"Did you Search the Forums First?"

Grimace

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 17, 2003
3,541
35
with Hamburglar.
To ward off the constant barrage of 'new' topics started on subjects like "what Mac Pro graphics card?" etc. -- could the Mods/Gods change the "Create New Thread" tab to pop up a message, or somehow make it crystal clear that people should search the forums FIRST? I know it drives some people on here mad! :rolleyes:
 

rockthecasbah

macrumors 68020
Apr 12, 2005
2,395
2
Moorestown, NJ
I agree that searching is obviously a good idea but at the same time i find MR's search to be crap. I just use google and it in the search pane "Macrumors + whatever" (without the actual quotes) and i get better results. :)
 

inlimbo

macrumors 6502
Jan 29, 2005
411
0
Sydney, Australia
rockthecasbah said:
I agree that searching is obviously a good idea but at the same time i find MR's search to be crap. I just use google and it in the search pane "Macrumors + whatever" (without the actual quotes) and i get better results. :)
ha ha. I agree. Often using the search function I get no relevant results and spend ages reading through unhelpful threads. Thanks for the tip about google though!
 
L

Lau

Guest
The search thing is a good point though. If I want to post a video that I found amusing, I would search first to see if it's been posted before. If I search for (for instance) "iPod Microsoft design box video" in the MR search box, I would get results for every thread that has either the word iPod, Microsoft, design, box or video in it. In other words, pretty much every thread on MR, in spite of that being a pretty specific set of words.

I'm not sure we can berate people too much for not searching when the search is so bad. I know there are other ways, like Google, but not everyone is so search-savvy, and I don't think it's fair to jump on someone who has already checked by typing their question into the search box at the top and had results they can't use. Many a time I know a post exists, and I know what words were in it, but I still can't find it using the search function.
 

Grimace

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Feb 17, 2003
3,541
35
with Hamburglar.
The idea is more for a reminder than for a scolding. The search results don't always work perfectly (depends on how well you search too!)

Many duplicate threads are started by newbs who don't know (or remember) the forums. It might be a good gentle reminder to let them explore and do research that way. just sayin!
 

andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
4,335
386
Boston, MA
good idea.

but please when you yell at people "do a search first" include some links to threads or some useful info in your reply.

we often have three people responding with nothing else but " do a search first" in one thread (bringing it to the top of the list again).

also if you recommend a search then check if a search would help at all.
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
17,230
1,124
I always used to complain about people not searching first and posted links to the prior threads, but I've given up since the search function went berserk. When the search function can't find things that I know are there on a routine basis, I have no faith that telling someone to search will actually lead them to what they're looking for anymore.
 

atari1356

macrumors 68000
Feb 27, 2004
1,582
32
Applespider said:
If you put site:forums.macrumors.com in after your search term in Google, you'll only get results from MR.
Great tip... I've had a lot of problems finding things with the MacRumors search function, but this seems to work much better.
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
17,230
1,124
atari1356 said:
Great tip... I've had a lot of problems finding things with the MacRumors search function, but this seems to work much better.
You can always bookmark MRoogle to make things even easier...
 

Applespider

macrumors G4
To be honest, I only get narked with people who don't use the search function if they also don't use their eyes to scan down the first page of threads in a forum.

It does get frustrating when there are 3 threads on the front page of a forum all asking exactly the same question.

I get equally narked by those who say 'search first' when the only thread on the topic is several months old and therefore the information may be out of date. If someone can't follow the advice in an old thread, I'd rather they started a new one (referencing the old one) since otherwise if they just tag their new query onto the bottom of the old thread, we end up with lots of people who don't read the thread to the bottom but just respond to the original poster's long answered question and ignore the poor newb.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,979
3
Gone but not forgotten.
Applespider said:
To be honest, I only get narked with people who don't use the search function if they also don't use their eyes to scan down the first page of threads in a forum.

It does get frustrating when there are 3 threads on the front page of a forum all asking exactly the same question.

