Ability levels

By bazz2004 ยท 12 replies
Feb 13, 2015
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  1. Often when reading a post requesting help it's not possible to judge whether it comes from a complete beginner or somebody with considerable expertise. The forum gives titles based on the number of posts made which doesn't always provide an accurate guide. Would it be possible for people to select for themselves a simple three stage grading when they submit a post? For example, Beginner, Experienced or Expert? Someone may be Expert with a PC but beginner with an Android device. I should have thought of this earlier but maybe it will be much easier to implement than all the great improvements that have been made recently.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,715   +3,696

    This is something I believe would be easy to setup, but in the long run be complex and difficult to maintain. This would have to be manually associated, creating unwanted strain on site personnel. Leaving grading in the hands or the user, would be just as deceiving as the current post count.
  3. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,585   +250

    "Leaving grading in the hands of the user, would be just as deceiving as the current post count." Perhaps that's being unduly pessimistic? I like to think that by and large folks are honest. We'd soon be aware of any posters who were stretching their credibility and inflating their credentials. If they want to lie though that's up to them.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,715   +3,696

    Looking at it that way is optimistic, and could work. :)
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

    I don't think self grading has ever worked very well at Newegg. Most of their "customers/reviewers", have tended to claim, "Uber-Ess-Pert-hood", to make their E-pinion the size of Mt. Rushmore,. Even when they're reviewing a simple SATA cable. You know like "yeah man, I know my s***, inside and out".! "I plugged this cable in and it worked. But, I'm giving it only two stars, cause you can wiggle it, and it moves side to side, about a half millimeter"....(n)

    That said, I'm going to pronounce myself a "rank amateur", so nobody gets the idea they can PM me with their problems.
  6. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,185   +469

    I tend to agree with captaincranky on this issue. I can anticipate that self grading levels themselves will sometimes become subjects of heated discussion as can anything that is based upon opinion.
  7. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,585   +250

    I didn't realise that this didn't work on Newegg. Perhaps people who post on tech support sites are odd. Not any of us in this thread of course. I think it's more likely to be the teenage posers. Sorry, I missed a "t" out there. I don't want to be banned for being ageist. :)
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

    Well, a great many reviews I've read at Newegg have had, "advanced" attached, yet they made no earthly sense. I've seen reviews where people admit to have sent product back, only to admit there was another problem with their machine. So, Newegg eats whatever piece of equipment, and these fools are still, "experts".
    I'm old, and odd all at once.

    This issue seems like it's your pet idea, and you're going to push it relentlessly. I think you're wrong, and it isn't necessary. But I will afford you the courtesy of a detailed explanation.

    Many people seeking help are posers also. If you don't think there is a lot of, 'young blood', among active members, you're sadly mistaken..

    In "Virus & Malware Removal", there certainly already is a level of qualification. You or I, couldn't even offer to help in that forum.

    So, let's go somewhere else. say, motherboards. Cream rises to the top. I think the average person is able to tell when someone is capable and someone is bullsh!tting. Plus, we have moderators, many, most, or possibly all of which, are well versed in computer tech. So,if one noob wants to let another noob with 10 posts under his belt try and solve his or her problem, so be it. Hey, tech savvy people join all the time, it might work out fine.......or not..

    I've never seen any true instance of someone in these forums intentionally trying to break someone else's computer. Members offer solutions, some work, others don't, but I doubt that anyone's suggestions are malicious.

    And then I enjoy the people who start threads asking for help, and every suggestion which is offered, gets turned away as being wrong. The thread ends, with the TS doing exactly what they were doing before the thread was started, and everyone that posted trying to help, just managed to waste a ton of their precious time.

    Speaking strictly from my POV, I don't really ever need help from the equipment forums. So, I guess that should go to me not having to offer help either. It follows logically, I have no immediate plans to take a competency test, arising out of this bright idea. I'm competent to keep my own equipment running. I joined with the idea of communing with others, up to and including trying to help others. A lot of wind got knocked out of those sails, when I got into a four pager with some woman I tried to talk me into telling her that buying a copy of Vista was a great idea. I said 'stick with XP'. I guess I was proved right, just not in her mind.

    Oddly enough, this forum was thriving before I got here 8+ years ago, which is 8 years before you got here, and I expect it will be thriving after we're both gone.

