Why forums are dangerous

Forums are often full of total newbies trying to find out, and only slightly-less-newbies answering their questions. I know blogs like The IT SKeptic are nearly as dangerous for their self-appointed-expert status, but at least you have Google page-rank as some indicator of how others view the site. On a forum it is hard to evaluate what a poster knows unless you already know the answer to the question. Look at this example from a Datamation forum:

What are ITIL, PMP, and PRINCE 2 basically all about and where does SLA fit in?
These are all different views on the same process of project managment.

Prince 2 is sponsored by the UK Office of Government Commerce, its roots are in IT project management and it has a very procedural approach to project management. Prince is a method which defines what to do and when in quite alot to detail.

PMI PMP is much wider, sponsoered but the project management institute in the USA it draws on a much wider body of knowlege. It provides a broard background to project management but leave the method to you.

ITIL is simmilar but more focused on IT issues such as requierments capture and acceptance of IT systems.

Sorry but I am not sure what you refer to as SLA aspects. They are not explicitly covered in any of the approaches.


I have encountered the accronym SLA in two places: Service Level Agreement and Software Lifecycle Architecture.

As pertaining to the first SLA might mean that a certain level of performance might be necessary in order for the software to be accepted by the user as feature complete/ready for deployment - also SLA might define how soon defects are dealt with and the process of documenting them. Generally Service Level Agreement provide the "what" while methodologies such as ITEL might provide the "how".

Software Lifecycle architecture just defines "what" needs to be done in the development/support process and who does it while the methodology provides 'how" it is to be done.

or the following from a LinkedIn group discussion: When I saw the question "Can an Incident and a Problem both be open at the same time or does the Incident need to be closed before a problem record is open?" I thought that was pretty obvious. We got four reasonable answers, then:

We can't talk about a Problem without at least one declared Incident
Now, we can anticipate by opening a Problem while the resolution of an currrent Incident


you can either have a Problem Record open while the Incident is open or you can wait until the Incident is closed to open the Problem, some companies/tools will close the incident when "upgrading" to a Problem.


In Ideal scenario We know that we have to close incident ticket then only have to open problem ticket, then only it is ITILComplaint....
I hope that it clarifies the difference between which is written in Blue or Red Book and what is real scenario.


Ideally speaking both Incident & Problem can be opened at same time. But in practical scenarios in order to avoid the duplication of tickets, Its preferred that when the solution of an incident is not completed, then open a problem ticket to investigate the root cause of the incident.
its all depends on the respective org to track the incident/problems whether to track it separately or to refer the incident to a problem & close the incident.

from four different people. I made an error in my response too, luckily corrected

The forums are awash with misinformation. Anyone can have a say and anyone does. What is someone to make of this who does not already know the answer?


lots of information sources are flawed

Is the public media any more valuable? The quality of the published stories is quite variable. Its the gap between the image of credibility and the quality of the information that is the danger. It lulls you into a false sense of security..

By example, is advice from your medical practitioner reliable. They can/do & have given advice which is wrong (probably ignorant and not negligent), but the qualifications on the wall and the position in society make most people give complete trust. These are things that can impact our lives... Just remember, 30 years ago shock therapy was a valid form of psychological therapy..

Information, let the consumer be aware..

Brad Vaughan

the richest source of piffle

I disagree: the forums are by far the richest source of piffle. Even the worst bits of the ITIL books are far more valuable than the twaddle I quoted above. I grant you some vendor white papers are a worry but I think very few would be as bad. All analyst papers get their basic facts right. Bloggers don't last long and don't page-rank if it is bilge (or at least I like to think so). Even ITIL Foundation certification would prevent the worst of this misinformation.

Wouldn't be a discussion

if we didn't disagree..

But lets agree forums contain by far the largest amount of inaccurate information..

My point was more the impact of information. Forums are forums, if you go to a forum which does not specialize in the topic and take the word of another "peer", then you get what you pay for.. To be honest, the person receiving the information and giving it are probably not in too much risk of doing any damage, because hopefully they won't get too far in their organization researching info that way..

But a CIO taking a vendor whitepaper or a IDC report or anything that has some sort of credibility, that is another level of damage. Would Chokey agree with me ? Even a lesser inaccuracy can have a larger impact..

I disagree a little on what make successful blog, but you da sensei on this one. I tend to believe like all media, the content needs to be interesting, not necessarily 100% accurate. The topics, the way its written, equally contribute to "interesting" as much as the actual accuracy of content. I agree that if it was complete piffle (your word) then probably the readers who not hang around in the long term, but success is measured in months on the internet, not years.

Brad Vaughan

end of discussion

*Sigh* can't argue with any of that

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