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Thoughts on nipping those "Do I need AV software" posts


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Lifeisabeach

 
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It's just dumbfounding how many people come here every single day asking if they need AV software, despite the sticky thread, and it seems to be getting worse. I'm wondering if something more can be done to help dwindle this down. One idea I have, since many of these are likely first-time posters, is to do something with the account creation process that, in big bold letters, points to the AV FAQ prior to the final confirmation of the account.


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cwa107

 
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I think it would be lessened if there was a straightforward answer to the question. The problem is that opinions vary so widely, with advocates on either side. Heck, we can't even agree on a definition of what a "virus" is!

But I agree, it does seem like the frequency of these kinds of questions is increasing.

Just some thoughts off the top of my head as to how we could better help:

1. Refine the current FAQ. Specifically, make it so that your grandmother could understand it.
2. Stick the FAQ in places other than the Switcher Hangout.
3. Maybe it's time we create a "security" forum to discuss these kinds of topics?

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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schweb

 
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Is there really enough volume on security issues that we need a completely new forum for it?

What forum would be the best place for the AV sticky?

What recommendations would you have for simplifying the existing FAQ?

I guess ultimately the issue is less about the sticky itself and more about the issue that most people just don't take the time to read or search, even if you throw it right in their face. Stickies ultimately are not effective at transmitting information for most scenarios. If anything, their best purpose is to keep them top of mind for existing members to easily find them to link to the newbie questions.

Of course, many of the people that respond to the AV threads don't bother to even point people there because they are viral purists who'd rather whip themselves up into a frenzy every time the word is mentioned.

I'm all for modifying the existing FAQ if it makes sense, we just need to realistic about the outcome we'd expect to receive. I still think it's an issue with people not bothering to read first before posting. AV is just the latest example of the issue. How do I connect my Mac to a TV is another current one.

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I seem to remember getting an email and private message as part of the sign up process. Maybe could put a few of the FAQs in those.

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schweb

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razormac View Post
I seem to remember getting an email and private message as part of the sign up process. Maybe could put a few of the FAQs in those.
They don't read the links to the stuff we include in those now, I'm not sure adding another one would do it.

We're working on a few things that have the potential to allow us to better create and utilize FAQs. Unfortunately a forum setting, and especially stickies, are not always the best organizational structure to store long-term information like that. Most people just don't understand the concept unless they're used to participating in forums.

But my gut would tell me, the person asking some of these types of questions is not an expert at using forums.

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Lifeisabeach

 
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A lot of people certainly don't read the FAQs or the first-time "Welcome" emails on account creation. More stickies or new forum categories likely aren't going to help much either. And a lot of people don't read the terms prior to creating an account. Heck, I never have. But if, say, just above the final "create account" button, there was in a larger, bolder font, a final message that says something like:

"If you have questions about antivirus and security software for Mac OS X, our sticky thread may already address all your questions"

and have that as a link that opens in a new window, then "hopefully" that will get more attention. If many of these people are creating accounts just to ask that question, then maybe it could be presented immediately in the account creation process. As more people switch to OS X, this problem will only grow. This strikes me a relatively benevolent, gentle way of handling it.


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I agree with Schweb. We also have to keep in mind that a portion of folks who join these forums (and others) do so solely for the purpose of asking help on an issue they're currently having. Once that has been resolved we never see nor hear from them again.

Cluttering the forums with more FAQs or "read me first" stickies, IMO, is not going to help.
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schweb

 
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Of course the goal will be to try and figure out how to make this much more user-friendly and discoverable. So while we don't have a quick easy answer, I'm glad it's not just the staff noticing that there's some improvement we can probably make to get better results.

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I'm a mod on various other forums and also manage my own forum and can tell you that people DO NOT read FAQs, DO NOT use the site's search engine and on top of that, will start a new thread with the same topic as a previously posted topic, to me THAT, is the ultimate in "answer MY question!!!"

I have even tried a "if you have this problem, see this section..." how big would the home page be on a site like this? That does not work either, after a while, you do start feeling like a broken down record...But hey.
Yes, you can function without an AV software... over and over again. :O

I'm still looking for the answer,same as many other mods from various other forums.

One thing I have noticed and wanted to say so, the mod crew is fab here, thank you all and please keep up the GREAT work.


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I'm not sure what software this forum is running on, but forums such as phpbb, invisionboard, simple machines, etc.. offer an announcements marquee at the top of the boards. You could create a new sticky thread titled "You don't need AV on your MAC. Click Here to find out why!" or something to that extent. Link it in the announcements to the thread that was created.

People are lazy when it comes to searches. Posting the AV question inside a TOP 10 FAQ or something of that nature instantly turns people off because they don't want to waste time searching only to find out there "problem" isn't included in the FAQ.

I understand you can't make a thread for each individual problem that people have, but if AV is one of the top biggest questions asked, perhaps making that an individual thread might solve the continuous questions being asked.
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We actually already have a thread on A/V and it's already a sticky.

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Sorry, I'm long winded and wanted to make sure the picture I was drawing was big enough to understand. I was trying to convey a way to advertise for the user looking for an answer a quick way to find the info about AV.

Your sticky about AV is very thorough and very informative! It sucks that more people just don't go there and read it.

EDIT: Oh and I see your from Cleveland. I'm originally from a small town just south of Kent, Ohio.
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There is a forum called SatelliteGuys.US that has a home page layout that could be used in terms of top most asked questions or Howto's. This way when someone even just comes to the board and that is the first thing they see.

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