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Chas

What the boards need

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I think it would be a good addition to the boards to have a sticky with instuctions on how to use the search funtion effectively. I know when I first tried it I had no clue why I never got any results and it was terribly frustrating!

I think it would be a good Idea because folks around here are always reffering new members to the 'Search Function'and there are no instructions, to my knowledge, as to how to use it. For the new members that get told they sholud use it this must be a fairly frustrating situation.

So what do you Mods and admins think?

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Click on "Search". Fill in the field "Search by Keywords". Pick which forum you want to search in "Search Where". Click on "Perform the Search".

How is this hard for people to understand? Or are people that lazy that we need a page like Google? Just fill in the field and click "Search/I'm Feelin Lucky"?

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If you don't change the box that gives the time span of the posts being displayed from '30 days' to 'All' nothing shows up. At least that's been my experience.

I just think it would be helpful is all. No need to insult anyone. It's not a matter of them being so 'lazy' that they can't figure it out. It's , in my opinion, about making this place welcomeing and a bit more user friendly.

Edited by Chas

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Chas, write it up and we'll pin it.

[/quote

O.K. Will Do! Make sure I don't make any mistakes though :ph34r: ]

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make sure it's good and informative. not just a quick write up.

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make sure it's good and informative. not just a quick write up.

Submitted for approval

How I use the "Search Function"

First. Figure out what it is you want to find. It may not always be a good idea to search using a question. Try to think of words/phrases that posts, which contain what you are looking for, might have in them.

Second. Which forum is this information most likely to be in? Keep in mind that until recently there has been a shortage of moderating staff so some topics may not be in the correct place (This is currently being rectified by our diligent and contentious moderators - Thanks Guys!). Due to this fact it is wise, if nothing of value comes up in the forum you think the information should be in, to try a "second best", or "second most likely" location for the information you are searching for.

Third. Scroll down to the bottom of the index page of the forum you have decided to search. In the lower left corner, just bellow the last thread in the index, you will see a white search field with the words "Enter Keywords" this is where you type your carefully selected subject. Beside the search field is the "Search Forum" button do not click on it yet. There is one more step!

Fourth. If you look further down, just above the very bottom of the page, where it lists the language the board is being displayed in, you will see the Legend, which tells you what all the pretty colours on the Kites actually mean. Beside that you will see a series of white text fields. Find the one marked "From: 30 Days" click on the arrow beside it and select a timeframe for your search (I usually choose "ALL").

Last. Click the "Search Forum" button.

If you still have problems using this function go over the steps again to make sure you have not made an error, then try changing your search parameters, and/or the forum you are searching. If error messages still occur then please post a request for help in the FAQ & Feedback forum (Please refrain from posting requests for help in the other forums as this adds to clutter).

Thank-you and good hunting.

If I've missed anything let me know and I'll add it in. ;)

edit> all my quotation marks came out 'funny' :blink::blink:

Edited by Chas

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I don't see any harm in pinning such a thing. But, I'm confused because (for me at least, in two different browsers, both logged in and not) the search page should be defaulting to "any date" rather than "in the last 30 days."

The tips above are good. And, again, do no harm. But, well. . . the search form is also relatively self-explanatory. ;)

Edit: Just tried it from another computer that's never "seen" MW before. Still defaulting to "Any Date." :blink:

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Well I'm using Firefox on a Mac Pwerbook G4 with OSX 10.3.9 and I've always had to change that field whenever I use Search. Maybe it's just my mac? Anyway It's no big deal If you all think it's not really needed that's fine, it was just a suggestion. I just noticed that we are always reffering newbies to the search function, and I remember when I first used it I never could get it to work right, and I didn't really want to post asking about it 'cus I figured someone would slam me for it. (The boards were a little more aggessive back then).

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Looks fine. Except the default for the search features is set to "Any Date" currently. So the 30-days-thingy probably doesn't apply.

