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I don't know what the answer is, but I'm working on a general theory of corporate dysfunction based on the observation that functional teamwork is inherently collaborative and goal driven, while dysfunctional teamwork is inherently adversarial, authoritarian and status driven.
So it depends on the culture. If the culture of a forum is full of individuals trying to pull rank on each other and claim territory, don't expect much use from it.
If the individuals are solution oriented rather than obsessed with imaginary nuances of status and rank then you're more likely to get good answers and real help - even if by necessity some of it is buried in a FAQ for newcomers.
I suspect you are right about the culture being the key.
At some point it has to work out. I, for one, can't go on with this ineptitude. Perhaps this is my first stab at challenging it. I am mid-process in setting up 3 forums myself, and have a product in design. Maybe I should think about this for my own customers benefit.
<cloonks head with realization.>
Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.
Frank Delaney ~ Ireland
If the individuals are solution oriented rather than obsessed with imaginary nuances of status and rank then you're more likely to get good answers and real help
that was so true for me with Digital Performer, my first foray into hard disc recording, the yahoo forum was a godsend, full of superkind, experienced users trading questions and tips.
Paper manuals weren't exactly classics of clarity either.
LOL, you sure got that right, i used to believe there was a particular form of japanese sadism involved in roland manuals for example. let's have a giggle messing with the gaiji mindset, there, scrambled...
'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
There is a cottage industry of software books all the way from advanced development manuals to "single-button mouse for dummies".
It's not a cottage industry - it's huge. International sales of a popular For Dummies book will be six or even seven figures. A print run for a less popular For Dummies title is likely to be low five figures.
Elsewhere in publishing, a hardback that sells 5000 copies is considered a success.
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