Search This Forum

Jul 18th, 2007, 04:10 AM
  #1  
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Search This Forum

I've read some occasional complaints about the Search function on the Europe forum, but I have found it generally useful. In particular, it has lots of information about the following topics, most of which crop up on a weekly basis:
1* Cell phones
2* US dollars in Europe
3* ATMs
4* Travellers cheques
5* Luggage
6* Voltage in Europe
7* Batteries in Europe
8* Beauvais Airport
9* CDG to Paris
10* How not to look like a tourist.
On each of these, and on lots of other favourites, there are probably hundreds of posts, some even useful! Is there any way of directing new enquiries directly to the 'Search This Forum' function?
Or am I just tending surly?
adeben is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 05:44 AM
  #2  
 
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I hear what you're saying, but not everyone on the forum is a "regular". Many just pop on looking for specific info and sometimes it is easier to start a new thread. Also when talking about fashion, women want the latest info, not do's and don'ts from two years ago.

While I see that the forums can become a little cluttered, the idea here is to help fellow travellers and while some get frustrated with the same questions, there are others who are always willing to help or direct us newbies to the answer.
cookie5611 is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 09:20 AM
  #3  
 
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While I agree with you, I think you are being surly, and rigid and controlling. Are you suggesting that some automatic function not allow someone to make a post if they have a certain topic, and something coming up telling them to do a search? Or something blocking them making such a post?

Plenty of people do tell people to do searches. Some people make new posts because they find it easier than actually doing a search (it is, actually, as if you do a search, you have to read through a couple dozen posts to try to get your info). You may not get as good info that way, as you are dependent on just the folks who most recently are willing to answer your question, but you won't have to search.

Some info actually does change, also, and there is no point in just saying no one can ever ask a question again about ATMs or cell phones. Your last post is more conversational and opinion, so I don't think it fits in with the others.

I do searches on some things I want to find out, but have even been tempted to make a post as it is quicker -- but I resisted (eg, way from Heathrow into London) and found my answer. If you don't want to read posts on certain topics, just don't read them as they make you surly, how about that? It's pretty obvious when a post is about money, ATMs, CDG to Paris, etc.

I find the search function pretty useful, also, and can usually find anything. Some people really don't know how to use it very well, and this is a general computer/internet skill. Some people give bad advice on here to others when telling them how to search, also (I mean in terms of what phrases they tell them to search on).
Christina is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 09:44 AM
  #4  
 
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cookie5611 wrote: "Many just pop on looking for specific info and sometimes it is easier to start a new thread."

and Christina wrote: "Some people make new posts because they find it easier than actually doing a search (it is, actually, as if you do a search, you have to read through a couple dozen posts to try to get your info)."

Aren't these just ways of of saying your time is more valuable than mine?
Padraig is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 09:57 AM
  #5  
 
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Touché!

I work, and take breaks to check Fodor's to answer on the few things I may know...but it's my time, helping someone else. I would think it is simple "good manners" to have at least made an effort to see if someone has answered the question...then..you ask your question. Typing a few lines...and then saying..that's how much time I have to invest in this..seems a bit...annoying to me

Yes,yes,yes..some information goes stale..but converting $ to euros, or how to get from CDG to xxx, or what is there to see in Paris...these are things that should be researched a bit, before asking the questions.

How hard is it to do a search and see if the answers are "current"? To read through some threads?

I'm not a travel agent...but I enjoy helping people. Just don't want to take the time to repeat the information that is already here.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 11:28 AM
  #6  
 
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I have found recently, when trying to search for threads of interest that I have previously viewed, that although I might type in a thread title verbatim, that thread is not showing up in the search results. I then have tried to search by one or two general words in the title (ie. Ireland) and the threads still don't appear. When I scroll back through all of the Europe threads I am able to locate the thread in question by going back to the threads from that date. I think that the particular 3 or 4 threads in question were all new threads created on or around the time last week when there were problems with the forum. Maybe that has something to do with these threads not showing up in a search. Not critical, but could be a problem if someone is trying to see the result or latest update on a given thread.
Momof3sons is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 11:56 AM
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What if everybody searched and found the answers, thus never asking another question.

To paraphrase the old Karl Malden American Express commercials, "What would we do? What would we do?"

maitaitom is online now  
Jul 18th, 2007, 12:17 PM
  #8  
 
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Christina's and Cookie's point about information changing is well taken. I do understand, Adeben, that telling someone how to exit CDG and get a cab gets a bit tiring, but it's our choice to respond. And as others say, not everyone is that skilled at searching.

But let me give some examples how information on this board and others has evolved in a rather short time span...

Example 1: Cell phones. A couple of years ago, I would never have considered taking a cell phone to France. I liked Telecartes and felt no need to up my game. Now "cell phone" is a standard on my packing list. And here's another informational shift I'm seeing...it used to be that everyone was recommending "buy the country SIM" but now I'm seeing rather veteran travelers saying, "Hey, my T-Mobile plan isn't that bad." (I'm still buying SIMs, but in six months, that might change).

Example 2: Traveller's cheques. Five years ago, I might have taken a couple as back ups. Now I consider them part of the Ice Age and just won't bother.

