View Full Version : A tip to help yourself get great answers when you start a thread

Mike Phillips
10-05-2010, 09:23 AM
A tip to help yourself get great answers when you start a thread (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/tips-techniques-how-articles-interacting-discussion-forums/29344-tip-help-yourself-get-great-answers-when-you-start-thread.html)

While you may have 10 or 20 questions on how to detail the inside and outside of your Astro Van, here's a tip...

Try to limit your messages to 3 to 4 questions at the most.

This will make it easier for people to answer you without excessive formatting so their answers are easy for you and others to read.

Typing out answers in a linear manner in a thread isn't too hard if there's only a few questions, if there are a zillion questions then answering them in a way that's easy for everyone to read means doing things like breaking up your original message using the "Quote" feature. This means a lot of extra typing for messages with a lot of questions.

Not a big deal to me but a lot of people will look at a large group of questions and simply click away as it's easier to click away than it is to try to wade through all the questions and try to answer some of them.

By only starting a thread with a few questions you help yourself to help yourself.

After you get the answers to the first questions you post, you can always do a follow-up with a few more questions or start a new thread.

Starting a thread and asking a million questions means people have to wade through a HUGE chunk of text and lots of people simply won't do it, huge chunks of text scares people away.

People are scanners, so start with a few questions, make each question a dedicated sentence with white space around it like this,

1. How do mix my car wash solution?

2. Should I start at the top of the car and work down or does it matter?

3. What's the best way to dry the water off my car?

When you type it out like that it makes it for other forum members to reply quickly and easily, like this,

1. Read the back label and go by the manufactures recommendations.

2. Most people will start at the top and work down. Some people like to start with the wheels and tires and after wasting the wheels and tires then they will wash the car body starting at the top and working their way down.

3. The "best" anything is always personal preference but some good options are Microfiber Waffle Weave drying towels, synthetic chamois and yes, even leaf blowers.

Just by breaking your questions into dedicated sentences and giving them a number you'll make it easy for people to help you.

Make sense?

Now follow me on this...
After you get answers to your first three questions then you can post a follow-up with a few more questions, again don't over do it.

By limiting your posts to just a few questions you're really helping yourself to get GREAT answers and that's what this forum is all about.

Here's another tip...

Start a new thread for a new topic

After you get your answers to one topic, for example how to remove swirls; if you have questions about how to remove ink stains out of leather, don't simply tag them onto the thread about removing swirls out of car paint, instead start a new dedicated thread, like this,

Need help removing ink stains out of leather.

Again, the title will tell our members what you're working on and what you're wanting to do and if you limit your initial message to 2-3 questions you'll help yourself to get GREAT answers!

And one more teeny, tiny tip...

In your post, include what you're working on.

Sounds like common sense but believe it or not many people start thread, ask questions and never mention what they're working on. For example,

Recommend a polish

That title tells us you're looking for a product, but it doesn't tell us what you're working on or what you're trying to accomplish. Instead, how about a few extra details,

Recommend a polish for fresh paint on my restored 1988 Honda Civic

That title tells us what you're working on and what you're trying to do. Then in the message body you can clarify even further like this,

I just had my 1988 Honda Civic repainted and the paint is 3 days old, what polishes are safe for fresh paint?

Or how about this for a title,

Recommend a polish for antique paint

Then in the message body you can clarify even further like this,

I just pulled a 1967 Mustang out of a barn, it has the original single stage paint. The paint looks kind of chalky, what should I use to preserve and restore the original paint.

Just a few details about your project will help others to provide accurate answers to your questions.


Shade Tree
10-05-2010, 09:27 AM
Thank you for posting this Mike .......

02-02-2012, 03:44 PM
hi i need help how do you get ink out of leather seats thanks.

Mike Phillips
12-26-2012, 07:44 AM
IF you're new to forums, please take a moment to read through the above tips on how to help yourself get great answers when you start a thread.

Especially if you're new to posting to forums.


Mike Phillips
12-26-2012, 07:47 AM
hi i need help how do you get ink out of leather seats thanks.

Hi Freddrick,

Just now found your post asking for help removing ink out of leather seats. When you tag a question onto a non-related thread topic a lot of times it can go unnoticed, kind of like it did in this thread.

Best thing to do is to start a "Dedicated Thread" and write a really good title as that will tell people what you want help with. See these two articles,

How to write a good title for your thread (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/introduce-yourself/20306-how-write-good-title-your-post.html)

This article has screenshots showing you how to start a new thread if you've never done this before. It's really quite simple...

How to start a new thread & How to reply to an existing thread (http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/tips-techniques-how-articles-interacting-discussion-forums/27449-how-start-new-thread-discussion-forum-reply-existing-thread.html)


Mike Phillips
12-16-2013, 08:16 AM
Thank you for posting this Mike .......

No problemo....

It's just a friendly tip to help people new to forums to better understand how to actually help themselves by making it easy on others to help them.

If a person makes it easy more people will be inclined to chime in and "type" out help.

If a person makes it hard, then most people will >click< away to easier to answer threads. People on our forum are really nice and like to help others but when there's a zillion questions it makes formatting hard when using the "typed" word.

If that makes sense...

Sad to see your Photobucket picture disappear in your Sig Line by the way.


12-23-2013, 03:35 PM
Much appreciated.
Thanks, Mike.
Will consider all of this next time I create a thread :D

Mike Phillips
11-24-2014, 07:40 AM
Just a Monday morning bump for anyone new to this thing called a "discussion forum".


05-08-2015, 07:24 AM
I am new to this forum. Please tell me how to go directly to my posts so I don't have to search for them. Thank you!!!!

05-08-2015, 08:16 AM
When you are logged in you can click the "User CP" button on the far left of the menu bar above. There it will list the threads that you are subscribed to. You will be automatically subscribed to a thread when you start a new one or if you respond to someone else's.

Great info as always Mike, and good time of year for this to be seen.

Mike Phillips
05-08-2015, 08:43 AM
I am new to this forum. Please tell me how to go directly to my posts so I don't have to search for them. Thank you!!!!

Another way to find your posts is to find just ONE of your posts and then on the right hand side of the forum page where you see your forum name,

>>>Click on your name<<<

A drop down list will appear and one of the options is,

Find More Posts by your name

Then click on that option. I do this every morning to revisit all my most recent threads or replies to see if I need to post any follow-up.


05-08-2015, 03:43 PM
Thanks very much!!!

08-07-2015, 03:14 AM
Wow! Details enough, thanks man =) What a good read !

Mike Phillips
12-28-2015, 01:11 PM
Thanks very much!!!

Wow! Details enough, thanks man =) What a good read !

Thanks guys... just a few tips to help people get more and better answers when asking questions.

Bigget thing is don't make it hard for other people to reply by posting too many questions in a single post.