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Dead Horse List


WebChimp
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If you do not think you can give the few minutes it takes to draft a politely worded reply answering the question to the best of your knowledge, why do anything? If these repeated questions are beginning to rub you the wrong way, it may be time to take a break from the forum and go out caching.

 

*applause*

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If you do not think you can give the few minutes it takes to draft a politely worded reply answering the question to the best of your knowledge, why do anything? If these repeated questions are beginning to rub you the wrong way, it may be time to take a break from the forum and go out caching.

 

*applause*

 

What you need there is a forum reply button marked "Agree whole-heartedly".

 

(I'd use it, too, for that quote.)

 

MrsB

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Having spent a little time in this forum I have to say that I like the idea.

 

Label it a FAQ and pin it to the top.

 

Pick out the most commonly duplicated thread topics and post links to them.

 

If folks don't find their answer in the linked thread then they can post it there rather than create a new thread.

 

Rude "this has been asked a thousand times' posts can be discouraged and Mods can simply say "There is a discussion of this topic here and I am combining your post with it" when new threads are started on common topics.

 

I like that plan rather than having to read multiple threads on a given topic... instead there would be just one ongoing thread for each common topic.

 

Or get a better search engine for this forum... :(

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There's really a bit more subtlety to it.

 

The basic "How To" questions are really already out there are not hard to find. Between the Guidelines, FAQs, Knowledgebase, and reasonable effort in searching, most basic How To questions can be answered. Even still, another highlight/link to these sources might help reduce new postings on generic How To topics.

 

Anything more subtle or personalized is hard to search for. Trying to pre-address someone's personalized question results in the frustration you feel on a telephone call line when you want to ask a specific, simple, personal question and you have to make your way through a thousand menu options that the company has determined are the most frequently asked questions, before you get that human who can answer your specific question. I know I'm always happy when I reach that human being who can answer my personalized question, and with all the wisdom and experience in the forum community here it's nice to have that option.

 

Possibly the true dead horse that really causes the frustration is a third category - new threads started on what someone thinks is a new idea or revolutionary change - "has anyone thought about bringing back virtuals" or "I have a great idea, let's rate caches." Now if you're going to propose a change or a "new" idea, in that case you should really try to research it first. (If someone says they tried to search and couldn't find the topic I appreciate knowing they did make the effort before posting.)

 

Bean

Edited by succotash
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Personally, I HATE having to go through the search engine. It is as inefficient as can be. I can get results 10 times faster by asking a forum question.

 

 

Especially if you use a sock puppet account to answer the question incorrectly. Nothing gets results faster in an online forum than answering a question incorrectly.

 

Oh, and "Can I use my Tom Tom for geocaching?"

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Maybe I overlooked it but:

 

Can I place a cache on National Parks/Forest land?

Do I need maps for my GPS in country X?

Why am I not getting my pocket queries?

What do you mean no agenda?

What makes a good container/what are some good containers?

 

I like the idea of a stickied FAQ at the top, but it doesn't seem to work in the TB forum. At all.

 

I here there is this new shiny knowledge base...

 

EDIT:

 

I found a knife/bazooka/underwear in a cache, what should I do?

I found a TB with a knife/bazooka/underwear attached is this acceptable?

Edited by Castle Mischief
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There's really a bit more subtlety to it.

 

<snip>

 

Anything more subtle or personalized is hard to search for. Trying to pre-address someone's personalized question results in the frustration you feel on a telephone call line when you want to ask a specific, simple, personal question and you have to make your way through a thousand menu options that the company has determined are the most frequently asked questions, before you get that human who can answer your specific question. I know I'm always happy when I reach that human being who can answer my personalized question, and with all the wisdom and experience in the forum community here it's nice to have that option.

 

<snip>

 

I could not agree more. This forum is a "living" thing. New people are taking part all the time. There is nothing as off-putting as coming to the forums with a query and getting told off because the topic has been discussed to death. If the old-timers have been there - done that and don't feel they want to comment on the topic again, then don't and leave it for others to comment. Not everybody follows the forums that closely. Also - if you are being referred to an existing topic, you need to read the whole topic if you want to be thorough and be sure you are not duplicating - that can be quite a mission in itself.

 

Having said all that, it is quite interesting having the dead horses listed.

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Grrrrr!!! I've been at work for 45 minutes, and already four people have asked me how I'm doing!! I'm ready to scream READ THE FAQ at the next person that asks me that question!