    If you read the published membership stats, there are 131,000 members, about 3 dozen who are active at any one time. I guess the other 130,964 joined, got bad info, and left? Well maybe, but frankly, I doubt it.

    Then too, these forums are a free playground for those select three dozen. I tend to doubt the forums have as much to do with Techspot surviving, as you choose to believe.

    Julio has to fend off complaints about ads, about this, about that, about whatnot, practically every week. I suspect sometimes, even he wishes the forums would go away.

    Very simply, I'm here for the laughs..Take that, FWIW.

    EDIT: There are any number of advanced technical forums on the web. Some are quite stringent. You can't go off topic. It would be best if you had some sort of engineering or IT degree to make sense of what's going on. Those forums tend to be rather dry, unfriendly even. Perhaps your desires for a more rigorous format, might be better served in a place such as I've just described..

    EDIT TWO: I saw at one of the Linux forums, (Ubuntu IIRC), where you could be banned for suggesting a certain command or set of commands, designed to wipe an unsuspecting noob's HDD. So you post to the forum asking for help, someone tells you to do this, and it wipes your HDD. OK, your suggestion sounds like it could be used to great advantage over there. But, I've never seen anyone offering help here, do anything at that level of evil here at TechSpot. There seems to be a custom of, "do no harm", observed here, as it is in the medical profession.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
    bazz2004 likes this.
  9. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,585   +250

    Well captain cranky that's a pretty comprehensive reply but I think you missed the point. Never mind though, because I did enjoy reading it. The suggestion of Ability levels was meant to help us when deciding whether or not to reply to a post. If somebody says that their computer won't save files I'm left wondering whether this is a hardware issue, a corrupt OS or that perhaps the poster is completely new to Windows and can't find the default location to reach the saved fie. I answered this question recently as if the problem was from a complete newcomer and there was no return post. Either the postee was disgusted that I'd assumed that the issue was their own lack of know-how and gave up or my answer was helpful.

    I am by no means on a mission here and am sometimes wrong - unlike my wife who is always right. Ability levels would have to be subjective and could do more harm than good. Is it possible to relate it to the post rather than the individual making or answering it?

    Perhaps we need to get out more, especially those who complain about blue screens and overheating issues after playing games for 8 hours on a laptop.

    Confession - I don't think I've ever visited Newegg.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  10. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,185   +469

    Or maybe they solved it themselves but never posted back or they found the answer from another website forum. I believe some members, especially brand new ones, post their problems in multiple forums, shotgun fashion, in an effort to get their answers.
    I don't understand what you mean here. The post itself would be rated in some manner?
    learninmypc and bazz2004 like this.
  11. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,585   +250

    Yes it was muddled thinking. To know that their question was an elementary one the postee would have to have expertise already. Let's just say that this isn't shaping up to be practical, although it's worth kicking the idea around a little.
  12. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,185   +469

    Indeed, I agree it is worth discussing. It's good to put out ideas and see where it takes you. It's sort of a vetting process where ideas worth pursuing can be sifted out.

    Even if an idea doesn't pan out in the end (and I'm not referring to yours in particular), at least you're trying.
    learninmypc and bazz2004 like this.
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

    I would say to all of you, we've had a number of very knowledgeable people here at Techspot through the years. Some were helpful to the point where they might be called a 'zealot'.I would deem them, "uberzealots", but that runs me afoul of my spellchecker....

    The two instances I'm thinking of are, ******land, and Harorld ******. (If my failing memory provides some anonymity for these individuals, that's a good thing, right)? One up and quit, after a bout with madness due to overwork, and paranoid delusions in indispensability, and I believe the other had to be banned. But, while they were both still sane and active, there were none more dedicated.

    If we're talking about self evaluation, I already undertake that on my own, but some members are completely incapable of wrapping their head around the process. (multiple intended puns).. I'm not prone to post to a thread about a wonky video driver, when I use IGP based machines.

    So, I have seen the good, bad, and the ugly, come and go during my stay here. The forum continues, and my ancient eMachines continues to amaze me with the amount of erotic art it is capable of churning out, and with 1 mbs DSL, no less...(y)
    bazz2004 likes this.

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