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I would like to assist the help topics in moving along faster.


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#1 ksky10081

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 09:40 PM

It is clear that there is a backlog of topics and only so many individuals available to assist.

It also looks like there are other users that start a topic and never return leaving an open slot that is unknowingly hidden.

I would like to propose that posts that are eight days old be closed.

This will help filter out members that have found a solution elsewhere and no longer require assistance.

Members that still require help can have their topic opened again will less likely feel the need to post a "how long" topic.

For the members that do patiently wait for help, it can be overwhelming and distressing to see your post reach page fifty (ten and twenty for that matter) and receive no word or sign of help.



I welcome suggestions to help move things along faster and smoother.



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#2 scff249

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 07:31 AM

I don't speak for the staff or those in the HJT Team, but this is my opinion.

It probably wouldn't work since doing this would mean that there would need to be a few people that can dedicate their time to check for topics that are 8 days old and close them. At the same time, this really wouldn't look good for them since closing could also be a bit of an insult to the person asking for help, thinking "If they have the time to close my topic, why don't they have the time to review my topic?"

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#3 garmanma

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 09:18 AM

Although it may not look like it, we have a procedure in place that is working quite well.
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#4 ksky10081

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 03:08 PM

Garmanma,

I am unable to deny that the methods currently used work quite well and given the length of time that you have been here, you have probably seen measures taken that have benefited all. I would simply like to add another incremental step towards the unified goals of bleepingcomputer.com.



Scff249,

Using a dedicated person to close a topic that is eight days old could possibly detract from other tasks. However, this task is meant to augment the other searches being conducted to find suitable helpers for those that need help.

Another possibility would entail the automation of this task. After eight days have elapsed since the initial post in the Security forum, it will automatically close. Reopening the topic would be as simple as having the original poster clicking a link.

I have seen one member mention that if you do not reply after five days of being contacted, that it will be assumed that all is working correctly and no further help is required. Such a script could close those posts as well. This feature would become a Forum Guideline and another part of the entire process.

#5 Orange Blossom

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 12:23 AM

Hello ksky10081,

Closing topics would not help keep newer unanswered topics closer to the top of the forum pages. There have been days in which over 100 new logs were posted in one 24 hour period. 50 topics in the same time period is quite common. I have my board settings set so I can see 30 topic links on a page. For what it's worth, with those board settings, there are 9 pages of topic links in the HJT forum for the last 24 hour period alone and 16 for the past 48 hours. These include unanswered topics, topics that have been closed, topics moved out of the forum, and topics actively worked on. Closing topics 8 days old would not shorten that pagination.

Further, while there are undoubtedly a large number of folks who have either resolved their computer issues or reformatted their computer, there are also a large number of folks who still need and want assistance and would be greatly upset to discover their topic closed with no offer of assistance. To close a topic without even expressing a wish to assist that person I do not think is a good idea. I think that is akin to closing a door in someone's face after they have been waiting in line for a considerable length of time. We do not wish to close a topic until after we have responded to it to at least find out if that person still requires help and provide a decent period of time for the member to post back. The wait time for that initial response can vary widely, depending on a number of variables.

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#6 Animal

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 01:22 PM

This I think is an excellent explanation of why wait times have become longer and more cumbersome to deal with. As stated by Grinler:

I think that ccss summed it up quite nicely. Everyone on the site is a volunteer and helps on the site on their free time. Due to this, and the lack of many trained helpers, it is obvious that our helpers can get quickly overwhelmed with the requests for help here at the site. If you want free help you have to be prepared to wait for it. I am sure if you were offering free consulting for your customers you would quickly become swamped.

New and more devious malware are released daily, and analyzing this malware so we can help members like yourself who either can't figure it out or do not want to "waste more time" trying to, takes up even more of our time.

As for recruiting more helpers, this is a long and lengthy process. The training at the various malware removal schools is quite intensive and time consuming. Therefore, many students do not want to stick with it and never graduate. As we pride ourselves on the excellent support we provide, we only allow graduates to help in the the malware removal section in order to protect our users computers from incorrect advice.

So, unfortunately this means that we sacrifice speed of response for quality response, which I think is a good trade-off. Here at BC, everyone always gets an answer, their problem will be resolved, but it may take a bit of time. Also remember we are not a resource for consultants to receive quick answers on how to fix their clients computers and it these people who typically require an immediate response. For consultants who need more knowledge about a particular malware we are always happy to answer general questions in the Am I infected forum.

For those wanting to be a trainee, like our team, the coaches are limited as well. Therefore we can only accept a certain amount at a time. If you feel you are highly qualified and are willing to assist here at the site in your own free time after you graduate, then we would be happy to try and make an exception. Just PM myself or one of the Study Hall Admins to get on the waiting list.

Hope this explains the delays and why they are sometimes unavoidable.


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#7 ksky10081

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 11:11 PM

Thank you all for your responses.

You never know when the next serendipitous event will manifest to benefit all….

Keep those ideas and observations coming.





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