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Old 05.05.2015, 09:33
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Leniency from Forum "Search" Police

I'm a big fan of searching the forum for threads, as 90% of my questions have already been asked by other new arrivals or otherwise confused people.

However, I think that if the most recent thread on a topic was from over 4 years ago, is it possible that the powers that be could hop down from the high heavens and not pounce upon the meek for the simple act of requesting more up to date information? For example, the thread on Basel Brocki houses has information that is no longer relevant.

I've run into this on other topics as well - where the information is outdated but I dare not post a new comment lest I'm berated by forum veterans. Some of them take this quite seriously, as perhaps they have nothing else to do. Being righteous appears to be a full time occupation. I mean, good for them, keeping the forum pure and free of idiots asking repeat questions. However, just because they possibly remember the thread from 2009 vividly, it is possible that an update could be justified.
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Old 05.05.2015, 09:41
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Re: Leniency from Forum "Search" Police

You mean doing an "advanced search" is too advanceded for you?

The forum is a mess precisely because duplicate questions are asked, and threads aren't tidied up. We don't need 20 threads on how to import a car from the EU - we don't need 20 threads on smoking - we don't need 20 threads on driving manners in Switzerland - we don't 20 threads on how things are expensive here. But guess what? We have them - and they add bugger all to the forum.

And the worse bit, is that because people add new questions (already asked or similar to existing ones) when new people come along and search they get 20 threads - don't know which one to post in - so post a new question.

I blame the fact the search button doesn't do an advanced search as default - compounded by too many new users being too lazy to find information and instead just ask for it.
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Old 05.05.2015, 09:51
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Re: Leniency from Forum "Search" Police

With much respect, that's not my point.

What' I'm humbly suggesting is that just because something was answered 4 years ago, sometimes that information is no longer accurate and that asking the question again to get updated information should be tolerated.

Many of the moderators do a great job of gently redirecting users to a post, but remember, some users don't know yet the names for things. I didn't know Brocki, or Allotment garden, for example, when I first arrived. Again, the mods that redirect "used furniture" questions to threads about Brocki's are very helpful. What isn't helpful, in my humble opinion, is when a snarky comment appears about not using the search engine correctly and how the user is a pathetic excuse for a human.

I've seen it many times - where some mod jumps to the conclusion that they know there is a post, even if it's not exactly related, and the poor user is accosted.

There's probably a thread on this already...I'm ready to be redirected
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Old 05.05.2015, 09:52
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Re: Leniency from Forum "Search" Police

Requesting up-to-date information is perfectly reasonable - but why on earth does it need a new topic?

Just post the question on the old one, and point out which information is now wrong.

A really helpful act for a long topic is to add a summary, explicitly noting what is known, what is out-of-date and what is needed - similar to the sticky topics.
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Old 05.05.2015, 09:57
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Re: Leniency from Forum "Search" Police

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With much respect, that's not my point.

What' I'm humbly suggesting is that just because something was answered 4 years ago, sometimes that information is no longer accurate and that asking the question again to get updated information should be tolerated.
Example (not real)
Question: Looking for a Thai restaurant in Olten
Thread found last updated in Oct 2013

A user turns up and asks the same question in a new thread. How does that help? It doesn't, it would be far better if the user looked into the original thread and then posted:
Is the "Emerald Orchid" still a good place to go?
I can't find the "Emerald Orchid" has it closed down?

If a new thread is created you end up with 2 threads on the subject - one saying the "Emerald Orchid" is great - and the second saying it is closed.

Another user turns up and repeats the process.

Duplicate threads on the same subject does not add value to the community - updated threads does.
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Old 05.05.2015, 09:58
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Re: Leniency from Forum "Search" Police

First of all, at the top of every forum are "Sticky threads", which are very, very useful. How many members actually look at them?

Even when threads are 4 years old there are addresses or links in the threads, which can be followed up by individuals. How is it I can find the information, yet younger people cannot? You can't ALL have an IQ lower than 100 !!

