I was having a chat about the newgroups with one of my mates the other day.
I wondered if the ease of getting an answer, and the quality of (some ;-)) answers, the ability to stay anonymous all lead to people asking first, thinking second.
- Do people go to the newsgroups and just ask away?
- Do they try Google Live Umbongo Search for an answer first?
- Do they even search the archives first?
My feeling is an increasing number don’t do any of those, don’t take any responsibility for their learning, they just fire away and wait to be spoonfed the answer.
I think the newsgroups are a superb resource, but I wonder if we are in danger of creating an overly dependent user base?
(I’m no fan of the snarky ‘did you try Google?’ type responses either btw)
What do you think?
I have to say I’m a big fan of the Excel-l newsgroup/listserv. I have been on that for 10 years on and off. Its my favourite Excel place, because its friendly (in general ;-)), its focused and most folks do search first and do try first. There are very few ‘pls do my homework for me thx’ type requests. And few ‘build my enterprise system for me for free pls thx’. And of course its full of smart people who as a group have done pretty much everything you could imagine in and around Excel and VBA. you don’t see many questions go unanswered, even the hard ones.
The other thing I like is the complete lack of commercial aspect. The intrusive ads for crappy add-ins at some other places turn me right off. As do the annoying auto linking popup thingies. Plain text maan – its the future…
Are newsgroup dumbing things down?
what are your favourite sites/forums and lists, and why?