Google it first

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by #12, May 1, 2013.

  1. #12

    Thread Starter Expert

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    Disclaimer: I have not read all the stickys. This might already be covered. This is a half baked idea and is probably incomplete.

    I notice people acting irritated when an OP asks something that can be solved with 5 minutes of googling. I personally tend to resent people that think this site is a shopping service. I was thinking about somehow informing beginners that this site does not usually provide the services available at Webster's Dictionary, eBay, or Google.

    This is just the beginning of an idea. I don't even know if something should be done about this.
     
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  2. JoeJester

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    I agree with the premise. Googling could solve the problem but there are many who do not want to wade through the massive information.

    There is a caveat in the homework rules that tell the OP to research their topic here, as their question probably has been asked and answered before.

    I don't think telling them to use google would be as any more effective as rule 2 in the homework sticky ... concerning descriptive titles and not using words like help, urgent, stupid question, et al.
     
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  3. shortbus

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    How about - when members under a certain post count start a new thread, a new page pops-up saying "have you searched Google or our forum first?" Since no one ever reads the stickies, this would be a way to do it that they couldn't miss.
     
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  4. gerty

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    I agree! But one problem is Google will bring you here, and the searcher feels he/she has fulfilled their search requirements..
     
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  5. WBahn

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    I don't think there's a particularly effective solution for this problem (beside moderating all posts of new members, which some sites do as a means of educating new members to the rules and expected behaviors). I think the site already brings up a list of threads that it thinks are related to your thread title when you start a new thread (at least it used to for the first threads that I started).

    Having said that, it might be good to have a checklist for new threads specifically in the Home Help forum that asks the thread starter to check off a short list of items before they can submit the thread. Having it be an actual checkoff list would be best, but would probably require some work to implement. But having a simple dialog box come up that they have to click okay on might help out quite a bit. There will still be those that will ignore the list and click to continue, but they won't be able to claim that they didn't know any better.
     
  6. bertus

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  7. WBahn

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    Yes, but the problem is that very few people ever read the sticky -- as evidenced by the types of posts that new users generally make. That's not going to change and whatever additional steps are implemented are not going to have a significant impact as long as people can choose to bypass them without paying any actual attention. Short of moderating new users until they are following the guidelines, there is not a lot we can do that will be super effective.

    One option that I've often thought about (and it would help out with the spam bots, too) would be to have a registration quiz. When a new member registers they have to answer a five to ten question multiple choice quiz on the five to ten most important points that we want new users to be aware of. The material for the quiz can be displayed right above each question so that all the person has to do is read the sentence and then choose the answer that matches the sentence. They can't post until they get all the quiz questions correct. And we don't have to pretend it is anything other than what it is. For instance, it might start out something like this:

    In order to complete your registration and gain posting privileges on our forum, you must correctly answer the following questions intended to ensure that you are at least aware of certain key provisions of our Terms of Service and/or expected/prohibited behavior in certain forums.

    1) When starting a new thread in the Homework Help forum, you are expected to include your best honest attempt at a solution. This allows members to see how you are approaching the problem and what you are doing right and wrong. This serves as the starting off point for further discussion. Simply posting a problem and expecting someone to respond with the solution is neither reasonable nor likely to garner the intended result.

    Q1) When starting a new thread in the Homework Help forum, you are expected to
    a) give the institution and course name for the class you are taking.
    b) include your best effort at a solution.
    c) include the e-mail address of your instructor so that solutions can be submitted directly.
    d) provide a reference to the textbook that the question is taken from.
     
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  8. #12

    Thread Starter Expert

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    Good idea, but I think your questions are a bit too much. email the instructor? That will sure cut down the number of questions!

    I'm thinking more like:
    Do you understand that automotive projects are not allowed here?
    Do you understand that you are expected to make an effort to solve your problem by using resources like Google before calling in the engineers?
    Do you understand that we will not do your homework for you, we will only guide you into understanding it?
     
  9. WBahn

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    I don't have a problem with that as long as all of the questions don't have the same answer. Otherwise they will just click Y,Y,Y,Y.... without reading anything. But if all of the questions have two versions, one with a Y and one with a N correct answer, and the version is randomly picked then they will have to read each question (at which point the purpose is satisfied) and spam bots will have a hard time getting through.
     
  10. shortbus

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    Kind of like Form 4473 when buying a gun.
     
  11. paulktreg

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    Jun 2, 2008
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    Why do you resent people that think this site is a shopping service? You're just a member with the ability to ignore a post or help.

    This site is no doubt one of the best electronics forums on the web but if you want to decrease the traffic significantly then by all means point them in another direction. The answer to most questions can be found on the web with a little research so who needs AAC?

    So Google it first and stay away from AAC? AAC may very well be the first thing Google finds?
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2013
  12. #12

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    Why do some people resent posters that could have googled the answer?
    Just a personality defect, I suppose. Fairly expert people thinking that they should be working on things that can't be found in a dictionary or on eBay. Selfish of us, to be sure.;)
     
  13. JoeJester

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    I have no problem with people asking for help, but I don't think this site is a shopping service.

