I'm not here everyday, but I check in every now and again. I recommended someone to come here and ask their zener diode question. I came to see if they asked... (they hadn't yet)

And I regret recommending Electronics SE because now it's full of mean jerks.

What happened to the nice people that would try and educate with great answers?

Update hey thanks for a couple of you caring! Already, I've seen some edits and fixes, and very very much appreciate the genuine response. I was afraid I was going to get pounced on. What motivated me to say something is how impressed I have been with the patience of those answering questions. I was an ET for a stint in the Navy before going on to get my BSEE -- and I find I often learn from reading the questions and answers on here.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't remember a zener diode question recently. Provide a link to it so that we can all see what specifically you are objecting to. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Sep 1 '13 at 13:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ They hadn't yet asked. My observation was on the number of downvoted questions and rude comments. My recent activity on EE.SE are solely on topics I object to. The FF one got the snarky comment removed already, so there's a start. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris K Sep 1 '13 at 21:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Again, point to the specific questions. We have nothing to talk about without specific examples. Sometimes we get questions that are blatantly off topic or otherwise against the rules for this site, or so badly written you can't tell what they are asking and further responses are just as useless as the original, such as this mess electronics.stackexchange.com/q/80927/4512. You won't get sympathy from me how those people are treated. On the other hand, it's different if someone is pounced on for a legitimate question. We need to see concrete examples to judge which is the case. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Sep 1 '13 at 22:44

Chris, the main problem that you are seeing is the product of a particular troll. When that troll appears, we all tend to pounce on him quickly. Sometimes his answers are better than others, but regardless of the answer quality we pounce. Give him an inch and he takes a mile (centimeter/kilometer?). Because of that you will sometimes see questions or answers that look reasonable but will have 5 or 10 down votes. It's unfortunate, but necessary.

Other times there is a legit person asking semi-legit questions, and they get an unfavorable response. This answer I gave to a different Q outlines some of the major reasons that questions are criticized: Does EE.SE have a problem with the treatment of newbies?

And... Of course there are valid questions that are unduly criticized. Unfortunately that's just how the Internet is. I'm not using that as an excuse! The people who do that should be called on it, and explained how it is not acceptable. But there will always be those types of people and those who use the 'net need to have a certain amount of resolve to look beyond those bad apples.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I've notice that Tony has a particlar vendetta against you lately. I'm not sure whether you should feel annoyed or honored :-) \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Sep 2 '13 at 21:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop It must mean that I'm doing something correctly! \$\endgroup\$ – user3624 Sep 2 '13 at 21:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yesterday there was a rather peculiar question about "willful wires". Foolishly, I posted a comment alluding to our troll by name (something in the text of the question reminded me of him). Unfortunately said troll must have seen as he posted an answer mostly containing a personal attack against you for some reason. I deleted my comment immediately, but I feel somewhat responsible for feeding him - apologies for that, I'll resist in future. \$\endgroup\$ – MikeJ-UK Sep 3 '13 at 10:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MikeJ-UK Trust me, it wasn't you that caused his rant against me. He basically picks someone to focus his attention to, and it was my turn. Given enough time, it will be your turn. In every way that matters, he is a non-issue, a nobody. \$\endgroup\$ – user3624 Sep 3 '13 at 15:02

Given the timing of your post and that this person mentions being a first-time poster I assume the following was the question:

Why is a Zener diode in a crowbar configuration dropping the input voltage?

Even looking at the very first revision:

  • There's a schematic that makes it clear how things are connected.
  • There's an introduction that explains the purpose of the circuit.
  • The problem with the circuit is explained, along with measurements.
  • It's a common requirement and the answer may be helpful to many future visitors.

Sure it needed a few improvements as per JYelton's edit but I think most people are happy to do that when the question is basically sound and well thought out. If the question had been "What's up with this?" followed by a dump of the schematic things may have been a bit different.

So I think this was a good question (I gave it a +1) that just needed a few minor edits. For a lot of the questions that "end badly" editing isn't really possible because so many details are left out or the question is so unclear that you'd simply be guessing what the question was supposed to be about.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that this zener question was posted after the meta question here. That zener question went fine because it was well enough written with enough details to provide a reasonable answer. None of this really addresses the point of the meta question though. We need to see solid examples of what the OP here was complaining about to judge whether he has a point or is just whining. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Sep 2 '13 at 12:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop, it was largely a guess, but at the time this meta question was originally asked it included "they hadn't yet" and then the edit saying thanks was made after it had been asked and well received. But I agree some concrete examples are in order, all the downvoted questions I see on the main page at the moment seem to be deserved for various reasons. \$\endgroup\$ – PeterJ Sep 2 '13 at 12:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I just looked at the edits to that question. It would have rightly gotten some bad comments in its original illiterate form. Not only was "I" lower case a lot and the wording was very poor, but the kicker was the 1 V source the text said was really 12 V. The OP took the trouble to say the voltage was wrong instead of just fixing it! I probably would have given it a -1 for that. After two edits from two different people, it turned into a good question. There was really no excuse for it having been such a mess in the first place though. I did upvote the edited result. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Sep 2 '13 at 14:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ That is the person I referred to EE.SE. And I really appreciate you guys helping. We ardweenies need the extra help ;) But I did help prepare them for how to ask. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris K Sep 2 '13 at 22:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm a writer (as well as a programmer) and I try to edit things to make them more clear. At risk of being an English snob, I also edit posts for spelling, capitalization and grammar, to increase the quality of the site in general. Even before such edits, it's usually fairly easy to measure the value of a question. The one linked to above was definitely of high value; it just needed some minor edits to further its success. \$\endgroup\$ – JYelton Sep 3 '13 at 22:05

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