 

Another thing to keep in mind is that often, that frequently repeated "new" topic is simply a newbie's attempt to get their foot in the door here. Its their way of saying, "hi!" and striking up a conversation.

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Another thing to keep in mind is that often, that frequently repeated "new" topic is simply a newbie's attempt to get their foot in the door here. Its their way of saying, "hi!" and striking up a conversation.

 

Yup, I do that after lurking a while although I try to avoid frequrnt topics.

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Label it a FAQ and pin it to the top.

Pick out the most commonly duplicated thread topics and post links to them.

If folks don't find their answer in the linked thread then they can post it there rather than create a new thread.

 

The list I started had a link added for each topic, as an example. This site, as well as most other forum sites, already has at least one FAQ in place, and many have a list of frequently discussed topics, with links. The term "dead horse" was used with a wink and a nod (which is the same to a blind horse, of course), but a more appropriate term would, should such a list be pinned, would be something along the line of "Frequently Asked Questions". We could even use an acronym for that: FAQ.

 

Or get a better search engine for this forum... :ph34r:

 

Or just change the lower limit on word length so the engine will search for a three or four letter word. For example, you can't search for log, book, pen, coin, bug, or a host of other commonly used geo-terms. (Can't search for "geo".)

 

TPTB probably have a reason for limiting the search to five or more letter words, and my guess would be that three and four letter words produce too many answers for a meaningful result, or possibly many really large results at the same time might put too much demand on the servers.

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Label it a FAQ and pin it to the top.

Pick out the most commonly duplicated thread topics and post links to them.

If folks don't find their answer in the linked thread then they can post it there rather than create a new thread.

 

The list I started had a link added for each topic, as an example. This site, as well as most other forum sites, already has at least one FAQ in place, and many have a list of frequently discussed topics, with links. The term "dead horse" was used with a wink and a nod (which is the same to a blind horse, of course), but a more appropriate term would, should such a list be pinned, would be something along the line of "Frequently Asked Questions". We could even use an acronym for that: FAQ.

 

Or get a better search engine for this forum... :ph34r:

 

Or just change the lower limit on word length so the engine will search for a three or four letter word. For example, you can't search for log, book, pen, coin, bug, or a host of other commonly used geo-terms. (Can't search for "geo".)

 

TPTB probably have a reason for limiting the search to five or more letter words, and my guess would be that three and four letter words produce too many answers for a meaningful result, or possibly many really large results at the same time might put too much demand on the servers.

 

I seem to remember TPTB saying that it would overload the servers.

 

Maybee well get a better search function when the new fourm software is up and running?

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Or just change the lower limit on word length so the engine will search for a three or four letter word. For example, you can't search for log, book, pen, coin, bug, or a host of other commonly used geo-terms. (Can't search for "geo".)

 

What I hate as much as the letter limit is that (as far as I know, anyway) there is no way to know on which page(s) the search term was found. Some of our threads here go on for dozens of pages or more.

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... all questions have already been debated to the point of killing horses, and PITA would shut us down anyway, if they got wind of that fact.

 

PITA: a flat bread used in Middle Eastern cuisine.

 

PETA: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Not that I'm really interested in PETA. Where I'm from, Euclid, OH, we just take a shovel to the fawn. :ph34r: (google it)

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What I hate as much as the letter limit is that (as far as I know, anyway) there is no way to know on which page(s) the search term was found. Some of our threads here go on for dozens of pages or more.

 

I think you can... there's a little select box which says "Result type: Show result as post".

 

But I agree that it's difficult not being able to search for less than 5-lettered words.

 

MrsB

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I think what we need before a "new" topic is posted is a link to the dead horse list and a strong suggestion to check there first before posting a new topic. This would be "angst free."

 

I agree with the concept.

 

The angst comes when somebody blows past the suggestion and then somebody else responds with "didn't you see the note that popped up before you hit the submit/confirm button???" But hey, nothing's perfect.

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... all questions have already been debated to the point of killing horses, and PITA would shut us down anyway, if they got wind of that fact.

 

PITA: a flat bread used in Middle Eastern cuisine.

 

PETA: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Not that I'm really interested in PETA. Where I'm from, Euclid, OH, we just take a shovel to the fawn. :ph34r: (google it)

PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals

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I think what we need before a "new" topic is posted is a link to the dead horse list and a strong suggestion to check there first before posting a new topic. This would be "angst free."

