If you’d like to get quick SQL Server help, the #SQLHelp hash tag is a fun way to get it. My original “How to Use the #SQLHelp Hash Tag” post hit a couple of years ago, and it’s time for a followup. Read that post first, and then come back here for some basic guidelines.
Don’t use #SQLHelp to promote your blog. Congratulations on writing an informative post, and we’re sure it’s got some useful information in it, but the #SQLHelp hash tag is for people who are asking questions. Unless your blog post was written to answer a question currently live on #SQLHelp, please refrain from tweeting about your blog.
Do answer a #SQLHelp question with a product if that’s the solution. Vendors build products to solve pain points, and sometimes those pain points surface as #SQLHelp questions. If the answer is a product – whether it’s a free one or a paid one – then feel free to mention it and provide a link. If you’ve got personal experience with the product, that’s even better. If you’re a vendor, you might wanna disclose that in your tweet.
Don’t demo #SQLHelp at conferences by saying, “Say hello, #SQLHelp!” Immediately, dozens of users around the world will reply to you, and the #SQLHelp hash tag will become unusable for half an hour or more. Rather than saying Hello World, ask the audience to give you a question, and then post that question on #SQLHelp.
Do suggest that long discussions move to a Q&A web site. Sometimes questions need a lot more detail than we can get in 140 characters. If you notice a discussion turning into a long back-and-forth conversation, helpfully suggest that the questioner read my tips on writing a good question and then create a post on whatever site you prefer.
Don’t post jobs to #SQLHelp. Use the #SQLJobs hash tag instead.
Do thank people who give you #SQLHelp. This is a group of volunteers who love to lend a helping hand. It’s like getting consulting help for free around the clock. High five ‘em if they helped you get through your day easier.