I wonder what is so wrong with asking a question that has already been asked?
I say this in response to a recent response by johnfoss.
- Why not?
- Surely you don’t have to read a post if you don’t want to.
- What’s the harm if people don’t mind answering?
- Somebody else might have something vital to say about it.
- To me, this has more validity than some of the threads that are posted.
- Life can be repetative.
Anyway, what’s so wrong with asking a question that has already been asked?
Asking a question that has been asked before is not wrong to do. Superb people recommend using the search function to familiarize new users with it AND will answer the question as well. Polite people just recommend using the search function. Rude people demand that you find and use the search function and refuse to answer the question. I fit into all three categories. This applies to technical questions (how to remove a crank) as well as Just Conversation topics.
Re: compulsory search facility
I thought this was going to be a thread about some sort of idea for a “compulsory search facility.” Oh well.
What’s so wrong with recommending people use the Search to find answers that have already been written? You get much better threads if the person reads a little bit first. Much better than the same thread over and over, with all of us reading it to see if there’s any new information in there. If the person still has a a question they can either add it to a previous thread, which is handy because it keeps the topic in one place, or start a new thread that won’t be idtentical to the old one because it builds upon it.
Recommending people read and search before posting is common practice for online communities. Doing so should be thought of as common etiquette for participation in them. But this is not widely known so we let people know.
Re: compulsory search facility
IMHO - nothing.
Saying that though, the search facility is very handy - but not compulsory. And after all nobody is forced to read/reply to any posts on here or any other newsgroup and nobody can dictate what is or what is not posted (though it can be removed from the unicyclist.com portal).
I’ve just had an Idea, and it might also make this thread about what people think the thread title means.
Most new users post their question with a thread title something like ‘air saddle’, ‘Geared Unicycle’, ‘splined crank issues’, ‘Seat Post Sizes’ and so on (to take some recent examples). Now, the idea is that on posting (when you press ‘post thread’ or whatever the button says) the forum does a compulsory search of the thread title and gives you a page with something like ‘A search has returned 10 archived threads that may be relevant to your post, would you like to view these now?’ question on it, you hit yes to view them, no to go straight to the thread, as usual. Possibly switchable in the users CP for those of us who already know about the search and use it.
This might help new users realise how useful the search function is, as well as giving them the answers faster and stopping much of this ‘search around’ default answers…
Would this be possible Gilby? I would assume it shouldn’t be that big a job to add that as a PHP script, the search is already there…
What a nice idea.
Perhaps, if I may add to the wish list…
Would it be possible to have the search function return a link to the specific page with the post that matches the search phrase, instead of the first page of the post?
Right now, for example, a link to the first page of the Most Replies thread pops up for almost every search. It’s more than just a few pages long, as are many threads. Finding what you want in many threads is very difficult because the threads are long – and are frequently, uhh, quite diverse in content.
Providing a link to the actual post/page containing the search phrase would be a great enhancement, and make the search function much more user friendly.
On the bottom left of the search page click the “Show results as posts” option instead of the “Show results as threads” option. Tada…
New Record: That was the fastest implementation for any enhancement I’ve ever requested.
Thanks for the tip.
I can think of a couple of reasons for being a little strong in suggesting a search before posting.
If not, every other thread would be a question that we all have seen/heard/answered 100 times. This doubles the rate at which posts that are meaningful fly by. I work at home on unicycles, and I have a hard time keeping up as it is.
Everyone who answers a post invests time to answer it in a sensible, clear way. For me, sometimes I will actually take apart a unicycle, change a tire, etc. to get a measurement for someone. It is reasonable to expect someone who posts a question to put in at least 2-3 times as much time searching for answers that have already been given.
For example, think of the several posts John Childs has made about his handle setup. Each one involved a lot of work getting dimensions, taking photos, answering questions, and the like. Now, think of someone who comes in with a post 5 days later:
Hey dodds I wanna make a handel 4 my Cokker… whaddaa think?
Think that question deserves an answer?
I’d rather see people post than be intimidated into not posting, that is for sure, but it is reasonable to expect an investment on the poster’s part ahead of time.
No, U-Twit, this forum is far too highbrow for people who can’t spell… what are these people doing with unicycles in the first place?
If anything’s compulsory, it should be a quick intro to posting shown to each user / abuser. (thanks Fuego / GB4 for the link!)
Nothing like a finely honed wit to knock one back on one’s heels…
If I have a general question in my head about a part or, whatever, I usually do a search.
But often, the search results are pretty vague. You have to go fishing through tons of stuff before you get something that resembles what you were searching for. This is not always the case, but more often than not, I find the search facility to be slightly lacking.
Sometimes a direct question yields a better result. There are a lot of newbies joining the unicycle fold every day, it’s inevitable that questions will be repeated–fortunetly, as people get better at the sport, those who were new yesterday will be answering the newer ones tomorrow, and those of you who are already advanced today can ignore those questions you’ve already answered. It’s not a big deal.
I personally thought the “intro to posting” thing (the link referred to earlier) to be condescending rubbish.
… tylercox threads?
Hey! I resemble that comment… er… resent… nevermind.
No, I wasn’t referring to you, or to the ones who first made the link. I just found the animation itself to be a bit condescending–I mean, for someone to go through all the trouble of making a complicated Flash animation about people who fail to use the search facility, they must get really bothered by a lot of tiny things in their life to go through such great lengths to make a point such as that. To me, it comes across as a bit uptight–but that’s just my own opinion…
i guess that was me orignal point.
Re: compulsory search facility
“dogbowl” <dogbowl@NoEmail.Message.Poster.at.Unicyclist.com> writes:
> more often than not, I find the search facility to be slightly
Google offers an alternative. Their advanced search page is
[http://groups-beta.google.com/advanced_search]. I usually go
straight to Google when searching the forum. Be sure to specify
> Sometimes a direct question yields a better result.
Of course it does. Sometimes. Other times, a question has been
thoroughly answered and the best respinse is a link to a previous
thread. In those cases, searching would have been better.
> … questions will be repeated–fortunetly, as people get better at
> the sport, those who were new yesterday will be answering the newer
> ones tomorrow, and those of you who are already advanced today can
> ignore those questions you’ve already answered. It’s not a big deal.
I don’t believe that discouraging long-time participants from posting
is healthy for a forum. When that happens, the quality of information
and social stability degrade. I’ve seen several Usenet newsgroups
deteroriate as the quality of discussion drops and the most
knowledgeable leave in disgust.
Many feel there is no point in arguing when threads are filled with
clueless newbies spewing nonsense. Thankfully, that is not the case
in this forum. Let’s keep it thatway. Politely requesting a search
before posting a question that has been asked a dozen times before is
not asking much, especially considering the quality of answers we see