Undisclosed Posts Begging For Help

Is it just me? Or do others feel disrespected when someone posts an undisclosed BFH "Begging for Help", only to disappear, no updates, no thanks. Some time ago I decided to never use undisclosed, and I'm now going silent on all undisclosed BFH's.

I completely agree (sitting in corner undisclosed).

Sometimes a person has to discuss a subject and must remain undisclosed, but a common courtesy would be to provide an answer to whatever solution worked, if just to say "man, I should have checked that 0/I switch before posting.

I disagree, and there is no shame in not knowing, or asking for help. I've told my staff to hang the EGO at the front door, because it isn't about us in this company.

Okay. No help for Andrew from me ;)

I've told my staff to hang the EGO at the front door, because it isn't about us in this company.

You told the staff to hang their EGO at your front door. ;)

I think I've mastered your and you're - :)

Based on your comment above and your comment (way) below, it occurs to me that you might think I was grammatically correcting your

I've told my staff to hang the EGO at the front door, because it isn't about us in this company.

with my:

You told the staff to hang their EGO at your front door.

I assure you I was not.

Rather I was light-heartedly poking fun at you asking everyone to be humble in your noble company. Which sounded not quite as humble as you want your employees to be. :)

The reason this "Hang your ego" think exists, is that technical people (I am one) have a need win against the machine. It's very easy to get off on a tangent on an issue, and when you finally raise your head, it's been 3 or 4 hours, and the issue isn't resolved.

In the Mid 70's, I was doing board level repair on large systems, and the rule was, if you are clueless after 30 minutes, call national support, stop talking, answer and do only what a more senior person asked. IE, Check test point A, B, and C using Logic Analyzer, what level is at TP6?

Hanging my own personal ego on the door was more important than me figuring it out. So in 1995, when we went 100% MSP contract based as an IT company, getting things resolved as quickly as possible became more important than billable hours. So I stress what I learned with my first post education job.....

We can all learn new stuff in our offices, but not on the job where customers are impacted by that desire to beat the machine. It's really that simple...

Call for help, call the vendor, call me, call your peers, but call.

You can certainly choose not to respond to undisclosed posts.

As for IPVM, our goal is to help as much as we know / can.

I don't feel disrespected, but I am disappointed to never learn the true nature of the problem or solution. We all get better by acquiring knowledge.

Is it just me?

Or do others feel disrespected when someone posts an undisclosed BFH "Begging for Help", only to disappear, no updates, no thanks.

No, it's not just you.

I might point out that being Undisclosed is not the cause of it though. There are several named posters who will BFH, and engage several people and then go silent. Then they start another BFH discussion in a day or two without any apparent difficulty.

Related: Problem Solved Or Solution Ignored - Thoughts On Technical Assistance Thru The Forum


It's easy for a company owner to say whatever they want to under their own name in this forum (like you).

It's not as easy for a company employee to say whatever they want to under their own name in this forum (like me).

Your feelings of being 'disrespected' are simply misplaced.

I agree with Undisclosed 2's assessment. BFH is not something I am ashamed of. If it affected only me I would post my BFH requests undisclosed. Rather it is something where there are concerns of reflecting poorly on the company, the product involved, or any potential fallout from the request. There is also the potential a competitor may recognize your name/company and use the data culled from the request adversely.

UD2 - UD3, did you read and fully understand the underlying point?

"only to disappear, no updates, no thanks."

I won't mention the one of many posts were this applies, so I felt it deserved a thread of it's own. A thread to remind us all that if you want post UD, at least have the courtesy to update the group on the status, how things are going, the next step, or simply say thanks. Any feelings of disrespect are targeted at those feeding from the trough with a sense of impunity.

I suspect IPVM could analyze the data of member replies/time and I'd be willing to wager the number declines over time.

Why would anyone want to share valuable knowledge and expertise, only to NOT KNOW or feel as if they had something to do with the success of solving a problem. Isn't that the emotional high the fixers of the world are looking for?

No, your point was not missed and a thank you is just courteous. However, you also state "I'm now going silent on all undisclosed BFH's", effectively declaring a ban on helping undisclosed members but not members who chose to declare their name. I don't think the BFH's and lack of courtesy apply only to the undisclosed.

In defense of Andrew, he did make it clear that he was referring to Undisclosed who Beg For Help who AND then leave without explanation or thanks.

If the person was disclosed Andrew would just ignore them, but because they are not he must ignore ALL undisclosed to avoid such a situation..

