Tutorial: How to Reply to a Post?
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9 months ago
david 3.3k
@david_fe

This tutorial contains guidelines for replying to an existing post.

Summary:

  • Your reply to any Question should be a direct answer to that person's question.
  • You do not need to write an encyclopedic article as an answer. Answers should be concise. Ask FitEyes is not a wiki.
  • An answer cannot be a bare URL (web link). Complete answers should be provided directly in your post. (Complete does not mean expansive or overly theoretical -- just a practical answer to the question asked.)
  • Be nice. No question is too trivial or too "newbie" so don't condescend.
  • If you need to ask for clarification before you can answer, use the "add comment" button immediately below the question.
  • Do not ask a question as a reply to a Question.
  • If the Question you are answering has multiple answers already, make sure your answer adds new information.
  • The Question-Answer functionality of Ask FitEyes is not for extended discussions. It is not a forum. It is for focused knowledge-building.
  • The main section of Ask FitEyes consists of clear questions and direct answers to those questions (with limited use of comments to clarify questions or answers).
  • If you are unsure about anything, make a post in Chatter, where there are no strict guidelines. You are welcome to post anything you wish there (except spam). You can also read the details below and see our other tutorials to get comfortable posting your reply here.

Topics accepted on FitEyes include all eye health topics as well as general health topics including nutrition, exercise, meditation, yoga, and more, that have relevance to eye & brain health. There is a lot of content specific to glaucoma, but our interests are not limited to that condition. FitEyes recognizes that a healthy eye requires a healthy body. And the optic nerve is part of the brain.

Details:

This tutorial assumes you are registered at Ask FitEyes already. If not, please see this tutorial: Start Here: How Do I Use This Site?

This tutorial also assumes you have an overview of using the site (such as provided in Introduction to Ask FitEyes: How to Participate By Asking Questions, Answering Questions or Finding Answers You Seek).

Now you would like to reply to an existing post. Here are the guidelines for doing so.

Most posts on Ask FitEyes are Questions. (There are other types of posts but I will focus first on replying to Question-type posts, and I will simply call them Questions - capitalized.).

First, your reply to any Question should be a direct answer to that question.

If you need to ask for clarification before you can give a good answer, use the "add comment" button immediately below the question.

  • Use "Add Comment” on a question to clarify the question (such as asking for more info). Don't have extended discussions in comments. Keep them short.

  • Use "Add Comment” on an existing answer to point out shortcomings in the answer or to ask for clarification. (If you have a better answer, post it as a new answer to the same question.)

Do not ask a question as a reply to another question. Ask your own new question.

FitEyes welcomes all questions and we expect all answers to be respectful. No question is too trivial or too "newbie" so don't condescend.

While we emphasize being nice, it is equally important that all answers be high quality and as accurate as possible. Therefore, it is OK to point out why you think an answer may be wrong. Use the "add comment" feature directly below the answer to do that.

If the Question you are answering has multiple answers already, make sure your answer adds new information. You can incorporate parts of an existing answer if your answer extends that or improves upon it. If you disagree with an existing answer, you can provide your own answer with the correct information, but don't simply make an answer that criticizes an existing answer. (You can comment on an existing answer to criticize it, as mentioned above.)

If you have a question of your own, ask it as a new Question. The tutorial linked above offers guidance for doing so.

The Question-Answer functionality of Ask FitEyes is not for extended discussions. It is not a forum. It is for focused knowledge-building. You can, however, have those kinds of discussions in our Chatter section.

In addition to Questions, there are a few other types of posts such as Chatter, Product Reviews, News, Science and Tutorials.

Why So Many Rules?

Ask FitEyes has unique features that support building a knowledge base of lasting and growing value. But the rules around questions and answers may be as valuable as the technology. Without these rules, the site features would be misused, causing us to lose the unique value of the site's features.

Using Ask FitEyes may seem to require a little extra effort initially, if you are not used to the site, but that small up-front effort saves you (and everyone else) a ton of wasted effort at every other stage of use. I believe all good communication (even between friends or family) requires some effort. Online communication can be most challenging of all. I suggest that the effort is worth it because your reward is a great resource for finding the best answers with the least amount of effort and frustration.

  • When asking a question that little extra effort will pay off for the asker with better answers.

  • It will also pay off for all those who can answer by making it easier. It is always easier and more enjoyable to answer a clear, well-phrased question.

Good answers on Ask FitEyes are not substantially different from the good answers FitEyes members have been sharing on the email discussion list since 2006.

The huge payoff from good questions and focused answers using the Ask FitEyes technology is that we will create a knowledge base of FitEyes topics for the entire world to use. The little extra effort we put in to ask and answer questions clearly will make it far easier for everyone (including us) to find answers for years to come.

As discussed in the next section, there is a place you can post on Ask FitEyes without so many rules.

The Different Sections of Ask FitEyes

Each of these sections is intended for different purposes. The main purpose of this site is to find clear answers to specific questions and the Question section has the most strict posting guidelines. Chatter is the least restrictive. As mentioned in the summary above, you are welcome to post anything (except spam) in Chatter, where there are no strict posting guidelines. Chatter is indeed like a traditional forum. Make your first posts there if you wish.

  • Product Reviews: post your review of any products related to FitEyes topics (see above for what those topics are). Examples of product reviews includes:
    • dietary supplements
    • tonometers
    • eye drops of any type
    • healthy foods
    • exercise equipment (such as rebounders) that are relevant to FitEyes topics
    • glasses
    • vision training devices
    • accessories for computers or phones that assist eye health
    • and more
  • News: post news articles related to FitEyes topics
  • Science: ask for approval is you wish to post in the science section.
  • Tutorials: post your helpful guides on any FitEyes topic. For example: How to do an eye wash with an herbal infusion. Examples of tutorials includes:
    • using glaucoma medications
    • using a tonometer
    • doing exercises in the best way for eye health
    • many more

Moderators may reclassify posts they believe to be better suited to a different section. To reach the moderators you may use the comments below each post or see the About page for contact information.

Extended Discussions

As mentioned above, the main purpose of Ask FitEyes is growing our knowledge base of specific questions (one question per post) each with one or more useful answers. However, we have the Chatter section for extended discussions. Use Chatter like you would a forum.

FitEyes also has a very active email discussion group (also called a "mailing list"). Currently most FitEyes activity happens on this mailing list. If you are not already enrolled in the email discussion group, please reach out to us (support -at- fiteyes dot com) to be added. The email discussion group is very convenient for extended discussions.

FitEyes has a Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/fiteyes.

Forums and mailing lists are good for open-ended and less focused discussions. These discussions formats can be very good while they are unfolding, but they are usually terrible as a source of knowledge you can access later. It is too hard to go back through a discussion to find a specific answer.

How many of you have tried to read through a long forum thread to find your answer? It's a terrible experience. It can waste huge amounts of time and lead to a lot of frustration.

Likewise for email discussions. How many of you are frustrated that you cannot search on the 15+ years of knowledge that exists in the FitEyes email discussions?

The structured question-answer format of Ask FitEyes solves these issues. It does not replace those other kinds of discussions, it provides something new and different. We welcome you to use all the different technology tools FitEyes makes available.

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