A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Hands up who has been annoyed by students?

Post 21


I've been asked, and I've agreed to help. Why not? I've not given out my phone number mainly because these people are in the US and I'm in the UK, so an hour on the phone would cost them a packet. Chat client worked OK. Don't see what the problem is.

It's not as is they're in the queue in front of you in the chippy trying to pay for a bag of chips with a cheque...


Hands up who has been annoyed by students?

Post 22


So being annoyed by your fellow students at uni doesn't count then?

Hands up who has been annoyed by students?

Post 23

GodBen (The Magical Astronomer) - 00000011

What if your a student and you annoy yourself? smiley - erm

Hands up who has been annoyed by students?

Post 24


Then you need to see a doctor...

I wouldn't mind helping, but I'm a student myself and I don't have an hour to spend on the phone.

Hands up who has been annoyed by students?

Post 25

GodBen (The Magical Astronomer) - 00000011

OK then. smiley - ok

*Goes to see a gynaecologist.*

Hands up who has been annoyed by students?

Post 26



Hmmm, this person has obviously never used a chat client before. Having seen a person reduced to tears of laughter on a one-way cam two way msn chat I can say that you can easily bring in intonation, suspense, hidden punch lines as well as much of the emotions you can over the phone via the written word. Yes, to do it properly takes more work than just on the phone but when you can it certainly shows that your communication skills are pretty well-honed. And you can easily stick in umm, arrs and hmmms into text. That's how I tend to write when on MSN - textualising my verbalisation(write how I would speak)...Good God I feel a paradigm coming on...barf - get out of my head foul-demon-word!smiley - run I need an Old IT expert and a Young IT expert...smiley - laugh

Drag your prof into the 21st Century, lass!smiley - biggrin

It is quite ironic as well that one would choose to phone interview people who spend their whole time interacting via a message board and have never spoken verbally and yet have got close relationships.

Hands up who has been annoyed by students?

Post 27


Yeah, it does seem rather odd with that setup.

Hands up who has been annoyed by students?

Post 28

Mrs Zen

Well, I wasn't annoyed, though I was approached, and I think it is a tad disingenuous of you to colour your question here in that way, Mina.

I gave them a UK landline number because the grad-student who wanted to interview me preferred that to a chat client, though like Hoo and Alfster, I find IM a spectacularly effective method of communication.

The interview did what it said on the tin.

The grad-students have all been unfailingly polite, responsible, and to my way of thinking appropriate. They can also spell and use capital letters, which helps.

They have annoyed me far less than a whole bunch of other community-generated things on the site, (Thingites and Sporks spring to mind for a start) .

So... Mina, if you want to check who these guys have been talking to, why not simply check the conversations they are subscribed to? Isn't that easier and pleasanter than going out and stirring up foment? I have to say that, like Master B, I think that you are being a little bit grumpy about this.

I also find it interesting that there have been two distinct reactions to this event:

1) "Oh look - People researching Internet Communities in general and h2g2 in particular - how interesting, yes I'd be happy to help"


2) "Oh, nasty horrid little school-kids being a menace"


Hands up who has been annoyed by students?

Post 29


Like Ben says, I was happy to help. University students doing post graduate research are hardly little school kids, though I say that because I'm one of them.

I gave out my landline number as well, and spent an interesting hour talking to them.

Hands up who has been annoyed by students?

Post 30


This thread has just reminded me how awful I can be on the phone. If you put a pig on the receiver you'd probably get better conversation. Or at least more varied grunting.

Hands up who has been annoyed by students?

Post 31

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

B: The whole thing plays into the general fears the public has about protecting their identity online. The real challenge is to figure out if they're telling the truth about who they are and what they want to do with the information. In this case, everything appears to be perfectly legit, but it opens up a potential opportunity that others might exploit. So I understand both the, "Stop annoying me!" and the, "glad to help!" responses.

Many moons ago I received a message from someone purporting to be from the LA Times, wishing to interview locals involved in hootoo. I don't know if the poor guy ever got a single response. He certainly didn't get one from me.

Hands up who has been annoyed by students?

Post 32

Mrs Zen

But we aren't "the public", Blatherskite, we are hootizens.

I am beginning to wonder whether I am not just less afraid of the bogeymen than other people. After all, when you've run in with a small-town's worth in Denver you learn to be canny, and I now trust my instincts more than I did then, which has - oddly - made me more open rather than less open.


