Jan 182012
 

Version 1.2

  1. LXYHHX: when communicating with anyone in writing, especially when working with them (be it a date or a job), these rules
    1. LXZMDA: –I feel are just respectful logical common sense, so
      1. LXZMAZI follow (them )religiously
      2. LXZMFGand I would every other person would also do the same,
        1. LXZMPM: but since people often don’t (either being not respectful or having different ideas or (most likely) not yet realizing & internalizing the importance this stuff), I spelled them out.  
  2. LXZM73: from most to least essential (though all are important):
    1. LXZKR6: Once one has been posted content which is not constructing-status and likely has now been read by a human, see that it is never removed nor altered except as noted here.
      1. LXZKYO: Allowed change edits which improve the content without the meaning & tone, including:
        1. LXZL17: spelling corrections
        2. LXZL2G: fixing broken links (as long as the original link location was once correct, or just to no where, or not to somewhere else with different meaning)
        3. LXZL39: small graphical cleanup
        4. LXZL4X: moving all or portion(s) of the content provided in its place are redirect links which work just as well except for 1 click.
      2. LXZL6X: All more significant edits can be done provided the changes are versioned and the readers have access to the prior versions, ideally as a Wikipedia does provides where prior versions can be accessed & differenced with just a few clicks.
        1. LXZLGX: In cases of serious privacy violations, such as posting passwords or other severely inappropriate content or (content  one does not have posting rights to as much copyrighted material), the prior versions should still be kept as much as legally allowable (for recording & investigating the incident) but should be kept appropriately confidential.
    2. LXYINE: Except as noted, read AND respond to 100% of all words a person writes if it was entirely written for just you or for less than say 3 people
      1. LXYKL2: –unless a single message/post would take an unreasonable amount of reading (say more than .5hr to read),
      2. LXYMMC: Consequently, If one hasn’t responded to something,
        1. LXYIPU: it almost always means that they haven’t responded to it YET, NOT that one won’t or that one will/did miss it,  so
          1. LXYK90: just wait for reply (generally the best thing)
          2. LXYK99: else post 
            1. LXZ80U: this form:
              1. LXZ1BDa LINK to what you’re waiting for with
              2. LXZ1BLonly any NEW info, as 
                1. LXZ7ZB:  your NEW time constraints WITH GOOD REASONS FOR THEM.
            2. LXZ7XM Example: “I’m still waiting on http://….”
        2. LXZ7LI: “Don’t repeat anything” as that details.
        3. LXZ830:  One is of course welcome to update one’s posted Qs & needs (including their new priorities & reasons for that) plus post new info & needs.
      3. LXZMTP: This rule (“read AND respond to 100% of all words…”), in practice, people typically DON’T follow (unless it’s their paid job, and even still), but I do with very limited exception, and I highly encourage others to do as well.
    3. LXZ9DA:  VERY IMPORTANT: repetition: absolutely-minimize it else make it automated else blatant -click for full details.
    4. LXZ0EF: Make many short comment/posts, indeed ideally only 1 bite-sized point-or-question-or-answer per comment/post.
      1. LXZ177: Plus (own post/comment) for every topic of up to small size –more definition needed here
      2. LXZ0K4: Why?
        1. LXZ0KJ: MANY significant advantages, including allows each point-or-question to
          1. LXZ0OQ: to be easily referred to (say if you’re waiting for an answer or need to update it) and
          2. LXZ0QC:  to be less likely be then asked again because it’s already got its own post.
          3. LXZ0NJ: to be replied to individually,
            1. M2WPRA: without having to say/quote what is being replied to (else say minimally)
            2. M2WPSL:  without implying you’re NOT going to reply to all the other points (as replying to a group of Qs but only referring to a few or 1 suggests).
          4. LXZ3SX: to more easily go into further relevant details, including mentioning & explaining the priority of the question.
