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The thing about forums is.....


NicTheOrange90
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So in my non Land Rover world, I'm work in the wonderful world of technology. I'm involved in advising on a website redesign for my current client (no I'm not a web designer).

I'm saying to them that we [society] will be wanting more from websites and the way we [royal we] consume the information is increasingly changing (for example RSS feeds and tweets mean you can choose what parts of a website and when you visit it as opposed to trawling through every message)....

I'm a keen forum advocate, but they do have a couple of things that [iMHO] could do with addressing to make them more 'user friendly' for all of those who visit.

To explain what I mean, if you take a fictional 'cheese' forum as an example ("what's so special about the cheese growers" etc).

The cheese forums cater for lovers of cheese, forum members can buy and sell their cheeses, as well as ask specific cheese questions (no not the one about the purple vein cheese…)….

After a few years of cheesy postings the forum members have been 'categorised' and to some extent have acquired a certain cheese kudos.

The 'beeeg cheeses' are those who post the most, and the 'crumbs' as they are sometimes referred to are those who joined the cheese forum more recently.

Beeeg cheeses and their cheesy posters are constantly dismayed as the quality of posts seems to be cyclic and almost without fail a new crumb comes along asking a 'really basic' or even 'stupid' cheese question (such as, "Im thinking to invest in a cheese that I can use for….." or "what cheese should I use for …." Beeg cheeses see these type of posts on a regular basis (often when the last one fell off the bottom of the front page) and it has been known for one or two beeeg cheeses to suggest a better use of the search function.

Cheese as we know is an infectious hobby and it comes to most of us sooner or later, so if you can imagine the first time a 'crumb' posts a question on the website it's a really big thing, so you can imagine how they feel when a huge beeg cheese wafts in and 'flames' them.

Neither party is wrong, its merely a symptom that the cheese forum needs to move onto the next generation of cheese forum software or to reconsider how it displays its cheese related forum stuff.

So a few months go by and the cheese forum moderators have invested even more of their time (which is greatly appreciated and largely goes un acknowledged) have added a few extra lists to their already sweaty forums.

The first one they added was entitled 'so your thinking of buying a cheese are you?' in this area they gave clear information about the types of cheese and the likely points to look for. Crumbs or wafts (a crumb who has not even registered for fear of being found out, so they just lurk) could easily and without fear of being melted could gain pre-purchase information about getting a cheese.

The mods also added another list called "A cheese is for life not just after dinner' Here those cheesers who were interested in running a real cheese could get updates on maintenance and running information.

Both lists were not like the other cheese forum lists, as they were in a wiki format and could only be modified by certain beeg cheeses whos knowledge was second to none. This way wafts and crumbs could browse and not get conflicting information.

The mods also introduced RSS feeds on all the other lists so that closet cheesers around the world could get the information and keep the cheesy threads alive even when their corporate masters (who were non-cheesers and had banned the cheese forum from the company web) the information would still get thru.

The beeeg cheeses and the crumbs all benefited from the new changes, and never again was heard 'use the search button'…

Now Im not suggesting these fine LR4x4 forums are doing anything wrong, but there is a future of forums .. the future is yellow, the future is cheesey….

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Is it that you want to Brie helpful, and stop the place becoming Stilton?

I'm not sure the forum membership is as Parmesan as you allude though? That said it was a niece piece of Rodoric

My intention is not to offend anyone, and I chose cheese as I had done a presentation for some other bods at work (so this is a copy and paste job).

Im am passonate about this forum, and prefer it over the other forums available, im sure when this post reaches the beginning of page 2 it will probably slide off into oblivion.

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I'm sure there is a point to this post and a message of some description, however personally I have no idea what it is and but I can't stop thinking about cheese and want to go and make a sandwich...

Go to Nick's he lives there!

Nick - it will probably slide off into oblivion. - Or some forum big cheese will speed it's exit for being OT :)

John

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Very well put also very entertaining and funny to read

I left this forum once because of the way some people were posting replies to member's questions I rejoined a couple of years later to see things haven't changed much during my absence.

It's a credit to this forum and the moderators if they have made this effort I applaud you

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Well here goes for being flamed.

This is by far the best post on here in the recent past IMO.

I use this site less and less each day now. I don't consider my self a big cheese or a crumb.

Why have I moved away - well one of the reasons is because people come on as 'crumbs' and ask the same old same old questions.

I used to reply all the time. but after a while of having to justify nearly everything I gave up. ok, so I don't have the patience or the time that the devoted members on here give but it gets repetitive and boring.

Now this forum, as in the technical forum that it wishes to be and i believe is, may become stagnant as there are only so many questions that can be asked so it may go against the number of 'new' posts coming up and there could potentially be less activity on here. BUT it would avoid the same questions being asked again and again and also avoid the response of ' look here..........' which can be taken the wrong way by a 'crumb' who has just plucked up the nerve to ask a question.