Hands up who has been annoyed by students?

Post 33

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

I think as hootizens we need to be a bit more careful, instead of less. The more active we are, the more personal information we provide in an permanent and searchable database. If someone were interested enough, they could find out pretty much anything they wanted to know about a couple oldtimers like us.

My interactions with the Denver mob were open yet guarded, with the result being that, while I witnessed many of my friends being gathered up and hung from the lampposts, I was able to shut out the mob completely with the use of a simple e-mail filter to the one account they had.

Hands up who has been annoyed by students?

Post 34

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

Oops. Please excuse the premature postulation. This should have been at the end:

The lesson I took away from that episode was that a certain level of paranoia is healthy and sensible. And though I have had several online friends in my own home, including a few hootoo-ers there were a lot of interactions leading to that level of trust. Someone posting out of the blue and asking for my phone number is not entitled to that same level of trust.

Hands up who has been annoyed by students?

Post 35


*wondering whether he's shooting himself in the foot*

Alfster: yes, we all use chat. So does our prof. I believe there are certain things about phone conversations that are relevant to interviewing. One in particular is that there's something about it being faster to just open your mouth and speak than to think and type - speaking is innate, textual composition on a medium is architected. That is the primary motivator for our prof in requiring that we do phone interviews. However, as you all have pointed out, in a community of writers, it may not be as spectacularly successful as chats/emails. Your opinions are one of the things we hope to feedback to our prof and get to change her mind for future versions of the class.

Blatherskite: yes, you're right, since we haven't established a reputation for ourselves in this community, we don't deserve your trust (it's just like RL in that sense). But, we haven't exactly asked for it either, have we? Feel free to ignore us if you please. Feel free to check us out and verify us in manners intricate and complex (as Greydesk has done). Feel free to pull the plug on us, and yikes our posts. It is only reasonable, and we haven't complained about anything, because we're happy just to be accommodated. What I don't understand, and would sincerely like to, is this call for generalisations - the content of this thread. Perhaps this is a point at which the community expands to include an understanding of this situation, or perhaps everyone will persist in attempting to classify us into previously established categories. It is not for me to judge whether either would be a good or bad thing necessarily, but then again, this isn't really a new problem, or is it?

Hands up who has been annoyed by students?

Post 36

Ferrettbadger. The Renegade Master

I cannot see why this is any kind of issue to be honest provided request are polite and refusals graciously accepted.

I have always thought that the "Dont ask, dont get" philosophy is quite a usefull way of looking at such things and if these students are polite fine.

Having looked at their PSs on of them is a h2g2 researcher anyway so it is understandable that he thinks our fine community is worthy of serious study smiley - winkeye. We should take some collective pride in it I think.

Hands up who has been annoyed by students?

Post 37

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

avenkat: I certainly don't think I've generalized. Nor would I say that "pulling the plug" or yikesing you guys into oblivion is a necessary nor desirable outcome. I've even said that at a cursory glance, based on how forthcoming you've been and the positive interactions you've had with people whose opinions I trust, that you guys appear to be exactly who you say you are, with no agenda other than that which is publicly stated. I've merely discussed with my longtime friend B how a bit of prudent caution can be a good thing, as she wondered in this thread why anyone would behave so.

I appreciate your frustration, but I feel you have misdirected it in this case.

Hands up who has been annoyed by students?

Post 38

I'm not really here

Ben, I'm not sure which face I'm talking to at the moment so I'll just not bother answering.

Hands up who has been annoyed by students?

Post 39

kea ~ Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded but very well read blue and white website

smiley - book

Hands up who hasn't been annoyed by students?

Post 40


"I'm not sure which face I'm talking to at the moment"

smiley - doh

Not wishing to get in between *that*...

I've just got off the phone after an interesting chat with a polite person who was showing an interest in my interest in h2g2. Call me egotistical but personally I think they've conducted themselves rather well. My experience has been of a polite, interested person who is at pains to point out that my participation is entirely voluntary, at my convenience, and in the medium of my choice, and who has carefully made sure that I've read, understood, and click "Yes" to a proper consent form before conducting an interview.

Like someone else has said, I think we should take a bit of pride in the fact that this community is seen to be worth studying. Isn't all publicity good publicity?

smiley - shrug If they've p**sed you off, Mina, well, I'm sorry. I really am. Have a smiley - hug.


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