Community News and Tips: How to answer questions, post comments and follow the Guiding Principles

Blog Post created by timothy_hales-esristaff Employee on Aug 25, 2016

Last week we shared How to ask questions and get answers and for this week's Community News and Tips, we'd like to share a few quick tips and best practices on how to answer questions and post comments that are helpful, valuable and elevate the conversation


By following the tips below you can learn:

  • How to find and help answer unanswered questions. 
  • How to make sure your comments and other contributions follow the GeoNet Terms of Use and Community Guiding Principles: "Be Helpful. Be Human. Be Smart."
  • Why it's important to follow up on your comments. 


How to find unanswered questions  

Use the content page to filter open questions. This list is for all questions within the community. If you would like to see questions specific to a certain technology, browse to the place and then click on the content tab. Choose questions as the content type and then open questions from the drop down.   


If you are interested in being notified when new questions are asked, you can create a custom stream for certain tags and places. You will be notified in the community when there is a new post, and you can even set your notification preferences to send it by email.  


How to follow the GeoNet Terms of Use and Guiding Principles  

Whether you're starting or posting the first reply to a discussion, answering a question or joining an ongoing conversation, we encourage you to remember the GeoNet Terms of Use and follow these GeoNet Community Guiding Principles:  "Be Helpful. Be Human. Be Smart." 


  • Be Helpful – If you're a subject matter expert, respond to the post when someone asks a question, or help find someone who can help answer the question. Always try and elevate the conversation with a thoughtful contribution. 
    • If someone has not provided enough information to fully understand the issue, ask clarification questions and point them to the How to ask questions post so they have a good idea of the suggested information for complete questions.   
  • Be Human – Respect everyone and interact as you would in a meeting or talking face to face. Part of collaboration includes building relationships and getting to know each other, so we do encourage appropriate social sharing such as sharing relevant personal or professional experiences and interests, news about a goal you accomplished, giving a shout-out to others for a job well done, etc. Sharing these moments helps make the community more meaningful and connected. 
  • Be Smart -  Think before you post. If something makes you the slightest bit uncomfortable, figure out what needs to be changed, then fix it. Avoid posting confidential information or anything that fellow employees or customers, clients, business partners, suppliers, vendors, or other stakeholders might find offensive.


Why following up is important

Not every question or discussion is completed in just one reply, so make sure to come back to the conversation to see if there's any other questions asked or additional information you can share. And post your follow-up responses in a timely manor.   



Thanks for following along and stay tuned for next week's tip! 


For more information about how to get more out of your GeoNet Community experience, check out the GeoNet Resource Hub group.