*Originally posted by Al Skierkiewicz *
Joe Johnson, Raul, Andy Baker, myself and others have talked about just such an idea a couple of times this year. We came to one conclusion that the person(s) answering the questions would, by necessity, need to exclude themselves from competition or team work. It would need to be done by people who have no interests in that particular year’s competition in order to be believable by the persons asking the questions. As much as we believe in “gracious professionalism”, it is a hard thing to trust for newcomers to the competition. By excluding yourself from competing you lend trust to the question and answer. **
Over here at WRRF, we promote the idea that teams can ask other teams for help, or at least ask each other questions we have about the competition… As a result, there are e-mails floating around using the WRRF e-mail list asking for advices or clarification of rules, etc.
It wasn’t easy earning the trust of people, but at the end most people realize they got more out of the program if they communicate with other teams and learn from each other.
Same thing with this forum: Lots and lots of people come in to talk about things in FIRST because they know they can get more out of this than just figuring things on their own. Who told them this place is trust worthy? No one. But teams simply take it for granted because of what other told them, and what they see in here.
That’s what I mean when I though about publicity for this idea. If it can’t show teams that its helpful, then no one will continue to go in and ask/answer questions. Then all the effort is wasted.
No one say they should take the answers they got as words of FIRST, and some don’t… But overall it was more helpful that they got some answers instead of nothing.
People like you and Andy Baker, Raul, and Joe Johnson have a reputation of being one of the best people in FIRST in answering questions with great responds. How did that happen? Well, people simply know by reading whatever you guys wrote in CD forum, and decide for themselves that “wow, they really know what they are talking about.”
Same thing with some of the best people from teams around California. They are simply willing to help answer question, and provided some very useful stuff to teams around them. As a result more and more people are willing to seek help because they heard great things about the answerers.
Mean while, I continue to stay in a position where I am representing WRRF, or on Team 000 as someone not belonging to any teams, in helping different teams around my area. And it turns out that people are willing to take my words because I am honest to them and answer questions the best I can. That’s why I have this idea of expanding this into the next level.
I don’t expect anything big happening all at once, and I am willing to start from the small step of just doing something like a question forum for WRRF teams. Maybe in time people will get the point of this.
The reason I posted this thread, is to ask people what they think, and asking for advices. After all, you guys are the best people to ask questions to about FIRST things.