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 Try Searching: a solution

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Angry
Master Baiter


Joined: 28 Jul 2006
Posts: 148


PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:24 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This is an open letter to forum administrators and moderators in all forums which I am a member. I participate in a lot of online forums. In every forum, there are a set of questions that get asked over, and over, and over again. Invariably, someone will give the answer, "You should try searching before you ask a question. This has already been answered." Here's the problem with that: Now, when people do search for the answer, they find a bunch of posts where the answer is "Try searching." Sometimes there is a link to a post that has the answer. Sometimes there's a dead link to an expired post or nonexistent web or wiki page that used to have the answer. Sometimes there's a link to other links that may or may not have the answer. Sometimes there's no link at all.

I propose this solution: Keep a personal archive of answers to commonly asked questions. I use Google Sites as my own personal wiki for this purpose. Then cut and paste those answers when you get asked that same question /again/. That way, when someone does search for the answer, he or she can find a post that says more than just "You should try searching for that answer." If we don't answer those same questions in full every time, then we're not only doing a disservice to those people who do search, but we're also forcing people out of the habit of searching first because they know that they're only going to find the "try searching" answer.

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Ima Baeder
419Eater Admin


Joined: 03 May 2007
Posts: 18314


PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:44 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Or, you could create a bunch of sticky topics in the forum that have all of the answers and tell people to read the stickies. We conveniently have one titled FAQ's. Wink If someone asks, we link them to the sticky where the information exists. Those links won't be dead links.

I also think we're pretty good here about actually answering people's questions rather than just telling them to search.

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Craig007
rude right wing fascist


Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 3124


PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:46 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I like Ima's way better Wink

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Angry
Master Baiter


Joined: 28 Jul 2006
Posts: 148


PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:51 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

You are pretty good here. Like I said, it's just an open letter that I'm posting in all forums that I am a member of. For an example of what frustrated me enough to write this letter, try to figure out how to make text wrap around a circle in Paint.net :twisted:

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luckey
Moderator


Joined: 25 Jan 2007
Posts: 5629
Location: Check the lost and found


PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 4:54 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^Search is your friend. Wink

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A material which slows down neutrons after fission to speeds at which their probability for interaction with the fuel material is increased.
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manbiteslion
Baiting Guru


Joined: 12 Dec 2007
Posts: 4816
Location: Connecting my chair and keyboard


PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

*cough* http://tinyurl.com/cfdsf2 *cough*

Wink

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