at providing a little help based on his or hers experience and level of knowledge. It may not be the best answer, it may not even be a good one, and you may or may not agree with it, but that doesn’t mean that it requires your particular brand of critiquing, neither to make the person that offered it feel bad, nor to make you feel good about yourself. It can result in hurt feelings, and the flaring of tempers and egos, from which there is very little benefit to be derived by anyone. I for one want to see Windows 7 Forums, prosper and grow. Not even at my first anniversary and already looking forward to my second.


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
A great blog! If only more forum users had this kind of insight.......


I think answer #2 is better because you will have full use of the pool immediately upon the level reaching the top. Also, there will be no wasted water and/or chemical treatment.


Noob Whisperer
Thanks Ross. I really think that a lot if not most actually do.
heh heh. Unfortunately, the pool required maintenance, the bottom needed to be painted so actually draining the water, moved me in the right direction. But as always your insight and offer of help is appreciated and highly respected. Nice to have your contribution. A bit of humor, is just what I was looking for when posting this blog, I think all of us sometimes take ourselves too seriously.
Of course I'm hoping that folks realize that there isn't one answer and that's why all efforts to help should be respected, considered and used or rejected by the original poster.
When someone asks for help, in an often too brief post with minimal information, we as potential helpers cannot possibly see what has come before or what is likely the Original Posters desired future outcome. We can only do our best with the information at hand and hope that our experiences will somehow prove beneficial to him or her in their efforts to resolve the issue.


lol Well of course, the painting changes the whole scenario.

No doubt, ty for the compliments. Honestly, through my years of offering help, I've seen people that are really great with networking and know some things. I think you're the most knowledgeable of all, in that regard. I wouldn't say it if I didn't think it was cheers!


Noob Whisperer
Thanks Mitchell, good eye. I just can't believe that that was the only one you could find.
Corrected (I think) and keep up the good work.


Honorable Member
Microsoft MVP
Nicely written. If we could just get them to park their ego at the door it would be a much nicer environment. Thanks