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People should search more (47 posts)

  1. oumba96
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    This might not be the forum but I just can't believe the number of redundant questions I see about how to change a header, change column widths, colors, etc. Basic questions. I have to admit I've posted some pretty lame questions..but I think I at least do my share of searching and reading first. I finally broke down and asked a question about what code to use to include latest post title on my del.icio.us links - still waiting for answer, ahem!

    Anyway - I'm not sure if people don't know to look in the wiki or do a search or...I just don't know what the problem is. Would it help to have simple easy fixes such as those in a FAQ that is posted at the very top?

    I see why some people get frustrated answering questions..I've answered a few in the last couple of days and don't mind... but I wish people would search. I know these easy ones have been answered a trillion times before. I don't know how Podz keeps his sanity and calm. By the way Podz, if you happen to read this and know the answer to my question ;)

  2. TheBigTimer
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I know some of this is "aimed" at me, I did do the research and what has been working for other people is not working for me. I created the "Change Header Image" post and still I cannot get rid of the name of my blog without the entire header going blank...

  3. Mark (podz)
    Support Maven
    Posted 9 years ago #

    There's no aiming or blaming.

    If we had every answer to every which way a question could be phrased, then we would not be here. Frustration blocks vision for all of us (with me it's ROR and Typo at the moment) and I work from the principle that a question is only difficult if you do not have the answer. Sounds trite, but it's true :)

  4. Class
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    For me anyway it's more pleasant to try to help the ones that searched first.
    Then there's the ones that want you to code their websites for free or complain if the code sample you privided wasn't 100% usable...

    Now I'm just ranting. I'll look at your other questions after I get some food :)

  5. oumba96
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Hey Timer - don't take it as aimed your direction. It wasn't. I don't know if you did search or you didn't search. I was actually reading another question where it was obvious and the person admitted they didn't even attempt to search.

    So, apologies if you took it as I was speaking regarding you - again, I don't want you to feel less loved, but I wasn't even thinking of you when I posted ;)

    But, I haven't had a chance to read my question, but I noticed it looks like podz hopefully answered it :)

  6. Marc
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Anyone notice an increase in posts that start out with "I searched high, low and in-between, and can't find what I'm looking for."

    Yet a one word post related search finds the answer at the top of the list!

    My response is normally to post the link to that search only and bid adieu. Or something along the lines of "Search is your friend," and the link to my results.

  7. ScottBerkun
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Not sure there's a fix for people being lazy (sadly). Do you guys have stats on how often the hot tags get clicked? My guess is that the less savvy a person is, the less likely they are to comprehend that UI. Putting it at the top isn't going to benefit people with basic questions.

    A "Before you ask a question click here" or, as oumba96 suggested, a compilation of the top 10 frequent questions, would be a better use for that top slot of UI.

  8. ScottBerkun
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Just noticed one more thing: the UI is latest first, not most frequent first. If you want to take a dent out of repeat questions the UI should be using frequency in some way.

  9. Mark (podz)
    Support Maven
    Posted 9 years ago #

    The repeat questions do change - and I've certainly seen that over the last 19 months. At one point here we could barely move for 'headers already sent' and 'what's chmod?' type stuff :)

    The tags placement we are discussing on the forums list right now - but I don't have any stats to show either clicks or visits here from people to come along, search, find what they want and disappear happily.

    In the end though, regardless if how many different ways we have of presenting information, there will always be someone posting and seeking an answer. Now whether they have searched or not, they are asking for information - and if we are here as forum helpers, then we should give that information. Sure, we've seen it a zillion times, but to the person posting, it's a new problem. We have no clue about them, what they are good at, how stressed they are by their problem and unless their post is truly wierd or obnoxious we shouldn't judge them.
    There is also (and someone could argue with this) that repetition of some answers by different people helps. If the first "headers already sent" answer had never been repeated and we'd all just said "Search" then doesn't that reduce the effectiveness of this place ? that's not to say that we should never say Search of course, I'm just illustrating a point. And more answers = easier to find = more people happier quicker.

    We all had to ask questions at some point about something - let's not resent answering some for others - after all, that's why we come back again and again and again ... :)

  10. oumba96
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    good point podz. I think what you are saying in short is that "misery loves company"? Haaaa.. muhhaaaa haaa. I couldn't resist.

