I have another idea.
As had been mentioned before, it's easy to talk about improving the forum, but a lot of circumstances make it imposible or difficult. OK, I agree.
: one simple thing could be done, if only a few people wanted to participate.
As I mentioned earlier, why not steal ideas from other Forums?
One very neat idea can been found in the RV.NET Forum. Here it is:
they have a FAQ thread
maintained by the members.
It is not because we are younger and outnumbered (nearly 15 to 1), that we cannot do it.
The great things about this FAQ thread are:
_ it can start very small, only a few lines
_ it does not require moderators' help (they can of course intervene when we are s****ing-up too much)
_ it can grow as long as we keep at it and keep it in the top list of new stuff.
_ it could be very useful
Where and how this all got started.
on the RV Net Forum (here is a summary):
"With new RVers coming onto the forum every day and while "getting their feet wet," some will ask innocently, a question that frequently comes up (Wal-Mart parking, holding tank dumping procedures, checklists, fridge on propane, backing up, etc.). Many times we'll answer their questions, but I've seen times where we see postings "Oh, Lord, here we go again!" which, to a newcomer, can be traumatic, especially if this is the first time they've posted.
"Would it be reasonable or desired for a posting that provides the common questions and links to the threads in this forum
which addresses them? If new information may be added, it can be added in any of the threads rather than starting a new one with the same information (conclusion?). The FAQ thread could be "refreshed" once a week or more frequently by posting a "refresh" reply.
"It's not meant to stifle participation, but it could help reduce the non-helpful replies.
"What does this esteemed group think about this idea?"
or, in other words: "Whachoo thinkaboaw dat ?"
Here is what they ended up with:
Frequently Asked Questions on the Open Roads Forum
, look at it, it's pretty neat. (summary: )
"About this thread:
"This thread is a kind of an "Index" to topics that have been raised many times
on the forum. It is not a "Topic Search Engine." That is already provided by the forum.
"It is by no means all inclusive of all the discussions done on this forum. To maintain a true index is a daunting, if not impossible, task.
"It is also definitely not meant to stifle discussion nor to quash any new topics from being created.
It is here to provide quick links to some discussions that have taken place in the past . If you are aware of a topic and thread and want it added here, please post a reply to this thread with the FAQ and the link to the thread so I can copy it here."
You see, it's that simple.
Now, I am sure there are many ways to go at it. One would be for volonteers to declare themselves, say what topic(s) they are interested in gleaning.
Here is how I started: "search: tow AND towing AND towed". Got 16 pages. Let's say member #1 takes 4 pages, #2 takes....etc....
A lot of stuff on these 16 pages were either unrelated or so brief that they can be by-passed.
Each member can make his list like that:
_ HELP..... I've never towed before !!!!
Newbie Towing Questions
Another towing question
Towing equipment basics
_ Can I tow my Airstream with that?
Tow vehicle rating
............. and more: see link at the bottom of this page..............
It can be done fast. What I did was: I had rows of lines ready to go like this:
Then, off line, I added the id# along with title of thread.
Thread can be listed in order by sub-topic, or no order if someone is too lazy. A not too organized list is still very useful. And this is where some moderators can volonteer to re-sort that thread. Even once a week, a month, what ever.
Maybe instead of one FAQ thread, several FAQ threads ? like one for "towing", one for "electric",.... easiest to maintain in a way.
And: links to the "outside world" can be included. Maybe with a [b]*[/b] , or some kind of other flag.
OK, any volonteers?
I have already started. Done only 3 pages. More, I am sure can be gathered from these 3 pages. I started with the ones which had the most answers. Maybe some are going to be real duds. Some short ones I omitted may be very good. BUT: everything can be added, modified,.......
Don't be shy now, you can do it. If you can help: you should. It's your duty or you are going to lose your rivets
FAQ about towing