ef37a wrote:How much information and at what technical level to give the uninitiated is always going to be a problem on forums. The trouble starts with the fact that you have no idea at the beginning of a thread what the level of education or experience the OP has. Many people can be highly educated and skilled in one area but complete numpties in another. For instance I worked with a factory full of computer graduates some with electrical engineering degrees but none had clue one about PC sound and had never heard of MIDI!
Such people are however good at "learning to learn" and would get to grips with audio matters PDQ. Then there are people, GOOD people! Who do not have a technical brain and find it hard to grasp some concepts (though how they cope with modern phones and cars GOKnows! ) .
My approach has always been to try to give as complete a picture as I can. Often the poster comes back a bit boggled but I then invite them to give specific points that they don't understand and then try to break it down. Sometimes a thankless task. SoS is far better than some forums in that we don't seem to get so many one shot "drive byes".
Mike is to be commended of course in taking the OP under his PM wing but of course that information exchange is lost to the forum. This point was discussed in the Lounge a while ago?
Thanks for your thoughtful post Dave. I do understand where you're coming from.
As far as PMs go, I quite agree about off-forum help and advice and have often steered people back into a forum thread when what they want to know can just as easily be picked up there in a thread that's still simple and IMO 'on track'.
In these two recent cases, it's been clear to me that people are really struggling with techy-talk and numerous options being presented to them. If they're reading this I hope they won't mind me saying that they have no technical understanding and are just starting to dip a toe in the water of live-sound or recording. They'd found the options being presented, the technical explanations, the 'added-extras' that people contribute (mea culpa
in one case) overwhelming and totally bewildering. Even when something's been explained more than once they've still not grasped the concept. The simplest of concepts are fundamentally misunderstood. In that situation I do step in to seek to give a steer - back-tracking several times if necessary - and sure that no well-meaning forum contributor will cause further OP bewilderment. In some cases, the collective mind is not the best mind!
Back to my latest PM...