Monday, January 05, 2009

I'm not the first stop on the Question Express

Remind me to never ever try to be nice to anyone ever again.
Give a referral, next thing you know the email back is "do you have his/her/its email/contact info"

Refer to a comparable title, the email back is "where can I buy it"

Yen Cheong's invaluable book publicity blog says it better than I can:

– Don't waste time by asking stupid questions.

What is a stupid question ? The definition of a stupid question is very simple: it's one you can pretty easily answer yourself. Kind of like, "Can you tell me who wrote this book?"

If you are asked a stupid question, you can either
1) say you don't answer stupid questions
2) answer the stupid question or
3) provide the link to the answer to the stupid question.

I suggest option 3.

11 comments:

GEORGIAM said...

This blog entry may very well be the result of a frustrating situation, but it did provide us all with that wonderful link to The Book Publicity Blog. Invaluable indeed. Thanks.

P. Bradley Robb said...

I'm with Georgiam in the "thanks for the link boat," and I'll give you one back. I tend to choose answer 3, with a bit of a nerd-smarm-twist.

http://letmegooglethatforyou.com/ - Let Me Google That For You - a java script animation on top of Google. Type in what you'd normally Gooogle - such as the stupid question, copy the resulting page's address, and email that.

After two or three of those, they'll learn to make Google the first stop.

Jim Lamb said...

The Book Publicity Blog is a great addition to my list. I need something to do at my desk at work to make it look like I'm working. It might as well be something worth reading. Hence, the reason I am here now.

I agree with option 3 as a first response. None of the above would be applied for a repeat performance.

Thanks for the link.

Crimogenic said...

Give me a referral, I promise I won't contact you back for an e-mail address. My God, how people blow a bonafide leg up.

word verification: 'porked'

I really porked this one up, says the author that e-mailed Janet back.

C.J. Redwine said...

Wow. *shakes head*

Google much?

But yes, thanks for the link! Always great to find another valuable site.

ChristaCarol said...

I can't help but laugh and feel pity. Am I a bad person? :P Thanks, as the rest said, for that link as well!

drmabuse said...

There is also Option 4, a tactic that I employ. Offer baroque clues, but no answers. Trick the interlocutor into becoming so infuriated with attempting to get the answer that he finally learns how to answer the question himself. Now granted, this option does sometimes take considerable time -- certainly more emails than the other three options -- but it does have the advantage of getting others to use their noggins. It's less crueler, and can indeed turn the person into a skillful questioner. (My own findings show 75% success with this method!)

Margaret Yang said...

As Ron White says, "You can't fix stupid."

BJ said...

Sure you can. But you have to be extra smart about it, and it takes a lot of work.

Gerb said...

See, I've gleaned *two* fabulous links today!

PBR, that let me google that for you is the funniest thing ever. I almost look forward to another stupid question in my inbox so I can use it.

clindsay said...

Funny that Nathan also mentioned this on his blog this afternoon as well. The New Year is a time for new idiots? Rejoice! =)

Verification word = boyfrutti.

AWESOME