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Old 09-08-2012, 02:39 PM
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How to ask for help - help us help you!

We've all been there:
You put your battery in your gun, you put a freshly loaded magazine - using quality BBs - of course, you switch the selector switch to fire and point your gun in a safe direction, aim and squeeze the trigger - and nothing.

You gas up your magazine, load it with BBs -quality BBs, insert it into the gun, rack the slide, point it at your target, unsafe and squueze the trigger and out goes all your gas.

You load your magazine with quality BBs, insert it into your spring gun, pump your first shot, aim in a safe direction, take off the safety and fire - no BB comes out?

You get a new piece of gear that is supposed to be adjustable and you can't find where the adjustment tabs are or how it works.

What gives?
You search google for answers, typing in "gun misfeed" and the model of gun you're using and find nothing. You pour over the included product documentation but find nothing that helps. You check with retailers but your email might sit for another day or two and you don't feel like sitting by the phone to wait.

How do you get help now?

Simply put, you ask for help. But in asking for help, you must provide information so that your helper needs to help you resolve the problem. This is what troubleshooting is all about.

Your helper will need to know what you've done, what you've tried, and how the circumstances have come together to cause your problem. Consider your posting of details to a courtesy to those who have chosen to help you. When done correctly, your thread is a contribution to others who may have a similar problem in future.

Choosing the Correct Section
If you're going to the forums for help, you first create a thread in the proper troubleshooting section (electric, gas, spring, gear) and then ask for help. By putting your thread in the right section, you will get search results at the bottom of your thread that may relate to your problem. You also have the opportunity to perform a search for other existing threads that may help you.

Choosing your Title
In the Title section, type the make and model of your gun and the problem you're having. This will allow people to know what gun you're using and may help them give specific advice.

Quote:
Example:
I am having trouble with my Echo1 M7, I have a fully charged battery, but the motor doesn't turn over. So my title would be "Echo1 M7 Motor Problems" or "Motor troubles - Echo1 M7".[/I]

The title of my thread reflects the general problem I am having with my Echo1 M7 - the motor is not working. Potential Helpers will know what the theme of my post is - Motor Problems and which gun I am having trouble with - Echo1 M7.
Opening your Discussion
In the Message section, identify your make and model and describe the exact problem you're having with all the details of what you did leading up to the issue and what you've done since.

Don't lie and say it was your friends or that you know a guy with this problem. Don't make it seem like a magical coincidence occurred and now the gun doesn't work. Be honest so that may help people figure out what may have happened and how they might help you resolve the problem. If you can't be honest, there is a chance you won't get accurate help. That won't help you or the person trying to help.

Quote:
Example:
I know the problem with my Echo1 M7 is with my motor. The battery works in my other gun but I don't want to look stupid when I tell people I broke one of the wires on M7. Should I just come out and explain what I did or just leave my helpers in the dark?
Keep in mind, by not giving important details, you may end up with people giving you different advice that won't help, that may cause you to further damage your gun, or that wastes alot of your time on something that may be trivial.

If there is a simple fix, you may end up wasting hours, losing parts, or scrapping the entire gun in frustration over something that could have take 15 cents and 20 seconds of time to fix. Imagine how stupid you would look then.

Choosing Tags that are relevant to your topic
In the Tags section, type your make and model again, and the problem. This will help you by listing other threads with similar issues once you've posted your thread. If this a common problem, your issue may help someone else later.

Why this is important?
The reason why I bring this up is because this is a problem on the forums. A person posts a thread "my gun won't work" and then gets upset when he doesn't get help. This leads to smart-*** comments and wasted time and energy.

Posters: Give your details in your opening post so that people can get right to the point of helping you. Additionally, they may have better luck searching, they may have ideas for the specific terminology and be able to point you in the right direction with your search. Also, if you give the specifics about the problems you're having, you can save time and effort - help them help you.

Helpers: Ask for details and don't be afraid to help them search by pointing them in the right direction. Try practicing empathy - put yourself in their shoes and offer them advice that will help. We are all airsofters and all of us have had problems with our guns at some point. So if you're going to help, then help.

Tag Spammers: you're not helping by posting garbage in the tags. Tags are used to search the forums. By putting garbage in there, you are directly interfering with forums search operations by polluting the tag libraries with garbage. This helps no one.

Helping via PM: This might be a good way to help people, but keep in mind, it ultimately may not help others later, especially if they are trouble shooting.

What is troubleshooting? It is comparing similar issues to find the correct resolution. In order to troubleshoot, you must define the circumstances that are causing the problem. And then compare them to a defined set of symptoms that a specific problem has. Since help is left up to helpers being given first hand information, the person experiencing the problem must give all of the information.


My .02
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Last edited by Texx; 09-08-2012 at 06:55 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-08-2012, 02:47 PM
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Please please please sticky this!
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:14 PM
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This is one of the most important and informative threads I have ever seen. Now how to get new users to read it...?
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:37 PM
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Bright red thread title and sticky the post
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:12 PM
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Vote for sticky
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:56 PM
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+1 for sticky
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Old 09-08-2012, 06:18 PM
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Sticky my huge butt!!! Put this sucker as a page you have to read when you join the forum!! Texx, that is truly one of THE best posts I have read on here!!


Thank you!!
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:37 PM
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What a terrible post... I vote HOI.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:15 PM
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Stickied.

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Old 11-07-2012, 08:35 PM
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Nice info +1 for sticky
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