*Mode=Andy Rooney*

Now, I'm not trying to be insulting or mean, but I find it silly that we need to have a FAQ just to know how to search. You think in this day-and-age, with Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc., that people know how to search for stuff on the 'Net. How hard is it to search? Which is why I revert to my previous comment: People are lazy. We just had a user post a thread looking for answers to M0. Just 2 posts down, someone linked to multiple threads we have had to the topic. Obviously, the user (and many just like this individual previously) did not look past the 1st page of topics. In a section of nearly 1500 topics with almost 40,000 replies and 3 years of being around, there is a chance that we have talked about it. Maybe the better thing to do is post a very large comment box at the top of each section telling everybody, A) to use the search feature, B) to read our rules before posting, C) to read the the TOS agreement again. I've seen other sites with this. It consumes enough space to force people to scroll down before they even are able to read anything. Maybe then, people wouldn't be so lazy.

*/Mode*

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We'll let people that want to chime in decide whether we need this or not. I havent seen a lot of newb posts lately that needed to be pointed to the Search Function. But if people thinks it's a necessity then so be it.

I'd like to point out that every member can make up something that the forum needs and we'd take it seriously. If it seems silly or unneeded, it'll be rejected right away.

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Chas, we appreciate your concern for trying to improve MW. So, I hope none of my comments come off as harsh or discouraging.

Having said that, in my view, if the default date range were the problem, I'd think the ideal FAQ would be:

Q: I don't seem to get any results for a search that should return results.

A: You may need to widen the date range of your search. Try changing "Search Posts From. . ." to "Any Date."

Actually, I remember when we did have to change this every time. My searches would often turn up empty a while back. But, that was a few IPB versions ago. To my knowledge, the default has been "Any Date" for quite some time now (probably due to the very problem you describe).

Best,

H

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Looks fine. Except the default for the search features is set to "Any Date" currently. So the 30-days-thingy probably doesn't apply.

*Mode=Andy Rooney*

Now, I'm not trying to be insulting or mean, but I find it silly that we need to have a FAQ just to know how to search. You think in this day-and-age, with Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc., that people know how to search for stuff on the 'Net. How hard is it to search? Which is why I revert to my previous comment: People are lazy. We just had a user post a thread looking for answers to M0. Just 2 posts down, someone linked to multiple threads we have had to the topic. Obviously, the user (and many just like this individual previously) did not look past the 1st page of topics. In a section of nearly 1500 topics with almost 40,000 replies and 3 years of being around, there is a chance that we have talked about it. Maybe the better thing to do is post a very large comment box at the top of each section telling everybody, A) to use the search feature, B) to read our rules before posting, C) to read the the TOS agreement again. I've seen other sites with this. It consumes enough space to force people to scroll down before they even are able to read anything. Maybe then, people wouldn't be so lazy.

*/Mode*

You know, you are copletely justified in your reaction. I agree with you, it's mostly just folks being lazy - thing is that's never going to change! I just figure that, in our first encounter with new members we should give them the benefit of the doubt. - maybe they tried to use the Search Function and couldn't figure it out - if that's the case we can refer them to the sticky. No muss - No fuss. No further explanations required!

And about the default search period feel free to chop it if it doesn't apply.

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Chas, we appreciate your concern for trying to improve MW. So, I hope none of my comments come off as harsh or discouraging.

Having said that, in my view, if the default date range were the problem, I'd think the ideal FAQ would be:

Q: I don't seem to get any results for a search that should return results.

A: You may need to widen the date range of your search. Try changing "Search Posts From. . ." to "Any Date."

Actually, I remember when we did have to change this every time. My searches would often turn up empty a while back. But, that was a few IPB versions ago. To my knowledge, the default has been "Any Date" for quite some time now (probably due to the very problem you describe).

Best,

H

Hurin, I'm not that sensativve! :rolleyes::D:p

If in fact what I describe was a function of an older incarnation of the boards then perhaps that explains it. I can't actually remember which version was running the last time I used the search function. This whole idea of mine may be a moot point now, 'cus that was the problem that gave me such a headache, and because it was fairly obscure I thought it required a bit of spot light. Oh well sorry to waste your time guys.

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I would add a little bit about the usefullness of displaying as topics vs displaying as posts. Can make life a lot easier when searching.

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