How to ask for help in the BF forums
If you have not found an answer to your question in the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), it is not addressed in the Resources , and Searching the forums did not provide enough information then it is time to consider asking for help from your fellow brickfilmers. This tutorial is intended to provide some hints when making such a request.
- Firstly, is Brickfilms.com the right place to ask for help? Brickfilms.com is a great place to find out answers to many problems; however if you are having a problem with your printer, for example, it might be better to go to a printer site to seek help. While the members of Brickfilms.com are very knowledgeable and would be willing to help you, you might get a quicker response somewhere else.
- If you do decide to post, first check if their are some existing topics where it might be appropriate for you to ask your question. For example, if your question is about the Logitech QCP 4000 then there are a multitude of threads extant where you may “post a reply”.
- If there is no appropriate existing topic then you will want to start a new one. Make your “Topic name” descriptive of what your interest is and avoid using all capital letters and lots of exclamation mark (this is considered bad etiquette and will invariably start your discussion off on the wrong foot).
- In your initial post, give some general details about the system you are using when making request for help. Is it an Intel platform running Windows (XP, ME, 98) or maybe a Macintosh with OSX or MacOS? The samaritan who responds to your request for help will need to know this.
- Give specific details about the hardware and software you are using. If your webcam isn’t being recognized by your capture program, just saying, “my webcam does not work” will not be too helpful. Let the readers know what model webcam you are using and what software you are using for capturing and saving the images.
- Give extremely specific details about what the error actually is and, if applicable, what messages are being displayed on the computer. Again, just saying like, “my QCP4000 does not work with MonkeyJam” is not very helpful. In some situations it is helpful for you to know what kind of files are involved with your problem. For example, graphics files come in many flavors; GIF, TIFF, PNG, and JPEG just to name a few. Video files also have several variations; RealMedia, MPEG, and AVI are a couple. It is often helpful in debugging a problem to know what kind of data is fed into a program and what kind of data the program produces.
- Do not get upset if someone offers a solution which may be simple or that you have already investigated (i.e., “I KNOW THAT! I’m not stupid.”) The person answering your post is often not aware of what you do or do not know (or what you have or have not tried). They are trying to help you and, even if they are not successful, they deserve your gratitude for the attempt.
- Do not get upset it you do not get a reply in a few hours. The brickfilms forum isn’t a chatroom, and not all people might have a solution to your problem.
For more detailed instructions on how best to ask for help in the forums, you may wish to browse this Smart Questions Document (http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html) (note: the authors of the document are not affiliated with Brickfilms.com and should not be contacted with brickfilming questions).