I was asked to address this issue:
Many posts in G2G that are seeking genealogical assistance are lacking critical information needed by the volunteers who are trying to help.
First thing: This is no fault of the person who posted. They might be new to forums or even computers. They might be handicapped, using a translator, or in some other way be facing challenges of which we are unaware. It is quite reasonable that questions be posted by people who are less than expert posters, masters of the English language, or genealogy gurus... in fact it is encouraged. We must make a point of being polite and helpful, never criticizing their lack of expertise or communication skills.
The volunteer researchers work very hard as it is. They not only answer the quick and easy ones, they dig deep and reach far to break new ground. They try to help people solve persistent family mysteries; cases that otherwise might never be cracked. Many of them invest their own money (time) in pay-sites and freely share the information here. Our volunteers really are a blessing.
The problem: When no details are provided the volunteers face a far harder task. Before they can even begin to help they must go through the (understandably frustrating) task of soliciting clues from the poster.
The post says something like "Looking for information on Sally Jones who married a Roberts". To the novice this might seem like plenty of information to find specific results, but the more experienced know without even searching that without dates and places there will be a multitude of possibilities. Here the volunteer has nothing solid to work with, so they either move on to help someone else or they begin laboriously questioning the poster, "Do you know where she was born, etc?"
Another similar scenario: "Anyone researching Jones or Williams from Texas?" Again, this seems reasonable to the novice who is posting. They think there are other people like them who wish to connect by exchanging email addresses and their "trees" and swapping details they have collected over the years...something like that. Or they think only someone who is a blood relative would be "researching" the same names as them and be willing to collaborate. What they don't know is that our volunteers try to help everyone, and that they can cut to the chase and just ask the question.
Better questions: Specific questions with as many details as possible are most likely to yield favorable results. "Seeking the parents of Lilly Mae Jones b. 1818 in Texas, married William Potter in 1838". Additional details in the post could include children's names and places of birth, where William or Lilly died, etc. A link to an existing profile with sources on it is a big plus.
What can be done? I believe it unlikely that there is anything to be done in regards to improving the posts of first-timers and newer members. Those that use G2G enough will eventually become educated through experience, but instructions and pop-up warnings mean very little to a beginner and are often ignored. It is what it is... Some people will post less than perfect questions.
How we should handle it (IMO): Be more than polite, be kind. Attempt to read through the issues and understand what they are really looking for. Do not post a one-liner saying they are lacking. Do greet them, ask for more details, or invite more interaction. "Hi Jill, welcome to WikiTree. I hope we can find the answers you seek. Please share any and all details that might help the volunteers...dates, places, children, etc. You never know which clue might unlock the mystery. Have a great day :)" (Don't just ask for one detail at a time because that's all you'll get). Yes it's more steps and more work, but it is the help they need.
Such is the life of a dedicated selfless WikiTree volunteer :)
Please share your thoughts...