My response was in reaction to the other part of your statement:

"Some time ago I decided to never use undisclosed"

"one bad apple"

Being respectful and appreciative of helping or being helped is nothing to hide. Correcting someone's grammar as UD, contributes nothing to the community. The teachable moment is, if you can't own the words, don't write them. Let's classify the BFH's.

UD1 - enduser - can't fix my problem - don't want to embarrass myself, my company, my integrator, wants to remain anonymous.

UD1 - enduser - I need an idea or solution for a problem, embarrassed, don't have trusted intergrator, simply fishing, blah blah.

UD1 - Integrator - Can't fix my clients problem, due to the lack of expertise, equipment, resources, don't want to expose client details, or any number of reasons

UD1 - Integrator - Great opportunity - don't know where to start.. - looking for ideas, and the narcissist hopes a competitor will open their kimono, and share the wholly grail.

I understand the need for discretion. However, based on the unique names I see, either the discussions are poorly visited, or we have a pattern of UD abuse. only IPVM would know.

Maybe your UD# sticks with you for 30 days or more.....

So first you lament of the Undisclosed fly-by requests for help without the gratitude that is socially required. [no problem - I think we all hate that stuff when it happens...been discussed here before]

Then, it's "real men post with their names on everything they write" [bite me]

Now, it's some nefarious pattern of UD abuse? [I don't see it]

I will continue to post Undisclosed as I see fit - for me, not you.

Because, in the infamous words of Konstantin Avramenko (good thing he didn't post Undisclosed):

"I am not your employee to fulfill your demands."

Maybe your UD# sticks with you for 30 days or more....

Ok, but I get to be #622 this time...

I'm going with #421 Bob!

If I wasn't interested in making IPVM better, then all I needed to do was ignore the UD BFH's.

It would have been my silent protest; no harm, no foul, no discussion - Right?

But no, I put it out there hoping to nudge the meter to remind us all, and hopefully to call out at least one UD. Time will tell, if UD's show a bit more courtesy in the future.

Just to play devil's advocate here...

If I wasn't interested in making IPVM better, then all I needed to do was ignore the UD BFH's.

If everyone followed this thinking, then UD BFH posts would get no response at all... people who have legitimate reasons to make BFH posts UD would find less value in their memberships... IPVM could be impacted adversely.

That said, I do agree with you, I find it frustrating when there isn't an update or resolution on a BFH - IPVM is, among many other things, an excellent technical knowledgebase, and problems without solutions also impact that value. In that spirit, remember that even without the OP posting an update, your responses may still be valuable to others.

Remember that, ultimately, John knows the names behind the UDs... if he wants to (and has the time), he has the ability to contact that member outside the forum and ask them to please pop back in an update the post. or provide him more info that he can use to update the thread.

Naturally, he also has the ability to unmask the UD posters, if it's really necessary... so far, I don't think I've actually seen him do that, other than maybe to add that a UD poster is a staffer or spokesperson for a company with a vested interest in the discussion (but without revealing names).

"your responses may still be valuable to others." I agree...

Don't be surprised if my first reply to UD1 is,

"You will keep us posted as we all work to help you, Right? :)

It has been my experience that you are not going to change anyone else's behavior and the effort put forth in trying is a waste of time. You can only change you.

Andrew, have you tried just asking for an update?

I have, once or twice. Almost never gets a response. Person gets the information they need, and there's no reason to log back in.

Sad, but true.

That's a good question, and no I'm not going to Micro Manage this stuff,

But you bring up an interesting point... In the vast majority of vendor support tech forums, Microsoft TechNet, ExpertExchange, and many more, they have a flag that marks the question as resolved... Perhaps IPVM should classify threads; Tech Support, Sales advice, etc, and the IPVM forum prompts them for an update.

There was actually another discussion recently (or sub-discussion, I can't find it at the moment) on ways to classify and filter posts. Adding a "Solved" flag to a thread could be valuable as well.

Since IPVM instituted the email function, I have reached out to one to find out how things went. Nice feature.

In these cases they are Undisclosed though, so the messaging feature doesn't work.

The concern might be that an Undisclosed would be a target of harrasment, e.g. "who are you, why are you doing this", if it were to be allowed.

That said I think it might be ok, since one could always block the harrasser...

Here is my new approach - as opposed to ignoring UD BFH's.

If someone has already posted some suggestions, I'm not going to add another suggestion until UD replies on the results of the previous advise. The tendency seems we all flood the UD BFH with suggestions making it easy for them to forget where this advise is coming from.

