Open Source Musings The thoughts, ideas, and opinions of an open source guy

I'm not tech support

An information board, offering assistance

This is something I’ve had to make clear to a few people in the last while. And believe me when I say that it’s as much about me (probably a bit more) as it is about you.

I’ve written about a large number of free and open source applications in a variety of spaces over the years. I find doing that to be enjoyable and interesting. And, in some cases, writing about an application I like is a way of bringing that app to (I hope) a wider audience.

However, folks who read what I’ve written sometimes email me or leave comments asking me to help them with problems they’re having with something I’ve written about. In the past, my reaction was to write back and try to help them. Why? Again, it was a matter of giving back and sharing what I know.

However, that changed several years ago.

When someone writes asking for help, I have to turn them down. Why? Two reasons.

First, time. I don’t have a lot of it and that’s not going to change for the foreseeable future.

Second, I’m a writer, not tech support. Just because I wrote about something doesn’t make me the expert on it. Or even an expert. Chances are, I can’t help you with your problem if only because a) I’ve never run into that problem before, and b) I might no longer use that particular piece of software.

I hope that I’ve become knowledgeable while writing about something, but there are others out there who definitely know more about it than I do. Like the person or team that created the software.

So, next time email the developer or check an online forum. I’ll be too busy to give you a hand. I’ll be banging away at my keyboard, probably trying to beat a deadline.

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