Originally Posted by SaucySailoress
Uh huh. We could simply make a FAQ page. And then we wouldn't need a forum, either! One of the benefits of having a forum is that we get to talk to each other, and find current opinions
as well as the most recent facts
We do have a search engine
, plus a google
custom search yields ten pages of hits, ranging from 2005 till now. If people don't receive the answers they want to hear on new threads, then they can trawl (not troll) through older threads. Sometimes older threads are dated, sometimes they are worth reinstating.
My husband asked me to ask about Coppercoat. Instead of asking, I did a search, and we found what we need to know here: Has Anyone Used Copper Coat Antifouling ?
. So I didn't ask the question. But, I did ask if anyone had more recent experience to add to the thread.
Obviously, if anyone can think of new topics that haven't
yet been discussed, I am sure they would be warmly welcomed.
Yes "One" of the benefits of a forum is we get to talk to each other but it is only "one" of the benefits. Another is that we can actually get information easily by reading the forum. There is nothing in these suggestions that will inhibit members posting
and commenting on things as they change or new questions develop. It is simply a way of consolidating information so it is easier to find.
I am just suggesting that common threads be easier to find so they don't get repeated so often. When they get repeated the user comments become less helpful and are often more shorthand for comments they have already made on the last thread. This decreases the quality of the responses and because it dilutes out the more thoughtful responses that occurred earlier in the forums history
it makes that information less likely to be found. Making the quality of the information found on the forum should be a priority to the mods and the users. Getting people to participate in the discussion doesn't really seem to be a problem.
Your suggestion of Google
search is fine if you can find it. One of the problems is that unless you are familiar with the forum it is hard to find and the information it gives is very difficult to navigate as it is not in chronological order and the same pages are repeated many times in the search so you end up going back and forth to the same thread as you go down the search list.
I have an extensive background in IT and programming and didn't find the Google search in that little title bar amongst the ads at the top of the page for months after becoming a forum member
. Others may have better results but the fact that I didn't find it makes it likely that others may have had the same problem.
One of the main problems with any type of computer programming is that when you look at it as a long time user you can never see the problems that new users have because of the familiarity with the function and layout of the program. It is likely that once you use the search once you are fine with it (although I would think we could do better) but until you do use it once the likelihood of using it is probably small. The techs might be able to deduce this from looking at user logs
of people who post to see if they found the search function.