A friend sent me this link, and after reading just a few paragraphs I was naming dozens of them I’ve come across over the years.
Go on, read it. It’s not about friends that need assistance from one another, or asking a peer for advice. It’s about the people who pop into a community, constantly ask others to assist rather than going out and putting in the effort themselves, and bringing the community to its knees trying to assist those people rather than getting on with the more important, non-Googleable discussions. Which causes those people to drift off to other, more private, less open and helpful communities. Or to just abandon communities altogether.
And I look back and see plenty of instances of this. My main IRC hangout is one of the Walled Gardens the article mentions, created as my e-homies drifted away from a more general chat that became a haven for a few folks of this type. My previous main IRC hangout had the same issue, long ago. Favorite forums? I rarely participate anymore (for several reasons, but catering to these folks is noticeable and aggravating). And at work, oh man, how many names could I name at work. I left my last job almost entirely due to one of these. There are a few at the current job, too.
So many names.
I could wax poetic about how perhaps I should do more to help them learn to help themselves, but as I consider it I realize that these resources were frequently already available. Even in the form of “go to forum X if you need more help, it’s all already documented and they’re geared towards helping you out more”. So instead I’ll say fuck those people for not being willing to listen after they ask for help (looking very pointedly and specifically at you, Gerry. You’re a cunt.).
edit- Actually, it occurs to me that my extended family, always willing to pounce on me, my dad, or my brother in law for help, also fall into this category. This weekend dad typed up and printed instructions for my grandfather on how to switch his TV to the DVD player. Grandpa stood there, printed instructions in hand, not reading them and getting it wrong as half the room shouted at him to just read the damn thing. Dad is thinking about writing a book, heh.