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Old 03.03.2015, 03:20
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New (maybe recycled idea) for new-arrivals - Community WikiGuides

Friends,

Maybe it would be valuable to change some of the stickies on the basics of getting settled in to a sort of Wiki page.

I would guess that each concern/question has been asked and answered at least 50 times over the years, but a current, comprehensive and often-updated page of links, or of a sort of checklist may keep most new-arrivers from repeating basic questions.

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There are a host of other positive by-products, including compiling some connected topics into some themes (thereby saving time both for the searchers and the repliers), and it could link also to my year old - but tired post - on linking leavers with arrivers.

It seems like there are maybe 4-5 major hubs and 5-10 minor region hubs of activities as far as I can tell; another good thing would be collecting best-practice type ideas for those smaller centers and avoiding overly-Zurich focused solutions.

So, I will volunteer to set up and do some of the leg work, but it would be ideal if 1 person from a few of the hubs would volunteer to manage the outline -- if we can collectively decide on the structure of a basic sections division -- which could be adapted from existing wiki pages (wiki travel is a good example) or hmm, well there are tons of decent resources to pull from.

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Technically, would this sort of "thread be possible" as an easily modifiable with a mostly-footnoted type structure?

And if no, what modifications would be needed? and if still no, could there be a EF approved link to another wiki type platform?

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I'm willing to figure out the basic checklist - using some existing sites I can think of (some are paid-only access, other are quite superficial and light on good details) and add the good resources that I have used over the last year or so getting settled.

This effort comes from 2 main ideas.
1. I see so many "check out this thread" that refers either to an outdated thread (many, many discussions on cellphone plans, or on how to manage or avoid Billag), so in theory it would reduce those type of replies; and
2. I have been struggling for literally (and figuratively --- lol, not sure how the figuratively aspect exists) 1.5 years to get settled in *with a relocation package / help* that on reflection seems to have caused more headaches than relieved.

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So - from the forum experts on the technical feasibility: what needs to happen other than man-power and patience and some partially altruistic actions on the part of a few well-intentioned volunteers.

And yeah, this is partially self-serving as well (I'm a classic Friedman market-based incentive economist). I would like to establish a center of best-ideas/stores/tips and tricks specific to Basel without looking high and low; and I feel like the 2 hrs/week I could devote to such an effort would save me much more in time, angst and money.

Ideas? Has this been tried before? I saw the comprehensive and valuable "health insurance sticky thread", along with another few incredibly useful posts, and I'm sure all the relevant instructions do exist in German somewhere on the world.wide.web, but as a self-proclaimed trilingual -- with little to no motivation to learn German apart from "you are kinda cute" and how to properly give a toast: lock those eyes! -- hopefully long term resident here, I'm looking for a good work around.

I was recently in touch with Las-Burg [note: a conveniently located delivery service across the border from Basel in Weil am Rhein: now accessible via the extended #8 tram] but was heart-broken (figuratively) when they insisted on only communicating in German. I find their instructions particularly not translatable via google translate, and if combined with documents that come in non-digital versions (bills, heating, billage, etc.), I find myself hassling my colleagues for basic translations once per quarter at least. I'm sure some of the forum veterans have even more knowledge about getting by in CH than the average Swiss but the current format isn't leveraging this institutional knowledge to maximum effect (been watching a lot of spy/NSA/terrorist rhetoric lately...)

Okay, this will mark my 10th post. Oh glory glory!!! I was given some kind advice from a moderator to try to "contribute" more. This is the type of effort that ppl who dislike introducing themselves can provide rather than demanding answers or direction from what I would guess is the 300th time on the same topic.

Can we aim to make this thread a type of discussion / exploration mission on peoples needs/requests? And if there is critiques, please don't kick the legs out from under this idea but rather just try to frame any issues as "to be considered" type replies.

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If we all stay optimistic in this on-off lull of mediocre weather, spring is right around the corner. And while I notice often that a lot of expats forget how nice spring/summer is here, anytime there is a string of cloudy days, moods seem to improve immediately the first day that the spring-smell hits and the trees show their first flower buds (any day now).

Please PM me if you have any specifically digging replies and I can consolidate and summarize them as "constructive criticism". Or more helpfully, please feel free to PM me if you are interested in chatting about, or lending some not-brain-surgery online organization (cut/paste, copy, link) efforts to your area's future wiki-page: no commitment and any feedback is appreciated. As I mentioned in my post last year, the ppl with the most experience and know-how re: life in CH likely don't need much advice. While those most in the dark are also most in need of basic instructions on not-getting-kicked-out/socially-shunned.

