Create A Personal FAQ For Friends Who Want Your Advice

If you're good at something and your friends know it, it can get boring — and time consuming — to answer the same question over and over again. Blogger Brett Kelly suggests creating a web page that answers the questions you get asked most.

Photo by wanderingone.

Kelly's got a great idea here. If you're a great baker or known for your mad IT skills, chances are you get asked the same things over and over again. You probably also end up fielding distress calls from frantic friends struggling with a pie gone awry or a blue screen of death. Instead of typing out the same email responses repeatedly or talking yet another person through a troubleshooting process, slap up a web page with your own personal Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) and answers.

Next time you're tapping out 2 single-spaced pages to Aunt Gertrude describing photosynthesis in all its glory and splendor, consider emailing it to something like Posterous instead; then, fire Aunt Gertrude a link to the page. Now, not only will Trudy have all the chlorophyll-related knowledge [she]can tolerate, but Google will probably stop by and maybe send some other interested parties your way. And the next time somebody hits you up about it, you need only send them a link to that thing you already wrote instead of rehashing the same crap all over again!

We think that's a pretty ingenious approach to helping people out with a minimum of impact on your valuable time. Of course, there will always be times when you'll want to help someone directly instead of pushing them off to a web site, but building a personal FAQ is still a smart idea. Your friends and family will probably appreciate it to, since they might feel weird about bothering you during the dinner hour to help them solve a problem. This way, they don't have to.

How do you handle it when people come to you for advice? Do you have a personal FAQ or some other clever way to help them out efficiently? Share your ideas and tips in the comments.

Writing Another Long Email? Read This. []


    I mean why should we talk to anyone ever again?

      Exactly, now you're getting the idea.

    The problem is that the people who contact you for info are precisely those who hate having to read manuals, instructions etc. When my friends/relatives contact me, I frequently ask them whether they've looked at the manual and they say, "No, it's much easier to ring you!" That said, I do have an FAQ page and I believe some people use it, but probably not enough!

    This guy is either a) completely bereft of social skills; or b) not a very nice person.

    "If you’re good at something and your friends know it, it can get boring — and time consuming — to answer the same question over and over again."

    It's BORING being a friend, is it?

    Oh well, perhaps his time is way too "valuable" to bother talking and making connections with other human beings.

    This attitude perpetuates social isolation, fragments communities and adds to the myth that a "value" (monetary?) should be attached to all forms of social interaction.

    What a douche.

    If you use Facebook, is also a good alternative for a FAQ page.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now