The silent answer

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The Silent Answer

When I enter a channel, I say something, but no one answers me, why?

Hey Everybody!
hey guys!
Where is everyone from?
Do you all live in (your-little-town) too?

Or even when I enter the help channel, I do not get an answer, why?

I need help.
Can I ask a question?
Is anyone here?

and other variations on the theme.

In general

  • These flavors of questions rarely get a response.
  • Sometimes the response you get may be unexpected.

In any given channel

There could be tens, hundreds or even thousands of people a day entering and joining, do you really expect everyone already there in the channel to answer each and every person that enters asking such a benign question? They do not.

In the case of a help channel

These channels are intended to be a quiet place where little if any chat conversations are carried out, and instead the volunteer helpers (yes, none of us are paid for helping) are waiting for valid, and concise questions asked by you and others.

  • You do not need to "ask if you can ask".
  • Simply state your question and wait for an answer.
    • Some times, the response can take a minute or more, please do not think you are being ignored.
      • Repeating the question however, may get you ignored. We saw it the first time.
    • Helpers and other users that do not know the answer may not even respond.
      • This is expected, and further keeps the noise down.
  • Not everyone lives in your timezone.

Well, then, what should one say?

Try starting a genuine conversation. If others are interested, they will participate. If not, try again later.

For example, current events are always good to try: "Did anyone see the U-M vs. Illinois football game today. Triple overtime and U-M won, 67-65!"

or "Hello Bill, I saw your website that is listed in your whois information. Quite interesting. Did you design that yourself? I've designed a few websites myself."