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Please Don't Be Browser-Shy Options
Dreamy
Posted: Friday, July 29, 2011 11:22:02 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/11/2009
Posts: 1,501
Neurons: 10,806
Location: Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand
I hope no-one will be offended by my asking forumists not to be browser-shy.

The term browser-shy is the one I use to describe people who ask questions they could find the answers to simply by typing a word or words into their browser and doing a search.

Quite often the content of someone's post will contain material I am not familiar with and if I am sufficiently interested in understanding the post and the poster, I search the material in question. It may be a person's name, it may be a word that I'm not sure about, or it may be a whole subject that I need to study up on in order to reply to the post if so motivated.

However, I feel that many users of this forum are not making the best use of the web resources available and this is reflected in the posts that ensue.

An example of this was the question in the vocabulary section by nihaoivyliu who asked "What is the meaning of Work-Democracy?" It took me just 14 seconds to pull up 109 million results for "work-democracy" and I'm sure the poster's question could have been answered by the articles I found if they had looked.

It is not that I mind answering such questions but I am left wondering why it is that some people on the forum seem to be so browser-shy.
Romany
Posted: Saturday, July 30, 2011 1:08:41 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 17,712
Neurons: 57,403
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Dreamy -

Have to admit I've sometimes wondered the same thing - with exasperation!

However, we have posters from all walks of life, circumstances and countries here and I try to be empathetic by keeping in mind:-

* Some don't have personal computer access and may not be able engage in trawls through all the mounds of material available

* Although in many places all schoolkids are given IT lessons (and often their own computers) from Primary School level onwards, there are many more places where these skills are simply not taught. A huge amount of my own time here is spent teaching people exactly HOW and WHERE to browse.

*The level of English of many of our posters makes browsing difficult and extremely time-consuming, whereas the more informally phrased and presented explanations given here are easier to understand and they can ask for further clarification

*Sometime explanations given don't reflect how familiar native speakers are with certain concepts nor of cultural insights

*English is a minefield! Sometimes posters want to make sure they are correct in their interpretations and there aren't some hidden or double meanings behind certain words, phrases or even subjects which could prove embarrassing

* A lot of posters may be quite confident in the use of their own search engines, but when it comes to English language searches are overwhelmed

* Many don't know how or where to go for REPUTABLE information (a lot of mine rely on a local English Engine which is absolutely dreadful and is the cause of a lot of mis-information and garbage)

* Some may, like me, live in places where a lot of sites are Firewalled, or certain search engines are unavailable.

None of which, of course, apply to some people (though I think on TFD these are a minority) who are just plain lazy!

Of far more irritation to me are those posters who seem simply to read the topic sentence and then completely ignore every post that has gone before in order to present their own ideas. The number of times I have sat in front of my lap top shouting out loud "But that's what JJ/Ruth/Thar(and sometimes I)/ just said!!!" are inumerable.

What REALLY puts the cherry on top is when when such posters are either completely wrong or are repeating some piece of general misinformation or Urban Legend that has been well and truly discounted!

When I see the lengths some people go to to provide clear, well-supported, empirical and immacuale explanations to, for example, a L2 speaker - only to have it all discounted by someone who seems to think forums are only there to reflect their own casual and unthought out responses I could (and sometimes do!) scream!