As the way fwd for this technical forum I believe it would be a great way to go. you would maintain interest as new questions came up, you would avoid 'upsetting' current people on here that have a fair bit of knowledge and have moved on due to the repetitiveness and it would make it a far better user friendly data base.

So here goes for

'Well its all in the tech archive so we don't need it..................'

which means you have missed the point.

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:blink:

OK

My 2p worth

Don't worry about it being OT or being deleted, anything that is mooted for the greater good of the forum

from members is always god to hear even if some are non runners, and heres the rub re yours.

I have read it several times now, and thought about it :blink: and then thought about it some more :wacko:

and I can see a glimmer of an idea, but for the life of me not what your getting at :lol:

So, either post up here or if you prefer PM me more simply what your suggesting then it can be lambasted and

so it is clearer and then maybe considered :P

Seriously the lack of posts to your thread could be that you were so careful not to offend that like me others are

missing your point - I'm fairly sure I am :lol:

Post away and maybe I can understand your ideas along with others ? Once clearer I will get others in the A&M Team to look at

it and we can see if anything can be taken from it - bear in mind that the workloads for the A&M team is quite high, not just moderation that you do see but other stuff inc spammers etc that you never do see, and all work is both voluntary and free from those who give

it but its alawys good to hear ideas - who knows :)

Merci buckets,

Nige

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I don't think the OP is trying to say anything other than just "think a little before being a clever arse" to the Cheeses and "come on don't be scared to ask" to the Crumbs.

I think his post is a good one and a relevant one!

We can all be too quick to contradict others and sometimes in a way that unintentionally offends, (sometimes also not so unintentional when stressed with work etc ;):ph34r: )

Some times people on forums (and also other places but Forums are the subject) get rather up their own arse when kissed a lot and loose the larger picture.

I think the original OP's message was to a large extent just letting us look at the bigger picture and fit our selves in where we feel we are perceived. Then to take a step back or forward to a more central position.

HELP and gentle humour are the most important things about a forum like this, Access to help and anything we can do to ease that access is a big bonus. And doing it with the humility that some of us lack!

Good post on an interesting and very relevant subject!

Lara :ph34r::D:D

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I love cheese.... great topic.

I joined this forum and still post on this forum for a couple of reasons, the main one being, how well the forum is moderated and how well the etiquet is. Before finding LR4x4, I posted on a few other forums and all I got was abuse from forum "bullies" all I wanted was some answers, and all I got was swear words, I was disgusted.

LR4x4 is an incredible resource and is managed in one of the most professional ways I can imagine, for a non profit making, volunteer , to be honest it provides an unrivalled service!

The technical archive is ideal for many day to day jobs, but the one frustrating thing is the search tool on here is lacking, but again I can't knock a free service! I would not have got anywhere near rebuilding my rig like I have if it wasn't for this forum.

Yes topcs get repeated regularly and for the older members it can get a bit long in the tooth replying to the same old posts, but you have to remember the ones aspiring for "big cheese" stardom... they usually mop up the crumb posts.

Community forums like this have an evolution cycle, where interest wax's and wains... for example last winter bred a new breed of 4x4 owners!?

Again good post Nic, BUT you could maybe be a bit clearer, you obviously have idea's - why not volunteer them?

- I think the commitee that runs this place do a grand job, and to be honest don't fail in many respects at all.

Cheers

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I agree totaly with the start if this thread, this is a great forum to be a member of but can be difficult sometimes.

For me personally I feel that a lot of the duplicated "crumb" questions could be avoided or expended upon if the search engine was more useful. I find it so unhelpful that I cannot even find the topic that explained the use of the Google search alternative which could in fact solve a lot of problems.

I have seen replies to topics which just shout "Search" but you can't effectively.

Please can you pin the Google search method someware (if it insn't already) or is it possible to improve the site search engine??

From an oldish crumb, Keep up the good work,

Marc.

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I agree totaly with the start if this thread, this is a great forum to be a member of but can be difficult sometimes.

For me personally I feel that a lot of the duplicated "crumb" questions could be avoided or expended upon if the search engine was more useful. I find it so unhelpful that I cannot even find the topic that explained the use of the Google search alternative which could in fact solve a lot of problems.

I have seen replies to topics which just shout "Search" but you can't effectively.

Please can you pin the Google search method someware (if it insn't already) or is it possible to improve the site search engine??

From an oldish crumb, Keep up the good work,

Marc.

Marc,

I absolutely second the search issue. If we had a good link or search facility it would be a lot easier for new crumbs.

Having to drop into google and trying to use "sites:forums..la.la la +Alloys +90" is tricky enough for someone to remember but newcomers might not know the logic for it or understand it. And thats before they start thinking about how to ask the question for the thing they dont really understand, how it works or what it does!

