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Old 09-16-2006, 02:04 PM   #1
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Attempt to limit duplicate threads

Andy & mods, would it be possible & possibly beneficial to put a prominent banner right above the list of threads that says, "Got a question about brakes, tow vehicles, parts or materials? Or anything else related to Airstreams? The question probably has already been asked (and answered) on the forum. Search here [insert big search box)."

Questions are great, and I recently asked a "stupid question" myself (feel free to delete my "stupid truck question" at any time!) but it would be nice if we didn't have to wade through the growing repetitive queries by newbies who aren't aware of the wealth of info already on the site. I myself am using the forum less & less for information because of this issue. Instead, I turn to a small circle of friends whom I know to be reliable, as well as a few bookmarked threads.

I bring this up not just on my own behalf but because other longterm members with the most to offer are starting to ghost the site because of the dilution.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-16-2006, 03:01 PM   #2
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well kid...

many forums users ask exactly this question...

did you search first to find any of the previous versions of your question or the well considered replies...



cheers
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and driftwood recently reminded me of this link...very useful and funny, have you seen it?

http://gprime.net/flash.php/postingandyou

also i've been poked by moderators for repeatedly reminding folks to search..
who repeatedly ask the same question....repeatedly...
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Old 09-16-2006, 03:23 PM   #3
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well some newbes arn't as talented as some of the long term users and not very computer savy on the forum..have seen some users with a couple of 100 posts ask some questions that have been asked and answered before.Sorry that you want to leave the forum.. Just rember you were once a newbe also..
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Old 09-16-2006, 03:32 PM   #4
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Well, I've READ damn near every thread posted in the last 3 years.
My concern is the good of the forum, not my deep-seated aesthetic need for GIGO computer use.

Of course, a lot of threads are intended as a way of chitchat with fellow humans. We all feel that OUR trailers are special & our brake questions unique, but at some point, repetitive posts will cause such burnout that we risk excited newbies posting hopefully & getting zero responses, thereby feeling ignored, rather than drawn into community.

I'd love to see us all have our own thread, a la Uwe's restoration of the '63, but I'd much rather pore through his thread, knowing that I saw something relevant a couple of months ago, than have all that info spread out over 100 abortive threads.
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Old 09-16-2006, 03:35 PM   #5
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I don't want to leave the forum, bobchevy. Apply a little more reading comprehension to my original post, s'il vous plait.

And I am STILL a newbie when it comes to 98% of the mechanical issues related to Airstreams. My suggestion for a large-print "please try our search function" is an attempt to HELP less-than-savvy newcomers.
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Old 09-16-2006, 03:59 PM   #6
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well like any Forum, users come and go, and those with a lot of time here get so many questions answered, they don't need to be here as much.
I have tried when I can to take similiar subjects, combine the threads and make them "sticky" so they are easy to locate.
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Old 09-16-2006, 04:07 PM   #7
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Summerkid, I think you have a good suggestion. With a forum of over 16,000 members duplication is inevitable. Many newbies don't have a wealth of computer skills or are new to this kind of format. People want get questions answered ASAP so they can go camping. However, some duplication could probably be limited with a banner and link with specific direction on how to most effectively search, where to seach, etc., just as you've said. I've spent long hours going through posts to glean info, there is SO MUCH here. I've found it slow because the it appears the search system has no Boolean logic or ability to search on a string, its key words only. A more sophisticated system may not be possible with this format. Thanks Alan, the stickys do help.
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Old 09-16-2006, 05:17 PM   #8
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2-cents

I'll add my 2-cents.

I'm fairly new at this and I consider myself very "computer savy".

When I first started I used the search button a lot. I have read 100's and perhaps 1000's of threads and got a lot of interesting and even useful related info...but often NOT the answer to my specific question. I would then start a new thread with my specific question and get the answer in a short time, most of the time. Sometimes by someone referring me to a thread that has the exact answer I was looking for but it didn't show up on my "search" for some reason.

So, NOTHING is perfect. I like this Forum the way it is. Not to say that it could not be improved. For instance a "SUGGESTION" thread that is read by people that can make things happen would turn up some very useful info.

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Old 09-16-2006, 05:38 PM   #9
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hey summerkid you know i was just kidding you right?
aren't the smileys there somewhere?

it is interesting how member involvement can evolve...

i wonder what the natural life span is for members in any online community and how/why they move on.

i think it is too early in the cultural experiment to know much...

i am aware of 1-2 members that have 200-300 posts...and 99.9% are questions...those sometimes drive me wacky so i just don't read'em....

i'm not always so bothered by questions reappearing...even though great answers may already exist....

like lebolewis suggests someone may offer up the link.

also members seem to take on new functions as they grow...

welcome'er, problem solvers, moral compass'rs, technical expert, historian, humorist, griper, vigilante......and so on.

what i would like to see MORE OF,
is people offerring a simple THANKS
for the efforts to answer their questions,
or post followups with outcomes of their thread...
i also appreciate it when their effort to search is mentioned and the results they obtained...as part of the post.

i would like to see more combining of old treads by mods...
but that has got to be the most tedious task here..

and i want my poll put back in the community poll section!

how is that new truck anyway...
have you waxed it yet?

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-16-2006, 06:42 PM   #10
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Smile Would it make sense to make the search button another color?

