Repetitive Threads

Discussion in 'Site and Forum Feedback' started by JMax1, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. JMax1 macrumors 6502

    JMax1

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Location:
    Harlem, NY
    #1
    Okay, now I understand that many people are getting fed up with people asking similar questions as new threads, and that many times the same question gets asked over and over again - lately over that iPhone thing...

    But what makes me roll my eyes is when people respond to a thread saying "that's already been asked a million times."

    I dunno, but I find responding like that to be a little rude. Especially when they also say "no offense!" Of course you mean to be offensive!

    What's makes my eyes roll even more is when that same person who responds like that ALSO answers the person's question! I think then I should respond to the answer with "hey, you should check the forums, someone has already answered that question a million times. Maybe you should search the forums before you answer."

    I think the best and most polite response would be to just point the person in the right direction. It would really take just about the same amount of time as replying normally. Maybe they are new, and didn't think to search. Maybe there are just too many (3,000,000?) posts to browse through. Or maybe the thread is 20 pages long and the person doesn't have the stamina to read through the whole thing for the answer to his/her question.

    What I'm thinking is that we're all Mac users, or we wouldn't be here. We should support each other and play nice. There really aren't that many of us out there, so we are all members of the Apple Brotherhood...(corny, I know, but isn't there something to that?)

    Have you seen comments made by users on YouTube videos? Man, those guys are really nasty to each other - let's not be like that.
     
  2. liketom macrumors 601

    liketom

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Location:
    Lincoln,UK
    #2
    yes i agree with you - there are lot's of repeat threads but the newbie's have to learn somewhere.


    i think of the forums as a school we was all in year 1 once and had to ask all them questions - now some of us has moved up a year we are asking more questions ( some got left back a year ) , but it's what makes this forum so much fun to keep coming back to.


    i would rather have repeat thread's on the boards compared to SPAM with seems to be shot down in an instant.


    Also over the years the MacRumors Guides have been added and updated with lot's of excellent stuff for people to reference too - that and the Google search box covers many threads - but yeah no bodys perfect :)
     
  3. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    JMax1 makes excellent points. We do have too many duplicate threads, and we should handle repeated questions politely.

    Sometimes people ask questions that can be answered so easily ("how do I take a screenshot?" "what does macrumors 65816 mean?") that the simplest solution is to answer the question, no matter how many times it's been answered previously.

    Sometimes the most useful thing you can do for somebody who failed to search for previous threads is to do it for them and post links to one or a few threads that address their question.

    Reminding people to search before posting is reasonable. It's often a message Newbies haven't heard before, and it will help them know what to do in the future. But that's not an excuse to be rude.

    Whenever you see somebody who is unnecessarily impolite, you can report the post and the moderators will take a look at it. You can also report the original post of a new duplicate thread and give the moderators the URL of a previous thread on the same topic, if you think it would make sense for the threads to be merged.
     
  4. dogbone macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #4
    Hang on, didn't we do a thread like this last week? <joking>

    It's really just down to common sense. I for one have discovered some very useful information in threads that I've seen heaps of times before. Some threads have their own organic nature and start the same but lead in different directions.

    Take the Screenshot threads, It might take a few before someone finally mentions 'snap n drag'

    The responses I dislike the most is when someone asks "will you draw this in Illustrator for me" one can choose to answer or not, but answers like "how much were you planning on spending" are just irritating and embarrassing. It's not like anyone *has* to draw it.

    Or what about, "hey we're professionals and we do this for a living don't come here and insult us by asking for free work" That cracks me up, like all they are doing is faffing about on MR anyway.
     
  5. JMax1 thread starter macrumors 6502

    JMax1

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    Oct 17, 2006
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    Harlem, NY
    #5
    I was wondering that just after I posted... was wondering if someone would call me on it


    :cool:
     
  6. tutubibi macrumors 6502a

    tutubibi

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    localhost
    #6
    Don't want to start a new thread for this comment as it is somewhat related to the original topic.

    Anyway, by my count, there are around 450 threads started in the iPhone forum in the last 2 weeks. Of course, so many of them are repetitive.

    So here is a suggestion:

    1. Limit who can start a new thread (min # of posts and length of membership requirement)
    2. Create couple of generic threads where people can ask and comment those same repetitive things over and over again.

    Not sure if this is implementable or even if it's good idea but no harm in suggesting ...
     
  7. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #7
    I usually do just link to a similar thread, although I have been known to lash out once and a while. The influx of noobs is bound to increase duplicate threads - which can be attributed to Apple's growth in popularity - but someone else's laziness doesn't always require my polite response. Especially when the information can be found in the Mac OS Help!

    See related thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=225206

    My thought is that the new thread functionality should perform the search for you. Similar to the way Digg works when you try to post a new story link.
     
  8. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    Sometimes the problem is that new members join, post to ask for help, and only later learn that they can search, and that it's recommended. But sometimes people are just being lazy.

    In other cases, they may have searched but not found what they wanted. There were a couple of times when I searched but didn't find a thread that should have been staring me in the face. I just hadn't guessed the right words to use in my search. If you search for "screen" or "monitor" or "cinema hd" or "lcd" you might miss the answer in a thread about your "display".

    For some topics, there is too much to read. If I'm trying to decide where an iPhone is a good purchase for me personally, I may not want to read thousands of posts in dozens of other threads. It might seem much more efficient to post about my circumstances and ask what conclusion others come to about my situation.

    I wonder how well the feature kingjr3 suggests would work for us. Would it slow everyone down, or help people find what they are looking for, and in some cases remove the need for their new thread?
     
  9. dartzorichalcos macrumors 65816

    dartzorichalcos

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    Location:
    Atlantis
    #9
    I will suggest making some guides like: how to replace hard drives in the Mac Pros/PowerMac G5s, calibrating batteries on the MacBook/MacBook Pros, make a list of all Apple repair programs somewhere, make a list of all available Mac OS X updates, make a security guide, make a chart of all PPC macs and Intel macs revisions, etc. Every little bit helps and maybe there will be less repeating threads from these guides.
     
  10. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

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    #10
    http://www.apple.com/support covers a lot of that
     
  11. dartzorichalcos macrumors 65816

    dartzorichalcos

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    Mar 23, 2007
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    Atlantis
    #11
    Yes, but some people here won't probably check there. It will be easier if the information will be on MacRumors for some people.
     
  12. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

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    Jul 23, 2002
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    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #12
    I understand and this is probably my #1 pet peeve. They SHOULD be starting there - even says that in the manuals. Apple's support site is an awesome resource and in my opinion, its a lot easier to find answers there compared to here. In fact, 50% of my responses to pleas for help are just links to Apple's support site.

    I guess we could simply link to their content, but I don't see a use in replicating it.
     
  13. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    Sep 19, 2002
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    Los Angeles
    #13
    Just an idea off the top of my head: Suppose the forum search function returned hits on Guide pages at the top, above the forum hits, kinda like the way Google shows you sponsored links. I don't know how we'd be able to do that, but would it make searching for help with problems more effective?

    I don't think people search the Guides often enough when they need help.
     
  14. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #14
    Face it. The search here has become awful. However, what does annoy me slightly is when people create new threads in a forum when there is an identical one, not on the next page or the one after, but a handful of threads down on the first page.

    It seems that too many people are arriving to this forum and using a new thread just essentially to say hello, when there's a thread for new members that hardly gets posted in.

    As far as I'm concerned, everyone is most welcome, but just before you hit that 'New Thread' button, please just check the most recent threads first... otherwise, this might just happen:

    [​IMG]


    ;)
     
  15. dartzorichalcos macrumors 65816

    dartzorichalcos

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    #15
    Yeah, maybe it should be linked. Perhaps make a sticky thread with links to all sorts of helpful information.
     
  16. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    CT
    #16
    My problem with the search is if I type in word for word a thread title that I know exists I can't find it in the search results.
     
  17. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    The Dallas 'burbs
    #17
    If your are really annoyed by duplicate threads and see the same set of questions popping up over and over, you can always do what I once did and start compiling a list of questions and answers and keeping up with the duplicate threads linking back to your first. The downside is that is is a lot of work for yourself in the short term but if it's useful enough and becomes a sticky for a period of time then you solve your own clutter problem since it's at the top of the forum listing and hard to miss.
     
  18. siurpeeman macrumors 603

    siurpeeman

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    #18
    you can try an advanced search and search thread titles only.
     

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  19. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #19
    I would rather that be the default search setting.

    That still doesn't work right. I would think that the first hit would be the exact thread title, I have to search pages back to find it.
     
  20. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #20
    That can be done.

    Picture 5.png


    As for other search parameters? I can often remember an odd word in a given thread and if it's unique enough, I'll search using that word instead of a more common word in a given thread title.

    Also, to help tighten up my search results, I'll often recall roughly when the post/ thread were made and will then use the time of the post to aid in my search.
     
  21. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    Jan 4, 2002
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    CT
    #21
    Here is the problem I see with the search, If I do a thread title search, It lists by date rather then by title. Can the default be changed to search by exact title rather then by order of time posted.
     
  22. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

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    Sep 19, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #22
    For finding strings of words, I find that Google works best. Starting from the toolbar at the top of the page, click Search and fill in the Search Forums with Google text box. The radio button should be set to Mac Forums, not to Web.
     
  23. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    Jan 4, 2002
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    CT
    #23
    The solution might be to just make the advanced search the default. When someone clicks the search button it by default opens the advanced search window.
     
  24. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #24
    The search functions here are worse than death, which is why I don't mind answering a lot of the questions I see multiple times. I usually try to find a similar thread before hand to add to the bottom of my post with a small note telling the original poster that they'd find their solution faster if they searched. However, if I can't promptly find similar threads that I know exist (and have posted in) then it's perfectly understandable that the original poster created a new one.
     
  25. supremedesigner macrumors 6502a

    supremedesigner

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Location:
    Gainesville, Fl
    #25
    spotlight

    Here's a wonderful idea. In order to prevent repetivie threads, why don't you add 'spotlight search' (same as new apple.com "spotlight search" tab) BAM! Problem solved!

    No offense but this search engine on mr sucks. Poorly functioning. Can't find any specific threads I'm looking for. Get the best programmer for this.
     

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