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cusco-awd
11-07-2018, 12:59 PM
Just respond to every questions asked with a mod saying in multiple paragraph explanation-

*Have you tried searching this sounds like something I have seen before

Why not just let forum members try and help and save some newb from a rabbit hole of searching dead end threads and just try to help? This site has become nothing but closed threads with search as a response and no new content being added from it. Its not any service to the community and why not give them a week before closing a thread to see if conversation might help shine light on issues. Im sure everything has been answered but this direction is a huge turn off to one of the last resources available to owners of these vans. Its just turning into a big echo chamber. The main reason forums are dead as dinos and FB groups keep going.

timsrv
11-07-2018, 01:36 PM
FYI we are a small forum for rare vehicles that are slowly becoming extinct. Most new topics have already been addressed AND in great detail. The real problem is finding these answers when you need to sift through umpteen pages of needless clutter. It may be hard to understand, but all we are asking is to please SEARCH (https://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/showthread.php?5323-Searching-TVT-successfully-and-posting-new-threads) before posting. If you can't find a solution, then please post in a thread of a similar subject.

Doing this actually helps get your answer faster, as previous posters to that thread will get a notification (and will likely respond).

Not everybody with knowledge reads new posts, so those frequently get overlooked........and ultimately result in needless clutter (therefor making it difficult for those who SEARCH (https://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/showthread.php?5323-Searching-TVT-successfully-and-posting-new-threads) first).

We may have a different philosophy than most forums, and maintaining to this level isn't easy. If you take the time to SEARCH (https://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/showthread.php?5323-Searching-TVT-successfully-and-posting-new-threads) and/or use the TAG INDEX (https://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/showthread.php?6249-TVT-Search-Tag-Index) (which Gwen has spent endless time creating), I think you would find our way to be much more useful. Tim

cusco-awd
11-07-2018, 02:03 PM
I just dont see threads like this being helpful to the end user of the forums. People come looking for help and get stuff like this. For the amount of time wasted with a response you could just help


https://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/showthread.php?6245-Van-died-and-will-not-start

timsrv
11-07-2018, 03:23 PM
I just dont see threads like this being helpful to the end user of the forums. People come looking for help and get stuff like this. For the amount of time wasted with a response you could just help


https://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/showthread.php?6245-Van-died-and-will-not-start

And by doing so there will become more duplicate & incomplete threads (more clutter). In my opinion it's much better to have fewer threads that are comprehensive and complete (much easier to find)

FYI, I understand where you're coming from. I also want to help everyone, but get burned out on answering the very same questions over and over. Don't get me wrong, I'd still be happy to do that, but unfortunately all those redundant threads become clutter. Ultimately the responsibility needs to be put on those who create the problem. We try to be as polite as possible when we inform new users of that, but people generally don't want to hear it.

The last thing we want to do is discourage new users and believe me when I say none of us want to sound like beotches or broken records. When it comes right down to it, I'd rather that be the case than having a disorganized forum (the alternative is evident all over the internet). I use the forum as a tool and when I want to find something I don't want waste time filtering through endless incomplete or dead-end threads.

Not sure if there are better solutions, but if anybody has a better idea I'd like to hear it. Tim

llamavan
11-07-2018, 03:23 PM
For the amount of time wasted with a response you could just help

Or it can be viewed this way For LESS than the amount of time taken to do the work for people, we can give them the tools to do it themselves. :thmbup:

I would prefer to keep a thread open for a week until the OP requests a thread close due to finding what they were looking for (either a solution or a relevant thread where they can repeat their post). What we're seeing is that if we leave a thread open after suggesting people search (along with links! and sometimes suggested threads!), other forum members start responding in that thread anyway, completely defeating our efforts to keep things organized the way we've chosen.

--> Number of threads closed because the poster was told to search the forum: I see exactly ONE.
(One re-post was deleted ... last week? ... after **I** spent time to find a relevant thread, MOVE the original post, and answer several PMs to explain why the re-post was closed. That equals TWO.)
--> Number of threads left open and never used again because the poster was asked to search and /or redirected to other threads: several hundred.
--> Number of redundant threads on alternators, personal troubleshooting journeys through multiple unrelated problems, and other stuff I sure don't have the time to read through: far too many.