    Good point though. How we respond is a reflection on WP and the WP community. I guess if people don't want to help someone with a "basic question" then they don't have to respond or even paruse (sp?) the forums. I'm in no way a WP, PHP, or even CSS expert. But, if it's something that I myself had trouble with when I first started using WP, then I try to answer.

    But, due to my lack of podz's mad skillz (just some friendly ribbing :) ), most of the time I just have to live by the mantra - "Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt!".

    I guess I started this thread originally because I'd been gone from the forums for awhile and then when I stepped back in to look for something, it seemed like I was reading a lot of questions that I've seen before. Sometimes it almost feels like a rebirth of WP generations. The old cats drop out of site and the new ones step in and it all starts over again. Know what I mean?

  11. vkaryl
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    "peruse".... and I LOVE your personal mantra! That's perfect for me too.... Thanks!

  12. oumba96
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    thanks for the spellcheck, vkaryl :) I'm going over in my corner now and close my mouth. heehee...

  13. Joni
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I think if a question is posed by different people (not the same person nagging/begging for an answer) over the span of say, two or three months, perhaps a FAQ should be written up, based on search results and answers found in the forum. I wanted to kind of start something like that on my WP testbed but didn't want to step on toes. For example, in the last week alone, I've had to refer to previous posts of mine setting forth the steps for establishing a MySQL database and user, as well as other stuff.

    And I tried in vain to search for a thread I'd recalled so I could post it to help someone else out and I searched high and lo, and even on Google and didn't find it. But what I DID find were a lot of unhelpful TITLES.

    I need help (Help with what? we know you need help, that's why you're here!)

    It doesn't work (Why not? What is it not doing? What error message(s) do you get)

    HELP MEEEEE!!!!! (Don't make me say want I really want to say.)

    PLEASE HELP MEEEE!!!!!! (From the same person, two minutes later).

    You all know what I mean. I can see why a lot of the regulars get frustrated, and people who are intelligent enough to have a grasp on a lot of the technical stuff that is waaaayy above this little old brunette's head will probably not suffer fools gladly. Yet all of us started out knowing zip squat at first.

    Anyway, it would be really nice if people would THINK before they posted, and especially about their title. The information is only useful if it can be RETRIEVED and utilized.

  14. skippy
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I've suggested before that new users be required to search before posting. Searching should set a cookie on your system (or perhaps even better set a flag on your account in the database) that indicates that you have indeed searched.

    Sure, it can be "bypassed" by searching for something trivial, getting the cookie, and then posting your question. But if you're going to do that, you weren't going to search anyway, so we don't lose anything on the balance.

  15. Joni
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    You mean kind of like that chemical in the pool that turns blue if you've.... ;-P

  16. Kafkaesqui

    Posted 9 years ago #

    If you had searched, you would have found this topic has come up before...

  17. oumba96
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Well.... there has to be a smart..blah blah you know what ;) in every group. Since it was technically a "request / feedback" you're right, I didn't necessarily perform the search function since requests or feedback don't typically require a search first. ;)

  18. Beel
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    What pool do you swim in, joni?

    Well, I noticed "they" moved the search bar even further up and "out of the way." It should stay close to where ever I happen to be typing.

    A sneaky thing would be to disguise the search as a thread title and when they click "submit" (it's been a long time since I couldn't find an answer so I don't remember what it actually says) they get a returned search of the forum ;-)

    Edit: It took me a while to find where all these threads are coming from and there has been some cool updating of the form. I'll have to find an excuse to try it out... hmmm, should I choose "headers already sent", "sidebar dropping", or ...

  19. tomhanna
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Search is only as good as the input. I recall one post asking how to make "collapsable" links. Well, of course, they didn't find that in a search and no one else will find that thread with the answer if they do a search for "collapsible" links either. That's part and parcel of an international forum with members ranging in age from as young as 12 on up. (12 being the youngest age I noticed.)

    I do find the trend to "I searched and searched" disturbing - it means that people are starting to be afraid to ask a question for fear someone will jump all over them. This forum is an excellent, excellent resource, but if people are afraid to use it, it's much less so.

  20. Beel
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    Heh, heh... I find "I searched and searched" refreshing, though I suspect it is more akin to "The check is in the mail...." Maybe if they are "afraid" enough, more people will actually search.

