Thread responses off subject
I am a retired teacher. If I got some of the responses that are posted here, I would have said, "Please answer the question and stay on topic.". I posted a question to ellicit a helpful response and the very first response was totally off subject and not to my point in the least. I guess some need to just say something, anything.
This isn't a classroom (unless you let the tiny tots read it
Tweedly: I'm sorry, the home is a classroom Mr. Freberg.)
But there is an 'off-topic' option in the Report function. This lets the moderators decide whether the reply is too far off-topic.
Another option is to look again at your post and subject line. Could you have phrased them in a way that would elicit better responses. On the net, you can only lead with a carrot. Waving a stick is either ineffective, or backfires.
If you actually replied with "Please answer the question and stay on topic." then that would be off topic and sure to come down. If someone replies in a way that leaves you scratching your head you have two choices. First choice, ignore them and go on about your day. Second choice is to reply "Thanks and do you happen to have any specific recommendations for me in my search for XYZ product?" and leave it at that. Just remember, this is not a military outfit and no one has signed a contract with a provision to only answer the question asked. It's a bit of a crap shoot as far as what you are going to get, but a lot of the time it is right on the money. The other times you'll do well if you can find humor in the reply, even if you have to squint hard and look at it out of the corner of your eye...