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Summary:

One of the problems with working from home or otherwise outside an office environment is that you don’t always have access to help with technology questions. What do you do if you’re trying to learn HTML 5 and have a question? What if you have a web design question but there’s nobody there to provide an answer? The good news is that there are a lot of good, free resources for technology help online, and you usually don’t have to wait long for good answers. Here are five good resources for next time you have a tech conundrum.

One of the problems with working from home or otherwise outside an office environment is that you don’t always have access to help with technology questions. What do you do if you’re trying to learn HTML 5 and have a question? What if you have a web design question but there’s nobody there to provide an answer? The good news is that there are a lot of good, free resources for technology help online, and you usually don’t have to wait long for good answers. Here are five good resources for next time you have a tech conundrum.

Try the forums. For anyone who works on the web, the free forums at W3Schools are terrific for getting speedy responses from people who know what they’re talking about. There is a “General” forum for questions of any type, but most of the popular forums are on web development and design topics. You’ll find forums on HTML, JavaScript, using Flash and other multimedia tools online, and more. Also, as I’ve written before, the free tutorials at W3Schools’ home page are really outstanding.

Protonic.com. I’ve found many good answers to my tech questions at protonic.com. It’s populated by a large community of volunteers who answer questions, and answers usually come back quite quickly, although you sometimes have to wait a few hours for a question to be “picked up” by the community. You can ask questions on anything from HTML to what hardware to buy and get good responses.

You must log in and provide a valid email address to ask a question. The service is completely free.

Open source questions? If you use any open source applications, from Firefox, to the GIMP graphics application, to Linux, to many more titles, you can always ask a question at OStatic. Just log in and click on “Question” in the toolbar above the OStatic blog to type your question in. OStatic is partly a blog, but also a database-driven site with an active community of open source users. Usually, they provide excellent answers to questions on open source apps and platforms.

Hit the help desk. At AskMeHelpDesk, you can get free answers to tech questions. The site houses many categories for questions, and not all of them are on technology topics, but there are many experts available who can answer questions on everything form web development to smartphones.

Weegy. Recently, I wrote a post about Weegy, which is a human expert-driven search site. I’ve asked many complex technology-related questions of the experts there, and the free answers are often very good. At the site, you post a question and wait for an expert to claim it. Usually, answers come back very quickly.

While the answers you get from these resources will usually be high quality, it’s important to fact-check them. Using Google, you can usually establish the accuracy or inaccuracy of any given answer. You can also post the same question in multiple forums and compare the answers you get.

What free resouces do you turn to when you have a tech question?

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By Samuel Dean
  1. I like the SitePoint Forums for web design and dev advice.

    For great answers to programming questions, you can’t really beat Stack Overflow.

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  2. Grant Johnson Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    Stack Overflow http://www.stackoverflow.com is good too.

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  4. [...] around the web where you can get excellent crowdsourced answers to all kinds of tech questions. In this post on WebWorkerDaily, you’ll find five good resources for free answers, including the free forums at W3Schools, [...]

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  5. StackOverflow.com definitely wins for sheer knowledge mining. The quality of answers are always excellent, and there is a good feeling of positive helpfulness about the whole site.

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  6. I’m not a web worker. But as a Windows admin, Daniel Petri’s site at http://www.petri.co.il/ provides both helpful articles and forums for Windows related issues.

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  8. [...] 15th, 2009 (7:00am) Samuel Dean No Comments In a recent post, 5 Free Online Answer Sites for Tech Questions, I discussed places you can go online for getting tech questions answered, and readers added some [...]

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  9. [...] a recent post I did on the WebWorkerDaily blog, called 5 Free Online Answer Sites for Tech Questions, I discussed places you can go online for getting tech questions answered, and readers added some [...]

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  10. [...] you prefer to work independently, you can use messageboards and social networks to answer tech questions for free, or even upload tutorial videos to share your [...]

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