If I see no response in a 24 hour period, the problem isn't that bad and I'm not piling on more ideas. (this will apply to UD BFH posts only)

Spoon Feeding...


Good topic. First off I do believe I have created a discussion and have not followed up to say the problem has been solved or a product found so for those of you who may have helped me in those situations I am sorry. I have never posted undisclosed so if I have unknowingly disrespected a member you know how to find me :) I know it has been discussed before to have a button that says "Solved" or something similar so other members know when an answer has been found to a question, maybe that is still an option down the road. To answer your question of whether I feel disrespected if I offer help but don't hear back on a solution I do not. As much as I would like to I know some people get busy or for whatever reason are not available to respond.

I guess we cross Keefe's name off the list titled "People To Kill." :)

(You have to watch Billy Madison to get the joke)

classic! andrew tell me you were wearing high heels and lipstick as you typed that...

There's only one way to find out...

Well, the OP did answer, though the answer just raises more questions...

Andrew, are you going to give it another go? :)

It doesn't bother me that they're undisclosed, but it's annoying that they don't follow up and close the loop. Golden rule, and all that.

I would post UND if I were an Avigilon end user too. I mean look at how John replied so viciously by asking him to call Avigilon because they provide good support!

UD4 - What a brilliant post, and as an exclusive Avigilon Dealer (circa 2009) we have to tread carefully on this forum. Just recently another Avigilon Dealer was arbitrarily exiled from IPVM. I've seen the same happened to Todd Rockoff some time ago for taking the bait and sparring with the the IPVM staff with a contrarian over meaningless technical gobble-de-goop, that lead to mutual insults, and him being exiled.

I did the same some time ago and dropped my account, I received a full refund, for what I saw as an unfair bias against Avigilon, but later rejoined IPVM so I could give back and help others on ANYTHING Avigilon, but am careful not to cross that line again.

I believe this thread has been helpful to me and hopefully others.

...but am careful not to cross that line again.

With a little help from Avigilon Analytics, no doubt. ;)

IMHO, the two most common causes for non-responsive behavior are:

  1. Person gets bad advice that is not helpful, but abandons because they don't want to waste time.
  2. Person gets good advice that is helpful, but abandons because they are either embarrassed or apathetic.

So if you are confident in your advice you may assume 2, if not assume 1.

Note that there is of course good advice which is not helpful, but in that case I think the OP is more likely to be responsive.

For instance in the discussion that broke the camels back, I think that we are all pretty confident that there was a network configuration issue somewhere. It would be nice to know what exactly, but I doubt that case was a #1 scenario.

Or Perhaps .3 is the troubleshooting tips went far beyond their understanding and/or capabilities. When dealing with IP traffic and LANs you develop a lot of goto quick checks, and it's extremelt time consuming or nearly impossible to walk someone through some things. I have a suite of UPD / Multicasting capture - generation testing tools, but could never walk a newbie through confirming the switch multicast groups..... So it is somewhat important for the poster to have some native skills to work with.....

It might be worth considering why you want to help people to begin with.

Everyone does something, no matter how noble, for what are ultimately selfish reasons. Whether that be to learn something, or because it feels good to help someone in need, or as an intellectual challenge or some combination of reasons.

I can say from experience if you are doing it for the challenge you will usually be disappointed by the murky resolution of most problems.

If you are doing it to learn you have better chances, though often you may be the only one providing anything of substance.

If you are doing it to help someone in need AND you are reasonably sure that what your saying makes sense, you likely have helped since even if it turns out not to be 'the problem', you have helped by process of elimination.

For me, I think it can actually help to focus on the help provided to those many who are yet to come. Posting for posterity.

Is UD1 a "Psych Major?" For me - I think I get more than I give.

This should have been such a positive topic.

I believe it has.

Then on the other hand, there's the "Undisclosed" who want to engage you anonymously, on a topic that has no real need for anyone hide themselves (other than maybe the OP).

I'm starting to think I should play the same game and set myself anonymous for everything, to the point that IPVM threads become nothing but dozens of Undisclosed users beaking at each other.

Then on the other hand, there's the "Undisclosed" who want to engage you anonymously, on a topic that has no real need for anyone hide themselves (other than maybe the OP).

That was me. I changed the last post to be nomynous. Nothing was meant by it, its my default and I often remember to set it to disclosed on purely technical threads, but I forgot there.