How to use DE.com Q&A

DeregulatedEnergy.com members have a powerful, easy to use resource at their disposal – a forum to question the experts. A completed profile on the site empowers you to question an industry-wide professional community on any oil and gas topic of interest. Oilpro questions can take many forms including both technical or non-technical and both practical or theoretical.
By answering the questions of others, you have an opportunity to improve the industry around you, help peers, build your personal brand, and receive recognition for your knowledge. Remember, your answers are posted to your profile, highlighting your expertise—check out how all of David Morgan’s answers make his profile that much stronger.
In order for our Q&A system to work efficiently, we thought it was important to provide some basic ground rules and tips for using the forum. If poor questions proliferate on the site, then we risk alienating the real experts who can provide the community with what is really important—good answers!
Question Writing Tips to Get Great Answers:

  1. Do Your Homework Before Asking. Oilpro has hundreds of questions that have already been asked by others. Have you searched to see if your question has been asked? Next, have you done your research on the topic? Share what you know when you are writing your question. This will help others, show that you’ve taking the time to think about the topic, and help you get a useful answer rather than a reiteration of something you already know.
  2. Stick to Energy & Utilities topics relevant to the Community. DE.com Q&A is reserved for specific Energy-related topics. This powerful tool can be used to test feedback on a new idea, solve a technical problem in the field, get insight on a trend, or explore an unfamiliar part of the utilities business. But keep your focus on topics that are industry-related. While we understand that Q&A may involve specific products, please do not use DE.com Q&A as a venue for product promotion or personal job seeking / career help questions. Similarly, we ask that recruiters abstain from entering non-technical, job-assistance related questions in the Q&A forum. Such entries will be removed.
  3. Treat your question like a Rifle! Don’t shoot like a Shotgun. Be specific! Vague questions lead to vague answers. Adding details, context, and a specific ask, lets experts give you an answer you can use. Avoid grouping multiple questions in the same entry. If you have 5 different questions, make 5 different Q&A entries.
  4. Make Your Question Relevant To All. Writing your question in a way that others can relate to is very important. If more people are interested in your question, more people will answer it, and the DE.com staff will promote it to ensure it gets as many answers as possible. Describing why you want to know is a good way to accomplish this—others in the industry are grappling with the same challenges that you are. Also be sure and work on grammar, spelling, and clarity. Your question quality reflects on your professionalism.
  5. Keep an Open Mind and Interact With Peers. Not all answers will be exactly what you were looking for. But answers will almost always contain valuable nuggets of information from people who have gone through similar situations to yours. Use the comment field to ask people for their sources, to elaborate, or to explain how they learned something. Remember, the person answering your question is just trying to help.

Once you’ve written your question, re-read it imagining that you are another DE.com Expert trying to answer it. Does it make sense? Is there enough context? Is it specific enough so that you know how to respond? You may need to re-write part of it, add to it, or narrow your scope. Once you’ve got the perfect question, post it and then wait for the answers to pile up.

Answering is a bit simpler, but just as important. The industry and your peers need your help. We all have something to share, and there are no wrong answers. When you see a question in the newsletter or on the home page that addresses an area you are proficient in, chime in. It is rewarding to help others, and doing so will also help you build your brand as an Expert in your field.

We ask that members do not use questions or answers to directly promote their products, for business development, to promote an organization, or for employment seeking as these activities do not facilitate Q&A’s primary objective, which is knowledge sharing. Describing a solution can be a more effective way to promote your brand than simply providing contact info for your sales team. Personal contact details (phone numbers, email etc.) will be removed from Q&A entries. Suggesting “connect with me on DE.com to discuss further” is acceptable (our messaging system is a great way to have an offline discussion).

Common feedback we get is that our members have no tolerance for the barrage of self promotional (and often irrelevant) content on the bigger social networks. If your post in Q&A is deemed by our editorial staff as “promotional” and not an honest attempt to share knowledge, it will be removed and you will receive an email notification. Repeated abuse may result in profile suspension.

If you are interested in promoting your products on DE.com, please contact us at advertising@DeregulatedEnergy.com to discuss options.

Examples of Effective Q&A Exchanges:
1. TODO

Published in Tips

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