kad: How to properly use Apple Discussions

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Last Modified: Feb 22, 2011 6:21 PM
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After witnessing the mass confusion on how to properly use Apple Discussions, I have taken it upon myself to write a User Tip on how to effectively use Apple Discussions.

Apple Discussions is a great place to get free support no matter how old your computer is (free support is unheard of). You can get opinions and tips about Apple products from people all over the world. But, there are some things one should know before posting in Apple Discussions. (examples in blue)

First, One should read the Terms and Conditions. I know, it is pretty boring and it goes on forever, but it will make your experience in Apple Discussions a nicer one. The Terms and Conditions is an outline of Apple Discussions and it will tell you how to use it properly.

Second, before you post, make sure you research your topic. Lets say I have a problem with my iBook, I should search the Knowledge Base and/or Google. If you don't find an answer move on to the next step.

Next, you are going to want to prepare to write your thread or post. I know, this may sound stupid but by taking your time you will get a better response.

Now lets say my iBook keeps on crashing and will not let me open any applications. I am going to want to write down key factors. I am going to write down when it happens. It happens when I have Safari, iChat, iTunes, and iPhoto open all at once. I should also write down how many times this has happened and if I have gotten any error messages when it happens.
  • A little side note filling in information; make sure you have your computer information (computer model, amount of RAM, OS version, and other specifics) in either your signature or in the thread. This way fellow members know what they are dealing with.
Finally, it is time to post (kinda). Here is where a lot of new members have their problems. As you know, I am having a problem with my iBook. This means that my thread should go in the iBook forum, not any other forum. So in the main Apple Discussions page I would click on iBook - iBook G4 - Using Your iBook G4.. Some people really are having a hard time with this and I don't know why. I think maybe it might be because of all the choices; they just get anxious. To sum up this section, Don't Post a iPod problem in the iBook forum, Feedback about Discussion, or any other place besides the iPod forum!. The only time one can post elsewhere is if their problem is directly related to another forum. Lets say My iBook can see my iPod, it would be alright to post that in the iPod forum because it is mainly about the iPod. Even though the problem could be with the iBook, it is an iPod issue.

Alright, you have done everything else so far, you are finally ready to post your thread. When writing a thread there are a couple of things you should keep in mind.

  • Try to write as grammatically correct as possible. I am horrific at grammar and spelling, but I try. The more grammatically correct your post is, the more people will be inclined to respond.

  • Turn on Spelling (spell check). There is nothing more annoying and confusing then when someone writes a thread and doesn't use spell check. On a Mac, all you need to do in Safari is go to the Edit menu - Spelling - Check Spelling While You Type. By using this method you don't even have to look for the menu, it will underline incorrect words in red. This should eliminate spelling mistakes for the most part.

  • This is more as a number 2.5 because it goes along with number 2. Don't write in "gamer", "instant messenger", etc, lingo (that includes slang). I don't play games; I don't know what L33t or BFFL means.

  • This could be 2.75 because it is still part of spelling for the most part. Don't, please don't, use foul language in your post. It gives off a bad impression when one writes: ***, **, etc. *** looks like to me a wrestling name or someone's initials. Pretend you are writing to your grandmother who has baked you nice cookies ever since you were a kid and didn't stop hugging you when you were a teenager with a pierced nose and pants down to your knees. If you don't have a grandmother write to mine.

  • DON'T USE ALL CAPS! It gives off the impression that you can't express yourself. I understand that sometimes people hit the cap lock key, but if you read number 6 you won't have to worry about it.

  • Last but not least, Check over your work! Many times I have caught grammar mistakes and other mistakes by reading my posts out loud. As I have said before, I am no where near perfect, but trying is what counts.


Now that you have posted there is one thing you need to do. Periodically check to see if anyone has responded to your thread. Don't get mad over criticism. Take it and either implement it or don't. Even if they are trying to get you to become agitated, just ignore them.

If someone does respond you should consider whether or not to try their idea. If you do and it works then you should award the person with the Solved star (should see two buttons next to their name, Helpful and Solved). If they semi solved, but not completely; you can award them the Helpful, (helpful is at your discretion). When your thread is solved please at least mark your thread as solved (you can see that option under the title of your thread). This way people know that your problem was solved.

I, as well as other like to use solved threads for reference. This is why I stress making sure you mark your thread as solved and also which post solved it. That way when other threads of the same subject pop up again, we can revert back to the solved thread as a reference.

The reason behind this thinking was to have a reference guide not so legal sounding as the Terms of Use; that can be brought to confused or new Apple Discussions user's attention. I am planning on expanding the information here into more detail.

Thanks,
Jon


G4 1.33Ghz iBook, G4 iMac 1Ghz, G3 500Mhz iBook, Macintosh 128K, eMate... Mac OS X (10.4.5) Airport EX, Moto Razr, iLife '06, SmartDisk 160Gb, Apple BT Mouse, Sight..

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