 

What exactly is wrong with posting a repeatedly discussed topic*?

 

 

*Or has that question been discussed before? :ph34r:

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I think what we need before a "new" topic is posted is a link to the dead horse list and a strong suggestion to check there first before posting a new topic. This would be "angst free."

 

What exactly is wrong with posting a repeatedly discussed topic*?

 

 

*Or has that question been discussed before? :ph34r:

 

I'm thinking the "regulars" just get tired of getting pulled into the same discussions?

If thats the case then they should get off of the forums and go caching. ~LOL~

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I think what we need before a "new" topic is posted is a link to the dead horse list and a strong suggestion to check there first before posting a new topic. This would be "angst free."

 

What exactly is wrong with posting a repeatedly discussed topic*?

 

 

*Or has that question been discussed before? :ph34r:

 

I'm thinking the "regulars" just get tired of getting pulled into the same discussions?

If thats the case then they should get off of the forums and go caching. ~LOL~

 

Exactly. No one is forcing you 5000+ post people to click that Reply button.

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If you do not think you can give the few minutes it takes to draft a politely worded reply answering the question to the best of your knowledge, why do anything? If these repeated questions are beginning to rub you the wrong way, it may be time to take a break from the forum and go out caching.

 

*applause*

 

I agree.

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I think what we need before a "new" topic is posted is a link to the dead horse list and a strong suggestion to check there first before posting a new topic. This would be "angst free."

 

What exactly is wrong with posting a repeatedly discussed topic*?

 

 

*Or has that question been discussed before? :ph34r:

 

Many of the past threads contain valuable information that would effectively negate posting "yet another dead horse thread." Why bother posting another thread when there are already 30 previous threads that discuss the issue ad nauseum?

 

I think the main problem is people want results right now, they can't be bothered to take few minutes to do a search, or they don't know how to search.

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I think what we need before a "new" topic is posted is a link to the dead horse list and a strong suggestion to check there first before posting a new topic. This would be "angst free."

 

What exactly is wrong with posting a repeatedly discussed topic*?

 

 

*Or has that question been discussed before? :ph34r:

 

Many of the past threads contain valuable information that would effectively negate posting "yet another dead horse thread." Why bother posting another thread when there are already 30 previous threads that discuss the issue ad nauseum?

 

I think the main problem is people want results right now, they can't be bothered to take few minutes to do a search, or they don't know how to search.

 

Or, perhaps they would rather converse with other humans rather than research the archives.

 

Allow me to link to a recent case in point

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I think what we need before a "new" topic is posted is a link to the dead horse list and a strong suggestion to check there first before posting a new topic. This would be "angst free."

 

What exactly is wrong with posting a repeatedly discussed topic*?

 

 

*Or has that question been discussed before? :ph34r:

 

Many of the past threads contain valuable information that would effectively negate posting "yet another dead horse thread." Why bother posting another thread when there are already 30 previous threads that discuss the issue ad nauseum?

 

I think the main problem is people want results right now, they can't be bothered to take few minutes to do a search, or they don't know how to search.

 

Or the search won't return a viable result.

 

I agree, there is some of that. I think you should at least glance over the topics that are visible on the first page of the forum and see if you have a match.

 

 

In most forums I've been a part of on the interweb, it has really been up the mods and the host to set the level of expectations when it comes to re-visiting old threads. The mods here don't seem to want to get involved in the issue or have been asked to not get involved (and there seems to be less moderation in the past month anyway...) I've never seen any sort of indication from the mods along the lines of "we'd like to run this forum with the understanding that using the search function is expected" or "new topics will be discussed as they are posted".

 

We, as members, can discuss this back and forth and debate our preferences as the body of the forums- but it would be nice to see what somebody up at the head feels is appropriate for the tone of the forums going forward.

 

Self moderation on the internet is a fools errand. Where be the moderation up in this joint, yo?

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What I don't get is the obsession some people have with trying to change other persons behavior when the persons behavior has absolutely zero impact on their life.

 

BTW, this could be considered a soap box post since my feeling is based on a worldwide concept and not just relating to the forum posts here. Pick any "controversial" subject and my statement could apply.

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I agree, there is some of that. I think you should at least glance over the topics that are visible on the first page of the forum and see if you have a match.

