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Old 01-01-2013, 02:40 AM   #1
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Airstream Wiki...

This may be a question that's been asked a million times, but I searched and searched and couldn't find my answer so here goes.

One thing I've experienced as I've read and read and read on this AMAZING site is a fair amount of frustration, in trying to track down through the search feature specific topics. I can scroll through each technical forum, but often it's like looking for needles in haystacks.

I use the search feature, but come up with results that oftentimes seem like they're out of left field to me. They're off topic, and I can't even find my keyword in the page when I search that page.

I've thought probably a hundred times, that this site could use a seriously high powered wiki. I mean ALL the information is already out here, and many users do know where it is, through saving and organizing of their own links. There are users who are "experts" on certain topics like insulation, floor/frame repairs, coatings, plumbing, etc.

But information both general and specific is difficult to navigate to quickly.

Am I crazy in this assertion/question?? Am I missing something? I am a very technically competent person. I search a great deal on the web, I've programmed in php and html, and built websites, databases, and the interfaces.

Just seems to me that we could take this amazing community and make the information that people are after much more accessible with a little application of ourselves to it.

Thoughts? Thanks!
mark
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:40 AM   #2
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Great topic. What's your question? What info where you in search of?
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:15 AM   #3
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oh, i've been in search of all manner of info!! furnace info, plumbing info, electrical info, rivet info, on and on.

and i have gleaned a ton reading threads, but have been largely unsuccessful in quickly locating answers to questions, rather, I've found out how certain folks have done stuff and what the general consensus is on a topic at least as it comes out in a thread or two.

make sense?

just seems like we could pretty easily organize some fairly concrete topics and information so it's easier to get to some answers.

or i need a good tutorial on searching this forum!! could just be that too i guess

thanks,
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:41 AM   #4
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Agreed! I have read back to 2004 so far in the classic section. And there is great info scattered among the pages.....but trying to find it again (or the first time) is a PITA. I know a few members have created Stickies with links on the first page to diffent links of information.

Here is one that Key maintains that is great!
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f311...ead-95034.html

It is always the first post in the Classic Moho section.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:37 AM   #5
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Might I suggest you search differently? Go to google and type in "Airforums; subject you seek info on" You will find the info you need much easier that way.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:12 AM   #6
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Might I suggest you search differently? Go to google and type in "Airforums; subject you seek info on" You will find the info you need much easier that way.
X2....'ya can't beet the google.

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Old 01-01-2013, 09:18 AM   #7
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On another forum, on another subject, I was recently admonished ( in good humor ) for not using GOOGLE to find the answer to my inquiry with ease and simplicity. This is the dilemma for those of us born before 1980. This high tech world is still a learning experience for us.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:26 AM   #8
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On another forum, on another subject, I was recently admonished ( in good humor ) for not using GOOGLE to find the answer to my inquiry with ease and simplicity. This is the dilemma for those of us born before 1980. This high tech world is still a learning experience for us.
not admonishing, I have found the search function here to not functioning
as well as searching from the outside...
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62overlander View Post
not admonishing, I have found the search function here to not functioning
as well as searching from the outside...
Agreed, but it shouldn't be that way.... The amount of data available is overwhelming in it's content and disarray and disorganization....
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:33 AM   #10
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One way to narrow down a search here is to "search post" instead of "search thread". Key word will be highlighted. TMI can always be a problem when doing any internet searches. GOOGLE can definetly be your friend when shotgunning for information. Search engines are only as smart as the programer and the person searching.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
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....... Search engines are only as smart as the programer and the person searching.
Hopefully the programmer is top notch because I am not doing to well on this end!
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:04 AM   #12
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wxbuoy,

I think that this is my point.

"Agreed, but it shouldn't be that way.... The amount of data available is overwhelming in it's content and disarray and disorganization...."

I couldn't agree more.

I get that I can search outside using google and bing, searching airforums.com, but can't we all agree that it's a bit silly? I mean again, this site is AMAZING, in all of it's information and thorough coverage of any number of topics. But the access to that information and the organization of that information is sorely lacking.

I agree that you can track some stuff down if you work hard enough, but a solid wiki of information well organized and populated would be an amazing resource and timesaver especially when paired with the forum posts which could be cross referenced for context in particular peoples restorations/renovations.

Would there be resistance in adding a section like that to this site?

Just trying to make it easier on those of us interested in restoring our streams (and in my case argosies ). Please let me know if I'm missing something.

Thanks all, again, top notch community,
always good to be growing though too right?

mark
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:23 AM   #13
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Mark,

You are absolutely correct! I have spent the past day searching for a post in a thread I read 2 months ago (that I can't remember where, for someone who was making window weep hole covers) Very frustrating!

Maybe an easy way to start would be to give the originator of threads the ability to update the first page, thereby they could put a part wiki etc on it. Keyair is doing that over on the classic moho forum with his parts sticky wiki.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:42 AM   #14
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The site did start a wiki at one point. It's down now and has been for some time - probably due to a lack of interest in adding and updating info.

"site:airforums.com <topic>" in Google works pretty well, far better than any vBulletin built-in search has ever worked. And let's face it, even if the internal search worked as well as Google does, you'd still just get the same results.