People can ALWAYS post a relevant question in an relevant existing thread, and other members can help them there. That's precisely what we are asking. When there is a unique issue (reference ShapeShifter's recent question about the filter material behind the rear grills), that thread stands and does not get a "search the forum" response.

For those who don't want to search and just want real-time freebie consultation immediately, well, there's FB. One group = one big unsearchable thread and advice from whoever happens to be available at the time. Works for some people; more power to them.

I, too, do not want to come across like an ass ... but I also use this forum as a reference tool. Frequently. The need to use TVT for reference is exactly why Tim and I took the plunge., ponied up the dough, and started this site.

After 5.5 weeks for FULL TIME clean-up here (do the math ... that's a ton of volunteer time), I have a new and greater appreciation for ALL the members who told other folks how to search and gave them links to relevant threads to check out. Those people made my clean-up job a LOT easier, and I truly appreciate their time and effort. :clap:

Gwen

AD2101
11-11-2018, 09:05 PM
IMO the real culprit is the quality (or lack thereof) of vBulletin's search function, it's almost useless. For instance, if I wanted to find information on the cornering light relay and I type "light relay" into our search bar here, the relevant thread is the 33rd result on the page. What I've found to be a much better solution is to go to google and type in "search:light relay site:www.toyotavantech.com," and the relevant thread is the first result.

Now, this workaround is not common knowledge so I can totally see where users are coming from. I know a lot of newbies are lazy and want the answer without searching first but there are a lot of people who do search first but when the search feature is so lacking, it prompts people to start new threads.


Its just turning into a big echo chamber. The main reason forums are dead as dinos and FB groups keep going.

While I don't have a facebook account anymore, I imagine a lot of the information people get from TV FB groups come from this site in one way or another, if not directly copy/pasted from Tim or another member here. I also imagine eventually FB groups will run into the same issue we're having here with the same questions being asked over and over again.

There's probably a better short-term solution than what the mods are employing (If the answers are so easy to come by, then why not link it in the response, copy/paste the "plz search first" admonishment, and lock the thread), but it's a means to an end and, when it's all done, the site will be much easier to use.

llamavan
11-12-2018, 12:25 PM
IMO the real culprit is the quality (or lack thereof) of vBulletin's search function, it's almost useless. For instance, if I wanted to find information on the cornering light relay and I type "light relay" into our search bar here, the relevant thread is the 33rd result on the page. What I've found to be a much better solution is to go to google and type in "search:light relay site:www.toyotavantech.com," and the relevant thread is the first result.

Now, this workaround is not common knowledge

Which is EXACTLY why Tim, JDM, and I always use hotlinks to THIS POST (https://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/showthread.php?5323-Searching-TVT-successfully-and-posting-new-threads) (<-- just like this!) every single time we ask someone to search the forum: It has told people (for the last year) how to use Google to search this forum; all they have to do is click.

THE SAME POST (https://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/showthread.php?5323-Searching-TVT-successfully-and-posting-new-threads) now tells people how to search with tags.

It took over 200 hours to (1) remove the garbage tags from all the posts on TVT, (2) tag every technical post with highly relevant tags and (3) create the complete TVT Tag Index (https://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/showthread.php?6249-TVT-Search-Tag-Index) (<-- hotlink to the main tag index, which is a DIFFERENT post). If you haven't checked out the tag index and instructions on how to search using tags, you really owe it to yourself to do that. :thmbup:

See Tim's post #2 above to get the same links. We can and do provide the links; we can't force people to see or click them. :wall:

Yes, most of the vBulletin search function is indeed nearly useless! Fortunately searching by tags is 100% accurate, and will get you the results you want as long as the tags reflect the thread content. Previously search-by-tag was even worse (if that's possible) because users had randomly added irrelevant, overly generic, or misspelled tags ... and other posts were not tagged at all. We have now restricted tagging to Admin/Mods and I cleaned up the mess ... and we're now all at the mercy of MY ability to tag accurately instead. I'm sure I made my share of errors and omissions, and I definitely welcome specific feedback where that's applicable.

