In the SAS Support Communities, you want correct answers. Fast. Well-crafted questions attract fast answers -- but you better not post them as new topics if you want speedy help.
The worst thing you can do...guaranteed to bring your progress to a screeching halt...is to post a new question on an old discussion thread. Nobody's looking for new questions on old threads!
Before you post, search to see if someone already answered your question in the community. If not, choose the support communities board that best matches your topic and ask your question there.
1. Write a descriptive subject line. Be specific. "How Do I Extract a Submatrix?” is better than “Newbie Question.”
2. Use simple language. You might be an expert in non-parametric statistics, but other readers may not be. Explain your problem simply and in context so that a reasonably smart person can understand.
3. A good question includes code and example data. Here's an example of how to create a data step of your data. It's quite helpful! Even better, include what your output should look like. Remember not to include any confidential data in your posts or anybody’s personal information.
Now, let’s compare two ways to ask the same question. First example:
Have you ever posted a question like this? How’d that work out for you? Looks like somebody procrastinated on an assignment! Seriously, though, this question’s too vague. It forces fellow community members to follow up and ask more questions to fill in the gaps. Take a look at the answer this question attracts:
It’s not an answer at all, but a series of clarifying questions. If enough detail had been provided the first time, the correct answer would’ve come faster.
Here’s a better way to ask the question:
This question is ideal because it mentions everything relevant. Notice that it includes code to illustrate the problem. This question attracts a complete, helpful answer:
Here are a couple more tips:
• Check “like” beneath answers and community articles you find helpful. This makes the best content rise to the top of community searches where other users easily find them…and rewards those who help you.
• Ask questions even if English isn’t your first language. Sometimes posting code explains your problem better than a thousand words. If context is needed, post in your native language. Fellow users or the community managers will figure it out.
If you’d like more detail, here's an excellent SAS Global Forum paper on this topic.
SAS Support Communities exist to help you increase your SAS knowledge. Help us help you by asking the best question you can!
The following is for you visually oriented people, if your workplaces allow you to watch video: