Solving the "Generic Thread" problem.

sjpetry

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 28, 2004
1,195
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Tamarindo, Costa Rica
____I have always seen people complaining about this, but it has been more pronounced recently. Their have even been thread on it (and here's another one).

My idea is when you post your first thread on MacRumors a page will come up asking you several question.

Something like this:

1.) Thousands of people come and ask questions on MacRumors, your question many have been asked before. Please use the Search Thread option.

2.) Have you tried a simple search to find the answer to your question on Google? Most answers can be found there.

3.) After you have done numbers 1 and 2 and have had no avail please post a thread and our members will be more than than happy to help you.

4.) When you post a thread please use specific terms such as "Cannot open System Preferences" or "Cannot shut off iMac G5" and not "Noobie" or "Question".

5.) Thank You for visiting MacRumors.


I think this will cut down on the "Generic Thread" problem that I see people complaining about. I also apologize if this idea has been mentioned before (Been too busy enjoying life...). :)
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
That's a really cool idea. We'd have to make sure it wasn't too much of a turn off though because it's intimidating enough already joining a community like this.
 

sjpetry

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 28, 2004
1,195
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Tamarindo, Costa Rica
mad jew said:
That's a really cool idea. We'd have to make sure it wasn't too much of a turn off though because it's intimidating enough already joining a community like this.
Agreed, but it doesn't have to be exactly like mine. It just needs to include:

1. Please Search Thread

2. Please use a specific title.

Or something of the sort.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
Nah, I actually like your original. But it might need to be condensed just a little to make sure they read it. That second one is probably spot on.
 

sjpetry

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 28, 2004
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Tamarindo, Costa Rica
mad jew said:
Nah, I actually like your original. But it might need to be condensed just a little to make sure they read it. That second one is probably spot on.
Thank You. I bet some other members will have some great ideas that will help. And I also hope this can be put in place before the next major event, to stop questions like "PowerBook G5s At WWDC?!" or "Should I wait?". :cool:
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
sjpetry said:
____I have always seen people complaining about this, but it has been more pronounced recently. Their have even been thread on it (and here's another one).

My idea is when you post your first thread on MacRumors a page will come up asking you several question.
My idea involves the "PERM BAN" button. Just a thought to a viable solution.
 

atszyman

macrumors 68020
Sep 16, 2003
2,442
1
The Dallas 'burbs
A thought I had, although it might cause some confusion would be to allow users to edit the title of their thread. That way hopefully when a new thread pops up with a generic title someone could ask them to "please change the title of this thread to 'specific problem.'"

This would be mildly confusing when the thread first pops up and the title changes but should only happen for the first 2-3 posts. It might also help when multiple threads get started on the same topic. The title could be changed to "wasteland this please" by the original author which would save a bit of searching for our mods.

Of course there are probably good reasons to keep the thread titles static that I am not thinking of.
 

sjpetry

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 28, 2004
1,195
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Tamarindo, Costa Rica
atszyman said:
A thought I had, although it might cause some confusion would be to allow users to edit the title of their thread. That way hopefully when a new thread pops up with a generic title someone could ask them to "please change the title of this thread to 'specific problem.'"

This would be mildly confusing when the thread first pops up and the title changes but should only happen for the first 2-3 posts. It might also help when multiple threads get started on the same topic. The title could be changed to "wasteland this please" by the original author which would save a bit of searching for our mods.

Of course there are probably good reasons to keep the thread titles static that I am not thinking of.
I understand what you are saying, but my idea would stop any confusion from happening.
 

Duff-Man

macrumors 68030
Dec 26, 2002
2,976
2
Albuquerque, NM
Duff-Man says....I think it is a great idea and I hope it is something that can easily be implemented. I would even go further and not have it as just a first new topic but for every new topic whilst in "newbie" status. One reminder is frequently not enough for a lot of people.

I understand the concerns about "turning off" new users here but as the board grows the problem continually gets worse and that turns off those of us that have been around a while, those that are more likely to help the newbies. We need the veterans to stick around and I know I am not the only one that is getting frustrated with the excessive repetition and visiting here less often than I used to....oh yeah!
 

homerjward

macrumors 68030
May 11, 2004
2,745
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fig tree
there should be a warning that anyone who posts a generic thread title gets insta-banned™ by edesignuk:D that should keep any offenders at bay!
 

Diatribe

macrumors 601
Jan 8, 2004
4,226
21
Back in the motherland
I think this would be a great idea. Newbie status lasts how long, 20 posts? I think that would be sufficient, though we still have regulars that post a lot of generic stuff. I would even put up with every1 getting this message on the next 20 posts, including myself, if this rids us of this problem.
I'm saying this, as I think that this is a problem not only of the newbies but also of other people and a nice little reminder wouldn't be bad.
Anyway, great idea.

Edit: Words missing... I shouldn't be writing stuff in the morning... :rolleyes:
 

sjpetry

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 28, 2004
1,195
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Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Diatribe said:
I would even put with every1 getting this message on the next 20 posts, including myself, if this rids of this problem.
I think this would work. Then after the time period (~one month~) only noobies will see the message.

By the way noobie status lasts for 30 posts (I was there for a long time :eek: ).


If you have any ideas please mention them.

And later today hopefully some Mods will have some input. :)
 

dotdotdot

macrumors 68020
Jan 23, 2005
2,381
31
Only for the first thread? How about for every thread that someone makes in a certain forum section - like, in community discussion, nothing comes up, but in Mac Basics or Help, it does every time.
 

Diatribe

macrumors 601
Jan 8, 2004
4,226
21
Back in the motherland
dotdotdot said:
Only for the first thread? How about for every thread that someone makes in a certain forum section - like, in community discussion, nothing comes up, but in Mac Basics or Help, it does every time.
You read the comments afterwards, right? Because this is where we agreed that this would be good for everyone for the next 10-20 posts and then during the entire newbie status. ;)
I think this would make the most sense.
 

redeye be

macrumors 65816
Jan 27, 2005
1,138
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BXL
dotdotdot said:
Only for the first thread? How about for every thread that someone makes in a certain forum section - like, in community discussion, nothing comes up, but in Mac Basics or Help, it does every time.
I follow you on this one.
The most generic thread titles do appear in the 'Mac Basics and Help' and 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion' discussions. There are probably other places where this happens, but these are the most obvious. In the 'community discussions' this generic problem doesn't really exist, or they die fast.
A difference in 'warning approach' could be in place
 

Erendiox

macrumors 6502a
Oct 15, 2004
706
12
Brooklyn NY
I like this idea and I think it should be put into practice. My only fear is that this will turn off the newbies to get past the "newbie" status. I remember being there for a long time and I think after 10 posts or so of seeing that message, I think I would have gotten the idea. Must we torment them through 30 posts?

just my .02 :)
 

russed

macrumors 68000
Jan 16, 2004
1,613
0
i think this is a good idea.

another possibility i would like to throw for discussion is a form of probation - when you have newbie status, if you wish to start a thread it must be passed by a mod before it can be posted. this may require a few more mods (maybe a special category of people who have been around a while with reduced powers - a bit like the mod mini but who are only able to pass the threads)

anyway, once you are beyond newbie status you can post without the initial process of being checked.

however, if you get a bit of a reputation of starting "powerbook g5" threads or other ones where the answer can be found so easily, you go back on probation for say the next 30 posts.

just my thoughts on this problem!
 

Diatribe

macrumors 601
Jan 8, 2004
4,226
21
Back in the motherland
Erendiox said:
I like this idea and I think it should be put into practice. My only fear is that this will turn off the newbies to get past the "newbie" status. I remember being there for a long time and I think after 10 posts or so of seeing that message, I think I would have gotten the idea. Must we torment them through 30 posts?

just my .02 :)
It's only when they start threads, not when they post in a thread. So you can get past the newbie status without having to post 30 threads. :)
 

asif786

macrumors 65816
Jun 17, 2004
1,027
0
London, UK.
russed said:
i think this is a good idea.

another possibility i would like to throw for discussion is a form of probation - when you have newbie status, if you wish to start a thread it must be passed by a mod before it can be posted. this may require a few more mods (maybe a special category of people who have been around a while with reduced powers - a bit like the mod mini but who are only able to pass the threads)

anyway, once you are beyond newbie status you can post without the initial process of being checked.

however, if you get a bit of a reputation of starting "powerbook g5" threads or other ones where the answer can be found so easily, you go back on probation for say the next 30 posts.

just my thoughts on this problem!
i like the idea of newbie posts being moderated, but i would be a bit concerned about the workload for them..

let's assume a newbie asks a silly question that's been asked a zillion times before. will the mod mini have to do a search for them and send them the url via pm or something?

in terms of the little message before you post (sjpetry) that's a great idea too. this is common in helpdesk software - you submit your ticket and it will give you a page of 5 q&a's that it thinks are relevant. if this doesnt answer your question, you can post the topic.

on that note, has anyone thought about setting up perhaps a tutorial section? people like me, who have no jobs would love to sit around making tutorials for others - would be kinda cool.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
asif786 said:
let's assume a newbie asks a silly question that's been asked a zillion times before. will the mod mini have to do a search for them and send them the url via pm or something?

They could just post a generic "search the threads" reply. :)
 

russed

macrumors 68000
Jan 16, 2004
1,613
0
asif786 said:
i like the idea of newbie posts being moderated, but i would be a bit concerned about the workload for them..

let's assume a newbie asks a silly question that's been asked a zillion times before. will the mod mini have to do a search for them and send them the url via pm or something?

in terms of the little message before you post (sjpetry) that's a great idea too. this is common in helpdesk software - you submit your ticket and it will give you a page of 5 q&a's that it thinks are relevant. if this doesnt answer your question, you can post the topic.

on that note, has anyone thought about setting up perhaps a tutorial section? people like me, who have no jobs would love to sit around making tutorials for others - would be kinda cool.
with regards to the work load - as i said, i think there would have to be more mod mini's made - just for doing this job - checking the threads that are started by the people that are on 'probation'.

i dont think that they would have to do a search for them so they could reply - there could be one or two standard responces that are set up i.e. do a seach - this is how you do it, or this topic is pointless, been discussed millions of times before etc.


with regards to the 5 questions before the thread is posted, it seems to remind me of microsoft help - does this work - y/n etc!

the idea of a q&a though is very good - plant it as a stick at the top of all areas - it would difinatly help.