Quote:
Originally Posted by summerkid
Andy & mods, would it be possible & possibly beneficial to put a prominent banner right above the list of threads that says, "Got a question about brakes, tow vehicles, parts or materials? Or anything else related to Airstreams? The question probably has already been asked (and answered) on the forum. Search here [insert big search box)." Thoughts?
A useful question,if the banner was not possible, could the search button be made more visible or larger (font wise)? It might be easier to pick out and less work for the programmer than a tutorial that might pop up after a person registers?

Honestly I know that nobody here is trying to hurt newbies' feelings in this thread, rather to address an issue that might be made easier with some color variation, larger font, or some of the visual things advertisers use to get our attention, such as the banner summerkid suggested.
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Old 09-16-2006, 07:00 PM   #11
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2air, you'd BETTER be joking most of the time! And lebolewis, i agree that your experience is typical of a "savy" user. But I'd like to elaborate. This is a brief recap of my obsessive participation in the forums for 3+ years:

1) I love Web design & programming & am fluent in an awful lot of intense computer programs. I was the 27th-best speller in the nation sometime around 1986, and I spent 25 years immersed in the linguistic culture of newspapers & investigative reporting. There are few Internet mysteries for me, even in a deep, multilayered forum such as this that is chock full of technical minutiae. So the forum even now presents no problems. Can we say that for for every newbie, or are they going to encounter more & more frustration searching an unwieldy haystack for a few needles?

2) Far more important, I signed on to the forum during a time when you could log on once a day & the day's active threads would still number fewer than 25. I was able to pore through 90% of what was here and bookmark the best threads; meet dozens of the regular posters; strike up friendships with even more, separating the true gems from the whackjobs who had axes to grind; AND easily develop my own archived "mini-forum" complete with dozens of bookmarked threads annotated with copious notes that, for instance, include references to great posts by linguistically challenged yet mechanically minded geniuses whose contributions sometimes remain hidden because they wouldn't show up in a search that uses commonly accepted spellings. I have 10 folders of tabbed printouts to boot.

So it is safe to say that I have embraced & mined this forum to the utmost. This is the experience I would love to preserve for newer members as the forum grows by pleasantly astounding leaps & bounds. When 16,000 people want to hang out here, it's all good! But as just pointed out, such forums barely existed even 5 years ago & it will take thought to maximize its potential as the environment changes.

Finally, while I'm jabbering, may I agree wholeheartedly with 2air's contention that members have a responsibility to express their appreciation & appease people's curiosity about the outcome of their dilemmas (anybody remember Marina?). More specifically, I would like to thank AndyR & the moderators for having the courage to occasionally overhaul the interface despite the inevitable indignation of some panicked users.
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Old 09-16-2006, 07:22 PM   #12
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Being an online forum owner (a VERRRY new one) I have toured several forums, including forums for forum software. And you become burnt toast at that forum if you ask a question that is already in the faq or online users manual. It gets a little nasty, and I think it prevents people from even trying to ask a question. We don't need to do that here.

If I could wax philosophical for a minute, I could see a "sandbox" forum where members new to the forum and Airstreams could ask about dents and axles and sticky walls and can they tow with a Geo Tracker and so on, as sort of a throw it all out forum. The questions in this forum category would not appear in the portal page, but in a special page, where beneficient seasoned veterens could deign to answer their question, or provide them with a link to a past thread on the topic. This would keep those threads off of the Recent list, and we could all go back to reading flame wars about axles.

Ok, here's my sarcastic suggestion, as if the last one wasn't enough: Summerkid gets nominated to be the New Member Guide, providing links to all of the appropriate threads.

Ok, ok. But seriously folks, yeah, I too get tired of the same banal questions about How Much Is It Worth, and other gems. I find a polite link to an appropriate prior thread often quiets down the activity so that it settles to the bottom of the list.
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Old 09-16-2006, 07:30 PM   #13
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As a newer user, I have read this thread with interest.

I have at times hesitated to participate in a particular area of this site due to comments I've seen from folks who get testy with others who "don't get it". I try to be sensitive to the needs of those who have been here for a long time, and as a newbie I certainly wouldn't want to try to change the way the site functions.

I think Summerkid may be on to something in trying to place a banner, bright button, etc. to help remind folks to use search. I do think education will help. Anytime I welcome a new member, I try to convey that idea.

Having said that, yesterday I started a thread of my own. This was on a subject that I had searched and found a previous one, but was un-satisfied with the answers given at that time (A couple of years ago). Today I checked the responses to my recent post and found that I had recieved some very helpful replies.

I guess I have some questions.
1. Is a more recent post going to be answered more quickly?
2. Should I have tagged my question onto the 2 year old post?

Some of us newbies may screw up once in a while, but be patient - some of us do want to learn.
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Old 09-16-2006, 07:46 PM   #14
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Oh, Fyrzowt, please don't hesitate to post. I suppose some people have bad days, and others of us just express ourselves poorly on occasion. Rudeness is seldom justified (although I reserve the right). Quite often another member will leap to your defense if you are unjustly hammered. Screw the needs of longtime users; we have it good. Let's just continue to look for ways to satisfy everybody until AndyR says "I'm sick to death of all this grousing" and then crowns himself king & locks himself in a fabulous '62 Bambi (complete with wet "throne").

Some points are being raised here that had not occurred to me & Fyrzout has done that: As impatience festers, do we risk creating an atmosphere that discourages participation beyond the groaners like "What's it worth"? I was shy at first too but quickly got over that because of the intimacy of the forum back then.

And dangit AYRSTREAM2, you know that sarcasm stuff don't fly with me! Goes right o'er my pretty little head.
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