A Bit of Advice on Giving Advice

If you’ve heard by recent updates you’ll know that I’ve made a rather unusual career decision and I’ve decided to make custom umbrellas using upcycled tap handles. Know what that means… I have a lot of questions, about a lot of things.

So here I am I’m trying to figure out where to share things, how to get the information that I need, and plenty of it is very specific: Where should I be selling my umbrellas? What markets should I be going to? Are there any groups that I should be a part of? How to I talk to the people that design the tap handles?
For some of the questions I’ve been reaching out to friends and connections, for other questions I’ve been reaching out to the internets, and the wonderful world or Reddit.

In Boston I was trying to find stores that would be a good place to sell high end umbrellas. The process went like this:
Post question on Reddit
No responses
Friend tells me it’s been removed
Reach out to mods
No response

Now I just posted up in the NewOrleans subreddit. I’m trying to find breweries with cool tap handles for when I visit in November. The process went like this:
Post question on Reddit
Receive automated comment saying that it looks like it’s not the appropriate channel
The comment includes the recommended channel for the post
I create a new post in the appropriate channel

The automated, helpful, response form the NewOrleans subreddit

Wow those responses are different!

Here’s a few tips that you can take away that’ll help you give better advice.

  1. Actually provide a response. It can be as simple as “I don’t know” or “I’m not the right person” just some sort of response can provide some very useful guidance.
  2. If you know why tell them why. Something presumably just happened, do you know why it happened? Tell the person! Even if you’re repeating something that was stated elsewhere that information may have not been visible. If you can provide a short directed response about what just happened the person will be less likely to repeat it.
  3. Provide useful informational resources. The person may need to do some investigation on their own. They could look around to figure out where to find out the right information but there’s a good chance that you already know a great place… so tell them.
  4. Point them towards an alternate channel to get more help. All of the resources may not be enough for them to find out what they need, and there’s a reason why they came to you in the first place, if there’s an alternate way for them to ask the same question to the right person or people tell them who that is!

What’s the best way of me summing that up?
Don’t be a dick.
Help people out.
New Orleans is better at Reddit than Boston

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