search option

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 18:46
ThreadID: 12485 Views:1754 Replies:9 FollowUps:22
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after reading trucksters post about the search menu i was going to put this post under his post but after reading all the rubish i didnt bother even reading to the end but heres my thought.
i emailed david a while ago and asked if it would be posible to actually put the search menu on the page where you type in your new post.i know it says.

Search: before you post a new question, run a search on your topic. You should also check other areas such as Trek Notes for destination details, Road Conditions for current reports, and articles written by the ExplorOz Team under the Trip Planning, Vehicle Requirements and On-The-Road menus.
but if people dont know where to find the search engine they might not know how to annd type the same question.
does this sound like a good idea or not.

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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - David - Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 19:13

Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 19:13
I looked at this last night just as I completed the Sort by Response cookie thing. I opened the pages and looked at the code and then decided that I had better hit the hay. It is very close on the schedule of things.

Guess I may as well ask if just the keyword text entry is enough or do you think I should add a keyword box and say a drop down list of pre defined keywords (such as the forum search keywords used in the Topic Search pages - have a look at the topic search pages LHS to see the lists of keywords we already use). I could also add the date range selections as per the search box on the forum index page.

I do not want to make the page to complicated either. We must think of the process of submitting a question rather than a complex search function.

Any thoughts welcome.
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Follow Up By: GO_OFFROAD - Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 19:18

Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 19:18
G'Day David,
To simplify search, why not break down the forum area into a few topics, so you could have-

General discussion
Technical
Travel

So you have less posts to sort when searching, and you only have to read the sections your interested in?

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Follow Up By: Member - StevenL - Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 19:22

Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 19:22
Hi David,

Just a thought. In doing some searches I found I was matching info in peoples tag lines where they have their vehicle make or model listed. I think many people would use a model as a primary search term.

For instance my original tag line after joining up included the word Prado but when I did a search for "Prado" after a while I found that many of the hits I got where my own posts or replies to completely unrelated topics. I have since changed it to something slightly different!

Can this tagline area be excluded from the searched material?

Keep up the good work.

Steven
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Follow Up By: Mrs Diamond - Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 19:39

Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 19:39
david just to start with just use the search thats used at the top of the forum page just place that on the new post page and sort out finer details later.
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 01:39

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 01:39
In answer to all:

GO_OFFROAD - I do not like forums that are categorised - my reasons are that I hate having to click into each category to see what has happened/changed - the way our system runs means that you can easily see everything in one page. I have some other businesses now asking for our forum solution because their categorised systems fail as most posts end up in general. (This then create more work for moderation to move stuff around).

StevenL - I removed this information from the database some time ago however the older archived data does contain some of this information. I am working on a program to correct this problem in the database by removing the embeded rig info from the posts (the system now stores footers based on the member number and the info is not embedded)
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Follow Up By: GO_OFFROAD - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 08:02

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 08:02
But your current forum system needs more work to check whats new [by having to click in every topic if you wish to see whats new] compared to "normal" forum software which has a "new" button beside any new posts or replies, and keeps them at the top.

This also means topics dont die, or get reposted 2 and 3 times trying to keep them on page 1.

I havent been on a forum which see's everyone post in one catagory either.
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 11:07

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 11:07
GO_OFFROAD,

You are missing the point of membership then. The system will automatically show members only new posts, replies and followups since their last logon. If you want to only see what has changed since the last visit then membership is the answer.

I have no problems if you are not a member however I have noticed in this post that the only people requesting category listings are non members - thus I conclude that the current membership operation of the forum with the ability to show only new items works for the members.

I will not be making category lists. I have overwelming feedback that the system (without categories) is so much easier for the majority of our readers. I also have a large number of feedbacks that indicate the reason they use and join the ExplorOz system is because of the easy of understanding and operation of the forum system and the initial impression that it is different.

I also hate the why that most forums do not provide the followup functions that we have in ours. What I find in reading so other forums is a mismatch of posts between various users appears all over the page causing you to have to read ever post to find something that was posted as a followup to someone elses answer - In fact most of the time the original response has to be duplicated at the top of the post (by the poster) to make others aware of what it relates to.

