• Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    So, at 15,000 users (thank you guys!) I think we are at the point where we need to make a determination on how best to make use of the search/posting features. I noticed a lot of questions that were asked by new people recently that have already been answered. I have seen message boards before that had strong rules on searching before posting but as PapaSop likes to say, we are a “community” not a message board!

    In my opinion it makes it easier on the person looking for an answer to be able to just post the question they have in mind instead of searching through older posts BUT I don’t even answer most posts anymore, it is you guys who do that majority of that nowadays.

    So, @Power-User @Regular-Contributors how do you want it? FYI anyone can chime in here, just tagged those groups as they are the ones carrying the majority of the load.

  • Team Blue Power User Traeger Primo Grills PK Grills Canning Sous Vide Community Moderator

    I’m big fan of suggesting people search first, I don’t know how you would enforce that. I think I saw 3 post on carrot fiber just last week.

    While we are making changes, can we get post that are more than say a week or maybe a month old not showing up in the “Suggested Topics,” seems there is always someone replying to these like the question or topic was just brought up…I’ve seen people recently realizes they replied to a really old post by mistake. Austin

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    Jonathon said in To search or to post?:

    So, at 15,000 users (thank you guys!) I think we are at the point where we need to make a determination on how best to make use of the search/posting features. I noticed a lot of questions that were asked by new people recently that have already been answered. I have seen message boards before that had strong rules on searching before posting but as PapaSop likes to say, we are a “community” not a message board!

    In my opinion it makes it easier on the person looking for an answer to be able to just post the question they have in mind instead of searching through older posts BUT I don’t even answer most posts anymore, it is you guys who do that majority of that nowadays.

    So, @Power-User @Regular-Contributors how do you want it? FYI anyone can chime in here, just tagged those groups as they are the ones carrying the majority of the load.

    I am not sure there is a single right answer to this question, and here is why:
    Some users may not be comfortable with using search functions within the web site and will prefer to just “ask the question and get an answer from a live person”. This can vary, depending on the degree of difficulty in using the search function and the experience levels of users.

    Have some tutorials on how to use the search function as well as having it be well designed and intuitive would go a long way in getting people to use it.

    All public forums also have users who are “lurkers” who prefer to not post or post infrequently, just kind of remain in the background. These users can be tech savvy and do their own research on problem solving or recipe search, viewing old posts and gathering data and solving problems behind the scenes on their own. These users would absolutely benefit from a good topic search function on Meatgistics.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Tex_77 Okay, are you saying you want more or less older topics in the suggested topics, from your post I am assuming you are wanting more older posts but I think that doing that would increase the # of times an older post gets “bumped”

    processhead Yeah, I know when I need help on something I would far rather ask my specific questions instead of reading old things and trying to extrapolate the correct answer BUT as I said, I am not the one doing the majority of the answers these days, it is you tex twilliams Chef and guys like that. Last thing we want is people getting frustrated by answering the same question time and time again.

  • Team Blue Power User Traeger Primo Grills PK Grills Canning Sous Vide Community Moderator

    Jonathon Edited. Not showing up.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Tex_77 Thank you, okay that makes more sense and I think I agree. I will see what can be done on that.

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    One solution might be a new category with sticky’s or FAQ’s on some of the regular how-to and problem solving topics.

  • Canning Dry Cured Sausage Primo Grills Team Blue Sous Vide Power User Cast Iron

    Tex_77 Jonathon Tex, I agree that it would be great to search first, but I remember, and it wasn’t that long ago, when I first discovered Walton’s and Meatgistics. It was a bit overwhelming, I didn’t have the vocabulary of the community nor any training in sausage making, and in fact, I didn’t know where to begin. I’ve learned so much since that time. I learned what I was doing wrong, what I made too difficult, and what I did right.

    I am very grateful to those who were patience with me and made me feel welcomed. I would rather answer a question dozens of times if it helps a newbie learn this dying art.

    I may be wrong, or I may not live long enough to see it, but I do think it will be the talents and knowledge of this community that just may help people through very difficult times.

    Is it times to have a new group, the mentors, that could somehow help a new member. Jonathon , not sure if that concept would be practical, but I think having one person to guide a new member just may be less confusing.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Chef Wow that is a big idea. it is a good one but that is a really big idea, would require a lot…@austin and I meet weekly on Tuesday and I am writing this one down!

    processhead We had something like an FAQ post as one point. I will find it and pin it somewhere

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    Jonathon said in To search or to post?:

    processhead We had something like an FAQ post as one point. I will find it and pin it somewhere…

    I would suggest putting some thought into where and how the FAQ’s are placed on the site. You really want to make it as simple and easy as possible for members to find, if you expect it to be a useful tool.

  • Regular Contributors Veteran Canning Team Blue Power User Sous Vide

    Jonathon would it be possible when someone types in a new topic, a list of similar topics appear and the user can choose to read one of the suggested topics, or can continue to post the topic they want. Recently I posted a new topic on pulled pork knowing there were other similar threads, but I was looking for something specific with apple juice. The other guys here were a big help with answers that were not in the other similar threads

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    processhead I was actually thinking of sticking it up next to the conversion chart at the very top of the page…that is getting a bit crowded though. kyle I understand what you are suggesting (or at least I think I do) but I did some searching for available plugins from NodeBB (they are the hosters) and couldn’t find anything. That doesn’t mean it cant be done, we have had them custom write things for us in the past but it might be a way down the line.

