I just want to take a moment to plug Statalist. I’m a member and I hope to convince you to join Statalist, too, but even if I don’t succeed, you need to know about the web-based Statalist Archives because they’re a great resource for finding answers to questions about Stata, and you don’t have to join Statalist to access them.
Statalist’s Archives are found at http://www.stata.com/statalist/archive/, or you can click on “Statalist archives” on the right of this blog page, under Links.
Once at the Archives page, you can click on a year and month to get an idea of the flavor of Statalist. More importantly, you can search the archives. The search is Powered by Google and works well for highly specific, directed inquiries. For generic searches such as random numbers or survival analysis, however, I prefer to go to Advanced Search and ask that the results be sorted by date instead of relevance. It’s usually the most recent postings that are the most interesting, and by-date results are listed in just that order.
Enough about the archives. You can join Statalist and, if you don’t like it, you can quit. Statalist is an email-based listserver, so after subscribing, you’ll get a couple of dozen emails per day. If that doesn’t appeal to you, you can subscribe in digest form, and then Statalist mails to you a composite of the day’s activity in a single email.
To subscribe to Statalist, email email@example.com and put subscribe statalist or subscribe statalist-digest in the body of the message. What you put on the subject line does not matter.
To unsubscribe, email the same address, firstname.lastname@example.org, and put unsubscribe statalist or unsubscribe statalist-digest in the body of the message. As with subscription requests, the subject line does not matter on cancellation requests.
Once you’ve joined, you can post to Statalist, and even ask questions, by emailing to email@example.com. Before asking questions, I recommend you lurk a while or browse the Statalist Archives so that you understand the kinds of questions that are appropriate for Statalist. In general, questions appropriate for Statalist are questions that would be inappropriate for StataCorp Technical Support, and vice-versa. Substantive questions are always appropriate on Statalist. There’s no guarantee you’ll get an answer, but those who invest a little time in writing their question clearly and supplying the supporting detail usually get far more than they expected.
See the Statalist FAQ before you make your first posting, whether it’s a question or not.