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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-28-2003, 04:33 PM
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new help section + solutions to sloppy posting

I think we've all noticed a recent increase in sloppy posting habits by new members. Misplaced posts, not using the Knowledge Base or the search function, etc. I've now received several PM's from members about this. We are experiencing a rapid growth phase on the board. One of the visible side effects of this seems to be a decrease in average post quality.

A handful of members failing to read the guidelines is acceptable, and attributable to human nature. Numerous new members displaying bad posting habits suggests an inadequacy in our system of recruiting, registering, and educating new members. We went through a similar growth phase before, and the board was in disarray. Back then, we drafted our board guidelines, and added a requirement to our register page that new users read the guidelines.

This worked to a point, but it no longer seems adequate for the growth we are now experiencing. We need a more comprehensive guide to this community for new members, and we need to take steps to ensure that new members are more properly educated about this board, before they make their first post.


Here's what's been done to improve new member education:

1. The registration process has been tightened up. New members will now be walked through the guidelines before registering, rather than just having to click a button indicating that they've read them. After registering, new members are returned to the guidelines, and also receive an automated PM reminding them to use the board search function, the Knowledge Base, and the help section.

2. A comprehensive help section for the Hotrodders Bulletin Board has been drafted. The help section spans 38 pages, and includes numerous screenshots and step-by-step instructions to using the features on the board. It is accessible via the "help" link, towards the top of the board:




The help section is aimed more towards new users. If you already know your way around the board, the following pages of the help section may still interest you though:

18 Tips and Tricks for the Hotrodders Bulletin Board
Detailed, step-by-step screenshots of 18 board tips. Many of the tips mentioned are features that are hardly being used.

Hotrodders Bulletin Board Pagemaps
Numbered screenshot diagrams of nearly every feature on the four main Hotrodders Bulletin Board pages: the main page, the forum pages, the thread pages, and the posting page.


Here's what you can do to improve new member education:

1. If you see someone who doesn't know what they're doing on the board, please point them towards the help section.

2. Please point members towards the Hotrodders Knowledge Base whenever possible. A common example is the old Chevy engine ID'ing question, where everyone throws out a few helpful links (Mortec.com, etc.). This gets the job done, but we have previously compiled dozens of Chevy engine ID'ing webpages (including Mortec.com) in the Engine: Technical Data section of the Hotrodders Knowledge Base. By pointing someone towards that page, not only do we provide a better answer, but we use our collective resources more efficiently.


The help section is an adjustable, expandable framework for storing information that we'll want to make accessible to everyone. If you see bugs or errors (spelling, grammar, or functional errors) please let me know. Additionally, if you have a suggestion for a new page to add to the help section, or you have any other feedback or constructive criticism, please make your ideas known, either in this thread, or in a new thread in the Hotrodders Q&A forum.

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Old 07-02-2003, 04:06 AM
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Jon I still think we need a system where you HAVE to read the guidlines, and somewhere in there in words it would say something like " blah blah blah post blah....... and if you notice at the bottom of the page there are multiple selections pick number three thousand and twenty two to join. balh blah blah blah...."

then at the bottom of the page 1 2 3 4 5..... 1423........ 23432........ 546456 ........ 345567567........


Just what I think though
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Old 07-02-2003, 04:07 AM
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ORRRRR even better Idea, WE CAN HAVE A TEST ON IT AT THE END. If you do not get 100% on the test you don't get to join
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Old 07-03-2003, 12:16 PM
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Sounds like you have it covred, Again, Jon!!


Todd


Rat Rods Rule!
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Old 07-03-2003, 12:35 PM
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I've actually considered a test too stonedchihuahua. If our current clamp-down doesn't work, we just might move in that direction. We can automate it, and grant board access only if they score a certain grade or higher.

An easy registration process results in quick growth, but general disarray. A hard registration process results in slower growth, but more savvy members. It's hard to find the balance.
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Old 07-03-2003, 01:36 PM
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i pick more savvy.
if you can't figure out how to pass a registration test, whatever it may be, then you probably aren't worth having around.
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