A Better Way To Help

Hey guys 👋

I’d like to shed some light on how we can all help each other better, especially when it comes to helping new users, support topics, and others.

I write this post to help, not to sound rude or attack anyone. I hope someone can learn something through this and that we can all help each other become better :)

So, what I see is a few different things that happen often. They’re explained below with a way to help better.


1). The canned response

Something I see often is the exact same response used over and over again. This response usually doesn’t aim right at the issue at hand. It’s beating around the bush, for the most part. Most importantly, these responses can make people feel unwelcomed and even publicly shamed. I mean, who wants that?

Here’s what it looks like:

Response

We appreciate your post today, but in order to post in the #live:va, #live:events, #features and #real-world-aviation categories, you must be Trust Level 2 (TL2). This topic belongs in #real-world-aviation aviation because it is discussing something relating to aviation out in the world instead of Infinite Flight.

Keep reading, posting, liking, and following the guidelines and you’ll get there in no time! Also, be sure to search for any similar existing posts before making your own, in order to avoid making a duplicate topic.

Below are some helpful links to get you started. This includes some information regarding trust levels and more importantly the how this forum works. We ask that you please take a look through this important material and understand these posts. A lot of hard work was put into these topics for new members like you. We hope you enjoy your experience here with us. Please don’t hesitate to message a moderator if you have any questions. And last but not least, have fun! Thanks for the help and understanding!

A Beginners Guide to the Forums

Welcome to the Infinite Flight Community

General Forum Guidelines

I think that one way to fix this is to point right at the issue in a respectful, nice, helpful manner.

Examples

Scenario: The user is posting in the correct category (Screenshots and Videos for example), but his format is wrong. Here’s the fix.

Fix: Advise them in a PM how they can fix their post. Or, let the moderators help out. Don’t just issue the canned response.

2). Things that really aren’t necessary

You know how when you open a loaf of bread and there’s that really small end piece and you want to just throw it away but you end up eating it anyway to not waste food? That’s kinda like these types of responses. A few examples are below.

Scenario 1

A user posts a feature request for something that they want in the sim. You notice that he hasn’t voted for his own feature. Is it really necessary to post this?:

”Remember to vote for your own feature!”

No. Why? The previous response only annoyed the OP of the request. Voting for your own feature request has never been a requirement.

Also, if you don’t want it in the game, just don’t vote. There’s not a reason to say anything negative or potentially rude.

3). The repeating of posts

This happens a LOT in support topics.

It’s great that you want to help. By all means, please do! But, when an answer has already been given, there is absolutely no reason to post the same thing again.

Scenario 1

A user has a problem with his subscription. He is requesting that staff help him with his subscription. Unless you are absolutely sure of the issue, please try to avoid these responses:

”Have you tried restarting your device?”

Have you cleared your scenery cache?”

”Have you deleted/reinstalled the app?”

”Try clearing your scenery cache”

These posts related to subscriptions are better handled by tech support (usually schyllberg)

Scenario 2

A user has a problem with scenery cutting out on the horizon. Usually, this calls for the scenery cache to be cleared and/or the app to be restarted. Posts like these should be avoided:

”As (so and so) said above…”

”As stated by (so and so)…”

”Edit: Dang it! (So and so) beat me to it…”

These posts are not necessary at all and only really add clutter to the thread. If your post contains the sentences above, then it’s already been answered and it’ll be taken care of.

4). The “wrongfully reported”

This one is similar to number 3. Often times, posts are repeated or the controller is tagged a million times. This is not beneficial for both the controller and the OP.

The purpose of these topics is to find a controller to talk to and fix what is/was probably an issue.

Responses to avoid

”@(soandso) was the controller” (This one is to be avoided if the controller’s name was already given).

”Have you tried clearing your scenery cache?” (literally saw this once)

”What were you doing (action) anyway? Grow up and learn to be realistic. You deserve it” (This one serves no purpose except to attack the OP in a rude, disrespectful manner).


Anyway, I hope I helped someone through this post. Together, we can keep this place civilized, clean, and tidy. We can also avoid conflict better this way.

Have a great day!

26 Likes

Regulars are advised not to change category if the user does not meet the requirements to post there. I believe it can be moved if the topic is high quality and easily meets the standards of that category.

You still might get shredded for it though 😂

5 Likes

I see useless replies that could be harmful all the time. Hopefully this post helps with that.

Well thought out post. I think we probably need a refresher during the chaos of the world.

3 Likes

Great reminder for everyone! Thanks Alaska!

2 Likes

Thanks Alaska! A great reminder!

3 Likes

It’s not advise, it’s a rule. And the decision to overrule the category guidelines is up to moderators/staff :)

8 Likes

There is nothing wrong with that, it does the job, let’s the user know what to do and how they can solve it eg being active for TL2.

