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Yeahright's avatar

Why are some questions not being answered?

Asked by Yeahright (3860points) 4 weeks ago

I recently returned to Fluther. I have had an on and off relationship with Fluther due to disagreements with other members, standing up for myself against bullies, cliques and moderators, failure to understand the (at times ridiculous) moderating system, frustration with the pointless strict writing guidelines (I am a linguist and a teacher)…you name it, the list is long. Every time I come back, I am hoping to find what I’m looking for, but that never really happens, and this time doesn’t seem to be different, even when I make a point to ask only in the general section to get straight answers.
Since I am on vacation and have a little extra time on my hands, I am trying to take care of certain domestic stuff that I don’t usually have time for during the school year.
I notice that most of the questions I post here have very few responses and therefore, I am not really getting the help that I need and find myself back to square one going to other fora to try to get answers (that means I have to post the same question twice, which is time consuming and doesn’t seem very practical). I am certainly a fan of good, deep discussions and exchanging opinions on relevant topics in education, psychology, life, etc. but, I also have a lot of everyday decisions that I have a problem with due to lack of knowledge or information, and I’d like to hear other people’s expertise, opinions, thoughts and ideas on the matter. Based on the limited responses, I feel that my questions (and other people’s questions) are not getting the attention they deserve. I am not complaining as such, just expressing a fact that I have come to realize.
I also notice that the same members are answering most of the questions. I have some ideas to explain the issue: it seems Fluther has very slow traffic in general and the daily active members are usually the same people. It could also be that part of those active members favor certain topics, and that there aren’t enough active members to contribute with answers in a wider variety of topics or in topics like technology.
What do you think?

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57 Answers

stanleybmanly's avatar

If you’re looking for dynamic, this place delivers all the excitement of a cold bowl of yesterday’s oatmeal. Our club is pretty much snoozeville, the participation anemic, the membership dwindling in front of us and our prospects fuzzy. So why are you here? For the few in my life who discover or realize I haunt this site, and invariably pose that question, I just repeat my wife’s sneering accusation— “he’s hiding there”. And at this stage in my life, why not? But let’s shift from my vices to your own, and why it is YOU keep coming back, and here is my guess for why most of us are here. It’s simply that the place serves the same function as a bar or club. It’s the equivalent of a bar or social club, where disparate folks assemble in a sort of forum. It’s a floating party where you bring your own booze, and float from conversation to conversation, choosing those which interest you. I’m convinced that more of us are here out of habit and boredom than we would care to admit, but so what? And since you are a working academic, I would guess that the majority of us are probably a generation older than yourself. But I for one will in the future pay more attention, and if you prefer more lively answers concerning such topics as those hideous nightstands—here we go!! Save yourself a pile of money, go out and grab a bunch of milk crates and stack them appropriately.

janbb's avatar

Well, I can’t say that the negativity you’ve both expressed encourages greater interaction! I’m one of the people who’s here every day and I think you hit the nail on the head. A small user base. I don’t answer questions I don’t know anything about nor do I answer questions any more that are asked mainly to provoke a fight. I do answer questions that engage me. Bottom line, we are a small fairly well controlled site swimming in the vast sea of the internet and you decide whether it’s for you or not.

PS If you want a straight answer on the night stands, I don’t think you should buy them. I think they look cheap and nasty.

canidmajor's avatar

We are a much much smaller user base now. The good news is that there are so many places you can specific answers on specialized questions.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Some questions get no answers, because we don’t have content area specialists in that category. There are – as others stated – too few active users here. We’re basically here because of the good graces of the founder who keeps it running for reasons that only he knows. I’ve made genuine friends here in real life.

This site is what it is.

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chyna's avatar

I tried to be polite on the night stand question. But you obviously didn’t read my answer as saying I would not buy the ones you chose. So I got very specific on my meaning so there would be no confusion as to what I meant. If that made you mad or hurt your feelings, sorry.

Yeahright's avatar

@canidmajor You are right. These days, there aren’t that many people around here, that’s why I pointed it out as a reason for some of my questions not being answered. I am not familiar with other sites similar to this, but I will keep trying to get my technology questions addressed.

janbb's avatar

@Yeahright The site also tends to be quieter at certain times like holiday weekends. But you are coming across as having a chip on your shoulder that you might want to look at.

There are people on here who will express opinions on technical questions that they know nothing about. I prefer not to do that although I did go back and answer your two technicals with the slight knowledge I have.

canidmajor's avatar

And about your outrage about the the posts on the nightstands thread, go back and look at your question as you asked it. You asked for our opinions. That’s exactly what you got.