I get equally narked by those who say 'search first' when the only thread on the topic is several months old and therefore the information may be out of date. If someone can't follow the advice in an old thread, I'd rather they started a new one (referencing the old one) since otherwise if they just tag their new query onto the bottom of the old thread, we end up with lots of people who don't read the thread to the bottom but just respond to the original poster's long answered question and ignore the poor newb.
I'm one to say search first when they go into a forum and click Post new thread instead of noting that the answer is either in the Sticky thread at the top or in the first page. Laziness alone is not a good reason to create new threads.

I've found that the vBulletin search functionality can be less than friendly but it usually works. It usually works better if people have taken the time to spell correctly and you generally have to specify a larger timeframe than you might think at first.

Once again, everyone should go through a training period. :D
 

devilot

Moderator emeritus
May 1, 2005
15,588
2
Applespider said:
If someone can't follow the advice in an old thread, I'd rather they started a new one (referencing the old one)...
Wow. That's a genius idea. :eek: I feel lame for not having done that myself in the past, I would just mention that I had searched but not found relevant info. Thanks, Applespider.
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
37,386
3,493
Los Angeles
If you find somebody has started a thread for a previously answered question, the best thing you can do is to post a link to the previous thread, and then submit a Bad Post Report
telling us that the thread can be closed.

If you want, you can remind the poster that searching before posting can often turn up previous answers to a question they might have. Whether you to or not, the poster's question will be addressed and the thread won't cause much clutter.
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,922
168
bousozoku said:
Once again, everyone should go through a training period. :D


I'd be only too happy to assist all our newcomers.





:D



I used to mind people not searching, but now I don't. If I can be bothered, I'll post some links to other relevant threads which kind of gets across the message while being vaguely helpful at the same time.

Besides, those who are posting for the umpteenth about their MacBooks always have individual circumstances which make their queries important to them.

I wouldn't want to hang around too long on a forum where I was met with sneering and unhelpful replies for daring to post something which had been posted before... and also, who wants people to resurrect year-old threads to talk about their Mac?
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,368
973
New England
Blue Velvet said:
I'll post some links to other relevant threads which kind of gets across the message while being vaguely helpful at the same time.
My philosohpy as well....

Nice heels.

B
 

Electro Funk

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2005
1,073
0
The Opium Garden
rockthecasbah said:
I agree that searching is obviously a good idea but at the same time i find MR's search to be crap. I just use google and it in the search pane "Macrumors + whatever" (without the actual quotes) and i get better results. :)
There is also a program called acidsearch that when installed turns the google searchbar in safari into a multitude of search engines... one specifically for mac rumors ;)

Edit: interesting... here is a link in acid search that i have never noticed before:
http://www.google.com/mac
 

Attachments

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
17,230
1,124
I'll second AcidSearch...great little add-on. Since I usually have a MR forums browser window open, I just use the "Google This Site" option in AcidSearch.
 

katie ta achoo

macrumors G3
May 2, 2005
9,168
2
WildCowboy said:
I'll second AcidSearch...great little add-on. Since I usually have a MR forums browser window open, I just use the "Google This Site" option in AcidSearch.
Wow.. didn't know about that.
Thanks! :)

I think that a nice little reminder to search on the "create a new thread" page would be nice. Not too obtrusive, but still there.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,979
3
Gone but not forgotten.
katie ta achoo said:
Wow.. didn't know about that.
Thanks! :)

I think that a nice little reminder to search on the "create a new thread" page would be nice. Not too obtrusive, but still there.
Ha! We can't even get people to read the sticky threads: "Can't post? Read this."

"I can't post in Marketplace!!!!!" :D
 

TheAnswer

macrumors 68030
Jan 25, 2002
2,520
1
Orange County, CA
Exactly how does the search function? I tend to get puzzling results:

Recently I was looking for the thread about Ice Cream: Tub or Bowl....I searched "Ice Cream Tub Bowl"...It was there, about five or six down and I spent a lot of time wondering how the heck the other threads beat it out in the search results.

I mean when most of the replies in the thread are like: "I eat my ice cream out of a bowl, I can't imagine eating it out of the tub. I can't imagine the Picture of the Day thread or any other thread having more matches.

But I do think the little reminder for new posts is a great idea.