          5. LXZ0QT: be updated/edited without having worry readers/answerers that the other Qs were edited.
          6. M2WPZG: Encourages more participation & multi-authoring, since potentially anyone could simply click to reply to & on some point most anywhere
        2. LXZ0U7: BIG PRO: In an environment supporting threaded discussions, allows the answer to be attached to the Q
      3.  LXZ0I0–feels highly counter-intuitive, as if it would be so much more disturbing to the person(s) being asked if than if s/he asked all the Qs in a bunch,
        1. LXZ11F: Why even I have not always done this!
        2. LXZ121: but logic suggests the opposite is true.
    5. LXYYLT: With-regards-to post/comment threading/nesting within the discussion thread:
      1. LXYMSU: This feature appears pretty much essential (indeed a lot more than one would guess) in order to have a quick dialogue with complete answers to every Q (100% of the text to me gets responded to), especially where Qs are asked in bunches but even when not, as, without it, serious problems arise.
      2. LXYVCJ: Which systems have & don’t have this feature: 
        1. LXYVDS: Meetup.com discussion boards: NO.
        2. LXYLAI:  http://1.JotHere.com: YES,  full comment threading
        3. LXZ6NH: http://Groups.Drupal.Org: YES, and so powerful (part of “organic groups”) that it seems the majority of Drupal development is done via communicating via these threaded comments.
      3. LXZ3WJ: On systems with this feature:
        1. LXZ6CI: Be sure to make sure to click “reply” on the appropriate post (comment) point, as this vastly helps organize your response and usually can’t be changed after-the-fact.
        2. LXZ6HG: You can feel a lot more free to make partial responses,  as you can always comment later on your own response, or add additional comments on that same point, and they will all be neatly grouped together.
        3. M2WOEV: For all metadata (as comments on this notation system), first create at the appropriate point a comment of just “metadata http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metadata” if doesn’t already exist, then create in that your comment.
          1. M2WOOJ: 1st real example.
          2. Why? Achieves the combination of:
            1. M2WP05: keeping the metadata right with the data, so
              1. M2WP5H: avoiding the need for bidirectional links (and which could then break)
              2. M2WP5S: woes from incomplete export/copies of the thread (which say are missing the metadata)
            2.  M2WP0D: minimally cluttering up the normal data, by keeping these nicely grouped & under a simple title
              1. M2WOXP: Indeed all relevant metadata then be conveniently collapsed (so hidden) in most cases, then all expanded as needed (with the collapsing-outline extensions, 1st mentioned here)
      4. LXYHIP: On systems which lack this feature,
        1. LXZ696: In short, serious problems arise for general Q&A, and while are workarounds, but they are quite painful, including 1 with no realistic solution.
        2. LXYMUCthe posts aren’t grouped by and listed after (usually in outline form) what they are responding to (indeed the software often doesn’t even track what a follow-up post/comment is responding to) so
          1. LXYYYD: BIG CON: One has a tenancy to (wrongfully) assume  & expect any new post will respond to ALL of the above content.
            1. LXYZ0X: as on first glance it would seem like it would
            2. LXYZ1Q: even tho0ugh this becomes increasingly unrealistic
            3. LXYZ2T: so when it doesn’t do that (as it increasingly will), one:
              1.  LXYZ4S: is wrongfully disappointed
              2. LXYZ5B: may respond by fire off more posts as “You missed x! Or you don’t want to talk about x! Or why haven’t you responded to x?”, creating only more frustrations and even more posts/Qs to respond to.
            4. LXYZB0: so posters are increasingly mis-pressured to respond to everything in one post else not post, which means posts are increasingly delayed or not sent.
            5. LXYZDD: so don’t make this mis-assumption!
          2. LXYZ75: CON: It is usually not clear, definitely not at first glance, what post/comment is in response to,
            1. LXYZNH: including SERIOUS CON: the original point/question being replied to could be way back in the thread (as many posts prior, and not even near the other responses to it).
            2. LXYYWA: so BIG CON: It becomes very & increasingly difficult to insure all points are responded to and nothing got missed.