Yeahright's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Yes, that’s what I thought. Just wanted to hear other people’s views on the subject. Although, I can’t hardly say that cable TV is a specialized subject. In general, I came back here because I liked the idea of asking questions of different topics in the same place, and I like the clean interface here as opposed to other forums that seem too busy for me to follow. A few years back, I also exchanged friendly emails with a couple of users that are not here anymore. I can’t say they were my friends, but they were genuinely nice people that wanted to help and offer support.

Yeahright's avatar

@canidmajor I am not outraged at the nightstand thread at all. Don’t know where you got that from. I am referring to this post right here. I used these symbols ^^ to refer to the first two people that answered this post and used harsh words for the nightstands. I thought everyone here was familiar with what ^ means. And again, please, please, please! This post is not about the nightstands. If you want to continue with the topic, you can take it to that thread.

canidmajor's avatar

@Yeahright: all this ” On the other hand, the adjectives that ^^ used to describe the nightstands are totally uncalled for. Why some people lack vocabulary to express their feelings without using derogatory words? Beats me! It is amazing how much you can tell about people’s personalities in these forums and how some people can take insult and offense from a very legitimate view from another user not aiming directly to them…sad really to go through life projecting your own distress unto others.” would suggest otherwise.

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Yeahright's avatar

@canidmajor Not fun to state the same over and over. But here I go again: ^^ refer to the first two answers that were posted here (namely hideous and nasty) not in the nightstand post. In text language, ^^ refers to the people above you in the thread. If you use one ^, is one person above, if you use ^^ is two people above and so on and so forth.

kritiper's avatar

I use the person’s ID to specify exactly who I mean.

Yeahright's avatar

@kritiper I do too. But some people are not deserving of an answer directed to them using their handle as that would give them a chance to continue on their direction and I am not interested in giving them the attention they don’t deserve. So, I’d rather refer to them indirectly. If you are respectful and well intended, I will for sure use your name and respond to you directly—even if I don’t agree with you. Also, one thing is to talk to you, another is to talk about you. If I talk to you, I will for sure use your name.

jca2's avatar

There have always been questions that don’t get answers here. They’re called “Orphans.” Sometimes you’ll see them come up on your feed with the heading “orphans” because the site is reminding people to take a second look at them and possibly answer them.

The small user base is what I attribute to why a lot of questions don’t get answered, however, even in the site’s heyday, there were orphans.

Sometimes I’ll lurk here but not answer, either because I’m in a hurry (in which case I’ll “follow” but not answer), or because I’m observing arguing but not wanting to jump in. Sometimes it will be because I am clueless about the topic, and then I won’t even read the question.

I did join Reddit once, a long time ago, because I know it’s also a question and answer site. It’s so, so vast though, that I didn’t get acquainted with the layout or the groups. That might be a possibility for you.

If I have specific technical questions, I will google and look at sites that are specifically for those things (i.e. my washing machine, my phone or my car). Fluther is good to supplement that with, because even though there are not a lot of people here, you never know who’s going to specialize in your topic or just be knowledgeable about some obscure issue.

Yeahright's avatar

@jca2 Your clarity of mind and objectivity is outstanding.
Sure, I have navigated Reddit and I have already commented on their unfriendly interface. Like you, I get lost and not sure as to how to follow the huge number of answers linked to just one question that seem to develop into another thread altogether. It is really confusing. I am also, not so strong on social media. I do have extra time on my hands during the summer, but when school year starts, I hardly have time for anything personal and opening accounts here and there doesn’t seem very practical. So, I thought it was easier to stick to good old Fluther since I already had an account here and knew how to navigate the place. I am not disregarding here just because I don’t get all the answers to all my questions. I am very accommodating and always willing to go halfway if needed to.
For the technical questions, yes Google is the go-to place for everything, but it is also true that it takes a bit of time to read the extensive amount of links and then having to figure it all out, whereas when you get an answer here, it is quicker and you don’t have to do all the dirty work so to speak.

kneesox's avatar

Posting answers is voluntary. Nobody is owed an answer. There are lots of reasons why I don’t respond to some questions, but the bottom line is I don’t have to. I do it when I choose.

Sometimes I just don’t like a user’s name, especially if it (or the user) sounds snarky. I have a strong aversion to snark. That could be one reason why I don’t answer some things.

