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Old August 2nd, 2005, 12:11 PM   #1
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Demonstrate Search Proficiency

Kennelmaster,

How about asking folks to demonstrate proficiency with the Search capability of the forum before you allow them post? Maybe they have to do one simple search and one advanced search to return the correct answers and then they get to 'go live'.

Not trying to penalize, I just see the Moderators answering the same questions over and over. I've found the Search function to be the most helpful aspect of the forum followed closely by the helpfulness of the members (who are sometimes exasperated by once again saying: "Have you tried a Search?").

Or just request new members to download the internet first: http://www.w3schools.com/downloadwww.htm

Or not. ;)
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 12:56 PM   #2
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Indeed, it's the lot of a moderator's life to answer the same questions again, and again, and again, and... We've tried many tricks, including adding Search reminders in our signatures and assembling FAQ sticky posts in various forums.

It just seems to be the nature of the public behavior on Internet boards to largely ignore Search.

But thank you for your empathy.
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 02:15 PM   #3
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We did take a pretty big step not too long ago and (finally) enabled the Search feature for lurkers. It used to be that you had to register as a new member before you could search. Now anybody can search, including first-time visitors, so hopefully that will cut down on the frequent questions somewhat.

Someday every forum here will have its own FAQ. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 02:35 PM   #4
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gotta jump in on this--my pet peeve isn't people who ask redundant questions, it is people who have no patience with these people.

no two threads are really alike here, especially with how rapidly the technology is evolving, and it is the shades of difference in how these questions are answered that makes these boards so useful. every educator gets sick n tired of the feeling of answering the same questions over and over again, but voila! herein learning takes place! thus a community is built!

i have great admiration for the moderators here, who do a fabulous job of re-inventing the wheel and patiently answer inquiries, usually way beyond what is even being asked. there's a lot of grace in how members are treated--very unusual on the internet. i would say anomalous, even.

and that is where i benefit, by listening in on conversations which may seem redundant on the face of things, but cover ground where i may not have even thought to have asked a question, or perhaps i already thought i knew an answer which, it so happens, i did not. or just offers up a new way of thinking about the apparently obvious. with 18,000 members, what are the odds that we have heard it all before?? we haven't.

no need to make people wrong, just because we perceive them as somehow lazy. there are plenty of secondary benefits to answering seemingly redundant questions which extend beyond the obvious. just because you don't see them doesn't mean they're not there.
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 02:54 PM   #5
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Well, like Ken I've pretty much just accepted that, for whatever reason, the same questions will get asked over and over. However, when something rings a bell for me then *I* do a search and post a few links. The difference is that I know what to search for and can narrow it down a lot better than a new user. For example, I might remember what forum it was posted in, who contributed to the thread and when it was discussed. As moderators we're here to help where we can.
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 03:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz
gotta jump in on this--my pet peeve isn't people who ask redundant questions, it is people who have no patience with these people.

no two threads are really alike here
Sorry Meryem, didn't mean to get on your 'pet peeve' side.

So Meryem, which video tape should I get, which NLE should I get, and how do I make my video look like film? Thanks in advance for your patient replies!
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 03:12 PM   #7
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...And we've always maintained the philosophy that there's no such thing as a dumb question.
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 04:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick King
Sorry Meryem, didn't mean to get on your 'pet peeve' side.

So Meryem, which video tape should I get, which NLE should I get, and how do I make my video look like film? Thanks in advance for your patient replies!
Patrick, just as an observer it seems you've made Meryem's point. By the way, I cut and pasted this into the search engine: "how do I make my video look like film?" And got nothing.

I've noticed a lot of moderators will jump in with "the answer" to question posts rather quickly, even though there are a lot of other users who can participate and provide the same direction. Is the job of moderator to answer questions? Maybe you're complaining about something you don't really have to do....

Cheers,
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 05:25 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Matt Ockenfels
Patrick, just as an observer it seems you've made Meryem's point. By the way, I cut and pasted this into the search engine: "how do I make my video look like film?" And got nothing.
I searched on "film look", and returned 500+ hits, guess that means you need remedial Search training. (Don't flame, I'm just trying to make a funny.)

I wasn't implying that the Moderators had to help, or that they shouldn't help...heck, if you'll search on my name for posts you'll see that I've personally answered several new member post of the variety I listed by doing the search for them and pointing them toward relevant threads. I agree with Meryem on the helpfulness of the members and of the utility in fully exploring each issue through the exchange of info between members.

What I was trying to point out was that I think new members are losing the benefit of the marvelous Search feature in this forum. Ken and others then educated me that 'its just the nature of the beast' in forums. OK. I quit. I'll continue doing their search for them and will provide direct links to the threads I think will help answer their question, or provide my input if I think that might be helpful. And I will never, ever recommend anyone here learn how to use the Search feature again. Mea culpa!
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 05:36 PM   #10
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A search on Film Look in this forum throws out Look as too common and only searches on Film. That is a serious problem for most people. I searched on Look like film and it threw out two of the words.

So we put up with repeat questions partially because of faulty search engines.
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 05:40 PM   #11
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Hi Patrick,

I was just doing a search that a newbe might do, just as a newbe might ask the same questions hundreds of others have already asked. And being faced with sorting through 500+ hits (if they get the search terms right) might be daunting, so its easier just to ask the question again.

Oh, and if we can help train folks to use the search engine properly, all the better! Instead of saying "do a search on this subject and you'll see ....." consider "try searching with the terms 'video film look' and discover..." Don't give up on this.

I agree the search function is a terrific tool, and really do appriciate all the work you and other folks have put into this board!

Cheers,

-Matt
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 05:40 PM   #12
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"So we put up with repeat questions partially because of faulty serch engines."

I agree that search engines are generally pretty vague in their responses. Down with Search Engines... and Automated Phone Menus! We deserve live assistance!
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 05:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Gotz
A search on Film Look in this forum throws out Look as too common and only searches on Film. That is a serious problem for most people. I searched on Look like film and it threw out two of the words.

So we put up with repeat questions partially because of faulty serch engines.
Steven,

I reran my search on the term "film look" and again got over 500 hits (Note: include the quotes in the search block to return only hits with at least one instance of the full term film look).

I then started down the row of the 500 returned threads and for at least the first 20 or so, every single one had at least one instance of the full term film look. I don't get how you say the search engine is faulty. It worked as advertized for me.
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 05:48 PM   #14
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Patrick,

When I run Film Look through the engine, it gives me this message:

The following words are either very common, too long, or too short and were not included in your search: look

Perhaps using quotes should be more common, but even though I know to use them, I imagine many people do not.
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 05:52 PM   #15
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This is one of the topics I found, using the keywords "film look"

Million Dollar Baby
Someone asks about Arnold doing films and the place goes into lockdown?

Can we talk about Clint Eastwood or is he off limits as well?

Happy Friday Chris! : )

Just an example of how vague searches can be, if you don't speak search enginese.
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