When answering questions, of course, you want to make sure that you are giving the right information so you cannot confuse the user is any sort of way or what not. Well even when helping, how does the user know this information is accurate? Is it from a reliable source? Are you making it up?
Well, this guide is all about how to give or an idea of how to give accurate answers to fellow users (particuarly for those questions such as 'How do I find a mate?'). Though first, lets just move to what the dis-benefits are of giving false information:
- May confuse users - For example, a WolfQuest episode is said to not have any sort of release date, yet you state that the game is coming out around next week/month. This is most likely to get the user over excited, yet actually confused. It can also cause this information to spread around the forums, basically just causing issues.
Can give the user the wrong idea - As an example, a user asks if they are able to send in artwork which isn't wolf-related to the forums, and you say yes. Well, this completely gives them the wrong idea, and goes through to what they think is alright to what is actually, not right at all. It might make the user feel pretty silly or upset afterwards knowing they got something wrong, so its best to avoid that.
Can get you in trouble - Yes, it possibly may not seem like it yet, you can get into trouble for providing inaccurate details. If you continuously provide false information, which is probably just causing problems. Then, it is possible to recieve a sort of reminder from a moderator. If it is to a certain content where it needs serious action (e.g. continuously stating incorrect release dates for the game over a specific period of time even after being reminded on by a moderator, confusing everyone), then it is possible you can reiceve a warning. Definitley something which you don't want happening, I would think.
- Don't answer a question if you aren't sure of the answer - With the extent of wanting to help out, you can pretty much be influenced that much that you'll even answer things you are unsure of. When you are unsure of the answer if you find a specific question - do not answer it. It's better to just leave it to someone who knows the answer, rather than possibly giving inaccurate information. Giving inaccurate information but still trying to help out isn't that good whether it is realized or not. Its better to not give an answer to a question and leave it, and keep to answering the questions that you are completely sure of answering.
- Quote a reliable source - Quoting reliable sources is extremely useful, as well, its reliable. A source such as this would be something like an FAQ (e.g. Wolf FAQ, WolfQuest FAQ), or perhaps information which has come straight from users such as WolfQuest Team Members/Administrators/Moderators. This way, you and the user your helping will definitely know that the information is reliable and acccurate.
Link to sources of the information (if possible) - Linking to sources is a great way to show where the route of your information/quote has come from. Here, we do encourage users to link to threads such as the FAQ's or specific annoucements, stuff like that. In addition, with the link, the user can actually go a head and explore around that source and possibly find more details which they may find interesting or helpful which you might not have quoted too (if you have quoted, that is).
State where the information has come from - Even with these sort of things, some users still may wonder where this information has come from. So, it would be good to say something like 'Information directly from the WolfQuest FAQ', 'Quoting WQ Coordinator, board administrator', something along those lines.
If anyone thinks something needs to be added or what not, feel free to send me a private message and I'll go a head and change it. Moderators, feel free to edit and add additional information.
Thanks for reading, Happy WolfQuesting!