Usually though, I just close down the site completely and go away and compose biting responses in my own head.
GeorgeV
Posted: Saturday, July 30, 2011 1:20:33 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/3/2009
Posts: 888
Neurons: 2,410
Location: Canada
All I would like to add is this: Somebody (in a far-away kingdom) who hears from a friend that there is a (this) particular site where one can ask questions - that somebody most likely will be unaware of this topic: the exhortation not to be browser-shy.
Wordscrafter
Posted: Saturday, July 30, 2011 4:46:46 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 7/2/2011
Posts: 9
Neurons: 260
Location: Paris, Ile-de-France, France
Dreamy, you raised a good point, and I too often feel the same as you do. But at the end of the day, I have to agree with Romany. A forum is a place where you can dscuss and interact. And we all know how important it is to interact with others, instead of - only - opening drawers of pre-canned knowledge. Cheers to all!
intelfam
Posted: Saturday, July 30, 2011 5:06:00 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/18/2010
Posts: 1,190
Neurons: 3,284
Location: United Kingdom
I feel that Dreamy was right to lift the topic onto our radar, and Romany to highlight some of the probs. Just the airing of it may mean somebody on the forum can be freed to ask and willl have received some ideas. I suppose I am like many others who have been browsing for (oh dear, just realised) 16 years now! I use Google Chrome as my browser and like other browsers I can bookmark. I have a favourites folder named "reference" and in there is everything from bnf.org (for drug info) to Google Scholar (for more reliable references. I am just off out now, but maybe Dreamy, you might start a new "topic" under this heading with a title "Good search sites" or something? When I get back I'll be happy to share some of my bookmarks - and what I use them for. Perhaps your raising the topic might draw out some useful thoughts for the browser shy?
munro66
Posted: Saturday, July 30, 2011 5:30:17 AM
Rank: Member

Joined: 5/23/2011
Posts: 47
Neurons: 144
Location: United Kingdom
Dreamy, You have made some very good comments, views which I have but have not openly expressed them. I have done the same as yourself in doing some research to try and answer a question posed. I have completed the hardest of crosswords, the answers to the clues I knew must be 2% out of 100.I set myself a challenge that the 98% I did not know would be found by accessing the web, by so doing I gained some knowledge, refreshed knowledge that I had once learnt and had forgotten, and gave me some extra tuition on using the web browser.There has been occasions when I have decided to email someone to ask of a question then being inspired to try and seek the answer via the web and if that failed then the email would be sent.
Klaas V
Posted: Saturday, July 30, 2011 6:23:59 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/12/2010
Posts: 1,339
Neurons: 4,802
For me such questions are made by people who search confirmation. They may have searched and are still in doubt if the word fits a specific context. For example the upcoming possible 'default' of the United States of America. 'Default' has a meaning in ICT (as I know being an ICT professional for over (or should I say 'more than'?) 35 years. Here it's very likely having another meaning. My native language is not English, but we use a lot of English words in a somewhat other meaning. Counts for most European languages I guess. My first try is always any search enigine, by default (sic!) Google, but when I make a typo (on purpose!) in the URL-field it happens we autodramaticaly use an Italian search engine provided by a partner of our ISP. It's called Virgilio after a Roman writer some of you classicists (is this a good English word?) might know.
jmacann
Posted: Saturday, July 30, 2011 7:15:41 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/20/2011
Posts: 1,296
Neurons: 3,887
Location: Spain
You are right -only, it should be done less frequently.
Diablo
Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2011 9:24:12 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 6/20/2011
Posts: 18
Neurons: 54
Location: Infernal regions
Judging by the responses I think a great many of us are in concert on this subject Dreamy.
Particularly as many enquiries relate to words and TFD comes with a luverly search box on every page!!

I acknowledge Romany's comments and agree there are a plethora of reasons why someone may have for "appearing" to not do a little of their own homework before posting a topic. I myself do however, rarely respond directly to these posts unless I am fairly confident the poster is genuinely naive.

I am far more likely to drop in to the wave once its churning and others have generated a lively banter or one of the more playful members enters the fray.

And Oh how I can relate to Romany's comment:

Of far more irritation to me are those posters who seem simply to read the topic sentence and then completely ignore every post that has gone before in order to present their own ideas. The number of times I have sat in front of my lap top shouting out loud "But that's what JJ/Ruth/Thar(and sometimes I)/ just said!!!" are inumerable.

What REALLY puts the cherry on top is when when such posters are either completely wrong or are repeating some piece of general misinformation or Urban Legend that has been well and truly discounted!

When I see the lengths some people go to to provide clear, well-supported, empirical and immacuale explanations to, for example, a L2 speaker - only to have it all discounted by someone who seems to think forums are only there to reflect their own casual and unthought out responses I could (and sometimes do!) scream!

Usually though, I just close down the site completely and go away and compose biting responses in my own head
.



I usually shake my head in disbelief d'oh! Brick wall and if it is a topic close to my heart I have been known to mutter under my breath. I try to resist responding.....Not talking
I am however not beyond sarcasm, rarely with malice, but give me the slightest hint of irony and my resistance will crumble.....Drool !!!! It is a weakness, I know, but spare me the occasional indulgence and hopefuly you will be rewarded with a chuckle....

Club Faviolosa signature is:
Three groups of people exist:L=who believe there are less than three groups; M=who believe there are more than three groups; O=Others (who believe three or believe nothing)


CF I know its off topic but I can never resist a challenge....What of group "P" people who believe there is only one group, namely all three groups together or group "K", the Kognoscenti who believe there are two groups but they are a secret society so they arent going to reveal what the two groups consist of? Angel
Romany
Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2011 11:08:30 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 17,712
Neurons: 57,403
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
And we mustn't forget that there are those who say that all three groups are part of a conspiracy theory anyway.
srirr
Posted: Monday, August 1, 2011 3:23:17 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/29/2009
Posts: 8,507
Neurons: 484,288
I am in the same line what Dreamy or Romany or other posters in this thread think. However in addition to Romany's extensive list, I feel there is something more which sometimes makes me feel something. :)

Some posters post (initiate a thread) just for the sake of posting something. They are not lazy; they do not want to learn that word or find an answer; they perhaps do not care what other have written in reply. I want to share something with you with no intention, I better start a thread.

pedro
Posted: Monday, August 1, 2011 5:43:03 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/21/2009
Posts: 13,057
Neurons: 63,022
Work democracy could mean that everybody works a 12 hour day and ends up with a cardiac arrest. To be honest I had never heard of this term and googling it, even within quote marks, mostly gives links to democracy rather than work democracy. Of the two relevant links on the first search page, one gives the apparently accepted definition whilst the other likens it to fascism. In such cases I think it is fair to ask the people. Such phrases may be country or culture specific.
percivalpecksniff
Posted: Monday, August 1, 2011 5:46:09 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/1/2011
Posts: 1,523
Neurons: 3,404
Location: United Kingdom
I am amazed at the extent of the criticism of other’s posting and motives on this thread. Are we all paragons of virtue? According to the latest post, for example by Srirr, it is now offensive to post because one wants to share. He opined:


Some posters post (initiate a thread) just for the sake of posting something. They are not lazy; they do not want to learn that word or find an answer; they perhaps do not care what other have written in reply. I want to share something with you with no intention, I better start a thread.

Is not the act of sharing a delightful and considerate thing? Surely discussion can arise from an act of sharing?


Why should we try to work out another’s motives and set ourselves up as judges… are we so righteous that we can criticise others from our ivory towers? Could we not equally argue that it is possible to Google or use a search engine overmuch… and then spout the ‘knowledge' gained as if it were our own? Come to that why bother to discuss at all if we can Google it.
srirr
Posted: Monday, August 1, 2011 6:01:03 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/29/2009
Posts: 8,507
Neurons: 484,288
You are correct Perc. Discussion can arise from an act of sharing. Remember: Discussion. But what if someone does not want a discussion. A discussion means, IMO, exchange of ideas. I do not want to name any poster, but I feel that some posters do not post for the sake of discussion.
percivalpecksniff
Posted: Monday, August 1, 2011 6:18:11 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/1/2011
Posts: 1,523
Neurons: 3,404
Location: United Kingdom
Well Srirr I do not know of any posters who post with such a negative approach as to not want discussion. Some of us are just not good at expressing ourselves... but we try all the same. I avoid trying to assign motives for posting and just get on with things. We do not want to crush anybody.


PS.Of course spammers fit your description, and they are spoilers.

Ray41
Posted: Monday, August 1, 2011 8:09:40 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/9/2010
Posts: 1,937
Neurons: 45,980
Location: Orange, New South Wales, Australia
perc wrote;
Is not the act of sharing a delightful and considerate thing?......Yes, as long as it is not the missusWhistle
And; Surely discussion can arise from an act of sharing?....... In this case, definitely have to agree.Anxious


abcxyz
Posted: Monday, August 1, 2011 9:55:35 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 1,056
Neurons: 3,200
Location: India
percivalpecksniff wrote:
Well Srirr I do not know of any posters who post with such a negative approach as to not want discussion...

The 'hostelite' thread e.g.
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