FAQ or Newsgroup ?

Anselm Lingnau

Message 3415 · 22 Jan 1996 16:57:44 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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xxxx@xxxx.xx.xxxxxx.xxx (Paul Hemenway) writes:

> What's a FAQ?

On many newsgroups, the same questions get asked over and over again
and usually elicit wrong answers. In order to counter this, many newsgroups
collect these questions (and answers) and publish them pre-cooked. The
document that contains these questions (and answers) is normally called
FAQ, as in `Frequently Asked (and Answered) Questions'.

Needless to say, this doesn't really work. It turns out that, once people
do ask questions that are in the FAQ, there are lots of replies and
followups along the lines of `Can't you read, dumbo? It's in the FAQ,
question 314, and the answer is ...' in addition to all the usual
(wrong) answers that are still being posted by people who haven't read
the FAQ themselves (or can't remember any of it).

That doesn't mean that an FAQ isn't useful for the people who *do* pay
attention. I could imagine sending out an FAQ posting (or, at least,
an FAQ table of contents) to everybody when they first subscribe to
the mailing list. This could serve as a supplement to the usual
introductory post most of you should have seen, and give more detail
on the Strathspey server, for example. Sigh. If only there were 48 hours
in a day...

Anselm

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