Is it fair to expect one's question to be discussed as requested? [closed]

+6 votes
I have asked several questions on G2G with requests like:

Please do not comment on the specifics of the profile from which I ask this, discuss the general issue.

Please tell me what you actually do, not what dogma you are following in making your decisions.

It seems that putting in such a request invariably has the opposite effect: the specifics of the profile are discussed, hard-and-fast rules are proclaimed.
closed with the note: Enough has been said.
in The Tree House by Dirk Laurie G2G6 Mach 3 (36.3k points)
closed by Dirk Laurie
In the world of today, you cannot expect everyone to have the ability or conscience to actually do what you would like them to do. They are selfish and usually chasing their own created agendas. Should the rare gem come past you where someone actually meets your expectations, you should just be greatful and ingnore the rest.
Please reclassify this comment as an answer.
often as I have found, someone will answer a question, but that leads to another query or answer, so a chain of answers and questions is created and sometimes the last one in the chain, has very little to do with the original query, this is not a criticism, but it is just an observation.

Dirk, I did that but it seems that maybe your audience are not all mature enough to handle such a response objectively. O! Thank you for the answer selection, though short lived.smiley

7 Answers

+18 votes
This is just like any other discussion forum Dirk. Some people pay attention to the specifics in the question and try to respond accordingly, some don't. This is just normal human behaviour that we have to be able to live with whenever we participate on this type of forum or on social media. The G2G moderators do their best to help keep discussions on track by giving advice, but they cannot police the forum. There is not much to be gained by asking whether it is fair. People react in many different ways. You can have expectations, but it is not worth the stress of getting upset when your expectations are not met.
by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (633k points)
This forum is well organized, with features like allowing one to edit or hide one's own posts, and closing a question when enough has been said.

I suppose my expectations of Wikitree have been too high. When I joined, I did not think of it as "just like any other".

WikiTree is not 'just like any other'.  But the people are. smiley

+21 votes

As someone who recently gave you the hard and fast rule first, which you didn't like, perhaps I shouldn't be replying, but I will.smiley

I'm no psychologist but I think it's true, that as humans we are much better at discussing specifics, it gives us boundaries and concrete examples.  Generalisations are hard and often difficult to pin down.  Perhaps it's just me, but I want to add too many provisos to general discussions

Can I also say that personally I have a problem with the word 'dogma' in the question.  Although there are a few 'hard and fast' rules, there aren't many and most emanate from the Honour Code which we all sign before we join the site.  Any changes are discussed here on G2G and although eventually someone has to make the final decision, I always feel that views have been considered.  Like any community I might not agree with everything decided but again like any community you abide by those community standards.

by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (537k points)
edited by John Atkinson
+13 votes
If everyone always answered the question set then  teachers  and  lecturers would not have to keep nagging their students to do so..

People on wiki-tree are perfectly normal, we don't always read carefully , we  misinterpret  the questioner's intent , often we answer what we think the question was. And many of us love to add everything we know about a subject (I'm often guilty of that)

If you try to straight jacket peoples replies, I think that you are likely to be disappointed in the response.If you want a  generalised  answer then it would seem sensible not to link to a specific profile since it would be natural for people to refer to it. in their answer.
by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (390k points)
+23 votes
If you (the universal you) ask for assistance - and posting a question in G2G is asking for assistance - people are entitled to respond as they see fit. That their response doesn't precisely fit the parameters you have created doesn't lessen their generosity. It just means you thank them for taking the time, and then politely and quietly ignore the advice, just as you would IRL when you don't get advice you think is useful. In my world, that's much better than the alternative - being ignored - and, who knows, you just might run across a perspective you haven't considered.
by Ellen Curnes G2G6 Mach 7 (79.4k points)
+12 votes
Remember,  we are volunteers.
by Peggy McReynolds G2G6 Pilot (448k points)
+10 votes
You refer to a discussion, and a discussion is a two-way thing. In face-to-face engagement, most of us would walk away pretty quickly if the person we're talking to dictates that we only discuss what they want, how they want - especially if we don't know them well.

No-one owes anyone anything here; we're all volunteers. Someone can ask people to discuss a topic a particular way, but they can answer how they like. Any poster *demanding* that they control the direction of the conversation is likely to come across as entitled, seeking validation rather than feedback, and/or uninterested in genuine engagement.

Also, in my experience, if I don't get the answers I expected to a question, it's almost always because what I thought I was asking is not how it came across to the listener. I get a better response if I reframe my question, not tell the listener they're wrong.
by Suzanne Doig G2G6 Mach 3 (33.2k points)
+4 votes
And one thing that really bugs me is how newbies are impatient and expect instant answers, so they ask the same question several times in a few hours in the hopes that it might get them some fast answers.

That seldom works.

As has been mentioned, we are volunteers - most of us have day jobs or are busy with other things or with other family members.

OK getting off my soapbox now.
by Robynne Lozier G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)

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