Support » Requests and Feedback » People should search more

  • 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 😉

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 46 total)
  • 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…

    Mark (podz)

    (@podz)

    Support Maven

    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 🙂

    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 🙂

    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 🙂

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Mark (podz)

    (@podz)

    Support Maven

    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 … 🙂

    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?

    “peruse”…. and I LOVE your personal mantra! That’s perfect for me too…. Thanks!

    thanks for the spellcheck, vkaryl 🙂 I’m going over in my corner now and close my mouth. heehee…

    Joni

    (@jonimueller)

    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.

    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.

    Joni

    (@jonimueller)

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

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

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 46 total)
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