 

I certainly can agree with that, and that is the situation where a moderator seems to be more likely to merge the threads. I've never seen 'em go back and search the archives just to dig up a thread to merge a new one into.

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I think the main problem is people want results right now, they can't be bothered to take few minutes to do a search, or they don't know how to search.

The problem with searching is that the more a topic gets brought up, the more threads that will be returned in the search result. They may not want to read through 15 threads with 50 replies in each one, so they post another one, hoping for a quick reply, but that just makes the cycle continue and spin even more out of control.

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I was browsing the forums today, and found numerous recent topics that remind me that new people are joining the forums all the time. They must be new, since they are starting new threads on topics that have been covered more than once in these forums.

 

It's nice to have new cachers joining the forum discussions, but I thought it might be good for them to have a list of topics that have already been beaten to death so they can use the "search" feature before they start posting. That way, they have at least a fighting chance of posting something that will add to the body of knowledge.

 

Here are the Dead Horse Topics that jumped off the screen at me just a bit ago:

 

How to adopt a cache

FTF before publication

Terrible cache location

I deleted a log

Someone deleted my log

Cache not published after 72 hours

Cache listing turned down

Don't like log content, too short, too long

Trackable item missing

Armchair log of virtual cache

Logged online, no sig in log book

Cacher sent a nagative email/note/log/message

Puzzle caches, can you help me?

How do you get permission?

 

Can you add to the list?

 

Its been my experience using the search on this forum that you wouldn't be able to search for at least 10 of those topics because you can't search for a term that's less that 5 letters long, like... I dunno... LOG or LOGS?!?!? :ph34r: You wouldn't be able to then search for FTF, DNF, "how do you...", or "help..." It's probably the most retarded search engine I've ever tried to use. It might explain all the duplicate threads. I tried for HOURS one night trying to find the thread entitled Showcase of Great Logs because I couldn't remember the name of the thread. Try searching for a thread about logs without being able to search on the word logs :ph34r: . Finally I posted a question describing the thread and someone was kind enough to post link.

 

I'm not saying fixing the search would eliminate duplicate threads, but it sure as heck isn't helping.

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Its been my experience using the search on this forum that you wouldn't be able to search for at least 10 of those topics because you can't search for a term that's less that 5 letters long,

... snip

I'm not saying fixing the search would eliminate duplicate threads, but it sure as heck isn't helping.

 

I totally agree with you, but (and it is not a perfect solution, by any means) you can use the site: keyword in Google to search the forums for shorter words:

 

Try: "site:forums.Groundspeak.com logs"

Edited by knowschad
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Its been my experience using the search on this forum that you wouldn't be able to search for at least 10 of those topics because you can't search for a term that's less that 5 letters long,

... snip

I'm not saying fixing the search would eliminate duplicate threads, but it sure as heck isn't helping.

 

I totally agree with you, but (and it is not a perfect solution, by any means) you can use the site: keyword in Google to search the forums for shorter words:

 

Try: "site:forums.Groundspeak.com logs"

 

I did not know you could do that! Thanks for the tip.

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... No one is forcing you 5000+ post people to click that Reply button.

You would be suprise at how much I don't. Then again maybe not.

 

I find I don't like answering the "what GPS should I buy" anymore. That happened about the time I realized it doen't matter what GPS they buy. Cobra was dead and everthing left was good enough.

 

Some folks I don't reply to beause it's just not worth the effort. They aren't as smart as they think they are but they don't know it, and I'm too stupid to get them to understand a concept so we can have a discussion.

 

Other than that it's all fair game.

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Am I missing the point or is a forum not about discussing stuff. If there are some topics that are off limits then why not have an information page and not a forum? Im sure that everyone new asks the same questions and this gets boring for the the seasoned veterans, Im sure that when Ive been caching as long as you I will probably get a wee bit nerked too but hopefully I will remind myself that newbies do ask questions because there lost in a place the their GPS system cant help themselves out with and that they dont assume that someone has asked the same question and use the search system because they want to enter into discussion.

 

As a newbie, I actually like taking part in these discussions, if you dont then just live and let live and ignore them.

 

All the same though, thanks for giving me a clickable list so that I now can read previous opinions.

