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Customer Portal Community Guidelines and FAQ

Updated 2013-09-10T06:28:47+00:00

Community FAQ

What are Discussions? What can I do here?

Discussions on the Customer Portal allow you, along with other Red Hat customers, partners and Red Hat associates, to discuss topics related to our products, comment on our knowledge, seek help with problems, and collaborate on new initiatives. By commenting and rating content, you will be able to highlight what's most useful to you and also provide reputation points to your community peers. We want to help create a collaborative, useful and informative environment that will add value to your Red Hat experience.

Must I be a Red Hat customer to participate? Who can view this community?

Anyone who visits the Customer Portal can read discussions, but only those with an active Red Hat subscription will be to post.

What languages are supported?

Currently the community only supports English.

What recognition do I receive for my contributions, and how do the various user "levels" work?

We've implemented a basic reputation points and levels program, but would really appreciate your feedback about what you'd like to see. You can earn reputation points by participating in different Groups activities, and advance through the ranks as you become a highly respected contributor. Here are the current values and ranks:

Activity Scores

  • Start a discussion - 5 points
  • Post a comment - 5 points
  • Rate content or discussions (stars) - 2 points

Member Ranks

  • Newbie / 0-19 pointsThis is where you begin your journey-- until you earn your first 20 points. Just post a discussion or comment, and you're on your way to becoming a full member of our community. Welcome!
  • Community Member / 20-99This is the next basic level. You've made it through the door, now get involved!
  • Contributor / 100-399You are definitely involved, and it's showing. You're posting discussions, commenting and voting. We'll thrilled to have you as part of our community!
  • Pro / 400-799You're beginning to have an impact; you're gaining a following. People seek you out for your knowledge and insights.
  • Expert / 800-1299You've become the go-to person for specific topics. Your thoughts and ideas are shaping the tone and direction of the community.
  • Guru / 1300+You've proven yourself both in the community and inside Red Hat, and you've earned and gained the respect you so richly deserve.

Community Guidelines

Search first!

Search for the answer first. The Customer Portal contains a wealth of resources, so it's good etiquette to show that you have at least looked for an answer before posting. A question that shows that a person is willing to try and help themselves is more likely to be answered than one which simply demands information. As a matter of fact, tell us what you have done to try and solve the problem yourself—often we can learn from that too!You should begin by looking through Red Hat's Knowledge area. If you come up empty-handed, however, that's okay—many experienced Red Hatters are helpful and will help search our site for you.

Ask questions

Once you have exhausted your search, use these guidelines to post a Discussion question:
Use a good subject line
The subject header is your golden opportunity to attract qualified experts' attention in around 100 characters or less.Example:
Bad subject line: "Application log missing?"
Good subject line: "When auditing RHEL 5 files, I notice that my application folder is being deleted." Don't use words in capital letters or words like urgent, quickly, or burning in your post, and especially not in the title. We are all professionals, and if you say it's important, we'll all treat it as such.

Tag your content

You can add product, tag and category metadata to your posts. This will help people sort and find your content more easily, and you'll receive help more quickly.

Ask only one question per Discussion

For each question that you have, make a separate posting. Don't ask multiple questions in one posting, as this can be confusing and might not result in the best answers because the subject line will not reflect all of your problems. If a new and unrelated question comes up during a thread, start a new thread.

Provide enough information

Tell us which version and type of system you're working on—for example, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Servers 2.1, etc. If your question is regarding an error, include the error message in your Discussion post. If it is a request for information, please be specific. Also, if it's a big query, it might be better to break it down into separate questions.

Don't share private information

Remember that posts to the Discussions are visible to anyone visiting the Customer Portal. Don't share any information that you don't want publicly visible, such as login information, account information, case numbers, or other private personal data or restricted company information. Don't copy and paste responses from case emails.

Don't ask someone to send you an email

The question you ask and the solution to it is often also interesting for other Customer Portal users. Whenever possible, keep the converation in the community, rather than taking it to private email channels.