I've considered writing up a couple threads as FAQs for people that could be stickied at the top of the appropriate forum to help people with very common questions (converters, hooking 220 volts to the RV plug, how the propane regulator works, and so on). I don't know if the forum owners would be interested in that or not, though, and I'd hate to put the effort into compiling the info only to have it ignored.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:14 AM   #15
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Mark,

You are absolutely correct! I have spent the past day searching for a post in a thread I read 2 months ago (that I can't remember where, for someone who was making window weep hole covers) Very frustrating!

Dave,

Your not weeping in your beerski are you???

It was for the MH I'll bet.

Bob
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:32 PM   #16
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Thanks CHIEF for that little tip. I had never tried that.


Dave

Quote:
Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
One way to narrow down a search here is to "search post" instead of "search thread". Key word will be highlighted. TMI can always be a problem when doing any internet searches. GOOGLE can definetly be your friend when shotgunning for information. Search engines are only as smart as the programer and the person searching.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:59 PM   #17
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Skater,

Thanks for the link to that old wiki attempt. Kind of a bummer.

I think your thoughts are quite valid and probably the best we could do given the reality of things.

I struggle in situations like this because it seems like one of those deals where what would be best for everyone in the longrun can't gain enough traction to take off. You know what I mean? Not to get too political, but like our government, can't make the hard decisions to do what's best now to get us into a better place in 10 or 20 years, but stuck dealing with the tyranny of the urgent. [rant over ]

What I envision for a wiki for streamers may diverge a bit from that previous attempt, but I still think that all the challenges you posted would apply and make it difficult to take off. I have more of a vision for a repository of helpful information for restorers and DIY'ers vs. trying to compile accurate histories of all things airstream.

One of the things that I really appreciate about the forums is the diversity of ways in which people have solved problems and the sheer amount of variety in addressing various "issues" we find in our renovations/restorations. I don't envision a wiki that says, "THIS IS HOW YOU INSULATE AN AIRSTREAM. This is the best and only way" That is not the spirit of these forums and you can imagine the drama that ensues as people of varying opinions let loose.

But rather, I imagine a well thought through HIERARCHICAL system in which information can be shared on any of these topics as options for how to address issues.

An example:
Topic: Insulating our Airstreams

Background information: Convection, Conduction, Radiation, Thermodynamics Primer (These could all be links to wikipedia or other good sources)

Agreed Upon Best Practice Important Things to Consider
- What is there agreement on pretty much across the board?
- What are the guiding principles when insulating a trailer?

Major Wall Approaches:
> Foil Faced Bubble Wrap
> Fiberglass
> Insulation Board
> Combination Approaches
> Spray Foam
> Coatings

Major Floor Approaches:
> Insulation Board
> Fiberglass Batt
> Combination Approaches

Discussion Section: here we could invite several "experts" to share their thoughts on why they do what they do and how they do it and how it's worked.

Sourcing Materials:
- A list of online and/or local suppliers for insulation materials
- A list of general/popular/often used materials with rough pricing for people to begin to budget against. Include disclaimers


Each subsection could link to certain airforums.com threads which connect to the topic or discussion.

Just some ideas about "what could be" though, again, I feel like you're probably right about just adding some sticky FAQ's to the top of the forum sections that serve some of this purpose for us. Seems a shame to me, but I'd be up for helping to conglomerate some info if it would be helpful to us. I'm certainly no airstream restoration guru, but can do some grunt technical work that will benefit us all.

What do we think....
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:27 PM   #18
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Mark, I don't think it's a bad idea, but it's a lot of work to come up with that consensus. We all know that obviously hot-button topics like hitches will generate a lot of "discussion" with little or no consensus. But, even topics like insulating for the winter can generate quite a few differing opinions - and let's face it, depending on what you're doing, you need different things: my occasional few-day trips during December and January are far less demanding than, say, spending all winter in the camper. I don't mind refilling a propane tank every few days, but if I were doing it and paying for it all winter, I'd likely have a different opinion.

I'm willing to write up some of my experience and I'll listen to and incorporate feedback for improving it, and of course I'd need help in areas that I haven't done. But it'd be nice to have a moderator drop in and say, "If you do that, I'll make it a sticky thread."

But I'd love a source on, say, Pex tubing that was written by and for Airstreamers. Meanwhile I'm sure I could summarize the threads on winter camping for others, since I have some experience with it myself.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:00 PM   #19
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Skater,

I know what you're saying. I'm overly optimistic oftentimes and I'd like to think we could put together a variety of opinions and advice without needing to get into black and white blanket statements. But I'm likely wrong. I wonder what would happen if a few of us could pick a topic or two and conglomerate some info seeking appropriate help where necessary. Basically trying to put together some of these "sticky" posts. We could see where they might go??

It might be a start and as we ask for help we can re-edit the first, "master" post incorporating changes, updates, etc.

I would love to help write one of these, but feel woefully incompetent, as I'm just starting my renovation. I would be willing to give it a shot, sifting back through the mountains of posts on whatever topic and compiling. Would you be up for something similar along the lines of winter camping?

Maybe we can even try to standardize how we address the topics, probably won't work across the board, but worth a shot?

What do you think? Give it a try? Feel free to pm me?

Thx,
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:53 AM   #20
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Sure, I'll give it a shot for winter camping. Give me a couple days or more to work on it. After I post it, I'll PM a moderator and ask if they'll sticky it, and we'll link to this. However, I doubt the re-edit rules can be set on a per-message basis - I think they're set board-wide (currently to 15 minutes).
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