I’m not sure exactly what you mean by this, it’s a normal response to give any member who may not have a complete understanding of how the forum works. If they’re attempting to post in #real-world-aviation, you give them the response and it’ll help them further their understanding of how things work.

The mods are generally busy with other things, it’s completely fine if a regular or even a basic member helps out with that.

I mean, if you don’t vote for your own feature, it poses the question, why should others vote for that feature. If you made it, you probably should vote for it.

They’re only trying to help, maybe they don’t have a complete understanding of what to say and what not to say either. Sure, it can be avoided, and when a staff member is present there shouldn’t be any need, but if there’s an issue that can easily be fixed by someone, I say go ahead and why wait for a staff member.


Also, there are quite a few “keep the forum clean” posts, I recommend looking at those too. If everyone creates one every other week, there will be nothing but those:

Points of Order

Tips for not clogging the forum

3 Likes

@Alaska096, I have a recommendation for you. Perhaps change the “canned response” and have it say send it in a PM?

When I first had someone copy and paste that as a reply, it was indeed helpful, but it made me feel extremely shamed, even though I knew that wasn’t their intention. Just a suggestion that may keep others from feeling shamed.

2 Likes

The canned response literally annoys me so much, I think we can do better than speaking like robots

4 Likes

I’d like to add a couple of things regarding the canned reply discussion.

Canned replies are usually being used by us moderators when we close a topic. They’re not made to be posted in an ongoing discussion because they’re very detailed and long. It will make the topic confusing to read and it will probably confuse the OP.

It doesn’t help a user if we or you just post a standard reply every time. That’s why us moderators don’t always use them as well. One perfect example for this is the format of Group Flights and Events. If a user made a mistake in the title or the general format and you or we just post “Check out this topic” with the link to the Event guidelines, it’s not very helpful. Add an explanation where the mistake was, show the user what correct title would look like for example. If a topic was posted in the wrong category or it’s a more complex mistake that can’t be easily fixed, flag the topic and us moderators will address it.


Regarding the feature requests:

True. But it doesn’t always work that way. I posted so many feature requests over the time that it’s impossible for me to vote for everything. It’s not a requirement for a user to vote for their own request as the request itself basically is a vote already. 😊


And regarding #support, and this is probably the most important one:

Only reply to a support topic if you know what you’re suggesting. If it’s just a hunch or you’re guessing as well, don’t reply. Wait for someone who knows the solution. And if a Staff member is already helping out, let them do their job. They have access to more information which can help the user.


All in all the points mentioned by @Alaska096 aren’t entirely wrong. He made some suggestions of how we all can help each other more efficiently from his point of view and that’s fine, they’re not bad.

The final decision on a matter is always being made by Staff and us Moderators. We talk to each other as well if we’re unsure of how we should handle something. We act as a team. If you’re unsure about something or you something that’s wrong, flag the topic and we’ll have a look at it. We definitely do appreciate your help. We’re a good community and it’s clear that we’re here to help each other.

8 Likes

Under this maybe you could add something like “things that make people uncomfortable or feel unwelcomed”. Some examples of this that I’ve seen include not being accepting of a user because of personal beliefs.

Even using this month(Pride Month) as an example, don’t make a user feel uncomfortable because maybe they’re part of the pride community. This is an example, I’m not saying this has happened to me.

4 Likes

Well this one actually works to fix a lot of issues with the game…

So I’m gonna keep saying it lol

1 Like

Please leave #support to the people who handle #support. Often times by the time staff sees it people have suggested everything under the sun but never asked what device they are on. Once staff or mods get involved it gets very confusing to the OP when you have people who randomly appear asking the same question from the first reply or asking them to re-install. Also don’t pile onto a support topic with something like “I had something like this happen but it was a totally different situation on a different device”, open your own support topic.

Regarding the TL and canned replies, the big thing I see is that 90% of the replies like that could be in a PM. PM them let them know their title is wrong or its in the wrong category. Then simply flag it so we can take care of it. No need to fill it up with 30 people arguing about categories.

Thanks for helping!

7 Likes

This an much much more is simply why I sometimes avoid making topics on the IFC in the first place 😂

But I 100% agree with all the suggestions

3 Likes

Yeah I’m kind of against that canned response type of stuff. Seems very impersonal. :)

3 Likes

In terms of the canned response, I usually use it as a framework not the entire message. Putting something like “this is what [category] is for, this is why, etc.” in the message can help

3 Likes

I agree. Using part of it, but aiming it right at the issue is a better way.

4 Likes

@ItsBlitz @BennyBoy Thanks! :)

Glad I can help any way possible.

3 Likes

@Alaska096… MaxSez, “IT HAD TO BE SAID THEN HAMMERED IN
STONE”! Good try Alaska, Well Written, Accurate, Unfortunately it will never register on the Blabbermouths! “A” for effort and a “Well Done”, BZ… You earned this Flag Set;
IMG_1517

6 Likes