  • Sous Vide Team Blue Power User Regular Contributors Cast Iron

    processhead Jonathon Processhead’s statement about the “search” function is spot on. The reason you will not get everyone to use it is at least 3 fold. 1. The user doesn’t know the correct “search wording” to utilize for this site. 2. People are generally lazy and let others do it for them. 3. People can’t spell or they use “text shortcuts” that nobody on the site uses.
    Have run many database products in the past and setting up the “search” parameters is always “interesting” when using a new platform. Time will tell the real story.

  • Big Green Egg Team Blue Regular Contributors Cast Iron Power User

    I like the ideas from Chef and processhead. I use the search a lot though. In fact, I was going to ask a question about how important reverse is on a grinder for mixing. Well, I searched and found it is not recommended to run the grinder in reverse for more than a few seconds. So it eliminated my question and post.

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    I had never used the search function until about an hour ago. When I typed in “pulled pork” in the search box, a drop down menu of post topics that included pulled pork appears. That is a nice feature to quickly get someone down the right path towards the topic they are interested in.

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    Jonathon said in To search or to post?:

    processhead I was actually thinking of sticking it up next to the conversion chart at the very top of the page…that is getting a bit crowded though. kyle I understand what you are suggesting (or at least I think I do) but I did some searching for available plugins from NodeBB (they are the hosters) and couldn’t find anything. That doesn’t mean it cant be done, we have had them custom write things for us in the past but it might be a way down the line.

    Another thought regarding FAQ’s.
    FAQ’s can cover everything from recipes, to how to post a picture, to how to troubleshoot an equipment problem.

    It might help to have the FAQ’s subdivided into logical topic categories so a user could drill down to the FAQ category that is relevant to their actual question.

    As the FAQ’s grow in number over time, it could be helpful for both users and admins to have them organized into general topic groups

  • Team Orange Power User Veteran

    I use the search feature a lot. Probably because I can’t remember where I read something I want to look back on. FAQ’s is a great idea.

  • Power User Canning Team Orange Regular Contributors Veteran Masterbuilt

    maybe make a topic for new questions that can be posted and open for answers

  • Team Orange PK100 Sous Vide Power User

    I’m of the same mind as PapaSop.

    I’ve been on a number of forums over the years (as I’m sure all of you have, as well), and this always comes up. Frankly, I’ve never had a problem with someone asking “that question” again. On a BBQ f***m that I was active on for many years (and, sadly, no longer exists), I don’t know how many times I described how I cooked brisket, prepared ribs, managed a fire, and other “basics” to someone who just joined. On a homebrewing f***m, I went over basics countless times, as well. I few forums like this in the same way I attended hobby club meetings–it’s an exchange of knowledge, not just a collection of literature. New members are excited and enthusiastic, and they want to -talk- about the topic of the f***m, not just read about it. Demanding that they do a f***m search shuts them down, and I don’t believe that’s the vibe we’re looking for around here. Can you imagine how you would feel if you showed up at a meeting of enthusiasts and started asking “basic” questions only to be handed a book and be told to read it before asking those questions? I’d probably turn around and leave, never to return, and mutter some choice curses on my way out.

    Also, it’s a way to see new members–not everyone posts in the “Roll Call” thread, and not everyone reads it. Encouraging questions (or, at least, not discouraging them) is one of the best ways to see new faces.

    Another reason to not shoot down questions is that answers develop and change over time. Think about how the sous vide discussions have progressed.

    Now, I’m all for a FAQ list, and I don’t think it’s ever a bad idea to suggest that someone do a search on past topics if done in a friendly manner. Even better, go ahead and give someone a link to a relevant thread if you have one in mind.

    One thing one f***m I’ve seen do is to have designated “ambassadors” for new members. However, I don’t see that needed here. It’s an incredibly friendly f***m around here, and someone always is popping up to welcome someone new.

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    TexLaw I am in total agreement with what you said.
    So far, I commented quite a bit on FAQ’s as a way to answer questions, but that in no way is to diminish the benefits of real time answers from members. I think sometimes getting an answer or suggestion from a live person is maybe a little more reassuring , especially to a beginner.

    I think that all people are different in how they gather and process new information and what sources work best for them. Having choices is usually a good thing in that regard.

    When I am in a hurry for a specific answer to a question, I may posted question. If it doesn’t get a reply fairly quickly , I will resort to a FAQ or a topic search if one is available.

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About Meatgistics

Meatgistics is brought to you by Walton's (waltons.com). Meatgistics is a community site, knowledgebase, forum, blog, learning center, and a sharing site. You can find help and ask questions about anything related to meat processing, smoking and grilling meats, plus a whole lot more. Join Austin & Jon from Walton's and sign up for our Meatgistics community today. We have created Meagistics University, where we broke down meat processing into different categories and then broke it down into a class like structure. The introductory classes are 10s, the intermediate are 20s, and advanced are 30s.

About Walton's

Walton's Inc. sells meat processing equipment and supplies, including all of the Seasoning, Equipment, Supplies, Packaging, and Casings needed to make almost any type of sausage. Walton's sells to the commercial customer with a focus on the small to medium-sized processing plants or butcher shops, and directly to the hunter or processor who makes their own product at home. Whether you are a commercial or retail customer of Walton's you will be receiving the exact same seasoning and supplies, we do not have a different "line" for commercial and retail customers so that everyone can make the best sausage or jerky possible!

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