“Didn’t You Bother To Read The Previous Responses?”

That’s not a helpful response.

Think of the absurdity of that statement too.

Did someone new to the community take the time to search for every previous thread related to the question (every answer) to see if any of those solutions worked?

Let’s assume this is expected. How would a newcomer know the right terminology to search for? How would they know if the previous answers were still current? How would they know if the listed solution was the best solution to their particular variation of the problem?

They could try multiple searches and test every solution, or they could simply ask the community and hope someone can help. Which, unsurprisingly, is exactly what most people do.

Don’t drive people away with snotty responses here. The questions they have, the words and phrases they use, and their satisfaction with the community brings in more traffic and participation over the long-run.

That time you spend chastising newcomers for trying to get a quick answer to their problem is far better spent getting them a quick answer to their problem.


  1. Steven Hermans says:

    I have really started seeing posts with a question that has been answered many times before as a feedback mechanism.

    Basically, what this says is: your current info is not written/signed/designed clear enough. I did not get it.

    Before I thought: Idiots! Isn’t it clear?!

    Now I understand, it’s not them who’s wrong, it’s me. Then I look at my articles, or my information architecture, and I always find something to improve.

  2. Brooke Harper says:

    A short post, but very concise and straight to the point. It’s safe to say that we shold never expect them to know and not be too complacent enough that our previous responses or posts are good enough to bring in their interest to read them. I think they’re more inclined to ask right away hoping to get a direct answer as soon as possible, rather than take time to scan through posts and responses.

  3. Sarah Hawk says:

    I love this.
    You’re right – people don’t ask questions if they don’t need to.

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