Admin is now and always has been strongly committed to site organization so that it is possible to find what's here on your own. The forum history is always here unless the server is glitching (very rare). Competent members who have the time for a detailed troubleshooting exchange exactly when someone needs that ... it's a real gamble at best. Everyone is very lucky that a number of members and Tim in particular MADE the time to document various issues and jobs in detail in prior years. That's huge. And it's all available 24/7/365 including how-to-access-it tutorials for anyone willing to spend a little of their own time.

Gwen

timsrv
11-12-2018, 01:11 PM
I would also like to point out the forum is non-profit. Donations are voluntary and we thank each and every one of you who support or have supported in the past (we/you know who you are). We are happy to provide it as a gift to the van community. Thank you for your comments/suggestions. Tim

spacecruisers
11-21-2018, 06:53 PM
One thing I'd point out as well, is keeping the content and number of submissions low and preventing Tim from answering duplicate threads over and over allows him to respond with extremely high quality of posts. I don't know how long you've been here but Tim is like a one-man show here. The amount of expertise and knowledge that he contributes willingly to forum members and FOR FREE is nothing short of miraculous. So keeping content more curated allows Tim to continue almost single handedly keeping this forum afloat!

timsrv
11-21-2018, 10:12 PM
Thanks spacecruisers :wave1:. There's a lot more work done here behind the scenes than most people realize (and it's not me). Gwen has likely spent much more time on maintenance and IT type work than I have spent posting. I do appreciate the kind words and the encouragement. FYI, due to my busy schedule I rarely read new threads anymore (Gwen and JDM VANMAN handle most of that). I do however monitor my email and I still try to respond to most posts that are made in existing threads (where I have previously posted). Tim

Dr.Roob
11-22-2018, 11:20 PM
I realise I'm just a noob myself - to TVs and to this forum.
However, I gotta say I was WELL PLEASED with the response I got when I posted about issues I was having with my sliding door. JDM VANMAN went so far out of his was as to even post at least a half dozen photos.
Anyway, just my tuppence worth.
Have a cool weekend - doc

Yahshoor
03-20-2019, 03:00 PM
Can I make an alternate suggestion?

See, I am absolutely the kind of person to search before asking. I did, in fact, use the Keyword search before posting. And, like this thread's OP, I found the thread-closing to be a tiny bit off-putting. I don't think that this is "how forums die" but I can see why the OP felt compelled to post about it. Thread-closing is, in most circumstances, kinda punitive, right?

However, I have not read a "HOW TO SEARCH THESE FORUMS" post in more than a decade. Reason being that until I got my thread closed here, I had not read a "HOW TO SEARCH THESE FORUMS" post that taught me anything at all, since like 2002 or whatever. However, this one surprised me, and taught me a great deal! So the tiny bit of grumpiness I felt at having my thread closed was completely overwhelmed by my feelings regarding the quality of y'all's tag cloud. Oh yeah, and I was grumpy not because TVT has cruel & unforgiving moderation practices, but because I didn't read the friggin' directions.

Besides being a search-before-posting type, I am also someone whose career is built around maintaining other people's complex datasets and tag clouds and the like, and I simply have never seen anyone on the Internet ever groom their tag cloud the way you folks have done here. It's quite impressive. Pat yourselves on the backs, people!
:clap:

Anyhow, I know front-end web dev way better than I know internal combustion engines, and so if you want a volunteer to edit your search fields so that the Keyword search has default text that reads "Use the tag search below! It works way better.", then I would be happy to take a look and see what is involved in doing so. Also maybe a link to those helpful posts on the search page itself? (I dunno how hard-coded the Search page is in vBulletin, but I can often get around hard-coded nonsense like that.)

Doing so might reduce the frequency with which people who really do search before posting need to have their threads closed, and so would maybe reduce the amount of time that llamavan spends closing threads and referring people to the aforementioned friggin' directions.

kamesama980
03-21-2019, 11:23 AM
I'm of the opposite opinion of the OP, Failbook offers no sorting or organization options and a s***y search function. The feed's just a vomit of everyone's thoughts and there's nothing but the feed full of the same questions over and over ad nauseam. Forums are dying because it's so easy to be lazy and have one place with one login that people already use that enables laziness rather than dedicated forums that are simple and intelligent and functional.



How to search a forum hasn't changed since 2002