 

Claire xx

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Am I missing the point or is a forum not about discussing stuff. If there are some topics that are off limits then why not have an information page and not a forum? Im sure that everyone new asks the same questions and this gets boring for the the seasoned veterans, Im sure that when Ive been caching as long as you I will probably get a wee bit nerked too but hopefully I will remind myself that newbies do ask questions because there lost in a place the their GPS system cant help themselves out with and that they dont assume that someone has asked the same question and use the search system because they want to enter into discussion.

 

As a newbie, I actually like taking part in these discussions, if you dont then just live and let live and ignore them.

 

All the same though, thanks for giving me a clickable list so that I now can read previous opinions.

 

Claire xx

 

You are not missing the point in the least, Claire. The forum IS for discussing things... whatever you want. If someone is tired of replying to a subject, they should just ignore it. Just as in the oft-quoted line about caches, "If you don't like that kind of cache, don't hunt it".

 

As has been mentioned a few times, it IS polite to first look to see if a topic has been talked about before, especially recently, but frankly, the sky is not going to fall if you post a similar thread to another.

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Am I missing the point or is a forum not about discussing stuff. If there are some topics that are off limits then why not have an information page and not a forum? Im sure that everyone new asks the same questions and this gets boring for the the seasoned veterans, Im sure that when Ive been caching as long as you I will probably get a wee bit nerked too but hopefully I will remind myself that newbies do ask questions because there lost in a place the their GPS system cant help themselves out with and that they dont assume that someone has asked the same question and use the search system because they want to enter into discussion.

 

As a newbie, I actually like taking part in these discussions, if you dont then just live and let live and ignore them.

 

All the same though, thanks for giving me a clickable list so that I now can read previous opinions.

 

Claire xx

 

You are not missing the point in the least, Claire. The forum IS for discussing things... whatever you want. If someone is tired of replying to a subject, they should just ignore it. Just as in the oft-quoted line about caches, "If you don't like that kind of cache, don't hunt it".

 

As has been mentioned a few times, it IS polite to first look to see if a topic has been talked about before, especially recently, but frankly, the sky is not going to fall if you post a similar thread to another.

 

I didnt realise it was polite to search. Im new to this forum and every other forum I have been on has people asking the same things day in day out but I wouldnt cause the offence of saying their contribution wasnt worth it for diamonds. Your right, they should ignore it. Actually when you look at that list I cant think of a single other question I would actually ask about Geocaching so if theres no other discussion allowed then that pretty much renders the forum worthless in my eyes. I paid for membership so will be using it. If people dont like what I post then I will apologise were apologys are due but only where they are due. I wont start apologising for being wet behind the ears, I know I am! Very much so in fact! lol But thats where patience comes in, when your teaching a child to walk, then you dont expect it to run or climb straight away. These forums are for the seasoned veterans to point newbies in the right direction and and for everyone to discuss stuff, vent, rant and sound off within reason.

 

If Im made unwelcome I will just do my geocaching and stay away from the board or go to another one. But if threads like these are started it will seem like showing people the door who are looking for help. I have opened a couple of threads similar to those listed and Im not easily offended but I do feel somewhat unwelcome since I am obviously contibuting to the corned beef spread all over the bored.

 

Claire xx

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I have seen a very similar thread on a astronomy forum a couple years ago. Snipped for brevity, but a great post!

 

This brings up a couple of points in my mind. First, sometimes there's only a fuzzy gray line between a topic that belongs in "Getting Started" or "Geocaching Topics". The former is generally angst free, and almost any question will be answered a hundred times over; the responders understanding that posters there are most likely new to the game and haven't figured out how the overall community 'works'. This forum, OTOH, is where opinion gets shared openly, and sometimes with great passion. Repetition here is, unfortunately, not well tolerated.

 

And that brings the second point; I, and I believe many others, do look at someone's post count before loosing the hounds on a well-discussed topic, even in this forum. But not all do. Sometimes there's a bit of leeway given to new members when bringing up old topics, mostly expressed as links to previous versions of said topic. A rude response, yes, but also an answer. I think the greatest angst comes when the same person (or group) uses the next available opportunity to restart a discussion. That's when the flogging really starts, and I suppose one of the reasons for this thread. Yes, the search function works for some, but not others (including me). It also helps to realize that some topics are so good, they've been discussed several times already (even if you and I can't find them) and bring out a great deal of passion even to the point of getting responses of "please don't drag us through that again!" In these cases, just realize the post struck a nerve in the community, and prepare as appropriate. :ph34r:

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