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#409027 - 10/02/08 03:15 PM Death by FAQ/STAOAQI?
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Guys and gals, i have been giving much thought to the site's decline in content recently, and come to a conclusion that I would like yout opinions on.

There has been a real lack of 'new blood' on this site of late, and it is leading to stagnation. New members are having trouble establishing their identities, and many are 'lurking', not participating.

Why? i believe they are merely respecting established members wishes. Did you ever consider that by telling new people to 'read existing threads/stickies/faq's' we are saying 'here is the answer, you couldnt possibly have an opinion valid or interesting enough to elaborate on the topic'

How arrogant is that!?

FAQ's for site rules and navigation benefit are fine, but FAQ's on discussion topics are a barrier to engaging new brains in discourse.

I intend to evaluate the need for all my 'sticky threads' in my forums, and also to be less complacent in discussing FAQ's with new posters from now on. Much of the time, these are 'safe' questions that allow wider discourse to grow from.

What do you think?
_________________________
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
http://cord.mybrute.com

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#409028 - 10/02/08 04:01 PM Re: Death by FAQ/STAOAQI? [Re: Cord]
clmibb Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/31/06
Posts: 1035
Loc: South Texas, US
I agree, Cord. New members seem to get the ax too quickly over asking a simple question. Has the question been asked before? Most likely. Does that mean they should read every single past post and every FAQ before asking said question just to make sure they are rehashing a past topic? No way!

I know it may get irritating answering the same questions over and over but it's not fair to the noobs that they are blown off and dismissed as not knowing anything. They're new many times not only to here but to the MA as well. I don't want newbies to get the impression that all MA are some snobby aristocratic wanna-bes that can't "belittle themselves" to answering what they believe is a pretty straight forward question. We were all beginners at one point and I think we all need to remember that.

Casey
_________________________
"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."- Ronald Reagan


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#409029 - 10/02/08 04:43 PM Re: Death by FAQ/STAOAQI? [Re: clmibb]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
I haven't reviewed any faqs yet...but do recall being a newbie...and wishing there was a 'central thread' I could turn for my questions. Being new, searching was a drag.

The faqs, I feel arose from the desire to be helpful to newbies, and pinned so they could be found. I know I still turn to them myself on occasion...for karate terms, useful links, books to read, etc. Although, a problem with some faqs is they depend too heavily on links to other websites...and those links tend to expire. I do think it's part of a moderator's discretion to prune and maintain their section every so often.

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#409030 - 10/02/08 04:45 PM Re: Death by FAQ/STAOAQI? [Re: Cord]
JMWcorwin Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/13/07
Posts: 731
Loc: SoCal, USA
Absolutely. I think the non members or new members watching in the shadows could easily be intimidated simply by THE WAY we respond to what are usually harmless questions. We should be more open to repeating ourselves to encourage the new blood to ask any question w/o fear of basically being called stupid and told to go find it themselves.
_________________________
There are no PERFECT techniques, only perfect execution for the situation at hand. ~Corwin

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#409031 - 10/03/08 02:36 AM Re: Death by FAQ/STAOAQI? [Re: JMWcorwin]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
I've been thinking about this also. I'd gladly see my FAQ thread disappear from the stickies if it's stifling discussion amongst beginners. I'd keep a copy of it, of course, for posterity; but I think that if I were a beginner coming here, I might believe that every question I might have is covered in the FAQ (which is clearly untrue) and hence decide to avoid posting.

So feel free to un-sticky and lock the FAQ thread I started if it suits your purposes.

I also think that we should drop the STAOAQI usage too, I've always found them off-putting. Sure, when someone's asking about a topic which can only be learned practically, then it's a good suggestion to finish with, but perhaps it's best to start with a theoretical explanation first before STAOAQIing.

One more thing. I don't visit the Beginner's forum much but I notice that there are a heck of a lot of WARNING stickies in the forum. I'm thinking that they should be consolidated into a single sticky so that we don't scare people away with our forum rules. I remember when there was just one sticky there and it was much more friendly.

Have a read through the Introduce Yourself thread and you'll see that there were tonnes of people who arrived here and posted like 10 posts and left. Notice also that the last person to have used that thread did so in November 2007! I think it'd be a good idea to just delete the thread altogether and either start a new one or just let people introduce themselves in their own threads.

I'm even beginning to think that we should allow the "school-yard fight" threads back into the self-defense forum to repopulate it and I remember what a disaster those used to be...

P.S. I'd also like it if you could delete the links in the FAQ thread I wrote which don't link to anything anymore.


Edited by Leo_E_49 (10/03/08 03:04 AM)
_________________________
Self Defense
(Website by Marc MacYoung, not me)

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#409032 - 10/03/08 09:37 AM Re: Death by FAQ/STAOAQI? [Re: Leo_E_49]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Agreed, Cord.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#409033 - 10/08/08 03:51 PM Re: Death by FAQ/STAOAQI? [Re: Cord]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
To be honest, I never looked at the stickies..... ever.

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#409034 - 11/05/08 03:26 AM Yo, CORD! [Re: Cord]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
I think maybe we could remove some of the stickies I made in the SD forum about guns and HS problems.

Maybe there are people who don't post because of those. I think it would open up more debate there.
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#409035 - 11/05/08 04:09 PM Re: Death by FAQ/STAOAQI? [Re: Cord]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3331
Loc: Poland
What I find annoying is that the search engine gives you the choice of upto a year but then tlls you you can only have a month.

Many threads are older than that and even if a newbie searches they may not find them.

I also find some of the sarcasm used against noobs who perhaps state the obvious (or ludicrous)is perhaps a bit much and scares them away.
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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