Building up the PowerShell community

Last week I involved in a conversation with some SQL professionals who are also skilled with PowerShell. The SQL Server community is used to having a tool to connect them directly to gurus who are dedicated to helping others, the #sqlhelp hashtag on Twitter. We realized that the PowerShell community’s Twitter hashtags are not as strong as the #sqlhelp hashtag and want to fix that. PowerShell deserves its own hashtag that is useful. To be useful, we need to monitor it.

Introducing #poshhelp

The #poshhelp hashtag is not new. I tried to find its origin but I gave up after scrolling through 4 years worth of tweets. However, it never really took off in the way that the #sqlhelp hashtag did. Myself and others, such as Shawn Melton(@wsmelton), Adam Bertram(@adbertram), Mike Fal(@Mike_Fal), Rob Sewell(@fade2black), and Boe Prox(@proxb) have committed to monitoring the hashtag and answer any questions that we are able. The more people monitoring the hashtag, the more valuable and sustainable it will become.

I’ve already added a #poshhelp column to TweetDeck and urge you to do the same but let’s cover the rules.

  1. Questions should fit into 140 characters. When questions span more than one tweet (such as 2/2’s) it can be difficult for someone to jump into a reply chain and have read all the information necessary to answer.
  2. If they don’t fit, put your question and information on another site (like ServerFault.com) and link to it.
  3. DO NOT SPAM THE HASH TAG. This is important, because to make it useful it needs to be kept clean. Don’t use it to advertise your blog posts or articles, but only for Q&A.
  4. Don’t be a dick, a.k.a. Wheaton’s Law. Be polite and respectful to those using it. Also be kind to those mis-using the hash tag. It is likely that they found a trending hashtag and took advantage. Gentle education typically solves the problem.

poshhelp

What not to do

There were also discussions about using #powershellhelp. We do not recommend using that hashtag for PowerShell help. This is because having two hashtags will divide the group of professionals monitoring them, resulting in lower answer rates, and because #powershellhelp has more characters than #poshhelp, making #poshhelp the better choice for Twitter.

What you should do

  • Add a #poshhelp column to your Twitter client.
  • Ask questions!
  • When you can, answer questions.

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