Here's a thought-provoking post from Josh Kaufman "How to ask useful questions". His point is that it's helpful for the asker to give some context about what sort of answer would be useful. Don't provide that, Kaufman rightly says, and people may be less willing to help: they'd have to ask you questions to establish what you need, and maybe that is too much work. There's another problem though: people who are very willing to give you screeds of inappropriate advice based on a false assumptions about your situation or needs. And, if they feel that you've transferred the end result onto them (and they accept this), you also risk them being put out if you choose not to take their advice, or if it doesn't work.