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This week, we're updating our course layouts and descriptions. Presentation and materials always gently change over time, but just occasionally there's a need to make a step change to clear out some of the old and roll in the new. That's now happening - but over a long and complex site it's not instant and you'll see sections of the site changing up to and including 19th September.

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No Thank You

"No Thank you". A polite response to an suggestion which is not being accepted. Not the greatest of responses, perhaps, to an offer, but oft understandable and accepted.

No "Thank You". Rude, At least in my culture; the lack of getting back to someone who's done you a favour over and above the call of their duty.

The contrast came to me this morning when reviewing posts on our Opentalk Forum; we offer free technical support there to the delagates who have been on our courses, ensuring that any little issues that arise after they've completed a quite intensive training session can be fixed in short measure, rather than leaving them to pull out their hair for hours or days when I (or someone else who posts there) can sort them out in seconds or minutes.

A policy decision, made early on, to allow "Open posting" to Opentalk. And by that I mean that we'll accept and give pointers to people who have not attended courses, and indeed who haven't bought any services at all off us. Occasionally - vey occasionally - that directly makes a new contact for us who may end up as a customer. But much more often, and very valuably, new questions from people froma very different background to mine trigger me and the people who help to answer the questions into writing a really good and clear new explanation of something, and into realising what extra topics should be covered on the web site or course.

But there are a number of "single question" posters who ask their question, read the reply (well - I GUESS they read the reply), but then don't bother to even say "Thank You" or "Yes that worked". Personally, I find that attitude to be presumptive and uncaring; in my personal case, it leads me to give rather less attention to any posts that may trigger my "single poster alert" (there are certain metrics from which I can guess who is likely to come back). And yet ... sometimes the lack of feedback can be put down to culture ... sometimes to a lack of enough intelligence and thought on the poster's part to appreciate how rude they are being ... and sometimes to a personal crisis; I've learned about one or two of these well after the event in the past, and in turn my wondering and slagging people off has turned out to be inappropriate.

There's the lady who went into labour early ... and came back on the forum 3 months later to announce the arrival of a daughter and apologise for her apparent rudeness.

There's the hotel "No Show" who reported a motorcycle accident to a close friend; somehow, the frustration of sitting around until after midnight just melted away.

And there's the "one shot" enquirer - with a very odd but interesting technical question - who turned out to be working in a university in a country that the Americans invaded a couple of years back; a real human being ... I don't know what happened, but somehow this is one lack of a "Thank You" with extenuating circumstances.

Why am I writing this? To post a link on a forum thread, explaining my background / approach to others who do huge work to help me. To say "Thank You" to them, but also to say "I share your frustrations sometimes; I know how it feels, but let it be". It would be a very sad world if we went around assuming the worst of everyone, wouldn't it?
(written 2007-09-23, updated 2007-09-24)

Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G903 - Well House Consultants - Running and moderating forums and social media sites
  [4283] Can a legitimate forum post become illegal a year later? - (2014-07-11)
  [4239] Facebook marketing - early experiences - (2014-01-19)
  [4234] Change to Libel and Defamation laws from 1st January 2014 - (2013-12-31)
  [4065] Handling requests to a forum - the background process - (2013-04-17)
  [4025] Backups, Codebase, Strategy and more - dealing with forum incidents - (2013-03-03)
  [4017] Acceptable User Policy / vexatious interacter - (2013-02-24)
  [3910] Identifying your real customers and keeping them well informed fast - (2012-11-02)
  [3479] Practical Extraction and Reporting - using Python and Extreme Programming - (2011-10-14)
  [2820] Netiquette for forum newcomers - (2010-06-20)
  [2781] The 500 pound question to get you started - (2010-05-26)
  [2569] How to run a successful online poll / petition / survey / consultation - (2010-01-10)
  [2527] Flying tonight - (2009-12-05)
  [2526] A reluctance to move from old shoes to new - (2009-12-05)
  [2386] Computing under the influence of alcohol - (2009-08-29)
  [2254] Forum membership - a privilege not a right - (2009-06-22)
  [2177] Preventing forum spam - checks at sign up - (2009-05-12)
  [2162] Admins thoughts on banning a member from a forum - (2009-05-09)
  [2156] Stopping forum spam - control of the signup process - (2009-05-04)
  [2116] Why do we delay new forum members through authorisation? - (2009-04-03)
  [2103] Ask the Tutor - Open Source forum - (2009-03-25)
  [1972] Pettifog and forum boards away from public view - (2009-01-03)
  [1923] Making it all worthwhile - (2008-12-04)
  [1759] While the world sleeps ... - (2008-08-19)
  [1678] Software - changes and delays. But courses must run on time! - (2008-06-15)
  [1595] First Great Western Weekend - (2008-03-30)
  [1578] Please don't shout at me! - (2008-03-16)
  [1569] I dont care - goodbye - (2008-03-09)
  [1563] Guidlines for posting on a forum - (2008-03-04)
  [1539] A forum is not always the best vehicle - (2008-02-14)
  [1532] Comment spam blocked. Please comment via Forums - (2008-02-05)
  [1523] Ive just received an email from myself. Should I be worried? - (2008-01-29)
  [1485] Copyright and theft of images, bandwidth and members. - (2007-12-26)
  [1472] The Horse goes on and on - (2007-12-15)
  [1190] Save the Forum - A regular clean sweep - (2007-05-17)
  [1088] Why use BBC code not HTML? - (2007-02-21)
  [948] Running an on line campaign - (2006-11-27)
  [923] Why shouldn't I spam? - (2006-11-13)
  [919] Freedom for X is denial of privacy for Y - (2006-11-09)
  [841] Forum help - a push in the right direction - (2006-08-21)
  [828] Freedom of speech and freedom to post - (2006-08-10)
  [806] Check your user is human. Have him retype a word in a graphic - (2006-07-17)
  [651] Please Register with Opentalk - but just once! - (2006-03-19)
  [516] Open source questions? Anyone can ask. - (2005-12-03)
  [424] How not to run a forum - (2005-08-24)
  [248] Use me, but use me effectively - (2005-03-16)
  [231] Feedback as lifeblood - (2005-02-28)
  [204] The confidence to allow public comments - (2005-02-06)
  [130] Spelling and grammar - (2004-11-25)
  [115] Expiration dates or times on web pages - (2004-11-12)
  [29] Silence is Golden - (2004-08-26)
  [22] Falling out over the silliest things - (2004-08-21)

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One computer per delegate, or pair programming?
No Thank You
Korn shell course
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Little Gems but not Lettuce
Look forward with a new broom - Wiltshire Train Service
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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