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Anatomy of a Good Post

By Ocean West, in Journal,

For the most part people come to FM Forums seeking advice or assistance.  
If given just a little ounce of thought, your topic can really engage the reader to want to assist you in finding the best answer or solution.
Step 1: Choose Wisely!
By first looking at the topical nature of the forums you can see there are many different forums that cover a wide range of discussions. By way of self curating the site, try to choose a forum that covers the intent of your topic.  We realize that some items cross boundaries and that is ok, just choose a forum that fits the spirit of you topic. If its wrong a moderator will move it to a forum that best suits the conversation.
Step 2: Titles, Names, & Tags.
Be terse but informative, with your topic title, encourage your reader to want to read your topic. Don't be needy or demanding with  "please help" post titles. We realize you've hit a brick wall or may be very well frustrated or have a demanding boss. But take a breath - it will be ok. Then compose a topic title that draws them in. Add a tag or to they will appear next to the topic it can just be a simple word or phrase that tags the post to some FileMaker centric topic. 
Step 3: No Need for Apologies.
It is not necessary to start your post with an apology to the reader - regarding where you are posting or your current understanding of a topic. We are pretty nice here and can not fault you for trying. 
Step 4: Perquisites
In order for your reader to provide the best response, make sure your profile has been updated with the platform and version of FileMaker that you are using since we will assume you are using the most current versions, and the advice given may not work in older versions. If your post is specific to a version / platform / deployment please inform the reader - we don't necessarily need your computer specs, just enough background so that the reader can envision your environment. 
Step 5: Goals
Stating your desired goals, and what you are attempting to achieve in a simple statement will aid the reader as they read further in to the details of your conversation.
Step 6: What have you tried?
Outline your process and steps you have taken, to get to you the point you are at. It doesn't have to be overly verbose, an essay isn't necessary. 
Step 7: Format for Emphasis
Use the WYSIWYG editor to format text as needed to provide details. You can reference generic terms such as table::field or use your own nomenclature but if the context dictates provide the reader clarity what things may mean if they would not be apparent to someone outside your organization, or industry.
this is code from a calculation bulletslistsStep 8: Pictures & Sample Files
Admit it, you know you miss Show & Tell from kindergarten? Re-live a past life by providing a screen image of your solution. Provide the reader information and context, use third party tools to draw arrows on your image if you need. 
Can you send a clone of your solution? - If you do please make sure confidential is removed, and your boss says it is ok. If you are modifying a commercial version of software that you have purchased - we request that you not do post a clone of these files; as that would be most likely against your terms and services. In that case you can make and post sample file that recreates the issue your are having?
Step 9: A Sense of Humor
Keep your sense of humor, and don't forget to  smile. The site is visited by members of all skill levels, many are full time developers and consultants and generously volunteer their time and energy no the site. When the occasion calls for it give them your gratitude  .  A little levity never hurts. Also keep in mind that American English is not everyone native language somethings may not translate. If English is not your first language do your best. 
 

We really appreciate this! It gives us a little spring in our step.