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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A lot of questions raised on this forum appear again and again. The answers are in the resources, or at least 90% of them are there in most instances.

I greatly admire the patience of some of the regular contributors who deal with these time and time again.

I recognise that many people are just lazy, and perhaps even selfish, so rely on other people to do the research for them. However in many cases I suspect they just do not realise what is already here and how to access it.

Is there a case for giving more emphasis to the existing resources?

Perhaps when new members sign up to the forum they could be "directed" through some pages that help them understand what is here and how to access it?

Just a thought from a grumpy old man
 

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QUOTE (BVM @ 8 Jan 2009, 11:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>A lot of questions raised on this forum appear again and again. The answers are in the resources, or at least 90% of them are there in most instances.

I greatly admire the patience of some of the regular contributors who deal with these time and time again.

I recognise that many people are just lazy, and perhaps even selfish, so rely on other people to do the research for them. However in many cases I suspect they just do not realise what is already here and how to access it.

Is there a case for giving more emphasis to the existing resources?

Perhaps when new members sign up to the forum they could be "directed" through some pages that help them understand what is here and how to access it?

Just a thought from a grumpy old man


Hi 'GOM'

Sort of agree, but it also is a way of seeing new members and often a question posted does not cover all that needs saying and without any hijacking a thread can frequently evolve into a very pleasant new (ish) topic.

I certainly have asked a question that has been answered before because my specifics differed than the answers found in general search. No, for me it helps my memory as well to remind me of something that I had probably forgotten. T'hats my take it on it at any rate and I too am a grumpy old man (much as I dread to admit to being older now :) Off now for a lie down; and where exactly did I put my tablets?

CFT
 

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Hi BVM

I have to agree with you and CFT. I think on occasion it is also people rephrasing the same question - sometimes more than once on the same day. But hey, that's life.

Regards
 

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There is a certain skill required to get the best out of the "Search" facility on the top right menu bar of the main Forum menu.

There are two search engines available - Google and what I assume is the Forum's own built in search. Each has its advantages. The Google search will find search patterns of 3 characters whereas the built in Forum search won't; it requires four characters or more. The Forum search allows you to more selective in what you search for.

A problem I find with the Google search is that once you have chosen to look at a search result, the original "found list" seems to have gone away, so I have to search again.

The real trick is choosing key words that are not too common. Choosing Hornby and DCC (which can only be done with Google search) will produce far too many results to be useful.

I know I have answered "how to post pictures" quite a number of times, but as I like to see photos and I know a lot of other people do too, I think it is worthwhile directing people to the pinned topic in the "About this bulletin board" section.

It's so long since I first registered, I can't remember what information I was presented with, so I can't remember if there was a section on how to find stuff. If there isn't one perhaps there ought to be but even if there is one, we'll still get questions being repeated.

David
 

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You can't force the 'noobies' to search and you can't jump on them too hard if they don't search. The search itself is daunting, but with the amount of data there is, you need a good search facility.

I see this same problem on other forums. What I don't like is when the regulars don't help out or get grumpy with new members.

I've seen a site recently where some grumps were getting irked about having to give out the same advice all the time and then not getting thanks back for advice given. Then the 'me too' guys chirped in with their similar gripes. It was a bad reflection on the site as a whole.

The whole point of a forum and portal like ours is to share information, learn from others, communicate and discuss issues. The social interaction is good for all. We have to learn to put up with others: New guys, kids, oldies, experts, grumps and a host of others.

Respect and tolerance
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 8 Jan 2009, 19:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Respect and tolerance


I would go along with that

Regards
 

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I would tend to agree (even with BRITHO), often though a search brings up too much information whereas a "repeat" question often gets the OP just the information he or she needs.

I for one, do not really mind repeat questions & answering them when I can.
 

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Hi All

Sometimes modellers who find there way onto the Forum are at there wits end with a Problem , so I can understand repeat questions

I found this Forum after searching for answers on the Roco MultMAUS programming problems , found the Advise helpful and friendly and have been here ever since .Helping others if I can , asking questions , posting a few projects , reading what other people are up to and learning an incredible amount of useful knowledge.

Let them ask the repeat questions , some people have better memories then others and know where to find the threads with the best answers. Some answers may be relevant and some not , sometimes something simple has been overlooked and sometimes a new solution is discovered.

I agree that respect and tolerance are the key

Regards

Zmil
 

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*** Repeated questions will always happen when posters don't realise its been asked before: Remember that terminology and jargon get involved too so searches can't find an answer when the questioner doesn't always know the right or common words.

There is also a "Group advantage" to repeat questions: Because each asks from a different perspective and the pool of members is growing in size and skill, the answer evolves differently too, increasing the level of knowledge/help to all.

