Never argue

I came across with this quote today and instantly thought of coppermine forums.

Never argue with an idiot. They pull you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

There is no dearth of such morons on coppermine forums.

Recently I have seen many users criticizing support team of being rude and un-friendly. They claim that we should answer their each and every question (which we do unless the question has already been asked many times) as they are using our product. What they don’t understand is that coppermine is not a commercial product but a FREE open source application which comes with no warranty for support. Despite of this we try to help as much as possible and reply to more than 95% of threads.

Threads started by such morons lead to flames and arguments and they generally beat us with their experience.

15 Responses to “Never argue”


  • I agree with you, but we can be proud to provide a quality support for our FREE open source application, and it’s not same everywhere…

  • I agree too. Anyways, the ones who play by the rules get perfect answers in no time! So, there is no need to feel discouraged by a very small group of morons.

    Coppermine Support team rocks! I can confirm that as one of them and as a user too!

    Regards,

  • I was just saying to my girlfriend what amazing people you are….. you work for free and provide us with fantastic programing…. Power to your elbos guys don’t let the grumpy buggers get you down….thaks for all your help and effort.

  • As you said “Recently I have seen many users criticizing support team of being rude and un-friendly.” The truth is they are right.

    Coppermine is good software. You are justified in being proud of that. But I will never post on the forum. I may have searched a topic but missed something. I don’t want the abuse.

    If you search the forum for “RTFM” you get 12 pages of posts! Most of those come from the support team. It isn’t necessary to do that. Yes, users can be lame. But you need to accept that and behave in a mature manner. (Yes, even if the some of the users themselves don’t.)

    It’s such a shame. Coppermine is really nice. But the tone of the forum is ugly.

  • @Bill: Its not the question whether they are right or wrong – the bigger issue is why we do it and that is what i tried to explain.

    Unfortunately unlike other popular open source projects, there are only a few supporters on coppermine forums and amongst those few a large number are the core developers.

    As far as RTFM goes – there is absolutely no sense in providing the complete answers to the same question again and again. That clutters the board and search results.

    The thing is that criticism gets heard quickly while praises just go unnoticed. Thousands of users love our support system but that goes unnoticed.

  • Thank you for a very reasoned reply. Much appreciated.

    I think maybe I understand some of the frustration with users. I am in the process of creating a website for volunteers for a park near me where I volunteer. I am starting off with a wiki and Coppermine as the photo gallery. It’s not a lot but I am paying for a domain name and hosting. My first interested contributor of photos, someone who calls themselves a “photographer”, seemingly can’t resize their images and wants me to one-by-one pull their, already resized, photos off their photo sharing site. And of course they don’t to pay for any software let alone learn to use it. I want to scream.

    But instead I searched for the simplest best free image resizer I could find and pointed them in that direction. I don’t know that they will use it, but they thanked me. And I will put a page in the wiki so that I can refer others to it.

    I completely agree with not repeating the same answer to the same question over and over again. (That’s what the pages in the wiki will be for.) It’s just that what the “F” stands for in “RTFM” tends to tick people off. (I will try to remember this post I’ve made to your blog when I want to use “RTFM” myself.) I will try to find gentler wording to use.

    Anyway, I DO appreciate yours and the other developers contributions and support.

  • The RTFM is a very common slang these days and used on almost all support forums. The supporter does not have any intention to hurt/insult the user.

    Thanks for your views.

  • Hi all, im a big fan of coppermine, it beats the rest hands down. I run two fairly large forums and i have to say i am shocked over the way people get spoken to on the coppermine support forum. I use coppermine but would never post on the forum, as i wouldnt stand being spoken to with so much disrespect aggression and arrogance just because i may have posted something in the wrong place or repeated something that was asked somewhere else months ago that i happened to miss. The support team im sure, believe they have reason to speak to people the way they do, but they really dont look at the bigger picture. why bother having a brilliant product like coppermine but spoil it by their people skills (which are non existent) It will put people off from using it, it does me i know. The reputation of coppermine is not only in the product but how its staff behave, one goes hand in hand with the other. It’s just not true to say that coppermine is free, so its staff can behave anyway it wants providing a free support as it does. There are plenty of free support forums, supporting free software that staff dont come across so ugly all the time running the forum by fear. My advice to coppermine is to get some staff member that knows how to handle people properly, it will pay off in the end and get coppermine the brilliant name it deserves.

    I use plenty of support formums and RTFM on here is the first ive seen, i had to look it up, so it just goes to show the attitude of the forum is way wrong.

    Regards and best wishes

    Tyke

  • > My advice to coppermine is to get some staff member that knows how to handle people properly

    This is the real issue – we also want people to come forward and start supporting other users – but unfortunately very very few does so.

  • I appreciate all the hard work that people who work with projects like Coppermine put in to it… and yes there are morons who make stupid posts… but I am really put off by the rudeness of the mods who reply. Its immature. Its as simple as that.

  • It’s true that the acronym RTFM is used quite a lot on the forum. Even i am guilty of some. But i try to see the F as the word Fabulous. Unfortunately not everybody does so. But nevertheless we, as support crew, should try to use more subtle language to urge people to read the fabulous docs ;)

  • Not reading the fabulous manual is simply lazyness ( I know, i do the same). Besides we all (ok, almost all) believe we do not need it. People tend to reach for the manual if all fails, so they wwill first check their neighbour, the forums……. So i do have an understanding for RTFM as a reply but there is an alternate solution. Just provide a link to the manual instead of using the RT*M word (or have RTFM automatically replaced with a link). This way people will not be put off that easily. If you then do a check on how often this reference is being made, it still comes back with 12 pages!!

  • By the way, i do have a little script to do this on a smf board, just let me know. :lol

  • I am glad I found this conversation, because only today I experience what it felt like being talked down to in the Forum. I rather pay for professional help, then beg for help here :(

    It goes without saying that I appreciate all the help I found by surfing and searching the forum, but I am also shocked at how some members are talked too.

    I run a forum myself, so I understand very well how frustrating and tedious the job of replying to repetative, even stupid questions, can be, but I think it costs less energy to simply “point the people in the right direction”, then spend time telling them off. Or simply send them a link to your Forum rules.

    Dear Mods, please try to understand that this forum is like a never ending fountain of information, and what might seem simple for someone developing it, can be very confusing for those of us asking you for help! I have spend hours and hours looking for answers to a problem, and not found it, and then I think “out there is someone that knows”. But woe to those of us that don’t follow all your rules and regulations, word our requests properly or put our links in etc.

    Quote…”The defination of Diplomatic talking is knowing how to send someone to hell, and he thanks you for it” LOL :) another words.. learn the “The Fine Art of communication”

  • Thank you all for your comments.

    I am turning the comments off for this post as i have got a few very rude comments. Some eligible comments might not have been published and i apologize for that.

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