Why should we waste our time Googling for you? We often just ignore stupid questions, but that becomes embarrassing, and after 24 hours I might do a "Let me Google that for you" https://www.google.ch/?gws_rd=ssl#q=...e+that+for+you

Standard Forum search result for "Brockihaus Basel"
http://www.englishforum.ch/search2.p...ockihaus+Basel

Forum Google powered search result, one click more "Google powered",
http://www.google.com/cse?sitesearch...sel&gsc.page=1

.... quite a difference isn't there? And it is only ONE click more!

from 22nd November 2011

Heils Armee Brocki Basel (salvation army)
www.brocki.ch
0848-BROCKI
0848-27-6254

Glubos Brockenbude
www.glubos.ch
061-681-8104

Brockenhaus Lazarus
Claramattweg 16
061-692-9500

HIOB International Brockenstube
Klybeckstrasse 91
www.hiob.ch
061-683-2360

Plenty of phone numbers and links there, which lazy people could follow up without leaving their home!
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Old 05.05.2015, 10:40
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Re: Leniency from Forum "Search" Police

The problem with updating old threads, is that people then start answering the earliest posts in the thread, not realising the thread is old and they need to start at the end.

I suggest to maximise frustration, clamp down on new posts on subjects already covered and clamp down on resurrecting old posts.
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Old 05.05.2015, 10:56
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Re: Leniency from Forum "Search" Police

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The problem with updating old threads, is that people then start answering the earliest posts in the thread, not realising the thread is old and they need to start at the end.

I suggest to maximise frustration, clamp down on new posts on subjects already covered and clamp down on resurrecting old posts.

Additionally, quite a few people answer questions in threads in correctly.

On the Billag thread, for example, there a 1260 posts. Only a small handful actually give out correct information.

Is a new user expected to trawl through 1260 posts to find it? And, more importantly, how will they know whether they've found it?

The forum may be a bit of a mess but I think being plain rude to new users is a much worse aspect of it. Many may not have used a forum before.

Perhaps SBrinz and Co would like this to be one of those dry forums where every post has to be vetted by a moderator first and only actually appears a couple of days after being posted?
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Old 05.05.2015, 11:12
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Re: Leniency from Forum "Search" Police

Really great discussion, guys. We mods do try to act on duplicate questions by merging existing threads together, but generally it's not us that answer them with the standard "Didn't you do a Search" response.

We don't have time to go through and tidy them all up, but if anyone wants to do so, or to add a new, or amend an existing, sticky post with new information we'll gladly help in any way we can.

I agree that some of the old threads which may contain old and/or up-to-date information are less than ideal for someone trying to answer a question, so would welcome any members' attempts to make it better in any way possible.

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Old 05.05.2015, 11:16
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Re: Leniency from Forum "Search" Police

Easy. If a thread doesn't have "sticky" or "wiki" in the title, delete it after 2 years. Boom - gone!

But ... who will keep the sticky/wiki threads up to date? Not me, I'm too lazy.
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Old 05.05.2015, 11:55
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Re: Leniency from Forum "Search" Police

I too am often amazed at the "simple" questions people ask to an entire forum when a Google search would likely provide just as much ir more specific up-to-date info...but then Siri isn't allowed on my inherited phone, or in the kitchen on a phone belonging to anyone else in the family. There are pretty obvious reasons for the dumbing-down of the avg human
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Old 05.05.2015, 12:44
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Re: Leniency from Forum "Search" Police

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a Google search would likely provide just as much ir more specific up-to-date info...
That's true in terms of quantity, but not quality. Google can be a pain when searching for generic information, turning up loads of useless dross and link-bait.

No doubt that's the case also on EF but the dross tends to get challenged promptly and firmly
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Old 05.05.2015, 21:54
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Re: Leniency from Forum "Search" Police

Thank you, twomatot, yes, I'm all for avoiding being rude or nasty to others on forums. I just don't see the use of it, to anyone.

