How to Maximize the Support you receive from IRC
Always look for your own answer(s) first.
Showing others you are actively trying to solve your own problem(s) increases the chances someone will be willing to help you out and decreases any irritation you may receive or inadvertently transfer to others. There are may places to look for help prior to going to the Fedora channel, such as Google, FedoraOS, FedoraSolved. and FedoraForum. Many of the basic questions that are asked in the Fedora channel can be answered from those sites.
Keep a History
Keep a logical and accurate history of the troubleshooting efforts you've already attempted and in what order (i.e. don't repeat steps that have proven fruitless). Keep a notepad next to your computer or open a text editor:
- To help you remember complex tasks you've completed.
- For keeping detailed troubleshooting records
- To create your own succinct text help files.
Memory retention is far greater when we combine the physical act of writing with the visual stimulus of seeing what we have written; (i.e. Self-Programming). Periodically, review what you've written to refresh your memory. Use what you've learned to help others with the same problems. Helping others helps you remember as well, help pass knowledge on. This is more respectful of others time and your own. Showing respect for others time and effort is more likely to get you the help you are looking for. People want to help those who can get along with others and use common sense. Remember, people are donating their time, money, and other resources to help you.
Be observant of information given to others and yourself, people do not like to repeat themselves when you can just as easily scroll up and re-read what was typed to others or yourself. Also, do not use "leet talk" such as "1d107" or heavily abbreviated words such as "hlp plz" or similar forms of "communication". This does not help you and will most likely turn off any potential help you might otherwise receive.
The old adage 'you catch more flies with honey' could not be more true on the net. Here you are judged by what you type and by what your reactions are to what is typed to you. Don't accuse, bait or otherwise cause disturbances in help forums such as IRC; it's you that will be remembered negatively.
When asking for help, try to listen to one person at a time. Often, there are several ways to accomplish the same task. If you try accepting information from more than one person you may quickly become confused and experience errors, conflicting information or be unable to proceed. It is ok to try different methods but you should try to stick with one at a time so that you can understand each method's process, benefits and weaknesses. Also, when accepting advice, follow the instructions of the person giving it. Listen to them respectfully; don't go off on your own tangents typing commands that weren't asked for or giving incorrect responses. This is extremely frustrating, disrespectful and will most often lead to people no longer willing to help you with your issue.
Finally, when posing a question, your best bet is to paste all pertinent information on fpaste, rafb, or phpfi. Then, give a brief synopsis of your problem in the channel with a link to your pasted errors and other information. Pay attention to the information your receive, if someone is abusive or unhelpful, simply ignore them and do not respond at all, or report them to the operators in #fedora-ops. Fighting or arguing with others (even if you believe you're right) will only make you look bad and unnecessarily complicate your issue. This is the internet, let it go.
Poll and be Banned
Bringing up topics in an IRC Channel which require personal opinions are highly discourages as they tend to degenerate into flame wars. Such questions include "Which is a better desktop environment KDE or Gnome?", "Which audio player is better Audacious or Amarok?" users who initiate those types of questions are considered to be polling. In the #fedora channel people that continually pose those types of questions may be asked to leave the channel.
A special thanks goes to Opsec of FedoraOs.org for generating the information found on this page.