Asking the Wrong Audience

One thing that happens quite often in our forums and IRC channels is that someone (invariably new) will enter and ask a question completely unrelated to the topic. Typically, about competing projects or projects on the same platform.

For example:

  • Topic: AMX Mod X. Question: “How do I use EntMod?”
  • Topic: SourceMod. Question: “How can I use EventScripts?”
  • Topic: SourceMod. Question: “Can someone help me with a Mani issue?”

Onlookers tend to reply the same every time: “Visit their IRC channel or website for documentation. This channel/forum is unrelated.” The person asking the question then says, “I tried, but no one there is replying.”

The person is trying to keep their question alive in the off-chance someone random will know the answer. If you do get a reply, all the best. But if you don’t, you have to realize that nothing you’ve said changes the fact that you’re still asking the wrong audience.

Would you ask your English professor a math question because your math professor isn’t in his office? Would you hire a dentist for a plumbing job because your plumber is out of town? Of course not, that’d be silly. But sometimes, if the person doesn’t get a reply, they will become aggressive or insulting. For example, “Thanks for no help whatsoever!”

If you’re knowingly asking the wrong audience, don’t throw a tantrum when you don’t get your answer, and don’t get annoyed when you’re told a better place to look.

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