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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,384

    Default Advice on how to post a topic on a forum to elicit useful responses

    Some ways to improve the answers you get and your experience on the forums.

    1) Pick an informative subject line. No one has time to read all the posts and if your subject line doesn't catch the attention of those who would be interested in that subject you will miss your best responses. Lines like “Question” or “Why” are far too vague. One like “question about crowded hive trying to swarm” or “question about feeding a weak hive” or “why are they hanging on the front of the hive?” will narrow it down a bit so that those interested will participate.

    2)Pick the right forum. e.g. If it’s a top bar question put it in the top bar forum. Those not interested in top bars then can easily ignore it and you can hopefully filter out those are simply against whatever it is you’re interested in (top bars, treatment free etc.)

    3) BLUF. Bottom Line Up Front. Ask your question(s) first. Then if you think you have relevant information to help, add that starting with what you think is most relevant and working to the less likely issues. Put each issue in its own paragraph or bullet point. That way if someone is reading it they can skim the rest of it for the clues they needed and skip the irrelevant parts.

    If you have three paragraphs of seemingly irrelevant information which finally culminates in a simple question there is a good chance the reader will lose interest before they get to the end and just move on to another post. If the reader knows the question, then they have an idea what to skip and what questions they need answered in order to diagnose an issue.

    3) Do try to put in what is relevant (time of year, your climate or location, exact number of days, recent manipulations etc.) but don’t bury the reader in irrelevant information. Think about what is relevant. Most questions about things like feeding and queens are not tied to the size of the box unless you are putting things in those terms. For example you are saying you have x number of frames of capped honey, then it might matter if they are shallow, medium or deep frames. But if you’re asking a question about how long it takes a queen to be mated, it doesn’t matter what size boxes you have so don’t distract people with that information.

    4)When assessing responses, put the answers in the context of the type of beekeeper (commercial, hobby etc.) and the years of experience and compatible philosophy (scientific, organic etc.). e.g. for a commercial beekeeper any talk of salvaging a laying worker hive is just a waste of time. But for a hobbyist with two hives it’s important to try to save it.

    5)When answering posts try to address the specific questions. Try to ignore any subtext of rudeness or insults and stay on topic. You can disagree with people, but you don’t need to be rude in return or rude in order to disagree. Try to stay away from blanket statements like “this is the way it is” rather say “this is what I have observed”. Just because someone has different observations does not make them wrong. Bees are very adaptable creatures and sometimes they act very differently based on small differences in climate and conditions. Odds are their observations are correct in their situation and yours are correct in yours.

    6)Don’t feed the trolls. If someone presents a point where you think your position now needs to be clarified or that point addressed, then do, but once you’ve said what you have to say and they are just repeating themselves, let it go. When they are just egging people on, just ignore them. If someone is being rude they don’t deserve a response.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Advice on how to post a topic on a forum to elicit useful responses

    Good stuff, Michael. I TRY to follow that. Not always successful!

    This would be good to post in B101 too??
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,470

    Default Re: Advice on how to post a topic on a forum to elicit useful responses

    So heres the deal it was last Tuesday no maybe last Wednesday, I had just eaten some of my wife's gooood biscuits and I was driving over to my buddies house in my old pick up truck when we saw this hive of bees....... no just kidding Mike. Actually a lot of good stuff here, especially #6. I have a theory and that is that people get defensive on here because they have spent years being the local "bee guy" and are used to having people look up to them for answers. When they get on a forum like this with a lot of depth of knowledge they get a bit intimidated and don't handle it very well. I have learned a lot of stuff on here, some of it from people with little experience. My only addition is: Lighten up, don't take yourself too seriously we arent talking about nuclear disarmament here. This is supposed to be enlightening as well as fun. I used to read a story as a child that contained a character called "no fun elf". In our family anyone that is caught being too dour for too long gets accused of being todays no fun elf. I hope I have never offended anyone with my frequent failed attempts at humor yes I believe it's actually possible to smile and learn at the same time.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,778

    Default Re: Advice on how to post a topic on a forum to elicit useful responses

    This is a great forum. It has helped me immensely. But I hijacked a thread that was deteriorating yesterday to get a question answered. Sorry. Needed to be sure I wasn't going to give my bees pneumonia with the garden hose defense.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,531

    Default Re: Advice on how to post a topic on a forum to elicit useful responses

    Thanks Michael, I put a link to this in the New Member Forum.
    Regards, Barry

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Advice on how to post a topic on a forum to elicit useful responses

    Jim - OMG - Love that start! LOL!

    I definitely see part of your theory, Jim. Another component, to me, is plain arrogance. Coupled with plain ol' lack of patience, especially for newbies like me. May be exactly what you are saying?? But I have been the recipient of caustic responses when some were faced with my stupid mistakes. Don't hear about too many "smart" mistakes now, do we? But the beek learning curve is steep, especially when one does not have a mentor, which I have not had. It's simple to say "get a mentor," but if there aren't any, there aren't any. And that is what a forum like this is supposed to be about - helping others through their stupid mistakes (or trying to avoid them). I hope I will always give advice with the mindset that we need more and more beeks to help us out of the fix we are in, not with an arrogant attitude that may just send someone of less backbone than I have packing.

    I don't come here because I know everything. Hello???

    Barry, I guess the New Member Forum is the Welcome Forum? Yeah, that makes sense, better than B101 - perhaps both.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,778

    Default Re: Advice on how to post a topic on a forum to elicit useful responses

    quote from Jim Lyons: I have a theory and that is that people get defensive on here because they have spent years being the local "bee guy" and are used to having people look up to them for answers. When they get on a forum like this with a lot of depth of knowledge they get a bit intimidated and don't handle it very well.

    ---------------------------

    Guess that's why I am not having a problem. Except for knowing what not to do in my yard, and how not to get stung, I don't know much about bees. And I know this. My chief problem is that I have so little time and get impatient when I post a thread and NO ONE replies. Going to read bee books as quickly as I can get to them. Langstroths is a beauty. And that is where I will start. At the beginning.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,118

    Default Re: Advice on how to post a topic on a forum to elicit useful responses


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    542

    Default Re: Advice on how to post a topic on a forum to elicit useful responses

    Barry, don't know if possible or practical; a like button would save a lot of space & give a feel for a response. bad idea? I would like to post a like button, like on MB's post, like you know what I mean?
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,531

    Default Re: Advice on how to post a topic on a forum to elicit useful responses

    No way to "like" a post, but everyone can "Rate This Thread" using the drop down under the thread title. There is a feature called "User Reputations" where members can rate other user's posts, but I've been reluctant to implement it as it could be a fairly divisive element.
    Regards, Barry

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