I guess there are + and - in all cases however I like the way ours runs - integrates with the members - links into and out of all topic search sections etc etc. ExplorOz is in the top few sites of its kind so I guess there must be a large number of others that also agree.

I do not know which forum systems you use however I have been in discussion with several businesses recently that are buying my code (even though they are using current category based systems) because of the logic and ease of finding the information you are looking for. Guess there are two sides to every equation. Thanks for your input.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 11:16

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 11:16
David, I agree, how many people say "This is the best forum they've seen"? I think it's because of the fact that it is all together,it means people don't get seperated into groups and it's more communal, if you like.
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Follow Up By: GO_OFFROAD - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 11:46

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 11:46
Your forum works, while the page only changes every 1-2 days, as more poeple would join, and the forum get busier, this isnt quite the "ideal", and personally, i filter off the follow up emails, and bulk delete, but surely there should at least be an on/off for this function?
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Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 11:53

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 11:53
I'm not having a dig at you this time GO_OFFROAD, but wouldn't that actually defeat the purpose of having the follow up feature?
You seem to reply pretty quickly for someone who filters out the follow emails too? How do you know when someone wants you to reposnd to a post that you may not have started without having the email to notify you? Surely you can't read through all the post all the time? As you say as the forum get's busier, you need the email notification.
Another possible solution for you would be for your filter to put the follow-up reposnes into a sperate folder in your email (if it is not already doing that).
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Follow Up By: GO_OFFROAD - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 12:14

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 12:14
The problem i see with the follow up feature is, if someone replies, you dont know unless you look, and if someone posts a "follow up" [a message attached tot he message its following up not an email sending out to you to let you know a follow up has been posted] then you get an email, I have really only been surfing the forum and mentally noting the No of replies and follow ups recorded to the left of the topic, and when i open the IE window the forum is open on, scan down, and check those that have changed, at the time.

And yes, i bulk delete the replies, by having them filtered off.
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 12:48

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 12:48
That is not right - If you post a question you will get an email for every reply. If someone follows up a reply the person who posted the response will get an email. If there are a number of followups (such as this one) then every person in the followup trail and the person who recorded the reply will get copies of all the followups.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 12:51

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 12:51
David, that was how I understood it and use it.
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Follow Up By: DiesAl - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 14:12

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 14:12
Hi David, I like the way the forum works as opposed to the categorised route. I find it much easier to use than other forums. The only problem I had was with the info in peoples tag lines as previously stated and you have already addressed this.
As a non-member I was unaware of the feature where "The system will automatically show members only new posts, replies and followups since their last logon" I read through the membership doco but I may have missed it. That would be handy but as a non-member I'm happy to look through the the forum by sorting in response order. People who pay the money should get all the trimmings. Sorry for the dribble (read VB) but I think your on the money with the way your doing it now.
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 17:17

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 17:17
Jeff,

To make it even more interesting I am going to be adjusting member messages to allow all ExplorOz generated email to be stored in your member message account - you will then be able to tell our system to provide you with a daily digest of all system generated email to be sent in a single email to your personal account once a day.

Also members will have the ability to turn on/off the delivery of certain email types from the forum system.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 17:54

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 17:54
David, Interesting, I think it will be good, especially as the site grows, however I can see it making resposnes to questions have somewhat of a delay, maybe up to a day as people won't be receiving them "live". I guess for most people who may only go online once a day when they get home it won't make any diference. I think it's a great idea though.
How did you go with the idea of generating a popup when you go to your home page to notify you of member messages?
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Follow Up By: GO_OFFROAD - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 18:09

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 18:09
David,
If you post the question yes, but if you reply to a post, andd others reply, you get nothing, unless its a follow up.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 18:27

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 18:27
Isn't that the idea? That's why the follow-up is there, otherwise Daivd's email server would be going nuts and people would really have somthing to complain about with emails comming from the forum.
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Follow Up By: GO_OFFROAD - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 18:30

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 18:30
But Jeff, you have gone off on a tangent here, my point was, add a "NEW" tag beside the thread, rather than send an email in the first place and allow a box to tick if you want an emailed reply...........
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 18:33

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 18:33
I get it - I have this on the list already - I just have to work out the logistics and I may only add this as a member advantage. I have not decided or worked out how much work is involved to make this happen yet. When I start it I will work out if it will be available to visitors and members or just members.