    The rules do ask them to search the forum (homework section) to see if their question or a similiar on has been asked before, and yet, very few indicate they've done any research, google or otherwise.

    More times than none, a member has to ask the poster for information before they can even start the guidance. Little things, like the question being asked, associated diagrams, and their attempt at a solution.

    Personally I have no problem ignoring some posters, but I've had many years of ignoring some posters, on other forums since the mid 1990s.
     
  14. tindel

    Active Member

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    I've personally found that Googling my questions produce results that are not very thorough or are not even close to the topic I am researching. Maybe it is poor word selection by me when searching... but I don't think so, as I consistently run into this. I have also sensed that google's search algorithm has deteriorated over the last year or so.

    However, having said that, often times my questions are highly advanced, as I am not a novice or hobbyist, per se.

    I still find that in most cases a good college level electronics text book answers many of my novice questions better than any google search can. The AAC book is getting there, but still has a way to go, IMHO. As for any advanced questions, a highly specialized graduate level text, can often times not be beat. The down side to this is that college text books are often overpriced - making the average weekend hobbyist unwilling to invest.

    Of course, talking to some experts about specialized questions with many years of combined experience can't be beat too... that's why I'm here.
     
  15. WBahn

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    I don't think anyone is saying that people should use Google only and not ask the question here at all. I think the frustration is mostly focused on the posters that are asking basic, trivial, or generic questions and have obviously put no effort into finding any information at all on their own.

    Examples might be:

    What is the pinout of a 555?

    What is an inductor?

    What does LED stand for?

    I've had occasions in which someone asks a question and even though their spelling and grammar are attrocious if I take their exact question and put it into Google the answer they are looking for is contained in the teaser of the very top hit.

    It's not even so much a feeling of being a waste of my time to answer. If that were the case then I could simply ignore the post and move on. But just as we strive to help people learn about electronics, we need to also help them learn how to learn in general. I think is where the frustration stems from because we WANT to help them, but know that just answering their question isn't the right thing to do because it rewards poor research skills and those really are important.
     
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  16. JoeJester

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    tindel,

    I would not expect every topic to be googleble. I specifically directed to the howework area. The other area's typically doesn't have that restriction, and yes, posters have found that out and post homework questions in those areas.

    Thanks to the moderator team, they are typically found out quickly and their threads are moved to the homework area.

    I would expect those taking courses to know how to research. They might not know the nuances of google like using the plus symbol, the minus symbol, and the quotations symbols, but they should be able to perform some searches. Granted they will be bombarded with thousands or millions of pages, which can dishearten someone from reviewing them all.

    I've read, on the internet, that most people will not go past the first 10 pages (100 links by google's default setting) when searching for something, which is why it was so important to be on the first few pages.
     
  17. atferrari

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    I recall digging twice down 35 pages (but I forgot what for)...:eek:

    I believe is much more important to know how to change the wording and mix the options given by Google.

    The fact that "everything" about a subject is googleable does not mean that is reasonable to search by digging through tens of pages. Expanding / narrowing the group of searching words helps sometimes.

    For generic questions you must start through Google.
     
  18. WBahn

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    I'm surprised it's that high. I seldom go beyond the first page. If I don't find something promising there, then unless the last couple links show some sign of relevance I recraft my search terms. When I do go to the second or third page I almost always (almost) find that they hits are virtually indistinguishable and completely unrelated to what I am looking for. The nugget of gold I'm looking for might well be on page 8 or 18, but I figure my percentages are better by trying to do a better search, especially since I can try to refine the search specifically to avoid the ton of hits that are related to each other but not to my query.

    We live in a completely schitzophrenic culture in this regard. I've seen people pull out there smart phones to find out out many quarts are in a gallon (seriously) so the internet has become many people's repository of basic facts, yet those same people can't make anything but the most superficial searches for actual information.
     
  19. spinnaker

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    There are 20 quarts to a gallon right? :) Actually some of our forum members coming from one of those crazy countries that use that new fangled metric system might not know about gallons. That metric system thing is just a fad. When it ends, boy will they be in trouble. :)


    Seriously there are some questions that are easily found on Google. I can see why forum members get upset when other members don't bother to search.

    Stackoverflow sort of forces you into a search for your first few searches. But they are really wacky over there. If you don't ask you question in just the right way you will get negative votes against you or have the thread closed. There are people voting and closing your threads that might not have any knowledge of the question you are asking yet they can vote against you.

    I thought a point system here would be a good idea for threads. But after seeing the behavior over there, it all seems a bit childish.
     
  20. strantor

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    Just playing devils advocate here.... Remember that google creates a box for you based on your pattern of searches. People who google component data sheets all day probably get relevant electronics info when they search. People who spend their days googling sports scores or celebrity affairs might not get much more than the Radio Shack homepage when they google.
     
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