Nic I like your question, I agree that the forum went a bit stale for a while but people like Fridge and Hybrid keep the banter going and people like Les, Ralph (Western)and Tony have been/are really helpfull in the past/present for techy stuff. (Thats a really short list though, oodles have people have helped in the past).

I guess all forums will get stale without new people/ideas but I guess with most things in life you just have to get a thick skin and dive in without worrying about being percieved as "stoopid".

Retro, I would agree with this point as well. The same questions get asked all the time, the reason I know is I have asked them all previously :rolleyes:. It does get painfull pointing to the same link all the time.

So, Actions?

1) A search link thingy would be great.

2) A Wiki type thingy for common questions would be good, how this would be indexed for easy perusal? Who knows?

I think these two things would address most of a newbies questions and let them get their info/facts together before asking the Big Cheeses.

Whos going to do the work? I'm just an ideas man! :D

Regards

Grant :)

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I think the Wiki type idea sounds good.. A few well worded "questions / leads" could reduce the number of repeat questions....

Does anyone on here have the knowhow and the time available free of charge to show us how ?

Nic, does it rely on an improved search facility and key words assigned like Metatagging or is it a completely different structure for those key threads / information structures ?

Does it need those in the know to vet the information once and when deemed accurate and informative it's added to the knowledge thread and linked etc. ?

Has anyone tried the search facility since the board was updated recently ? I've not played much myself, but if anyone has any feedback it would be useful.

Neil

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keep the banter going

!!!??

no banter is why alot of the original haunts left. any banter was frowned upon and quite often deleted.

i think a search function that worked would be excellent and would potentially solve the whole issue.

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I've been lurking for a long time on here. Best part of a couple of years. Always put off joining/registering because of the flaming that newbies get. I'm only just into LR and have a lot to learn but am unsure of the responses I'd get. Sometimes it's easier to just plod through a job rather than be made to look a pillock on here

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Evenin all,

As I stated, im not looking to critisize, the mods do a great job, and this is a great place to hang out.

As Ive been asked to spell things out;

  1. Have read only areas that explain in text and photo/graphics what owning a Land Rover (model) is all about; the history and basic mechanics
  2. Servicing guides (again read only in text and pictures) that explain with as much detail as is needed; basic servicing techniques
  3. Modifications and their implications (ie if you increase your suspension the following will be effected) again, read only.
  4. Areas for suppliers to discuss new products and ask for advice/ give discounts

The reason for read only is to preserve the guides intact so that if a new visitor comes to the site for the first tme on day one or day 301 they would not have to trawl through reams of stuff. The benefits would be a decrease in the amount of repeat posts we all see from newcomers (who are very welcome). It would be up to mods to request servicing guides from members and each guide could be rated by its readers. It would not be unreasonable to have a business sponsor or two for some parts.

Also RSS feeds on all forums that mean their contents would be readble on email readers.

I dont think this is unreasonable, and its something other types of forums could do with looking at.

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Thanks for the update Nic...

Truth is we are not experts behind the scenes (Well we have one..) so if the unskilled amongst us can understand the ideas put forward, we can all work to discuss and potentially provide a solution that would help members.

Now to discuss and see if we believe we have the market and the ability to deliver...

Cheers

Neil

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As far as the forum has gone a bit stale?

I was lucky in that when I joined there were loads of amazing builds going on "House of Flying Spanners" and Moglite plus others sorry can't remember them all. I guess that now they are completed they are being used? Though HoFS has the great videos and we now have HfH with the mega buck engine build which after completion will turn us all green (well the V8 fan club anyway) and enable us to open a book on how long the 90 lasts with all that power. :P

As for the search button I tried that yesterday as per my post and as far as I can see it is no better than when I joined?

Winter is soon on us which is the time for builds? and this forum is definitely the best place for things like Megasquirt or Megajolt and loads of LR tips.

Can I stop gushing now?

LR4x4.com Long my it Reign!

Marc.

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I've been lurking for a long time on here. Best part of a couple of years. Always put off joining/registering because of the flaming that newbies get. I'm only just into LR and have a lot to learn but am unsure of the responses I'd get. Sometimes it's easier to just plod through a job rather than be made to look a pillock on here

David

Well, good for you in registering and welcome.

To any other Davids out there, register and join in, whilst you may ask the odd daft Q (I do now and then :D )

if you are "Flamed" the A&M Team take a dim view of it and will take action most likley, so its not a key worry

on this site :)

As for "made to look a pillock on here" its not exclusive to members, the odd <cogh> mod or 3 have been known

to manage this too :)

Nige

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I certainly would be up for writing all sorts of read throughs for various things.

I quite often come across a job that isnt documented online and not being in any landrover club nor having a father or friends that are/have been keen on mechanics I sometimes have to bite the bullet and do things the wrong and expensive way!

Im a helpful chap and have taken a lot from these forums, Ive made my donations, but knowledge is the best thing to repay!

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