I will get to it ASAP.
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Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 19:32

Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 19:32
David, if you wanted to enhance the search you could make it so you can select to seach subject only or body only or both. But I don't have any dramas using it the way it is. Keep up the good work.
AnswerID: 56607

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 01:42

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 01:42
Jeff,

Good one look at the search options now.

You will also notice that I have adjusted the system to stop it forcing a search across the entire database. This means that if you are viewing active posts and you run a search you will only get results in the Active area - if you then select Archive or Both your search will find results in these areas. What used to happen was that the search would force your selection to Both.
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Follow Up By: Moose - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 13:43

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 13:43
G'day David
I was hoping to get the answer to this when I posted my query yesterday but no luck - maybe I'm not the only one who is having problems. Or maybe no-one bothers searching, which would help explain why the same things get asked on a regular basis. After having read this post and replies and followups I'm still none the wiser. I gather that it isn't possible to enter search words with + or - before them for a more refined search - like one can in Google? I am not particularly computer brilliant so if that's a dumb question (as in that type of search facility is really high tech and beyond the resources of this site) then please forgive me. I'm just trying to come to grips with how it works so that I don't have to wade through heaps of hits looking for something that's really relevant.
Pehaps you could provide a few search hints to make it easier for users.
Regards
The Moose
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 17:14

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 17:14
Yeah I am looking into the + linking etc that some systems allow. I can do it of course it is just a matter of actually implementing it. I think I will need to add an Advanced Search button and launch another screen to allow for the more complex searches to be run. I will work on this ASAP. I will add the basic search options to the New Post page also and see how it goes.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 22:48

Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 22:48
The best way to do it is to have the forum into sections. Lots more work, but also looks neater.

CHIT CHAT SECTION
TRAVEL -> Subsections maybe by State?
TIRES
RIMS
SUSPENSION
TURBOS
FRIDGES
TENTS
CAMPERTRAILERS
ETC ETC

Looks miles neater, but then it takes longer to surf the place...

Then searching will also be LOTS simpler.. Search by section.

Sometimes when you search you do get 100's of things that are nothing to do with what your searching for, specially if you search for 2 words like spare tire it comes up with everythign SPARE and everything TIRE, not just Spare Tire

ALSO MAKING THE SEARCH THING STAND OUT MORE.. BIGGER BRIGHTER WITH NAKED WOMEN ON THE BUTTON SO PEOPLE SEE IT

YMMV
AnswerID: 56645

Reply By: Member - Royce- Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 23:35

Thursday, Apr 29, 2004 at 23:35
It's all good as is. KISS!
AnswerID: 56652

Reply By: Wombat - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 09:30

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 09:30
David,

I wouldn't change a thing!!!!!!!!!!
AnswerID: 56677

Reply By: Hedonist - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 09:32

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 09:32
David - the sort order cookie has made finding new posts easier already, but can you change the sort function so that it includes replies, follow ups and original messages and lists them in the order of the most recent input?

At the moment if I leave the sort order on 'response date' I don't get to see any new topics, and if someone adds a follow upo it does not migrate up the list. This is a PITA as it means that every so often I need to scroll through the whole list to see what is new, or change back to post order for the same reason.

Cheers,
Pete
AnswerID: 56678

Reply By: uppy - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 10:38

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 10:38
Hi guys, i have no problem how it is
regards uppy
AnswerID: 56688

Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 13:32

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 13:32
Tend to agree with a few here like Wombat the KISS principle. The thing is this site is better managed than any other forum I have seen and better responded too by participants.

I would like to see sub forums to deal with other issues like software and then only bl***y Quickbooks Pro that I would worry about. Yahoo doesn't deal with it properly.
Cheers,
Who?
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - David - Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 18:16

Friday, Apr 30, 2004 at 18:16
It has been installed on the Ask page. I have also added the ability to run specific multi word searches using +. So Engel+Fridge will only find posts that have the two words written exactly.

I will start a new thread about this.
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