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Feature Request: Could "Answers" include a JFGI-style sanity check? Answered

There are a not-so surprising number of Questions which are trivial search queries, but the author (often Guest) doesn't realize that there's an I'bles search interface (as limited as it is). Would it be possible to add a buffer layer between the user typing their question and having posted? I'm imagining something like running the question through "search I'bles" and "search forum topics", and providing a very brief (i.e., text lines rather than giant icons) list of the top half-dozen results, with a statement like, "Do any of these Instructables answer your question?" Otherwise, someone like me or Nacho are going to be playing that role, and we will become less and less polite about it over time :-)

29 Replies

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ewilhelm (author)2009-03-19

It's on the development path. Soon!

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lemonie (author)ewilhelm2009-05-11

Like Kiteman my suggestion was "Can't find the answer you are looking for? - Ask the community".

L

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Kiteman (author)ewilhelm2009-05-11

As an interim measure, I suggest changing the wording that appears in the question box;

If you can't find what you need with the search function, don't be shy, enter your question for the community to answer.

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I hope it'll include past answers, too.

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kelseymh (author)ewilhelm2009-04-20

Soon? Please, oh please, be soon! I'm getting more and more short-tempered with the Questioners who can't be bothered to do a trivial search (especially when the exact phrase they use would give them an answer).

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NachoMahma (author)kelseymh2009-04-20

. I feel your pain. I don't mind helping someone out who is having problems finding the right term(s) to search for, but it is irritating when I can select:right click:Search Google and get the answer. Getting to the point where I don't bother answering some times.

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kelseymh (author)ewilhelm2009-03-19

Woo hoo! Thanks for the acceptance, Eric :-)

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lemonie (author)2009-03-16

Sounds like a good idea. I suspect that a lot of the qu'estions don't get answered, so a number of people don't get anything out of it. The phrase "Don't be shy, enter your question for the community to answer." is perhaps a bit more inviting than it should be. Rewrite as e.g. "Can't find the answer you are looking for? - Ask the community"? L

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Goodhart (author)lemonie2009-03-16

I agree with Lemonie here, even to the point of making it: "Can't find the answer you are looking for with SEARCH? - Ask the community" !

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caitlinsdad (author)Goodhart2009-03-16

or "Can't find the answer you are looking for with SEARCH? You know, the empty white box at the top of the screen where you type in something somewhat remotely related or vaguely similar in spelling to what you want to search for- If you tried that first, then Ask the community" or else you risk the possible wrath of an underpaid civil servant in the noblest profession, an unarmed nuclear physicist, a rabid old dawg or other random characters. Your mileage may vary.

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Kiteman (author)caitlinsdad2009-03-17

I have a horrible feeling he means me. And not necessarily the "noble" bit.

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caitlinsdad (author)Kiteman2009-03-17

It should be the "oldest" profession?

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PKM (author)caitlinsdad2009-03-25

I'm not sure that's what "the oldest profession" means...

I'm with you as far as the "Can't find what you're looking for by searching the intertubes, in an Instructable or answer, or in our forums?

Those links might also get used a bit more if there was a simple search page at the other end- basically just the search box (doesn't need to have all the flashy filtering options etc.). Yes, it's right at the top of the page and says "search:" in big letters, but if you make things easy for people they will do them more readily.

To those who find themselves responding to simple queries, I make it a challenge to myself- see how quickly you can craft a good google query, do it, find the most appropriate site and post the link. A friend asked me a question over MSN that she had apparently "looked all over" for the answer to but that looked easy to me- it took me nine seconds to post the URL of a site answering it back to her.

You could always say "Finding the answer to this question took me N seconds- to find out how click here" :)

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jtobako (author)PKM2009-03-28

"Oldest profession" refers to prostitution. The 'challenge' of answering simple questions or searches for me generally ends within a few months or answering the same question three times...

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Goodhart (author)caitlinsdad2009-03-17

you forgot the wrath of Hagar the Horrible (compare my avatar with Hagar) LOL

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lemonie (author)Goodhart2009-03-17

I think Hagar is still syndicated in The Sun (and Rupert the bear in the Express...) L

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frollard (author)2009-03-19

I think we should include a mandatory spell check, and that fancy text-to-speach engine used in youtube so people can listen to themselves "what has a round not in the backward sideways"? I LOVE the verify 'how about these' step, because - the 'related' ibles are usually REALLY close to what the asker needs.

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NachoMahma (author)Kiteman2009-03-16

. I don't mind helping those that are having problems finding the right word/phrase to search for, &c;, but when I can copy a few words from their question, paste it into Google, and get a lot of good hits, ... well, you've seen what happens.

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caitlinsdad (author)NachoMahma2009-03-19

and get a lot of good hits, ... well, you've seen what happens.

This can be taken out of context. ;-)

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kelseymh (author)Kiteman2009-03-16

Hey, at least in real replies I haven't yet said "just f-ing google it..." :-)

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NachoMahma (author)kelseymh2009-03-17

. But it appears that you have given it serious consideration. LOL

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lemonie (author)kelseymh2009-03-17

Perhaps the invite should be "Having trouble with Google? - ask the experts to do it for you here"? L

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Lithium Rain (author)kelseymh2009-03-16

Must...resist...saying...it...must...not...say...it...must...not...

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kelseymh (author)Lithium Rain2009-03-16

All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy. All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy. All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy. All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy. All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy. All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy. All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy. All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy. All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy. All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy. All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy. All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy. All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy. All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy. All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy. All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy. All work and no play makes Mike a dull boy.

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jessyratfink (author)2009-03-17

I think that would be nice. I've ended up avoiding the answers section for the most part because the questions seem to be really bizarre and vague. I don't want to spend half the time trying to interpret what they're saying just to help them. ;)

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