Is this blog meant more for documentation, or case-specific discussion?

I come from a Stack Exchange background, where questions about things that are unlikely to be useful to future visitors are discouraged. This is because Stack Exchange’s goal is to be a wikipedia-like database of knowledge for problem solvers. (My dad, a software developer, doesn’t even have an SE account, but he uses Stack Overflow as a reference heavily). I’ve noticed that seems to fill the void that SE fills for many other disciplines in terms of offering access to a community of experts/other enthusiasts who can share their knowledge and help solve problems.

I want to understand the paradigm–I’m wondering if the goal of this website is meant to be a highly searchable database for future visitors, or if really person-specific questions, like mine the other day whose title essentially boiled down to “Help me read this outline,” are equally acceptable. I notice also that a fair deal, if not a majority, of posts are content–like reading practice, documentation, and epic blog posts written in Gregg (which some day I hope to do as well :-)).

I’m also asking because although I am really pleased with my progress and speed at learning Gregg, I occasionally encounter outlines that stump me, and I would love to turn here for help, but I don’t want to flood the feed with spammy “help me with my homework” requests. Is this an appropriate place to go with further “HELP!” questions? Is there a better convention for titling them than “What does this outline mean” that is more specific?

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5 comments Add yours
  1. This site started as a MSN discussion group, and discussion about Gregg Shorthand has always been its first and foremost purpose in its various iterations (MSN to Multiply to Blogger to WordPress). However, there are no restrictions on what you can post: use the General category for Gregg-related posts, the Blog category for blog-related issues, and the Anything goes category if you want to discuss something else. The content part of the blog is relatively recent and arose because (1) we have limited capability for content hosting (in the past, we didn’t have any), and (2) not everyone has a question all the time, so posting content is a way to keep the site alive and interesting.

    The "what's this outline" questions are always welcome, because one can take the opportunity to bring about a point of theory that may have been glanced over too quickly. If you think you have many of these questions, you can open a post, and every time you have a new outline, you could edit that same post and let everyone know that you have a question by leaving a comment. Eventually, you will see that those kinds of questions will become less and less as you progress.

  2. I think what the blog does for me is give me a tangible sense that Gregg shorthand is still alive and relevant, and not just a dead-end, old-timey thing I’m doing all by myself. I was actually really surprised by how active this blog is compared to other blogs/forums I’ve seen dedicated to similarly niche subjects. There can be multiple posts a day, compared to the last post being a year ago.

    Since I started reading, and much later participating, in the site, it seems like posts have ranged from the whole gamut from “Help!” to “Here’s something modern/historical to read in Gregg,” to “Here’s a cool article in the media about shorthand.” I see the point as keeping an engaged, active community to support and encourage people to keep learning.

    The reading, dictation, and auxiliary material that people post is incredibly helpful for me as encouragement and reinforcing my dedication. It makes the threshold that much lower to really dig deep after learning the initial system. The blog is a valuable archive as well as a community space.

    The WordPress search function is decent if you’re looking for specific topics, and the tags help make reading material and learning aids findable. I had a question about when it might be recommended to start teaching kids shorthand, and I was thinking of posting the question. I did a search, and it turns out there are two very in depth discussions about it that already answered my questions. It’s also been helpful to track down posts related to medical shorthand.

    Thanks, Carlos, for explaining the categories, because I honestly had no idea what the difference between “General” and “Blog” was.

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