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And one last thing, is there a style guide for EF? Not as in grammar or structure (clearly I don't follow the confines of MLA/APA style guides, or more generally any basic English sentence structure); but more on the dos and doníts (sic) of the community.

I took a class on internet psychology an eon ago, and while most academics agree there is a fast learning curve to take up, and adapt to an online community culture, a lot of "noobs" -- lol, I am still one I admit -- tend to make a few un-recallable posts before figuring out what not to say or do before learning the hard way how to dislodge your foot from your mouth (see this post as a great potential example).

Right, so I'm open to suggestions, thoughts, comments or PM'ed flaming (the old-school word for losing your mind online).

-m

Also, the dress is white and gold in case you are still uncertain about your stance on that critical discussion *grabs popcorn*
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Old 03.03.2015, 11:26
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Re: New (maybe recycled idea) for new-arrivals - Community WikiGuides

Though many EF members ignore the fact, this Forum's primary aim is to help new people settle into a new life in Switzerland.

The Forum is absolutely full of information, yet we still get people asking the same question that has been answered at least 10 times. Every thread and post has a date stamp, so it is easy to note if the information is new or old. The advantage of searching by Internet links is that for official websites the information supplied will be up to date. If you search on the Forum you will find Internet links to the information you need.

The major problem here is keeping threads up to date, and making them searchable. If everyone learns to search the Forum, there would be fewer problems and less time wasting by the old and new members, the answers are instant with a good search. People that ask questions like "Where can I buy Fondue cheese" tend to be ignored, as it is available in every Coop and Migros shop.

How to search:
in the little box at top right on this page, add a few relevant words, preceded by the plus sign + if you need a combination of words; for instance; +soft +brown +sugar

Often the poor EF search engine will reply with a "Nothing found" message. You can then click on "Google-powered" and you will get some good results.

Remember that Switzerland is a federation, effectively a collection of Cantons with their own rules and regulations, and some federal laws, so if you put "Somewhere in space" as your location, you will not be getting any expert answers specific to your canton.

As an example: in your post you mention MLA/APA and I haven't a clue what you mean. I searched the Forum and received the "Computer says No" reply. I then clicked on "Google-powered" and I received the following message,
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ____________
About 1 results (0.24 seconds)

New (maybe recycled idea) for new-arrivals - Community WikiGuides
8 hours ago ... Not as in grammar or structure (clearly I don't follow the confines of MLA/APA style guides, or more generally any basic English sentence ...
www.englishforum.ch/.../229022-new-maybe-recycled-idea-new-arrivals- community-wikiguides.html
__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _____________

I still don't know what MLA/APA is, but at least I found the ONE thread on the EF where it is mentioned...

.

Last edited by Sbrinz; 03.03.2015 at 11:39. Reason: added example for MLA/APA
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Old 06.03.2015, 22:46
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Re: New (maybe recycled idea) for new-arrivals - Community WikiGuides

Okay, well that was quite a comprehensive to the finer details of the search function. Thanks.

I guess I will put this one on ice until it -- someday maybe -- gains enough interest to make for a real effort.

I do think that having most common questions in an faq or wiki type format would be an improvement on books such as "living and working in CH" etc. but ppl are content with the search results, then so be it.

Appreciate the reply! I'm still open to ideas for improvement on the wiki page, or any other "compiled format" type resource.

-m
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Old 06.03.2015, 22:52
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Re: New (maybe recycled idea) for new-arrivals - Community WikiGuides

Why don't you like the book? It seems very sensible to me to turn to the suitable chapter and find some facts, rather than asking foreign strangers their opinions.
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Old 07.03.2015, 11:33
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Re: New (maybe recycled idea) for new-arrivals - Community WikiGuides

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Why don't you like the book? It seems very sensible to me to turn to the suitable chapter and find some facts, rather than asking foreign strangers their opinions.
The book is often wrong, and may be out of date. Plus it covers only a limited range of subjects.

To the OP's question: it would be a lot of work to set up, someone would have to go through all the stickies and threads linked from them, create a wiki somewhere and C&P then edit all the info in. Then someone else would need to keep an eye on new posts here to redirect them to the relevant place and to update the wiki with new info.

The Forum generates a lot of traffic which makes it valuable to its owners and consistently gets top Google hits, so it's most likely to be found by a newbie looking for answers; I'm far from convinced a wiki could male itself worthwhile to anyone.
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