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Top Ten Tips for Getting the Most out of the Spirent Forums

    What are the most important things I can do to maximize the value of the Spirent Forums to me?

    FAQSpirent Forums
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    Philip.Joung answered Philip.Joung edited
    1. Sign up for an account so you’re able to fully participate: Thousands of Spirent user community members use these Forums to discuss and help each other with Spirent products and technologies. We allow anyone to read many Forum posts without signing-in, but the 15 seconds you take to sign-up for a free account opens up many helpful features, and allows you to fully engage with the community.
    2. Search for an answer before you ask it: The Forums have thousands of questions and answers—some may already answer your questions. Think of it this way: the time spent searching for an answer might be 1-2 minutes—if you find your answer, you’ve saved a LOT of time (to type up the question, wait for an answer, and vetting/validating the right answer amongst several). If you find the same question without an answer, put a “I have the same question.” comment in it to bring it back up to the top of the list (which saves the time needed to type in the question). If you find nothing, well, you’ve used up just a small bit of your time—worth it for the potential time savings.
    3. Keep your question short and specific: There are two things here—the first one is “short”. Respect people’s time by only asking the specific question you need an answer on, while avoiding big or far-reaching questions that might cause someone to take a long time to answer it. Responses and answers are more likely for shorter questions. The second part of this is “specific”. Include details about specific versions and what you’ve done and know so far to help the person answering not have to make guesses/assumptions. Screenshots are a great thing to add.
    4. Include the product name in the question: Spirent has a lot of products. More than 50, some new, some old. Your question has a much higher chance of getting read (and hence getting an answer) when you indicate the product you’re asking about in the question itself. This allows someone scanning through a long list of questions to target products they know. Many follow this convention: “Product Name: Question about the product”.
    5. Use Topics to your benefit: how you use topics when filling out your question can make a big difference, so we’re breaking it into a few pieces:
      1. Put the product name as one of the Topics: Many people setup their accounts to automatically follow Topics they’re interested in
      2. Enter other major Topics: Put in other major and pertinent topics. Some people will subscribe to topics that they know (e.g. “BGP”, “Positioning”, “Automation”), giving you another way to generate extra views for your question.
      3. Don’t get too specific in the Topics you enter: Enter your topics as a high-level concepts, without getting overly specific. The specifics belong in the question details. This usually means not putting version numbers. Remember, you’re trying to describe the question in a way that maximizes the chance that others will see it. People follow high-level Topics, not specific ones. Perhaps some examples will help: Use HTTP, not HTTP 1.1, OR use Spirent TestCenter, not Spirent TestCenter 4.50
      4. Use existing Topics rather than creating a new one: This is similar to the previous suggestion. Creating a new Topic guarantees that nobody else will have subscribed to it. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create one if it needs to be there, just consider whether it will last as a topic.
      5. Follow Topics of interest: Topics are the main way the Spirent Forums are organized—to automatically pay attention to a Topic, hover your mouse over one and click “Follow”.
    6. Use Answers to answer the question being asked, Comments for anything else: When looking at a question, you can either comment on it, or offer an answer for it. The distinction should be obvious—to comment on something, click “Add Comment” under the question or answer.
    7. When you get answers to your question, Accept the best one: Isn’t it nice when someone takes the time to offer an answer to your question? Help them out and thank them (and help out future users of the Forums) by clicking “Accept” when your question is answered.
    8. Use “Like” to indicate questions, answers or comments you think are good: The “Like” is everywhere in the Spirent Forums—it serves as a way to help point out good questions, questions that match yours, comments that you think are insightful or relevant, and answers you think are well done and helpful (answers that aren’t the accepted one can still be quite valuable).
    9. Unless you’re sure everybody knows it, avoid abbreviations and other shortened names: Most industries have their specific language, jargon and abbreviations—as long as you know the people reading the question will understand the jargon and abbreviations you’re using, that’s fine. If there’s a chance it's ambiguous or someone might not know it, it’s often better to just spell it out.
    10. Don’t hesitate to come back and answer your own questions: Sometimes, you might ask a question, then while waiting for an answer continue your own research/troubleshooting and find the answer before anyone else. Be a good community member by coming back and answering your own question (and accepting it). This helps in two ways: anyone else coming upon this same question will see the answer, and it saves someone else having to look for an answer and entering it.

    If you would like to read more details, tips and tricks for the Spirent Forums, read through our FAQs.

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