If you have come to blackberryforums.com looking for help with your blackberry, here are some tips to help you get your answer and make it easier on those* who want to help you:
- If your blackberry has just started acting weird for no apparent reason, do a hard reset. Remove the battery for 30 seconds or so. This will usually correct most odd blackberry behavior that you encounter.
- If the hard reset doesn't work, make a mental list of what you have done recently. If you are getting an error message, pay attention, read it, remember it, write it down if you have to.
- Search. Search the internet using your favorite search engine. Also try another search engine. Search the forum using the search function at the top of the page. Check BlackBerry FAQ - BlackBerryFAQ. Look at the threads that are stickied at the tops of the subforums. Search on the exact error message text, if you are getting an error message. Use the information in your mental list of what you've been doing to help focus your search. The odds are infinitesimal that you are the first with your problem or question.
- If you've done the above and still haven't fixed your problem you are ready to compose your question. And I mean compose. State your problem clearly, completely, and as briefly as you can, in a way that people can read and understand, to the best of your ability. A long post with slang abbreviations and no sentence structure may get you some response, but it makes it damn hard for the people who want to understand you and help. I'm writing this to those of you for whom English is your first and only language. If you want help, do your best to make yourself understood.
- Include all relevant information. If in doubt, include it. Cite the things you've done outside of regular everyday use, things you've noticed, and what you have already tried to do to fix the problem. Again, if you have installed a third-party theme, some new application, your moisture indicator is pink, you bought a knock-off battery for $2.99, you installed a leaked beta operating system, whatever, do not wait to mention it. Don't wait until post #8 in your thread to mention something important.
- Post once. Post in the appropriate subforum. Use a descriptive title. Maybe you are not sure where your post belongs, and that's ok. But do stop and think where your post is more likely to be seen by the people who will know how to answer. There's a reason for multiple subforums. And don't post on the same issue multiple times. Post once and give it some time. A discriptive title will draw the eyes of someone who knows your issue. Trust me, there are people competing to correctly answer your question before anyone else.
- Finally, post an update. If you solve your problem, post the fix, even if it is only to say, "Thanks, I removed the memory card and all is good now." If you try some things that don't work, post that information too. Don't leave people hanging. Give the people who later come across your thread the benefit of your experience, whether you found the fix or have identified things that seem promising but don't work.
One final note. Don't PM forum members for blackberry help. There's no guarantee they'll answer, no guarantee that they are knowledgeable about your particular problem, and even if they do answer, others are deprived of the information. The forum is here for everyone to learn.
And enjoy the forum. This is a fun place. Hang around and you'll learn things.
* Some caveats pointed out by helpful forum members and included here: The forum moderators are volunteers. Those trying to help you are volunteering their time and effort. This forum is privately owned and is not associated with Research In Motion (RIM), manufacturer of the Blackberry.