Help Vampires

A thought-provoking read for the SUMO community, perhaps?

It’s so regular you could set your watch by it. The decay of a community is just as predictable as the decay of certain stable nuclear isotopes. As soon as an open source project, language, or what-have-you achieves a certain notoriety—its half-life, if you will—they swarm in, seemingly draining the very life out of the community itself.

They are the Help Vampires. And I’m here to stop them.

This might also be a good time to re-draw attention to my document “How To Ask Good Questions” – a short primer, written very carefully to be understandable to those for whom English is a second language, on how to ask good support questions in technical forums.

4 thoughts on “Help Vampires

  1. By “this one” I meant “yours” is preferable. Forums should consider placing something similar to this where users cannot avoid seeing it before posting.

  2. Hah, it’s a small world after all. As you may know, I lead development for SUMO, and Amy Hoy (the author of the article you link to) is a great friend of mine – we worked together at my last job pre-Mozilla. I read the article when she first wrote it, and think there is some good stuff in there.

  3. Although someone else has commented that we don’t want to fall into the opposite trap of assuming people are Help Vampires too early, and chasing off genuine newbies. I guess some communities are more prone to one mistake and others to the other.

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