questions that get asked over and over again….

As anyone who has been active on Briar Press for any length of time knows, we sometimes see the same questions asked over and over again here on the discussion board. The ones I’ve noticed include:

1. I’m a newbie who would love to learn…. where do I start?

2. I just received a press that got broken in shipping, how do I go about fixing it?

3. What type of press do you recommend for me to use?

and so forth. These are ALL valid questions, sincerely asked, and deserving of an answer. If someone wants to learn, we who know have an obligation to help teach them. I certainly don’t want to discourage newbie printer…. but at the same time, after you’ve written the same answer many times, you begin to skip over that sort of question, and that tends to discourage the new printer. I’m wondering if we could present some of this information in a more efficient way that newbies could easily find and read.

Now, WE all know that one can search the previous posts, and find most of the answers to these questions… but apparently some folks don’t know how easy it is, or they’d do just that. SO, I’m wondering if a “frequently asked questions” column might be in order?

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As a person who frequents Briar Press often but doesn’t post often I have to say that is an excellent idea. There are some very basic things that such a FAQ would help tremendously with. A glossary of letterpress and printing terms included would be fabulous. I see people get clarified often about terminology but it is important to know the language in order to ask clear questions of the more informed members out there.

I often have questions but have been reminded (very nicely) in the past on other lists (non letterpress related) that the information might be in archives, so now I look before I ask and I usually find the information I am looking for. But, for me, that also has kept me in lurker mode more than I should be. I think maybe some of the reason people do ask questions easily found in archives is to create conversation and make aquaintances. That is the wonderful thing about Briar Press and other forums. Most people are very helpful and knowledable, wonderful to converse with, and a FAQ of some sort would help people new to letterpress printing to be able ask more informed questions.

Connie already has a letterpress FAQ:

An FAQ would be great. I know I found Green Dolphin’s very enlightening, but I’d been around here for quite a while before I heard of it and got a link.

I usually search the archives here before asking a question but one of the problems facing a newcomer is that sometimes you don’t even know the correct terminology for what you’re asking about – so you might search with the wrong terms!

To make new Briar Press users aware of the FAQ (if one is compiled) I think it’d be great to have a reasonably conspicuous link + info line up the top of discussions, next to where you’d go if you were about to post a question / topic.

I’ve always received incredibly useful and kind responses to my questions here, but I do sometimes feel a bit shy about asking things I suspect have an obvious answer. FAQ would help.

I hope one day, when I finally have some years of experience behind me, I’ll be able to help other people new to the letterpress world.