I answer many, many repeat mails, but more and more I find those I advised in not long ago have grown in knowledge and are enthusiastically offering advice now, so its not a real chore at all.

My "Very nearly ready" new website will help save me a lot of time too ... it has the equivalent of more than 300 A4 pages of advice in it already!

The biggest headaches I find on MRF advice-wise are:

(1) Posters guessing answers or making statements based on half knowledge and assumption, or claiming more knowledge than they really have - they end up misleading those they are supposed to be helping with grandstanding & overcomplicating answers:

More often than not a simple direct answer will do the job and help far more than a complex one.

(2) Those who defend their own choices by dismissing options or other approaches as unneccesary rather than answer a question properly. ie, I don't do it so nor should you.

Richard
 

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I am probably guilty myself although I do use the search function.

I do think there is more stuff we could put in resources though, even if it is perhaps by going back over some topics and extracting the group wisdom into something more readable / digestible than a stream of messages.

I'd be happy to have a go at another couple of topics if someone more experienced would be prepared to proof-read.

Also I do think the resources stuff could be better highlighted as someone said earlier. Doug - can you see from stats if the resources stuff gets used?

Cheers

TimP
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Doug says

"The whole point of a forum and portal like ours is to share information, learn from others, communicate and discuss issues. The social interaction is good for all. We have to learn to put up with others: New guys, kids, oldies, experts, grumps and a host of others.

Respect and tolerance thumbsup.gif"

Do not disagree with any of that BUT it would still be sensible to guide newcomers through resources and to make the resources more obvious/easier to use.
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 8 Jan 2009, 19:21)
Respect and tolerance

I would go along with that

Regards

I won't!

which statement seems to satisfy the GOM's club with my membership application!

I have real problems with the 'search' facilities....in the past, I have conducted a search, with a most positive and accurate response.......recently trying the same thing, due to shocking memory loss, I got some giggly thing which was a total nightmare.

I try and help answer questions which fall within my experience......offering alternative ideas to what I percieve as the accepted norm.[I never find Norms to be acceptable]...trouble is, I often forget what it was I said the last time I answered a similar question...which is where a more ab-user-friedly search would be welcomed..

I do find it amazing I've said what I did in the past tho'.....
 

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Interesting thread.

I think at times it is good to see questions asked again. As a hobby this one continues to evolve.

Case in point ballasting. The diluted PVA with dishwashing liquid is (at least I think so) universally known by most. Using meths instead of dishwashing liquid is an improvement.

As long as we keep an open mind to things answering a question does not hurt.

As a european modeller my prototype knowledge on most question her is nil, but I like to think that that my modelling and train control skills are of assistance.

John
 

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QUOTE (Doug @ 9 Jan 2009, 05:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I see this same problem on other forums. What I don't like is when the regulars don't help out or get grumpy with new members.

I've seen a site recently where some grumps were getting irked about having to give out the same advice all the time and then not getting thanks back for advice given. Then the 'me too' guys chirped in with their similar gripes. It was a bad reflection on the site as a whole.

Respect and tolerance

I saw that thread too. Very encouraging for those starting out in the world of model rail.
 

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QUOTE If you have suggestions, please give them.

How about an "FAQ" section with the following three for starters:-

1) How to post images - a distillation of the current "about this bulletin board" topic

2) How to search for a subject with a couple of worked examples.

3) Who makes it - a brief list covering different areas - eg Model Buildings and then a link to the Links pages.

I am happy to take one of those and create a "bare" text document for final inclusion.

David
 

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Hi All

A couple of things to add

The FAQ is a great idea - and Links to the relevant posts from the FAQ topics

Other topics could include -DCC loco conversions - Baseboard building - Scenery - track work and ballasting - wiring up

The NMRA site has some nice articles but reading through the Recommended Practices can be a headache (even for me and I actually like to read manuals
)

So the practical knowledge that has been uploaded by the various members can go to good use .

Regards

Zmil
 

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There is a human side to forum questions. Its not necessarily "just information" that could be put on a web page. I would suggest that often forumers want some interaction or discussion or else why be on a forum ?
Also you cant often send a webpage an email if you don't understand something properly whereas in a forum you can and more than likely get an answer. That said thanks to those who answer question like I have asked and thanks to those who also make web information resources available.
Andrew
 

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I think the bottom line is; if you know the answer but can't be bothered repeating yourself then don't answer. It probably takes as much time to give the answer as it does to moan about it.

I also don't think it fair to try to belittle people who try to help. Maybe some people don't know everything but they at least make the effort to help.

A FAQ questions section is the go but it can't cover everything so tolerance would be good. We are learning one way or another.
 
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