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Old 06-24-2001, 02:32 PM
RunningTooHot's Avatar
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First & foremost, I want to thank everyone for sharing your knowledge here at MBShop. When information is posted, it is available for future use by using the search function; this effectively makes these forums a *tremendous* repository of information for those wanting to learn about the functioning of their vehicles.

I think that the professional technicians as well as other enthusiasts are extraordinarily generous with sharing their expertise with others. At the same time, it is a privilege that should not be abused by asking questions that have already been answered. This is a matter of mutual respect.

I feel that people should make good use of the search function to look for previous postings on the particular subject matter that they are interested in. If the information is not there, then by all means, go for the gold.

I hope that this does not come off as a rude sort of posting that is *absolutely* not the intention. I just would like to find ways to perpetuate the interest and contributions of people involved here, and I believe that fresh questions and concepts are much more interesting to those that provide the answers, as well as those that read these forums.

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Old 06-24-2001, 08:43 PM
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I just want to say thanks to all that have the knowledge to help me and others out. Without this forum I would be out alot of money. I too urge people to use the search before posting a new thread. There is tons of information in this forum.

Thank you all!
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Old 06-25-2001, 12:37 AM
rainmaker's Avatar
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...those that *need* to use the search function (the intended audience) are unlikely to read this post.

Maybe Bill (webmaster) would like to highlight the use/benefits of the search function somewhere in the main page of this forum.

As I said before, this forum is the next best thing to having a tech on call 24/7. But unlike a tech who'd slap you silly for asking questions he's repeatedly answered, this forum won't.
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Old 06-25-2001, 08:08 AM
Bill Wood's Avatar
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Originally posted by RunningTooHot
When information is posted, it is available for future use by using the search function; this effectively makes these forums a *tremendous* repository of information for those wanting to learn about the functioning of their vehicles.
We agree 100%!
The main reason we keep outgrowing our servers is because it takes more and more cpu power, memory and disk space to handle our growing database of posts. Sometime very soon we will hit 100,000 posts. That's a LOT of data. We have felt from the beginning that it was important to have a searchable database of questions and answers that anyone could use to try to resolve problems. The Shop Forum search engine has been a "best kept secret" for much too long. We need to figure out how to better highlight it.
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Old 06-25-2001, 08:29 AM
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I am still new to this forum, but have spent lots of time and energy at various BMW and Mazda Miata lists and forums over the past 5 years or so. One of the best ways to minimize repetitive posts and questions is to have a section posting articles and FAQs for a broad range of common procedures and failure points involving our cars. For great examples, check out and

This takes a lot of work and dedication to develop and maintain, but you'll see that most of the articles are contributed by list users and have mechanisms for readers to comment or add to the articles. Certainly it's also easier to develop a comprehensive set of articles for a "one-model" site like

Just my 2 cents worth. I've seen those two sites really flourish and thrive based on a healthy combination of both active contributors and hungry users. Unfortunately from a MBZ standpoint I'm still more of the latter than a qualified former!

Dave Letsche
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Old 06-25-2001, 10:35 AM
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The FAQ idea could work well, though it is a lot of time and effort to prepare, and some people still won't use FAQs, because they find it easier to just ask a question and wait for an answer! Maybe FAQs on some popular topics like Euro headlights could be placed under DIY and see how it works out. Example, the stereo removal DIY cut down on the 'how do I...' questions, and allowed the answers to be a shorter 'look under DIY'. (If you decide to go this route, I can pull someting together on headlights if you would like.)

Bill, have you considered an info page that pops up as the beginning of the registration process for new members? One that informs people that there are several years of info, and that the Search button is the key to retrieving the info? Also informing them that some new members may get frustrated that they don't get immediate answers to their questions, but the main reason for not answering the question is that it has been answered 10 times in the archives and the other members are tired of the topic? And maybe making the 'search' button larger and moving it next to the 'Reply' and 'new thread' buttons would remind people to use the function as they are about to post something.

I don't believe that any one approach will solve this problem, but all the suggestions in the posts above could put dents in it!

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Old 06-25-2001, 07:16 PM
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I'd add my 2 cents to JCE's post above that it another helpful bit of info for new members would be some advice about making the subject line informative. I don't know about others but I tend to skip over threads whose subjects are vague, like "300E questions."
'93 400E
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Old 06-26-2001, 12:05 AM
longston's Avatar
Another View. . .
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Location: Mark West, CA
Posts: 787
We've Joked About This...

But seriously, an information page for prospective and newly registered members relating to conduct and operations would be verty helpful. It even took me a few months to get used to how everything worked, and how to use certain features on this website.

Perhaps we could all submit suggestions for such a guide.


Set up an email address so you can communicate off line.

Use that address when things get testy, instead of flaming.

How to post pictures.

How to post "smilies"...

How to set up your "profile".

Where the other forums are located, & what they are for.

Appropriate content guidelines for each forum.

"Courtesy" guidelines for posting other sources for parts.

What the icons at the bottom of each post are for.

How to "quote" properly.

What "edit/delete" is for.

How to "cut & paste" to move a posting from one forum to another.

Simple courtesys:

No, you didn't think of it first...

Why not use the forums for a month or so before suggesting changes...

Did you check the archives first before starting the 1000th "what oil should I use" thread?

Sorry, but the techs here aren't on salary, they're volunteers...

Have you tried doing a search on the internet using a "search engine"?

Why do we post links, if you won't read them, and still ask the same question that the link would have answered?

There's more, trust me. And add your own...
"We drive into the future using only our rearview mirror."
- Marshall McLuhan -

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Northern California Wine Country...
"Turbos whistle, grapes wine..."
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Old 06-26-2001, 12:35 AM
Ashman's Avatar
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I like the idea of a search button next to the post and reply buttons.

I think it is important to utilize the search feature as often as possible. Sometimes though I prefer to post and see what responses I get.

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Old 06-26-2001, 04:36 PM
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Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Posts: 154
I too would like to see a new "Search Topics" button installed along side the already existing 'New Topics" and "Reply" buttons in the blue border at the top and bottom of each page. I believe I may have suggested this before.

The new button would function just as, and maybe in addition to, the relatively obscure search feature that is currently sort of lost up in the white field above the top blue border.

Most of the problem is with the newest members not yet familiar with features of the site. Their newness is evidenced by their being unaware that a topic may have been beaten to death many times over in the recent past (i.e. "what oil should I use?" [PLEASE do not answer this question now! I know the reply is in the archives.])

A prominently displayed search button alongside "New topics" and "Reply" MIGHT help those finding how to post to become aware of the search feature at the same time, and save them time.

Roger Minton
Speaking of oil -- change it tomorrow if it's still hot
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Old 06-27-2001, 02:18 AM
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Hey everyone, I just though Id throw in another 1 cents in here. I agree whole-heartedly with all the suggestions made here. And the search function being made more prominent so that people will be more prone to using it is VERY important.

And Bill (Webmaster), it is unfortunately not just simply an issue of highlighting the search function I dont believe that something should be promoted before its ready for prime time; and unfortunately, the search function for this site is ABSOLUTELY NOT ready for prime time. An example is tonight I searched for information regarding diesel injectors how long do they usually last, should they be rebuilt at any particular age or mileage, is rebuilding them a DIY type project, are rebuilt ones as good as new ones, etc., etc.. Im sure that that these issues have been covered in the past, but the search function comes back with way too many irrelevant threads (see the meat & potatoes analogy above). An advanced search function would eliminate this problem. An advanced search capability is SORELY needed here.

I feel like an a**hole for being critical, as I think the world of this site and the people here, but please think of this as *constructive* criticism for the MBShop owners.
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