Yeahright's avatar

I don’t know that people are owed answers, but you would think that in a Q&A forum like this, people would expect to have their questions answered. Pretty much like you expect to get ice cream in an ice cream parlor. That is why go there, to have ice cream.

kneesox's avatar

But they don’t come to my house and expect me to hand them ice cream just because I have some in my freezer. There’s no exchange of services for pay here.

More crucially, there’s no boss handing out work assignments. People answer questions here for their own reasons and may not feel obligated by others’ expectations.

Yeahright's avatar

I fail to see the analogy. Your house is not an ice cream parlor. The expectations of things a guest can do or not in your house are limited by you. Here, is a lot more simple: it is not a house but a forum where people come to ask Qs and get As. There is nothing more to it.

kneesox's avatar

This is a voluntary association of individuals acting individually and not in concert. It is not a business organized and run to offer goods or services in exchange for anything.

Never mind. This is the first and last Q of yours that I can be bothered to answer.

Yeahright's avatar

Well, I thought that we were just talking. Don’t know what upset you, but considering I can’t really understand your logic and the fact that I do better with people that can articulate their points, it’s probably better that you don’t answer any of my Qs.

canidmajor's avatar

@Yeahright this seems like a good time to repeat this (from the “sea lioning”Q):
”And for those who feel they got sold a bill of goods, because the site isn’t as advertised, maybe ask why before being outraged. In the metric of this type of thing, the site is old, and because of circumstances, limps a bit, is kind of out of shape and has to pee too often in the night.
It’s the local coffee shop that no longer has “The Best Coffee In Town” as advertised, but making a show of spitting it all over the counter and loudly complaining really isn’t going to make the coffee any better.
Tip your server, be pleasant to the regulars, then come back or not as you choose.”

KNOWITALL's avatar

I answered at least two and could answer a third but now I feel unappreciated. Haha!
Also, I tend to give more thorough answers when I know the jellies knowledge base.
Tech is a tricky subject as some are not computer-literate so you may get fewer answers. And some users are older and may be less tech savvy, while others are superusers who may be on holiday this weekend. :)

Yeahright's avatar

@KNOWITALL Thank you! Right to the point. Unappreciated?? Hardly. Classy is always at the top on my list.

Yeahright's avatar

@canidmajor As we all know, one of the problems with digital communication is the tone. In real life, the overall tone of an exchange is through voice, intonation, gesturing, body language, etc. But because here we lack all those elements, the tone of something is given by the reader. In this case, you are assuming a tone of outrage and complaint from my part that is not there. Take @Hawaii_Jake and @jca2, for instance, it seems they didn’t assume a tone of outrage that was not there and just answered the question directly and were not sarcastic, nor did they appear to be offended by the question. However, you and others are projecting stuff on me that’s not there at all. If you reread my original question, I wrote “I am not complaining as such, just expressing a fact that I have come to realize.” I like to analyze and figure things out. I like to ask questions and get answers, here and in real life. I think it’s a good thing.

The purpose of this question was to find out why some questions (mine and other people’s) were not being answered. It’s that simple. And I found I was not the only one asking about this as seen in this question as well.

Unfortunately, the original post was derailed by people wanting to read stuff that just wasn’t there and took this post in the wrong direction It didn’t matter how many times I explained this wasn’t about nightstands and tried to steer them in the right direction, most people disregarded my pleas and adamantly focused on the nightstands. It felt like an arm-wrestling match, but how other people read tone on my posts is totally outside of my control even if I chose my words carefully.

If you are so inclined, I invite you to reread my OP with a smile on your face, perhaps then you will understand there was never outrage in it.

Nomore_lockout's avatar

My Old Pappy always said, a night stand by any other name, is still a night stand. But Pappy said a lot of goofy crap.

Yeahright's avatar

^ Tell Pappy I used to call it bedside table. It is only now that I switched to nightstand but it reminds me of one-night stand, but that is another topic…not sure Pappy will approve of…

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Pappy says no worries. Roses are red, violerts are blue, I’m schizophrenic, and I am too

JLoon's avatar

I know what you mean.

One nightstands can be so unsatisfying.

JLoon's avatar

Oh stanley ;P

Yeahright's avatar

@JLoon LOL I hear you. My nightstands here have been very unsatisfaying.

janbb's avatar

And then there was this from a newbie yesterday. Not everyone is unhappy with the site:

“Boy,
I joined just today, and several answers are coming in already!
This is ten thousand times better than silly you-must-use-your-name-Quora!
Thank you, everyone!”

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