          3. LXZ3BH: SERIOUS CON: it is not at all quickly clear that each question comment got answered, as the answer could be & typically is not adjacent but several comment posts later, after posts on other topics, and where one has to read each of these successive comment posts to see if it’s answering the question comment!
            1. LXZNYJ: Thus insuring 100% of the text to me gets responded to, when there a number of Qs taking various amounts of time to answer, would in general be very difficult for the author and extremely difficult for onlookers, as one would have to read the entire thread after the questions to insure and know if & how & where each of those Qs were finally answered.
              1. LXZO0S: My best helps significantly lessen this problem by requiring a single response (addressing everything in the original post, no partial responses) from each person, but  this fix then creates other complexities & problems, plus, whenever multiple persons respond and if any of those answers need update, the problem still persists.
            2. LXZ3JH: A workaround that seems not too realistic: the original question asker (or administrator) could their question comment/post to append it with a note saying “Q got answered in post 4,5,&8” but that follow-up maintenance is likely never going to get done in practice.
        3. LXYZQS: so, except as noted, I do a full & FIFO responses, meaning:
          1. LXYZUY: respond each post/comment in full (no partial response)
            1.  LXYZVI:  so to insure “at post x is all one’s Qs and at post y is all one’s answers” so
              1. LXZ01J:  avoiding having the various answers scattered all over the place and evolving – a real mess, especially for quick reading of the final results.
              2. LXZ2OQ: significantly lessen the problem of insuring 100% gets responded to, as I don’t begin to remember everything that I reply to, so unless I can say “here’s the Qs and here’s all my As”, it would be practically impossible for even me to know I covered everything.
              3. LXZ03E:  helping sooth this instinctive expectation that one’s latest reply will including all his/her answers to their questions.
          2. LXYVP1 and complete my responses in FIFO order –further reasons detailed there
          3. LXYMXW: But FIFO isn’t always intuitive nor best and sometimes in a bunch of Qs, some are more urgent than others, so
            1. LXYL7A: an exception is a post of true fundamental urgency, as this post directing to this post (where I see the reader is not getting the communication conventions).
            2. LXYLGE: More recent posts/issues CAN be addressed before older ones are complete, but these must be in a later reply post marked as constructing –see further details there.
        4. LXZ3QF: but now having to do full & FIFO responses, it becomes increasingly important, indeed almost essential, to make each Q its own post.
    6. LXZKR6:: In situations where it’s necessary, preface an incomplete post/comment with (“CONSTRUCTING” or “Version 0.x”) plus “SO DON’T YET CAREFULLY-READ AND SUBSTANTIVELY-REPLY“, to alert of such.
      1. LXZ2DZ: If this sounds like “Hey that’s complicated for something this “simple”, so do we really need to do this?”, my answer is “Yes, we DO need it at times, but, yes, it gets complicated, so we want to do techniques, such as small posts/comments on http://1.JotHere.com, in order to avoid the need of it.”
      2. LXYN2Y: This is necessary in any of these common cases:
        1. LXYQYM: Where you do need to save the post, and save it online, for safety against loss but the posting system lacks “draft” mode (generally part of an auto-save) which isn’t visible to the general reader
          1. LXYR2P:  Which systems have & don’t have this feature:
            1. LXYR3F: NO: Meetup.com discussion boards.
            2. LXYR4X: YES: WordPress.
        2. LXYR5O: it’s generally best to get the news out ASAP in some form but of course trusting the reader(s) will respect the preliminary-ness, especially:
          1. LXYSSH: Situations where a full reply
            1. LXZ6VF: is expected as when no comment-threading, but
            2. LXZ6VT: would take time (as there points of the post/comment are many and/or some are time consuming and/or would take time to get a full answer) .
      3. LXZ5AL As posts now can or must be revised until they are complete, there are some profound consequences which require new habits & approaches:
        1. LXZ59R: to the casual reader it can mis-appear like nothing new is being done, including often can be the case where are plenty of updates are being done routinely but there are no new posts!,  So
          1. LXZ55I:  One can no longer assume no new posts means nothing new.
            1. LXYHKJ: But that’s a hard habit to break. For example, this person posts “Another reply and waiting any type of communication” (incorrectly suggesting there is none) when in fact I’m updating to this thread every day, he just isn’t seeing it, probably because he doesn’t know what to look for.