    On the other side, it has been a long while since anyone here (as far as I know) has been rude. Reminders are far from threatening and I don't think anyone will be "afraid" to use the forum. I suspect if I ever create a new thread I will mention that I couldn't find the answer on my own because I find myself more committed to helping others who actually have.

    I don't want to spend 30 minutes figuring out the answer for a poster who spent 30 seconds - and that only on typing the question. I want to help those who tried but can't, not those who can't be bothered to try.

  21. ScottBerkun
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    One thing I've tried way back when I did forum support for IE, was to get the other forum watchers to agree to a simple policy. If any of us saw posts that didn't 1) ask a well formed question 2) refer to some attempt to search for it 3) mention looking over the FAQ, we'd point the poster, in the friendliest way possible, to a one page sheet that listed how to do those 3 things.

    This wasn't too much to ask and it balanced out the 30 second to 30 minute tradeoff Beel points out.

  22. josalmon
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    I've used the support forums quite a lot for what some people might consider to be simple problems with an obious answer but that's because I really struggle with the codex - it's great for some stuff but assumes a level of knowledge about php that I just don't have. In the past I have read the answer to a question without knowing it answered my question or understanding anything it said.

    On a positive note, I'm learning more and more every day and wouldn't go back to blogger if you paid me (though I do miss their instant preview bit).

  23. peterinco
    Member
    Posted 9 years ago #

    You know what would really help? If, after folks solve their problem, which most seemingly do, they'd come back to the forum and put a short post on here explaining how they did it.

    So if anyone can help me I promise to do this!!

    And I'll say this too... virtually all of the helpers on this forum are pretty darn friendly and patient with us newbies. And they're not affiliated with WP and have almost nothing to gain. Perhaps I missed it but I haven't seen a whole lot of support from the creator(s) of WP here.

  24. Mark (podz)
    Support Maven
    Posted 9 years ago #

    "Perhaps I missed it but I haven't seen a whole lot of support from the creator(s) of WP here."

    If they were here, they'd have no time to code :)

  25. slink
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    The disorganization here is incredible. I'm not a newbie and it took me a while to figure out how to do simple things using wordpress other than just setting it up initially. The problem is that the forums are just not conducive to finding what you need. I'd sooner put up a phpBB forum and bedone with it.

    Second there is no organization of efforts. There is no section that provides a list of completed plugins, themes, etc. It's a bunch of different places trying to compile things for the benefit of others that is a constant effort.

    The sooner this place is organized the better.

  26. Beel
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    You have posted two trolling messages, please stop.

  27. jennmiller
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I hope and pray we don't got to a forum set up. While this may (or may not) take some getting used to, it's much easier than reading a forum format. The search may give you several different directions to look, but at least it does it in a user friendly way.

  28. Beel
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    And as was said in your original thread, you are welcome to start your own forum, phbb or otherwise, and organize it however you want.

  29. Nurice
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I am unable to read all this thread, but wanted to comment on something Podz said. I appreciate so much the positive approach, and that to each person the problem is new or important to them, and that you never know what their situation is.

    I am able to search to a pretty good extent and find many answers as I shared in a post a few moments ago. But am limited in what I can do also and sometimes need to be able to find info without having to "wade through."

    I'm even hesitant to post this because I don't consider my problem handicapping but rather a challenge to work through. So am not complaining but rather just praising the positive attitude that Podz offered (and maybe others in this post as I can't read it all). Personally I'm doing great and have been able to do all my websites and all, but lose my focus when I try to read through a lot of material. My website explains more, but this is not a plug for that either, just thanking the support team again for being so patient and helpful.

    Podz is right, you never know the situation of those that may post. Some are lazy I'm sure, and I don't know if I'd be as patient as you all are. But some may not be good readers, or may not be able to comprehend as easily as others or may have not known just what to search for, or..."

    I'm amazed at the patience you all have no matter how redundant, and that is part of what makes WordPress so special.

    Don't mean to overdo the thanks, but this post caught my eye.

    Lois

  30. Beel
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Welcome Nurice, and your thanks are appreciated. We are not adverse to constructive criticsm here, just trolling. When I started with WP, I was an absolute total "newbie" as I had never used PHP. I installed it along with WP. I got the answers for the questions I asked here, but it was the searching and "wading through" which provided the education I needed to figure things out on my own.

    I appreciate it when someone tosses me a fish now and then, but fishing is much more rewarding (and fun).

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