Example 3: Luggage and Packing. Liquid carry-on rules changed a lot of recommendations in one fell swoop. In one calendar year.

Example 4: Voltage. I swear there are far more dual voltage appliances on the market than five years ago and there certainly is a huge uptick in the number of appliance attachments. Exponential, in fact.

Regular posters have changed, and with that change comes different perspectives.

So yes, I do understand your frustration, but I truly do believe that the repetition is actually hiding some quite startling changes in how we pack and travel.



josephina is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 12:20 PM
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And by the way, I think the Fodor's forum article on the Home page is great! Most of us already use most of these websites, but what a wonderful listing for those new to travel:

http://www.fodors.com/wire/archives/002621.cfm
josephina is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 12:27 PM
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I am mystified that some people would actually ask a question like this

"Example 3: Luggage and Packing. Liquid carry-on rules changed a lot of recommendations in one fell swoop. In one calendar year."

on a travel forum rather than checking TSA's or the airlines' websites.
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 12:41 PM
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The point is that many of us who ALWAYS used to carry on no matter what have had to adjust our packing lists/habits and our old postings probably would not be entirely accurate.
josephina is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 12:49 PM
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On questions which are frequently asked and answered, there can be information overload. It is frustrating to have a basic question about something and do a search and come up with hundreds of threads to wade through, some of which are long and contentious, without knowing whether they would eventually address my particular questions.

Are posters saying their time is more valuable than yours? Not at all. My time enjoying asking and answering questions is just as valuable as your time deciding which posts to answer.
Nikki is online now  
Jul 18th, 2007, 12:58 PM
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tdk320n is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 01:13 PM
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Why even have a search function if people think that looking at the threads it brings up takes too much time? People use Yahoo or Google searches all the time and then have to wade through the various hits...same concept but that's not instant gratification.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 01:23 PM
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If I'm looking for information about a particular city or hotel I always do a search. I will read a lot about a country. This is a really big investment of time, but I find it enjoyable. Not everybody does.

But sometimes you have a particular question and you do a search and you get a million hits and it would be nice to have someone just answer you right away. Someone who wants to answer, not someone who is sick of answering the question. I don't want them to do it against their inclination. I am willing to take the chance that someone out there wants to answer me. If not, then I'll keep looking.

I asked a question about B&Bs in the Dordogne. I was told to do a search because there were thousands of threads about the Dordogne. Well, yes of course there are, and I had read many, but finding the nuggets I was looking for in all of them would be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

I answer far more questions than I ask, maybe about fifty to one. And I enjoy answering them. I don't want to waste anyone's time, so anyone who doesn't want to answer the one I ask should just ignore it.
Nikki is online now  
Jul 19th, 2007, 06:09 AM
  #16  
 
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I'm sorry so many feel that reading/answering repetative posts is a waste of time. Since there is no way of knowing exactly how many people are, in fact, using the search function, it's impossible to know just how much of your time would be wasted without that feature! My hunch is that many people do start with the search. When I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for, my very first post was to ask for it -- and I did get several responsese letting me know just how to use this forum. I was a little insulted, but was also able to better search.

What some people are saying, though, is that it's better use of their time to direct a person to the search function than to simply skip over the thread that is not of interest. Come on -- we're all adults and make choices for ourselves.

I feel that a few people around here think this is their own personal club and new members should go through initiation before being allowed to register and post.
cookie5611 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2007, 06:35 AM
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cookie5611 wrote: "I feel that a few people around here think this is their own personal club and new members should go through initiation before being allowed to register and post."

I don't think anybody has taken such a position. But now that you mention it, it is worth noting that a group like this has many of the characteristics of a club, with written rules (Fodor's terms of service) and unwritten rules (generally a matter of etiquette or good manners). There is no barrier to entry, nor is there a qualifying period before which one can post, and I see no sign of anybody looking for one.

Most people here give assistance because they are well-disposed towards others. I am sure that they like to be thanked, but rarely (if ever) complain when they are not. But goodwill is not an unlimited resource: if it is abused greatly, people become discouraged and some might leave. Regular participants also become bored dealing with the same questions, and that is why they often advise people to search. It takes less time to advise somebody to make a search than to furnish a complete answer that one might have given only a few days ago.

It might be a good idea to have a FAQ. The issues abeden listed might be a good starting point.


Padraig is offline  
Jul 19th, 2007, 06:47 AM
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I agree about the FAQ, or perhaps a better division of rooms for posting. Maybe a room pertaining to the logistics of getting around, another devoted to places to stay, etc.

My only point is that there are so many good natured people on this site who are willing to help that those who are bored with the same questions can simply pass those posts by...no need to be bitter. I've seen some very nasty postings on this site and it makes me sad for those who were simply asking a question. They aren't trying to be rude or waste anyone's time. It is a forum for questions and answers, after all.
cookie5611 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2007, 07:00 AM
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One of the major problems is that the search function on this forum simply does not work. It skips over some threads, selects others with no rhyme or reason. (Ever try to search for a post that was written a couple of months ago?)
Posters soon realize this and don't use it.

Secondly - Information about hotels and restaurants particularly, becomes outdated. This is the reason a lot of us use a forum rather than just a guiide book or travel book.
robjame is offline  

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