          2. LXYHKK:  One needs now to also look at the “Edited by” date (as “Edited by DestinyArchitect on Jan 17, 2012 12:29 AM”), indeed sort by it if possible, and NOT JUST THE POST ORDER.
            1. LXZ4YU: Approaches from best to worst:
              1. LXZ5HT:  Have the system sort & display the post/comments by decreasing modification time, NOT 1st post time
                1. LXZ5MA: Which systems can do this:
                  1. LXZ5N1: WordPress: Yes, possibly as easy as a widget.
                    1. LXZ5O4: http://1.JotHere.com has this already for posts, and soon for comments.
                  2. LXZ5Q6: Meetup.com discussion boards: NO.
              2. LXZ5QF: Manually search the discussion thread for “[last ]Edited by” dates that happened since you last looked.
                1. LXZ5SH: Isn’t too much work.
                2. LXZ5SQ: Few are likely to go to the trouble.
      4. LXYHJ3: Any post with such a constructing status is obviously NOT ready for careful & serious reading nor for  substantive-reply 
        1. LXYQ2X: so DO NOT DO THAT unless it has been a reasonable time (as at least 1 day) without explaining update.
          1. LXYQE5: If you’ve been shown the respect to see text in constructing status, show the respect back to follow this rule!
            1. LXYQO9: Example of someone NOT following this rule: this post shows it was substantively-read & -replied-to before it was complete, so was replied with inappropriate misunderstanding & disrespect.
            2. LXYNES: I 1st posted this guideline at point LXPPFU of here.
        2. LXYM63: So rather one should be on the look-out for posts that have this status removed, ideally as it is removed;
          1. LXYS79: Methods (from best to worst)
            1. LXYSDC: Automatic:
              1. LXYSE0: Have the system alert the reader when a post s/he was looking at which now has this constructing-status removed.
              2. LXYSGW: Have the system sort & display the post/comments by decreasing modification time, NOT 1st post time looking for ones recently modified that now have this constructing-status removed.
              3. LXZ4WV: Which systems have & don’t have these features:
                1. LXYSLW: NOT Meetup.com discussion boards.
                2. LXYSPG: WordPress can be made to do these.
                  1. LXYSQ0: http://1.JotHere.com doesn’t have this but will.
            2. LXYS8K: Manual:
              1. LXYT4E: Complete writing posts/comments in the order of the thread (FIFO)
                1. LXYTDX: so that way the reader only needs to minimal work:
                  1. LXYTSD: Specifically
                    1. LXYTM2:  remember & keep-checking the 1st post/comment she encountered with the constructing status (not EVERY one in the discussion) and
                    2. LXYTNP: only after the construction status on that has been removed, then (seriously read it & substantively reply) and repeat this process on only the next post in the discussion thread with this constructing status: repeating this process)
                  2. LXYTTO: which can be accomplished by
                    1. LXYTYB: by the reader by remembering (the current 1st constructing post/comment of the discussion) via one of (from best to worst):
                      1. LXYTZ2: a web bookmark to it which she creates to it when she finds it, then deletes this once its constructing status is gone
                      2. LXYU16:  scanning thru the discussion on each revisit to it to find the 1st comment/post marked “constructing” then reading it and if that isn’t the last one the reader saw, then searching backwards until the last one the reader saw is found, then reading & replying forward
                      3. LXYULN: remembering this comment/post exactly in one’s head w/o bookmarking (too hard for most people)
              2. LXYS8K: Scan thru all past posts/comments (of the discussion thread) searching for & handling-now all posts/comments which last time YOU looked at them were constructing but now have this status removed.
                1. LXYT2C: VERY HARD for a human to do as one doesn’t easily remember the status for every comment/post the last time s/he looked at it.
                2. LXYUQP: Only necessary if the post authors DON’T DO the prior LXYT4E.

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