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FAQ: How Do I Get More Responses To My Posts?

4 years ago
last modified: 4 years ago

Sometimes, it seems that you don't get very many responses to threads/posts - especially layout threads. Why is that?

There are a few factors involved in getting responses:

  • Timing! Weekends, especially summer and holiday weekends, are usually not very active here - especially if it takes any time to respond. I recommend posting during the week and late afternoon/early evening Eastern Time so your thread is on page 1/top of the list and will be seen by more people -- especially those just stopping by for a few minutes after work and before making dinner or heading out for the evening. After dinner can also be a good time.
  • Subjects! I know there isn't a lot of space for a subject, but make the subjects (1) relevant to the topic of the post and (2) descriptive - cryptic subjects like "counter" or "need help" aren't very useful and may not draw in the people who can help! If you need help immediately because, for example, your fabricator is here now and you have a question, add "Urgent" to the subject -- but please, don't overuse it since overusing will minimize its impact.
  • Formatting! It would also be helpful and more productive not to post in one long paragraph. Instead, break it up into several paragraphs, organizing the content with white space between paragraphs so people can read and comprehend things quickly and easily. Use other formatting, as appropriate, as well: bulleted/numbered lists and bold/italic. (Sorry, but you can no longer use color, fonts, multi-level lists, etc. Houzz's formatting is severely limited.)
  • (Lack of) Information! Some people don't read the "Layout Help" FAQ and post asking for help without giving us very much information about the poster's goals, family composition, plans for using the space, etc. Trying to design a kitchen in a vacuum of knowledge can be frustrating and can lead to "generic" kitchens. If you do want layout help, see the "How do I ask for Layout Help and what information should I include?" FAQ topic. Often, the layouts themselves don't have enough information for us to work with. A full set of dimensions is needed!
  • For layouts, if you're trying to decide whether to post a computer-generated drawing that shows the elevation (things shown as they will be against a wall with cabinets, etc.) vs an overhead plan (2D as seen from overhead) - choose the overhead! Better yet, post both! Be sure, though, that the computer-generated layouts have all the key measurements, so check before you post! If your layout is missing measurements, add them yourself before posting.
  • Layouts missing key measurements or with dimensions that are difficult to read (too small or blurry) will often reduce comments because we cannot tell what's really going on. If someone has time, s/he may try to figure measurements out by sizing/resizing and guessing, but that can be time consuming and still not necessarily correct. So -- include all dimensions from the beginning! (Again, see the Layout Help FAQ topic)
  • Post actual pictures -- not links to pictures. It's much more convenient and easier for us to see the picture in the message than to have to go elsewhere to see it. The "How do I post pictures?" topic in the FAQs (see the post later in this thread) will tell you how to post pictures.
  • The preferred method is to upload pictures from your local device (laptop, phone, desktop, wherever you have the picture) rather than from a photo-hosting site. [Some photo-hosting sites have gone out of business or now restrict posting on external sites unless you pay them. Photobucket is one example. Photobucket used to allow you to post pictures elsewhere even with their free accounts; now, they will only allow you to do so if you pay for their most expensive plan. To make matters worse, they didn't grandfather in all those pictures posted before the change, so we've lost a lot of historical pictorial information.]
  • When asking for help with materials selection, post the photos of the counter, flooring, backsplash, cabinet style and finish, etc. Often people will just give the names of their selections and expect readers to go off and search the internet for them - but most of us don't have time for that!
  • Be open to ideas. If you seem to be shutting down every idea or have a reason for saying "no" to every idea without really considering it first, most people will stop posting or, if they're reading the thread and see the attitude, pass the thread by.
  • Hijacking! Asking questions about your situation on someone else's post -- this is what we call "hijacking" a post. It's really better to search the Forum first to see if your question has been answered and if it has not or the information is old, start your own thread.
  • Another deterrent is a poster who does not at least acknowledge those who have responded. Even if you don't like the response, at least acknowledge it. There have been many times in the past when someone has spent a couple of hours (or more) working on a layout for the poster and the poster never responded or responded to others and completely ignored what that person did -- no comments at all. While we don't expect gushing and over the top thank-yous, it would be nice to know (1) that the poster read and reviewed what the person did and (2) whether the person produced something useful or if there were some things that could be changed/tweaked for them. BTW...Selecting the "Say thank you" link is not the way to acknowledge -- actually call the posters out, thanking them, and responding to what they posted is the way to acknowledge. "Silence is Golden" is definitely not a rule here!
  • Last, much as some might not like to hear it, we do often go the "extra mile" to respond to posters who have also been contributing on the Forum -- even the "old timers" who aren't here that often anymore will probably get more responses. You don't have to be an expert to contribute to the forum. You can start by commenting on in-progress or finished kitchens. You can learn a lot by studying other people's kitchens (in progress and finished) and asking questions about them. So take the plunge and start responding and helping others - it will help you in the end as well!


The very last piece of advice I have for newcomers is to browse through the "Read Me" thread and the FAQs.

At the time this FAQ was created (October 2018), the following was the current "Read Me" thread:

I recommend checking the first page or so of the thread list for the most recent one.


Finally, please remember that we are all volunteers here, none of us are getting paid to do this -- we do it out of our love of Kitchens and helping others to get the best designed kitchen possible that meets your needs (and budget!)

Some of the regulars don't have the time we used to to respond with full-blown layouts or lengthy layout critiques...between family and job, my time, for example, has become very precious - and family comes before Kitchens! (I do occasionally have time and will stop by...) However, what is great about this site is that "new regulars" seem to appear who can fill the gap when others begin to drop off the site -- so welcome to old and new members!

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