Modeling in General
General discussions about modeling topics.
Forum Tip: Structuring a Question
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Victoria, Australia
Member Since: July 28, 2004
entire network: 10,889 Posts
KitMaker Network: 2,373 Posts
Posted: Thursday, November 05, 2009 - 03:32 PM UTC
Greetings all,

In recent times (well not really, I've noticed this a lot for quite a while) I've noticed that folks are rather vague and bashful when it comes to asking for advice, particularly when they are looking for a specific (and sometimes even non-specific) item, like a kit. Now you'll have to forgive me if this sounds like a bit of a rant, but in truth it actually is just a little rant.

Using a fictional example Pat McGrath (hope you don't mind, Pat, it is just a great example) used in a recent thread, we often see queries such follows:

Quoted Text

.... poster asks a question about for instance where he can get a kit of an armoured car.
Someone replies and tells him about the Italeri Staghound.
No, he says, I meant Armoured cars from the twenties.
Another poster tells him about the Roden Rolls Royce A/C.
No, he says, I meant in 1/72scale.
Someone tells him about a 1/72 scale Rolls Royce.
No he says I want a Polish Armoured car in 1/72 scale.
Someone knows where he can get an Austin-Putilov armoured car in 1/72 scale.
No, I don't mean that Polish armoured car I mean the Polish Samochod pancerny wz.28 (model 1928) armoured car in 1/72.


Btw I made this question up so if you asked about Polish Armoured cars this is not about you

Now as you can see from the the above example, the original poster could have got a much quicker and precise response very early had s/he merely posed the question with a little bit of thought. Now typically a thread such as this would also have been titled (literally) "Looking for...". Also rather vague - looking for what?

As more appropriate way to have structured a query such as the above example would have been:

Quoted Text

Thread title/subject: Samochod pancerny wz.28 (1/72) or LF: Samochod pancerny wz.28 ("LF:" means "looking for")
Thread content/query:
Dear Possums,

Does anyone know if a Polish Samochod pancerny wz.28 (model 1928) armoured car is manufactured in 1/72? If so, who makes it and where can I get one?

Hugs and kisses


As you can see, the second response informs the readers exactly what the post is about right from the outset: by means of a more precise title. Fair enough, sometimes the subject/title block length can be limiting, but it's sure better than "Looking for...". The post body then does on to state exactly what the poster is looking for (afterall, you probably have a better idea of what you're looking for than we do) and how the readers can help them, instead of dragging the conversation out over days or weeks - by that time the kit could have been bought, built and painted.

A similar point could be raised about posting in the correct discussion group, but we'll save that conversation for the next time I have to sit through a 4 hour meeting with no outcome except that I'm thirsty and without lunch and need to have a small rant.

Hugs and Kisses


ACK... I mean...

(in a manly voice) Cheers!

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Dublin, Ireland
Member Since: November 27, 2004
entire network: 6,048 Posts
KitMaker Network: 845 Posts
Posted: Thursday, November 05, 2009 - 11:12 PM UTC
What about this one? Need help

That really gets me. Need help with what?

To be honest if I can't see what the thread is about I probably won't open it. I don't mind sharing the miniscule amount of knowledge I've picked up here and on other forums but please give me a clue in the thread title.

To the right of the dialoguue box when posting a new thread is the following:

Guidelines for Posting New Topics
Please do not re-post this topic in other forums. Choose the best location for your message. And please give some thought to the name of the topic. Summarize with keywords, like 'Help with Sherman welds', or 'Need resin cockpit for F4U', Try to make the topic title short and to the point. Don't use ALL CAPS and don't do things like '???' and '!!!'.

There was one person who admitted to doing it on purpose to get people to open his posts(either here or on ML) his thread titles would be "Need help with............"

Once he admitted it I never bothered reading his posts again