How to get more replies when you request help

may_flowersApril 7, 2013

Please post a photo of your countertop, flooring, backsplash tile, paint swatch, etc. instead of just giving the name and expecting us to hunt through the internet looking for your selections. At the very least, embed the link--there's a place to do that right below the message box. Thank you.

Any other input from members for how to increase the likelihood of responses?

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ak0402

A good subject title helps a lot. For example, a title of just "Counters" (this has actually been posted before) isn't very helpful for people to know what the post is about. Or a title of "Silgranit sink" when the poster is actually asking about sink size, isn't that helpful since it may exclude people who might have good advice about sink size, but don't bother to open the post because they don't have a Silgranit sink.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 11:43AM
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zeebee

Agree 100% on the importance of a good subject line. I ignore anything like "Help, need an answer now!" but will always open something direct and specific if I have an answer, like "Soapstone counter edges, what are my choices".

Also, don't bump an old thread and embed your question in reply #33. There's a rash of old threads being bumped up, and while old threads are great for general information and research for questions like "do Bluestar oven doors get hot", it's not the place to try and revive a discussion.

I much prefer if people ask in the subject line "Bluestar oven door heat, still an issue?" and say in the text that they've pulled up old threads and found it was a topic for discussion in 2010, what about now.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 12:11PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Verbal descriptions and pictures that go with it are helpful, but if you REALLY want help with a logistics question about the layout, then you need a SCALE MEASURED DRAWING that is READABLE.

And, I broke my own rule about shouting. Sorry. But that's another issue with posts. We can all read posts that aren't in all lowercase or all caps much better than those who don't use correct capitalization to communicate. Correct grammar and punctuation, really help to communicate your issues also. Internet speak and abbreviations and jargon may be fine for text messages to your work colleagues, but if you wouldn't use it in a letter to your boss, don't use it here. We're a bunch of old fogeys that like to be clear as to what it is we are discussing.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 1:52PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Verbal descriptions and pictures that go with it are helpful, but if you REALLY want help with a logistics question about the layout, then you need a SCALE MEASURED DRAWING that is READABLE.

And, I broke my own rule about shouting. Sorry. But that's another issue with posts. We can all read posts that aren't in all lowercase or all caps much better than those who don't use correct capitalization to communicate. Correct grammar and punctuation, really help to communicate your issues also. Internet speak and abbreviations and jargon may be fine for text messages to your work colleagues, but if you wouldn't use it in a letter to your boss, don't use it here. We're a bunch of old fogeys that like to be clear as to what it is we are discussing.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 1:53PM
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rococogurl

This is just my personal reaction but I pass by titles that start with "Show Me Your _____" and doesn't end or start with Please. Perhaps it's only I who interpret it as an overly demanding way to ask a favor of strangers but that's how it always strikes me.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 2:17PM
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snookums2

Organize the information. Include breaks, like paragraphs or itemizations, so the reader can easily read and digest your post. One long, bunched up mass of text is very tedious to get through. Lists of specs without pictures or links also sends me running. Presentation is 50%, as they say. In this case more, if people can't easily process the question or content.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 3:01PM
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lascatx

You aren't alone in that. My first reaction to a "Show me " post is that a person isn't willing to make the effort to do their own research. I don't mind being helpful, but the time I spend here is R&R for me, not a job. Don't make it feel like one. If you've done some homework and have a question, plenty of folks are willing to share what they can.

Another one that irks me is the title being "anyone have a" or "anyone ever" followed by something fairly popular. That's another one that suggests a person isn't willing to search and just wants to be spoon fed. I cna't tell you how many times I've been tempted to reply and say "No. No one has ever had a single bowl sink before" or something similar. If the question is really "Are you happy with your XYZ after a year or more?" at least say that.

I admit, I have pulled out a magnifying glass to try and read some drawings, but I do it less and less often. Readable is so important. Photos too -- a picture really does speak 1,000 words, so save us all some time and learn how to use them. If I can do it, I'm pretty sure you can too, and your payback will be more than worth it.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 3:12PM
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debrak_2008

Read the "new to kitchens" thread. Ok I know there is alot there but at least skim through it.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 3:33PM
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may_flowers

Quality of photos is important to me. I like to see the details. Many times people will post a blurry or dark photo, admit that it's a bad photo, but still expect responses. That's asking too much of the reader.

When you have a question about one area, it often helps to include a photo of the entire space. For instance, you can't show a tiny portion of one wall and ask what backsplash will work.

Courtesy...if someone has taken the time to think about your space and compose a response, at least acknowledge them, even if you don't agree with them.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 4:02PM
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