However, I do see that for some, a particular remark may seem to merely "a bit of fun and jostling" and for others, it may seem really hurtful. How things are written, and how they are taken up, are partly based on cultural differences, and influenced to some extent by any number of factors such as age, gender, level of education, number of previous countries lived in, mood on the day, etc.

For my taste, I feel sad when questions are met harshly... then again, that's my subjective level of what I consider harsh.

I'm not exactly internet illiterate, but I had been using this forum for quite some time before I even found the search function. Even now that I use it, I sometimes find it does not yeild threads, posts or topics I know for certain are there. So either I'm using it badly, or it is a weak search-function.

If someone starts yet another thread on the same topic, and if you (that's an impersonal "you", an invitation to anyone) know that there is already a thread about that topic, and if you have the skills to find it, couldn't you please just post a link to the existing thread, with a note to the new writer in the new thread, to have a look at the old thread?
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Old 05.05.2015, 22:55
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Re: Leniency from Forum "Search" Police

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I'm a big fan of searching the forum for thread....but I dare not post a new comment lest I'm berated by forum veterans.
If you had bothered to do a search on this topic, you would have found this thread in about ten seconds.
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Old 05.05.2015, 22:58
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Re: Leniency from Forum "Search" Police

Careful, this thread might disappear aswell!
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Old 05.05.2015, 23:00
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Re: Leniency from Forum "Search" Police

We'll, it is a weak search function. You're better off searching for what you're looking for on google, and adding 'English forum Switzerland' on the end...
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Old 05.05.2015, 23:13
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Re: Leniency from Forum "Search" Police

All interesting and helpful and please note that I put this under support, not the Complaints corner. Support.

This wasn't really just about the search function. It's when these specific events happen in order:

1. You search. You hopefully find what you are looking for.
2. However, after reading, you find that the information is old or inaccurate.
3. You want to get new information, but if you post on the old thread, as others have said, sometimes you need to wade through pages of information that isn't even related to the original topic.

You can either: post on the old thread and hope that someone reads through and comments

OR

Start a new thread

What I've seen happen is that people start new threads on old topics and get pounced on, even when the question is slightly different and the question doesn't get answered.

Support. What's a person to do.
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Old 05.05.2015, 23:21
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Re: Leniency from Forum "Search" Police

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We'll, it is a weak search function. You're better off searching for what you're looking for on google, and adding 'English forum Switzerland' on the end...
Google allows you to restrict your search to a particular site. Just add site:englishforum.ch to your Google search.

If you search in Google for site:englishforum.ch search thread, this thread appears first in the results.
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Old 05.05.2015, 23:37
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Re: Leniency from Forum "Search" Police

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If you had bothered to do a search on this topic, you would have found this thread in about ten seconds.
Thanks for the link. The post I made on that thread (quoted below) was from before I joined the Mod team. I think a lot of it is still true today.

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Noobs are just noobs, and we have to deal with their growing pains. It seems like a lot of the noobs on here are new to Forums in general, not just CH. It takes a while to get your feet and learn the culture of a Forum...
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All interesting and helpful and please note that I put this under support, not the Complaints corner. Support.
I'm with you on this. We don't get to pick and choose the folks that find us and come to us for advice and information. The best we can do is try to point them in the right direction, hopefully in a friendly manner. To be clear, I'm not blameless. I've jumped on the "just search!" bandwagon before, and I still regularly ask newbies to use search. Now I try to also post links, merge posts or move as appropriate, etc. Can't we all just be a little nicer to each other?
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Old 05.05.2015, 23:52
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Re: Leniency from Forum "Search" Police

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If you had bothered to do a search on this topic, you would have found this thread in about ten seconds.
Yes. That thread provided unambiguous opinions of varying clarity. Thanks.
On a similar vein, where is the best burger in Basel? The last thread was a few hours old.
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