Re-read your query before submitting it

Put yourself in a reader's position: Does the question make sense? Can people understand the problem? Is this enough information for someone to be able to help me resolve the problem?Good, specific questions lead to good, specific answers. Many Portal users like answering thought-provoking questions. This is one of the main reasons many experienced consultants, customers, and Red Hat Certified Engineers participate regularly in the community.

Be patient

There are several reasons why your question may not be answered immediately:
Never assume that you are entitled to an answer. Remember that people have other responsibilities just like you and respond voluntarily. Perhaps you've uncovered a unique problem and nobody knows the answer.
Did you give the other users enough time? Be patient. If the question is urgent, open a support case.
Is your subject misleading? Are you posting to the proper area in the Customer Portal? Is your problem description understandable?

If you open a support case, use that to communicate with Red Hat

If you decide to open a support case for an issue you've created a Discussion about, we'll use the support case as the main channel to communicate with you. It's simpler than conducting conversations in two places at once. Of course, you can feel free to keep using your discussion to talk about the issue with other community members.

Provide feedback and an update

If a Discussion helps you to resolve an issue, or even if you resolve it through other means (such as a support case) it's nice to follow up and let other users know that you've resolved the problem, and how it was resolved. It lets other contributors know that the problem is solved, and helps anyone else who stumbles across the same issue in future. If you found an answer by opening a support case with Red Hat Support, feel free to share your solution, but don't just copy and paste a case email.

Reward others

Our Customer Portal has a reputation program that allocates a certain amount of points for your contributions. Help out by rating Discussions. There are rewards for users who are active and helpful.

Answer questions

Our Customer Portal thrives when people just like you try to help others. When you see an unanswered question and think you can offer some assistance, don't hesitate to get involved. Remember to be polite, and if you do not completely understand a question and need more details, request more information from the poster. Remember: don't share private personal or confidential company information.

Other Important Reminders

It's okay to disagree, but be respectful

Disagreements happen all the time, and the Customer Portal is no exception. But disagreement is no excuse for poor behavior and poor manners. It is important to resolve disagreements and differing views constructively. Avoid personal attacks. Moderators will get involved when they see something out of hand, and flame wars will be dealt with immediately and firmly. A community where people feel comfortable is a productive one, and we're committed to keeping it that way.

Respect your moderators

Red Hat moderators often provide help in their free time, and their role is to provide an environment where everyone can interact and get assistance in the most efficient manner possible. They are certainly not here to make life harder for anyone. Any decision taken by the Admins and Moderators is final and will be respected. Do not argue with the Admins or Moderators in a thread. If you want to discuss a Moderator action, do it via email.

Do not provide copyrighted material

Do not offer or post copyrighted material where you do not own the copyright or where reuse rights are restricted. Soft copies of books, certification material, etc., are often copyrighted. Even if you obtained the content through other sources, do not send it around. Sure, we live in the open source world, but you need to check your sources.

Do not advertise

We are not a space to advertise your product, and you are not permitted to do so without the express consent of Red Hat. Links to commercial sites and products might also be considered ads. Check before you post them.

Use proper language

The language that you use in the forum should be professional and courteous. Please don't use curse, slang, inappropriate, or otherwise offensive language. Every professional has the responsibility to maintain good relationships and environments, and any abuses should be reported to the Moderators if no acceptable resolution can be found. Please also avoid "txt spk" and acronyms that might not be obvious. Many people are not native English speakers, and using abbreviated slang makes it more difficult to understand.

Keep it appropriate

Do not post images containing nudity, violence, or otherwise offending content. Don't post religious, sexually explicit, or political threads
Pretty simple. There are other sites for that stuff, and this is not one of them.

Let's all work together to make the Customer Portal community as rewarding and informative as possible. Have fun. Be courteous, thankful, and respectful of each other. We're all human, so we all know that a small recognition can make a lot of difference.